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Homer Glen resident Gene Benes works on a pen in his workshop. Each handmade, wooden pen he crafts takes him at least an hour-and-a-half to complete. (Amanda N. Marino/22nd Century Media)
Gene Benes showcases a selection of the pens he has made by hand. Benes uses materials ranging from wood to acrylic to pine cones cast in resin as the base for his pens. (Amanda N. Marino/22nd Century Media)
Shown are a variety of materials used for Gene Benes’ handmade pens. (Amanda N. Marino/22nd Century Media)
Amanda N. Marino, Staff Writer
3:38 pm CDT July 21, 2014

When Gene Benes was young, his father had a workshop in his basement. There, Benes learned how to use hand tools and craft wood into a variety of items. 

Benes grew up to become an accountant, but a bit of downtime rekindled his passion for woodworking. Eventually, Benes, a Homer Glen resident, became the owner of Pens by Gene, through which he has been crafting and selling handmade pens for about 15 years. 

How it all began