This is as simple as it gets
DAMN if it isn't a well functioning solution.
i keep a LARGE bag of wine corks next to a 36" bench top grinder. every now and then i just pull one out and make a cork pen rest. the entire process takes a few minutes and the final result ends up being more refined then one might think. I appreciate many aesthetics but when it come to a pen rest i personally prefer a bit more of a clean look. after all in a way it is acting as a pedestal for a fine writing instrument.
the process is 4 simple steps:
1. i flatten the bottom of the cork. i remove as much cork as i want the overall height of the final rest.
2. i square up the sides. this removes the chewed up marks from the corkscrew and can remove wine stains if desired.
3. with a dremel rotary tool and a small sanding drum i gouge out a notch for the rest. i do try to keep the marks i make crisp. because a cork is so curved i like the contrasting hard edges.
4. i give it a quick spray of helmsmen spray. i like the clear coat slightly wet look. cork is so textured and this treatment makes variance more dramatic.
different style of corks work equally well. for the more sparkling type corks i do not worry about squaring off the top and sometimes i don't square of either side.