With one of Stuart King’s Nature of Maine pens in your pocket, you can carry a piece of Maine around with you always.

His handmade ballpoint pens (they take Cross and Parker refills) are sleek and elegant, though they are made from natural debris like moose droppings, deer antlers, pine cones and mussel or clam shells. King, a retired teacher from Old Town, sells his pens all over the country and the world; they’ve even made their way to Russia, China and South Korea.

1111321_399175 Pens Crushed Lobster.jpgKing says it took him 10 years to figure out how to make the pen barrels, as each substance he uses must be treated differently because each reacts differently to the process he’s developed. He gathers the materials himself, except for the moose droppings, which make a nice-looking chocolate brown pen.

“I’ve got friends and family, they’ll carry a little plastic bag with them and when they come across the moose droppings they’ll pick it up for me,” he said, and bring him “an occasional booty of scat.”

King’s two-toned Deer Hunter pen is half deer droppings, half deer antler.

Sometimes people mail King substances, asking him if he can make a pen out of them. He’s received geoduck clam shells from Seattle, and Dungeness crab shells. The owner of an Angus beef ranch in Montana sent him cattle droppings, asking for pens for his foremen. And he recently made pens out of buffalo scat he got at Yellowstone.

“I’ve made pens out of human ashes before,” he said.

King likes to experiment with new materials, and said his next pens will be made of blueberries and sea urchins.

At this season, King’s pens are sold at just three stores. During the summer, his products are in eight seasonal stores along the coast. Find them now at The Lupine Cottage in Belfast and Lisa-Marie’s Made in Maine stores in Portland and Bath. They cost $31 to $38, depending on where you buy them.