Not quite what you conceived, but Nakayas has done a dramatic two tone design before. This one was for Nibs.com's 25th Anniversary
It's a daring design. However, the orange is a bit too light for my tastes and I think my proposed design is more comparable to other lacquerware because the Shu section is only exposed once you remove the cap. It's a pleasant surprise to see a different color on the inside just as it's a pleasure to open a black bento box to see its striking red interior.
I quite like the transition, myself. But what I really love is that the little 'extra' bit of red on the section that's not covered by the cap makes the Nakaya into a Rotring!
Since "Rotring" literally means "Red Ring", I think Rotring won't mind if you give the design this name!
I am waiting for this from Nakaya: Nakaya Negoro style “Nuno-kise HonKataji” version (Black/red) [no.22023] combined with nib section as per Jidai Nuri" (An Era Painting) [no.22012]
Wow, I like this design too! It incorporates the best of both the the Negoro and Jidai Nuri finishes, giving you a pen with a truly "weathered" look synonymous with the Wabi-sabi aesthetic. I presume this is a design you created yourself for Nakaya to custom make?
Your design idea looks very nice, brilliant, I would say.
Now, this is where the problem arises. Many companies work along the thinking "not invented by us, so bad" - even if they really like it, they will never admit. There are some but very few exceptions.
Japanese companies are even worse (I am working since 30 years in Japan, I know the thinking here).
If you are not introduced formally by someone they know, you can propose the best thing after sliced bread, they will not listen to you. If you are "lucky", they will do what you said and then say, this is our invention.
Don't listen to the people saying it looks like a Frankenpen. Your design looks brilliant. I am looking since long time for such a design. All these shown pens here are not looking as good as your design idea. Most of them have too much red vs black.
If you don't mind, I would like to copy it for a pen of my own.
> Would you buy this pen if Nakaya were to offer it as part of its permanent collection?
No, because Nakaya is "a bit" too expensive
You're too kind! I really haven't designed something new. The pen was just inspired by the iconic aesthetic that's already inherent in existing Urushi lacquerware, so feel free to incorporate the design for your very own pen.
I also find your insights about aspects of corporate Japanese culture fascinating. I'll definitely keep them in mind if I get the opportunity to work with Japanese people in the future.
Pencrazed - as mke said, approaching companies in Japan is... complex. Nakaya will most probably politely but firmly decline your suggestion (they are known to be very difficult) but you may be able to talk to John Mottishaw at Classic Fountain Pens and commission a custom pen. I have two custom Nakayas, and they are substantially more complicated than your proposal.
I fear, however, that if you suggest they make it a part of their regular collection, they'd tell you (in fewer words) where to go...
I actually contacted Nakaya and they were willing to make this custom pen! However, the hefty premium they charged above the $650 price tag of a "standard" Tamenuri Nakaya places the pen in another segment in terms of price, so I thought it would benefit fountain pen users more if Nakaya were to offer my design as part of the "standard" offerings rather than as a custom design.
For me, I really think my design is a classic one that many people would buy if they want a quintessentially Japanese pen with Urushi lacquer - once you uncap the pen, it is nearly impossible to mistake the aesthetic to be anything but Japanese. Furthermore, I think the stark, yet not overwhelming, contrast between the black and red parts is aesthetically pleasing. If it isn't, I don't think many Urushi artists would adopt this color scheme for their lacquerware.
Because I think Nakaya's core product line is missing an iconic design, I really hope enough fountain pen users find it attractive so that the company will produce it in greater numbers, granting us better access to the pen rather than having to go down the custom-made route.
Now that I think about it, I should have made a poll to see whether people like or dislike the design...
Edited by pencrazed, 30 June 2020 - 18:43.