As you might know, the Fountain Pen Congress is a group of pen friends who are mainly based in Taiwan, although several members live in Hong Kong.
Around two years ago, we decided to commission Ohasido to do a number of fellowship pens especially for our members, and thought this would be a great way to celebrate our friendship and get a unique Ohasido pen at the same time. We settled on an urushi, straight-bodied and textured design with a large nib. Maruzen of Tokyo had commissioned a similar pen, albeit in dark blue, from Ohasido for their pen fair last March, and this was approximately the same pen shape that we asked them to produce for us. Several of our members did get the blue Maruzen Ohasido pen last year, but we decided to be more adventuristic in our request this time.
This is to be a bespoke pen in every way, with hand applied urushi work in black underneath, and an overcoating of vermilion on top that would be sanded down to reveal the black colour underneath. The irregular urushi treatment means that with the raised parts polished away, the black lines would form very expressive ‘brushstrokes’, as in an oil painting. The effect is similar to the Negoro-nuri technique, but more linear and textural. Of course, each pen is unique in its look and feel, and signed by the urushi master.
After the whole lot of 9 pens were finished, they were shipped to a maki-e master in Wajima to produce the kanji characters in gold, which means ‘Fountain Pen Congress’. We could even choose whether we want the regular script or cursive scrip type, but most preferred the regular script as it is easier to read.
For the nibs, we could choose from a wide selection of 14k nibs of width from EF to B. I chose an MF. These were made by Sailor to Ohasido’s specifications.
This fellowship pen for our Fountain Pen Congress has finally been delivered, and I must say that it exceeded our expectation by a wide shot. Since none of us speak Japanese, we had to work through a translator during all stages of the production. Fortunately, none was ‘lost in translation’. Although we had to wait 18 months for it, I think is absolutely worth the wait.
The first two photos courtesy of Jewel Lai.