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Sailor Chrysanthemum Vs. Namiki Nippon Art


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13 replies to this topic

#1 vision35

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 18:41

Which do you prefer and why? Which would you buy. I love the way my 1911, VP, and Bamboo write. I like the way the Bamboo fills, with a piston converter. Which would you get.

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#2 dappledawndrawn

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 02:43

QUOTE(vision35 @ Apr 20 2007, 06:41 PM) View Post
Which do you prefer and why? Which would you buy. I love the way my 1911, VP, and Bamboo write. I like the way the Bamboo fills, with a piston converter. Which would you get.


I've got both a 1911 and a Bamboo, and I definitely prefer the Bamboo. At that price range it's really a matter of aesthetic preference though, unless you want Sailor's Zoom or music nibs...

#3 vision35

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 00:10

Thanks, Dapple. I am wondering how the Namiki/Pilot and the Sailor brands of decoratively laquered pens compare, in what seem to be the first level price range of the Nippon Art models and the Chrysanthemum model. I don't have them to compare side by side.

Does anyone have any comments?

#4 QM2

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 04:40

QUOTE(vision35 @ Apr 22 2007, 12:10 AM) View Post
I am wondering how the Namiki/Pilot and the Sailor brands of decoratively laquered pens compare, in what seem to be the first level price range of the Nippon Art models and the Chrysanthemum model.


I am considering getting one of these as well. Platinum Pens and DaniTrio also have lower-end, affordable maki-e lines that you should check out. It is my understanding that in terms of value these are equivalent, and it is mainly a matter of taste. Which designs and images appeal to you most?

QM2

#5 Sciopod

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 11:07

This is a matter of personal taste, of course. If it was down to me I'd go for the Namiki. I have a "Golden Pheasant" from the Nippon Art / Tradition series. Whilst it is not "proper" maki-e it is an attractive, colourful, distinctive pen, with good heft and balance, very well made as you would expect, and with a very nice smooth writing nib.

I'm a big fan of Sailors generally, but to be honest their Resin Maki-e collection (which includes the Chrysanthemum) does nothing for me. I think it probably is "proper" maki-e, but the work seems to my (untutored) eye pretty simple and basic. The pen feels very light and "plasticky".

You'd need to check this, but I don't think any of the fancy Sailor speciality nibs are available with the Chrysanthemum model.

See if you can find a B&M store / pen show where you can see both.

Edited by Sciopod, 27 April 2007 - 11:08.

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#6 QM2

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 12:49

QUOTE(Sciopod @ Apr 27 2007, 11:07 AM) View Post
If it was down to me I'd go for the Namiki. I have a "Golden Pheasant" from the Nippon Art / Tradition series. Whilst it is not "proper" maki-e it is an attractive, colourful, distinctive pen ...



Sciopod, what makes the Namiki Nippon Art not "proper" maki-e? Is it silkscreened rather than hand-painted, or are there other elements to consider?

As far as I know, the Sailor Resin Maki-e's have the same body as the 1911 model, and therefore can get all the same nibs as the 1911, including specialty nibs. The wooden maki-e is a very different model however, and the nib only comes in F, M and B.

QM2

#7 Sciopod

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 14:13


Sciopod, what makes the Namiki Nippon Art not "proper" maki-e? Is it silkscreened rather than hand-painted, or are there other elements to consider?



Don't know to be honest - probably a silly thing to have said. I've always assumed it was screened, which I suppose might make it not "proper" maki-e in some eyes. Might be wrong though. There are people with a lot more knowledge and expertise than me that could probably comment on this. Either way, it's a very nice pen, which I'm proud to own!
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#8 winedoc

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 16:20

I am going to tread this carefully and just speaking in a VERY general terms and NOT commenting on brands I don't carry.

Maki-e is very personal, and one should collect or buy what appeals to them. I have a buyer only collect dragons, and any dragons. While others prefer more traditional themes. I collect maki-e that meant something to me and prefer maki-e that tells a story. Just because I like a subject, does not mean you will.

Here are different types of Maki-e:

"Screen" maki-e by silk screen prints: These are the most common and can be cheaply made and mass produced. These are NOT hand done and can create very vivid colors that can't be produced with traditional method. These are very affordable. You know these are not hand done because one pen will be exactly the same as the next one when compared side by side. You often find these on cheap miso soup bowls and other common household items. Here is an example of "screen" maki-e:


"Hira Maki-e" or "Flat Maki-e"
This is the most common "genuine" hand done maki-e. The colors are generally not as colorful as the screened ones. Maki-e by definition reguires sprinkle of gold to create designs, so here, real gold are used. It is "flat" because steps used not as numerous as other types. One still can create more depth or raise the designs by sprinkle more gold for example. These are not as time consuming, so the price can be more affordable. The artists however has to be precise as any mistakes will be apparant and when mistakes are made, the piece is destroyed. Here is an example of "Hira" maki-e with extra gold powder used to give it more raised design.
"Madam Butterfly" by Kenji Yamamoto


"Togidashi Maki-e" (with special brunishing)
The basic steps involved are the same as the Hira Maki-e. One more step has to be done in the case of Togidashi Maki-e, which is Maki-tsume, sprinkling more layers of finer powders to make the surface thicker.


