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Nakaya Urushi - Piccolo Chinkin Palmet


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#1 Phthalo

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 13:06

CIGAR PICCOLO - Special Order Chinkin Palmet

(Since it has been so long since I shared Nakaya eyecandy, I have used larger-than-normal photos. Please tell me if you would prefer smaller images or thumbnails!)


Introduction

When it came time to order my third Nakaya Piccolo, I felt the need for something different, and so decided upon the delicately carved Chin-kin technique. Since I've already reviewed the Piccolo twice (here and here), this review will focus more upon the finish of my latest Japanese beauty, rather than the model characteristics.




The Color

The first time I saw photos of the unpolished Shu (red) lacquer finish, I was intrigued. Here was a satin-finish lacquer, very obviously still a bright red, but nonetheless subtle and understated - I had to have it. Plus, red is my favourite color after olive green. smile.gif



The above image shows my Piccolo in everyday light, and then with the non-diffused light from my camera flash.


The Carving

Chin-kin is a beautiful carving technique which you can learn much about here. Essentially, a design is carved into the the cured base lacquer, and then the carved line work is accented with gold (my choice), silver, or platinum powders. Later, colored powders are also added. (Chin-koku / Chinkoku is the name given to this technique when fine black (koku) charcoal is embedded in the linework.)

I chose a traditional design which depicts a palmet pattern - elongated leaves bending left and right with long, curled stems. I was very particular about the hues when choosing the colored powders - I did not want any cool colors at all, nothing dark and no blue or purple. I wanted only colors from a rich, warm and bright palette which would set off the Shu base.



The leaves featuring colored powder inlay all have different line decoration. The colored powders which have been used are iridescent, which gives a very pretty effect. Several thumbnails showing the leaves are linked below. Do click to open the large, detailed version! smile.gif




The combination of Chin-kin linework on the unpolished Shu base is stunning! I did not want a glossy lacquered surface with this kind of linework, as it was too much of a contrast for my liking. Besides, I have pens with glossy urushi surfaces of sheer perfection™ - so I wondered what the unpolished surface felt like, and exactly how unpolished was unpolished anyway?

The finish is certainly less glossy than the finish of my Kuro-tame and Heki-tame pens, but you can still see a shine to the surface. I showed this Piccolo to a friend who is not interested in pens, and was initially surprised when they thought that it was a vintage carved pen, several decades old. Upon further reflection, I think that the combination of color and finish used does indeed give this Piccolo a soft and "worn" appearance.



Sometimes I cannot put this pen down. My fingertips have a fascination with rubbing the perfect surface of my urushi pens normally, and the carved surface of this Piccolo is no less inviting. wink.gif


The Nib

The Nakaya SEF (Super Extra Fine) is equivalent to a Needlepoint, and thus just right for my tiny handwriting. The regular 14K yellow gold nib would not have suited the coloring of this pen, and the two-tone nib would not have been much better. Luckily, Nakaya offers a 14K nib in the two-tone size and style with rose (pink) gold plating. Rose gold was the perfect complement to the colored powders I had chosen.




Special Order Process

As always, Yoko was a delight to deal with! After four months the pen was ready, but I elected to wait until Nakaya's new nib design was available with rose gold plating, which brought the process out to six months or so.

Here is my pen shown on the Nakaya website: Chinkin Palmet, Shu with Colored Powders.


Final Thoughts

The Chin-kin technique is just wonderful. The possibilities of this technique have already led me to create several new designs for future consideration, and I am positive another carved pen will soon join this one in my collection.

Choosing an ink for this Piccolo was difficult. I usually match the body of the pen to the ink, or choose an ink color which is a complementary opposite to the body color. Eventually I decided that it had to be red all the way, and so Rohrer & Klingner's Morinda was selected - and like the pen, it was perfect. biggrin.gif




I hope you have enjoyed this review. smile.gif

~Laura

Laura / Phthalo
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#2 cmenice

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 13:10

gorgeous gorgeous pen. Thank you for sharing.

#3 Wwillco

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 13:20

Amazing pen, and amazing review, as always. Your reviews are making me lean towards my next purchase being ridiculously expensive...

You say that the custom order process is great- what does it entail? Do you pick from options that they have, chosing your own combination for effect, or send in a design that they emulate on the pen? Thanks again for another awesome review-
Will
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#4 fuchsiaprincess

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 13:20

Hi Laura,

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful piece of art with us. If you ever, every think of rehoming her, please shoot me a PM.

Regards,
Soki

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#5 jpr

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 13:23

That is an amazing piece of art. Thanks for sharing smile.gif
Ah, that fresh ink on paper look!

#6 Readymade

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 13:40

The most beautiful pen I've ever seen. Excellent choices! Thanks for sharing.
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#7 Margana

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 13:56

Drop dead gorgeous!
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#8 steersbylitning

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 13:59

Absolutely stunning, Laura! Thanks for sharing it with us (and making us drool!).

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#9 ianmedium

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 15:16

This is why I love Nakaya's!

