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Proposal For A New Nakaya Design

nakaya

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19 replies to this topic

#1 pencrazed

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Posted 26 June 2020 - 01:03

After taking a look at various Japanese works of art decorated in Urushi lacquer, I notice that many objects are often coated in a bold and contrasting, yet harmonious, mix of red and black lacquer. Here are some examples:

 

urushi_whole_5e4abac5-2efe-4d77-a7da-352578474f28_1024x1024.jpg

 

Screen Shot 2020-06-25 at 4.00.57 PM.png

 

Screen Shot 2020-06-25 at 3.58.17 PM.png

 

Therefore, it's quite surprising to me that Nakaya doesn't offer this classic color scheme for its standard line of pens. Although they do have finishes like Kuro Tamenuri, the contrast is not as striking as those depicted in the objects above. The closest thing is the Jidai Nuri finish; however, this rougher and less shiny finish, while very beautiful in its own right, may not suit everyone's aesthetics. Therefore, I've done some amateur photoshopping to create a Nakaya that I think should be part of the company's permanent collection. Here's my proposed design:

 

 

Customized Nakaya Neo Standard Uncapped.png

 

 

Customized Nakaya Neo Standard Capped.jpg

 

 

What do you think? Would you buy this pen if Nakaya were to offer it as part of its permanent collection? My wish is that a lot of of fountain pen users would find this design attractive enough to persuade Nakaya to offer it as part of its standard product line.


Edited by pencrazed, 26 June 2020 - 01:04.


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#2 Baalberithim

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Posted 26 June 2020 - 05:30

I think the Aka tamenuri finish on a decapod has a contrast like this, but done in a fashion I find more aesthetically pleasing. Having just the section be a contrasting color like that is a bit too jarring for my tastes. I'd be open to more riffs on the style seen in the decapod, though, say in a honeycomb pattern or something, rather than just straight lines.

#3 mongrelnomad

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Posted 26 June 2020 - 17:36

I think the Aka tamenuri finish on a decapod has a contrast like this, but done in a fashion I find more aesthetically pleasing. Having just the section be a contrasting color like that is a bit too jarring for my tastes. I'd be open to more riffs on the style seen in the decapod, though, say in a honeycomb pattern or something, rather than just straight lines.

 

The Aka-tamernuri is black urushi over red urushi, not single tone. 


Too many pens; too little writing.

#4 steve50

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Posted 26 June 2020 - 18:04

This pen by Taccia has this colour combination. I think it's done very tastefully. The photo has been posted before on FPB by Penhero

 

post-225-0-04375800-1532542644.jpeg



#5 Baalberithim

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Posted 26 June 2020 - 18:18

I get that, but the contrast is still there in a more prominent way than in many of their other designs. The objects OP posted as examples have solid colors on different surfaces, though, interior vs exterior. I'm not a fan of the way it looks when you abruptly transition to a bright red section like in their mock up. It might appeal to others, but when done like that, it's not for me.

#6 amk

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Posted 26 June 2020 - 19:11

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!


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#7 whichwatch

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Posted 26 June 2020 - 22:35

Not quite what you conceived, but Nakayas has done a dramatic two tone design before.  This one was for Nibs.com's 25th  Anniversary

 

 

IMG_3064.jpg

 

 

IMG_3065.jpg


Edited by whichwatch, 27 June 2020 - 14:08.


#8 mongrelnomad

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Posted 27 June 2020 - 08:49

Not quite what you conceived, but Nakayas has done a dramatic two tone design before.  This one was for Nibs.com's 25th Anniversary

 

 

IMG_3064.jpg

 

 

IMG_3065.jpg

That looks like a Frankenpen.


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#9 Vetinari

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Posted 27 June 2020 - 11:40

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]

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#10 whichwatch

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Posted 27 June 2020 - 14:13

That looks like a Frankenpen.

 

It's not exactly a new color scheme, though not the best example of its genre, IMO

 

IMG_2714.jpg



#11 mke

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 08:49

@pencrazed
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


Edited by mke, 28 June 2020 - 08:51.


#12 mongrelnomad

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 22:11

Hey mke - I meant the nibs.com anniversary pen looked like a Frankenpen. Pencrazeds original design was many leagues more attractive.

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...


Too many pens; too little writing.

#13 mke

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 07:57

Okay, accepted. I don't want to make any comment about that nibs pen. 🙄😨

#14 pencrazed

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 18:13

This pen by Taccia has this colour combination. I think it's done very tastefully. The photo has been posted before on FPB by Penhero

 

Wow. That's a pretty stunning Taccia! 



#15 pencrazed

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 18:41

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? 

 

 

@pencrazed
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.


#16 desgabets

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 03:25

 

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.

 

 

 

Since "Rotring" literally means "Red Ring", I think Rotring won't mind if you give the design this name!

 

 

 

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? 

 

 

 

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. 

 

 

 

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...

 

May I ask how much extra they quoted you for this pen above the standard 650 for a shu or kuro-roiro urushi pen? I contacted them recently to get a quote for a custom design but I am still waiting to hear back from them. I did not realize it was more expensive to get something custom made, although I guess that makes sense.



#17 TexasCollector

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 06:07

Try proposing it to a company like Wancher that caters to the less discriminating buyers of Japanese pens. Seems like Nakaya would have to rework the proposal considerably before it could be a design for one of their works of art.

#18 mongrelnomad

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 08:09

Try proposing it to a company like Wancher that caters to the less discriminating buyers of Japanese pens. Seems like Nakaya would have to rework the proposal considerably before it could be a design for one of their works of art.


Why? Its a very traditional urushi design executed on a Neo Standard.
Too many pens; too little writing.

#19 como

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 09:13

A cylindrical shaped Urushi pen? The plain type, without basket weave or other pattern, just any of the Heki, Aka etc Tamenuri style. I like most of their plain shapes of Cigar, Portable, Piccolo etc.



#20 Linger

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 19:57

I stumbled on this thread and immediately thought of this Sailor. It is based on their 1911 full size model and is called Rei Urishi-nuri Wajima Akebono-nuri. You can find it on nibs.com or in the Sakura FP Gallery in Belgium:

 

D7E4D34F-9585-4F64-8F5D-F44C3F603AB9.jpeg







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