Tonight we will be reviewing the Dani-trio Fellowship Pen. This beautiful handcrafted pen is the result of months long corroboration between Winedoc, Dani-trio, maki-e artist Kosetsu and others. I first became aware of this generous endeavor on April of 2009 when the initial sketch was released to the public. Since then I had been following any updates regarding its fruition.
On Chinese New Year weekend I attended the reception at the Los Angeles Pen Show and had the rare opportunity to write with a clip-less fellowship pen fit with an xxf flex nib. I was more than impressed by the flexibility of this modern nib and the conscientious attention to detail. However despite thoroughly enjoying the time spent at the reception, it is with a heavy heart that one must admit one might have overheard a most egregious rumour. The creation of this masterpiece was supposedly expedited due to some of the more eccentric members adamantly insisting on impossible demands at an urushi factory by means of a ultraviolet floodlight.
The Fellowship Pen is accompanied by a large black lacquered box lined to what appears to be a fine material. Inside includes a pen pillow and a pen pouch (possibly made from silk). While the pen was offered at a very fair price; I would have to estimate the retail value be in excess of three thousand dollars.
The form of the Autumn Traveler as I would like to call it is the result from borrowing the straight body design from the Genkai and the faceted sides from the Octagon. I believe the body is bored from ebonite then the urushi is meticulously applied before and after adorning the cap/body with MoP and/or gold dust.
The imagery of the Autumn Traveler depicts a traveler's possessions resting on the ground amongst the autumn foliage. This abstract theme leaves the writer to determine whether the traveler is either resting mid-journey, settling down at the end or beginning a new path.
Weight & Dimensions (9/10)
Since the Autumn Traveler was not designed with posting in mind, I would have preferred the barrel to be slightly longer for better balance. I do not have the precise figures for the pen, but it is lightweight for an instrument of this size. Below is a comparison between the Omas Ogiva Vision (Gold and Silver trim), M800 demonstrator and Custom 743.
Nib & Performance (9/10)
Writing with the xxf flex nib almost reminds me of riding in a sports car; responsive flex and tactile on cotton paper.
Filling System (6/10)
There is nothing new that could be said about converters, only it was chosen for this pen in the interest of maintaining cost for all those concerned.
Cost & Value (10/10)
While I won't divulge the cost, the Autumn Traveler is a tremendous value with consideration to all those involved in creating what once began as a concept into an elegant and understated implement for writing.
From a broad perspective this pen reflects artistic ability, dexterity and storytelling. Despite being the near perfect pen, there is one area I feel could benefit from a minor addition. This would be the gift box. While the presentation of the pen exudes gravitas when viewed objectively, I believe it lacks an Armoire to give it the finishing stroke. What else could be better than a pen box that holds one's entire pen, ink and paper collection?
Thank you for reading. (devours cookie... nom nom nom...)
[First image courtesy of Winedoc]
Edited by Immoteus, 22 February 2010 - 23:29.