Exquisite attention to detail and the possibility of customisation to ones own taste or whim. I think the Danitrios I have seen here are wonderful but to compare them to Nakaya or the other way round for me is a futile endevour.

Danitrio is Danitrio and Nakaya is Nakaya. The only thing they share in common is their country of birth and usage of materials, everything else is very different I feel.

For me there is something in Nakaya that gives the feeling of understated purpose, "we do not have to shout too hard we just let our craftsmanship and attention to detail do the talking!"

Looking at your beautiful pen only goes further to anchor my boat in Nakaya waters!

By the way, it was your pictures of that wonderful Piccolo in Kuri Tame-nuri that fueled my desire to become a Nakaya owner myself, these pictures have now put me in saving mode for my next!

Thank you so much for a beautiful review!

Edited by ianmedium, 13 April 2009 - 15:20.

All the best.
Ian



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#10 Nikolaos

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 15:28

i really like the unpolished shu base. It is really tasteful and adds a ton of character to the pen. You really put a lot of thought to this and it shows. Congratulations, it is a gorgeous pen. As for your review and photography.....well i have commented on them in your previous reviews happyberet.gif

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#11 chibimie

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 16:11

All of the above! drool.gif

I remember when I was buying my Sumiko at a special Nakaya event in March, the rep was talking about your pen as he fine-tuned the nib on mine. He, too, loves your sensibilities. wub.gif

#12 ethernautrix

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 16:27

Wow, that is an absolutely lovely pen, Laura. Classy, elegant, and gorgeous. And your photos do it justice.

Pen Envy worthy.

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#13 archie001

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 17:13

A really wonderful and unique pen you've got there! Congratulations and thanks for a good review!
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#14 dannyboy

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 17:24

What a stunningly beautiful pen! Your photos do, indeed, do the the pen justice. And your review is thorough, yet succinct. I would like to have seen a photo of some of your handwriting using this pen and the ink you chose for it. Thank you for presenting yet another pen for those of us who love to drool over Nakaya's craftsmanship and artistry.

#15 kiavonne

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 17:35

Great pen, Laura! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.
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#16 QM2

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 19:53

Very, very nice review, and it is a treat to see the workmanship in the close-up photos. The satin finish of the urushi gives the pen a more "folksy" feel, which I think goes well with the carving technique. The pink gold-plated nib is intriguing. Someday, I would like to get a black urushi desk pen, and this is the nib I'd want on it.

Thanks for the detailed review, the beautiful photos, and succinct descriptions!
QM2


PS: I am waiting for my third Nakaya, a greenish Ishime Kanshitsu -- should be ready any day now!



Edited by QM2, 13 April 2009 - 20:29.


#17 arz

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 20:25

This is a wonderful review. Your pictures are breathtaking! They really highlight the pen's features in a more dynamic way than the pictures on Nakaya's website.

I've just crossed the 4 month mark waiting for my first, special order Nakaya and I admire your patience. Thankfully, I have a lot to keep my mind occupied, but it's been so long it's almost like a dream or fantasy.

#18 Phthalo

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 23:52

QUOTE (Wwillco @ Apr 13 2009, 11:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You say that the custom order process is great- what does it entail? Do you pick from options that they have, choosing your own combination for effect, or send in a design that they emulate on the pen?

You can go about it in a number of ways - look through their existing special orders and choose something that appeals to you, or base your own off one of their designs. You can also send in patterns or artwork to inspire a design from, or just tell them about the motifs you like, and allow them to design something for you which combines your requirements. They are very flexible in the design phase, but it does help to have some firm ideas about what you do and do not want to make the process easier for all. smile.gif
Laura / Phthalo
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#19 Phthalo

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 23:56

QUOTE (arz @ Apr 14 2009, 06:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've just crossed the 4 month mark waiting for my first, special order Nakaya and I admire your patience. Thankfully, I have a lot to keep my mind occupied, but it's been so long it's almost like a dream or fantasy.

I've waited longer than four months in the past... 2007 was a massively busy year, as I recall!

Waiting doesn't really bother me, I don't think about it too much once I've placed the order - I don't let myself. Good things always come to those who wait, and it's a wonderful day when that email arrives to say they are ready to ship! It's like a surprise all over again. wink.gif

Laura / Phthalo
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#20 arz

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 00:26

QUOTE (Phthalo @ Apr 13 2009, 06:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've waited longer than four months in the past... 2007 was a massively busy year, as I recall!

Waiting doesn't really bother me, I don't think about it too much once I've placed the order - I don't let myself. Good things always come to those who wait, and it's a wonderful day when that email arrives to say they are ready to ship! It's like a surprise all over again. wink.gif


Yes, Phthalo, that's what I'm thinking!

It's funny because I wanted a Nakaya for quite a while, but then it took me quite some time to find one that would be meaningful to me. When I finally placed the order, then later confirmed everything and paid, there was a huge adrenaline rush for several days. Since then, there may even be weeks when I don't even think about it, but I know that adrenaline will kick back in when I get the shipping email!








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