"Taka Maki-e" (High Maki-e)
The method of Taka Maki-e is the same as that of Hira Maki-e except for the raised designs and therefore, as with Hira Maki-e, no mistake is allowed. Methods for raising the designs:
1. Urushi-age: applies layers of Urushi to raise the design. This is the most time consuming and expensive way of all.
2. Sumi-ko-age: uses charcoal powders to raise designs. It is the most commonly used method today.
3. Sabi-age: Raises designs by Sabi, which are wet polish powders mixed with crude Urushi.
4. Suzu (tin) Taka Maki-e: created by Nagata Yuji, also called Yuji Maki-e. Baked tin powders are used to raise designs.
"Falcon" by Koichiro Okazaki


Shishiai Togidashi Taka-maki-e
This is the most difficult method of creating Maki-e. This method is very difficult because two or more different techniques have to be used at the same time. Whether or not to use Shishiai Togidashi Maki-e has to be decided before the process can be started. For example, mountains in the distance need Taka Maki-e, while the sky needs the non-dimensional effect of the Togidashi Maki-e method. Trees in the foreground may need the Taka Maki-e method, and a sea or a creek may need Togidashi Maki-e method, etc. The difficulty lies in burnishing flat and raised parts of Maki-e at the same time. Since Shishiai Togidashi Maki-e method is the most difficult technique and good for colorful designs, other non-Maki-e techniques are also usually combined with it.
"Sakura Bijin" (Sakura Beauty by Koichiro Okazaki)


Other types of Techniques:
There are many other types of techniques involved to create a design an artist can use, and I will only mention two other popular ones here.

The first is the "Chinkin" method. Instead of applying design on top of a flat surface, the design is first "carved" out with needle point and tools. Once the intricate design is carved a layers of urushi is applied and then gold sprinkle and burnished. It is more complicated then that, but these are the general steps.


"Raden" is probably one of the most loved technique. It is inlaid technique and typically done with quail egg shells, MOP, abalone shells, blue turban snail shells.
With egg shells:


With MOP:


with abalone shells:


With blue turban snail shells (the moon)


Best,

Kevin

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#9 Sciopod

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 16:43

Thank you Kevin, very clear exposition with the usual envy inducing photographs.

A quick check of a few web sites tells me that the Nippon Art series is Hira maki-e, so presumably not screened. Better make this clear before they sue me......
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#10 QM2

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 18:08

According to Sailor's website, their resin series are also Hira Maki-e
http://www.sailor.co...esin/index.html

And it seems that the Platinum pens are Hira as well. This surprised me, as they look cheaper (and priced lower) than either the Sailors or Namiki. You can get a Platimum Maki-e for just over $100USD in fact. But here is what the description says, and there is no mention of screening:
"Platinum produced a variety of Maki-E pens, including lacquer carving, pearl inlay and pens with the Kanshitu-rough volcanic-type surface. Some of these designs were enhanced by gold coins."
http://manstouch.com...ies/mp0115.html
http://www.pengaller...t_sub2_index=14

On the other hand, here are the Screen Temaki by Danitrio
http://www.danitrio....reen/screen.htm
These look as if they are better quality and more intricate then either the Sailors, Namikis or Platimums, yet they are apparently silk-screened.

In the end, it once again boils down to the looks. I am drawn to the pens because I love some of the designs, as opposed to looking to invest in the best monetary value.

My current plan is to get the Sailor Owl and then save up and abstain from other purchases for a while in order to get a higher quality hand-crafted Maki-e. I chose the Sailor simply because I love the little owl and found that I keep coming back to it. Also, I am a Sailor fan and already own the Sapporo and the 1911 Sterling -- so the resin Maki-e will fit nicely into my collection.

I would love to know what kind of Maki-e's people here have collected and your feedback about them.

QM2

Edited by QueenMargot2, 27 April 2007 - 18:09.


#11 winedoc

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 18:33

Again, I am speaking very generally. Maki-e means sprinkle with gold powder... now I have seen pens (on ebay mainly) made with silk screen method, then finished off by sprinkle a few gold powders. Is this consider maki-e? If we are speaking "literally", yes, gold powder is used, so it is maki-e. But if you ask most maki-e artists who does work in traditional sense, then most likely they will say no. Just for thought.

Kevin
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#12 Mudge

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 19:11

You've got some lovely works of craftsmanship and art there, Kevin - well done for photographing them so nicely. smile.gif



#13 winedoc

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 19:19

QUOTE(Mudge @ Apr 27 2007, 12:11 PM) View Post
You've got some lovely works of craftsmanship and art there, Kevin - well done for photographing them so nicely. smile.gif



Thanks. These pens are really even better in person. If you ever make it to LA or DC pen shows, please look me up as I usually have over 250 of these on display.... yes, Maki-e heaven.

Best,

Kevin
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#14 AmbyBrinn

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 14:45

I have had two of the Nippon Art Chinese Phoenix in hand and there are slight differences.








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