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I Have Seen the Mountain (Mt. Fuji)


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#1 playpen

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 18:20

In January I decided that I simply had to have one of the magnificent pens advertised by Kevin on FPN. I had admired maki-e pens for years, but when Kevin warned that the prices were increasing, I emailed him to ask about his credit terms. In addition to being a consummate gentleman, Kevin extends the best terms I've seen in business: we can pay for our purchases over as long a period of time as required.

After I wrote the first check I began the long wait for the pen. Since maki-e items take months to complete, only the upcoming wedding of my daughter and my three classes of middle school students could distract me from pacing 24/7 in front of the mailbox!

When the pen actually arrived, I opened the box as I open all gifts (for the Spaceballs freaks out there...I went PLAID!!).

At 5.75" capped and 5.25" uncaped, my new Danitrio maki-e Fuji clearly dwarfs all the other fountain pens in my collection, with the exception of the identically sized Danitrio Cum Laude. Although I love the smaller pens as well (one of my Peter Pans measures 2 1/8" uncapped and less than 2 1/2" capped, including the ring at the top), I find the Fuji very comfortable in my hand.

The design is made entirely with gold and platinum powders of various sizes. When I ordered the pen, I knew this, but months later, when the pen actually arrived, I emailed Kevin and asked if part of the design was copper or bronze. The answer, of course, was that it was entirely platinum and gold, but the gold was mixed with colored urushi, which caused the gold to appear copper-colored.

The barrel has a black, shiny lacquer background, while the artist chose to render the image of Fuji's summit against a deep rich burgundy. The platinum snow is heavy on the upper slopes of the mountain and is lightly applied at the bottom, as the image descends into the coppery clouds. The entire image and sections of the design are outlined in gold. The design is tastefully applied around the clip. I would have preferred no clip at all since I do not intend to ever place the pen in my pocket, but since there was no choice in the matter, the clip was included.

The pen is very light in weight. My Vanishing Points are much heavier. While I enjoy the VP's very much, I find that after ten minutes, they tend to tire my hand. This is not the case with the Fuji, which has about the same heft as the LE Bexley FPN pen. I can and have written with the Fuji for hours and hours with no feeling of fatigue in my wrist.

Until you actually see one of these maki-e pens in person, you cannot imagine its beauty or appreciate the work that has gone into these handmade gems.

At the DC show, this pen was the only one that I brought along to show my friends. I know that I always appreciate seeing beautiful and unusual pens, and I was proud to show off this treasure. Judging from the appreciative reactions of all who saw it, I clearly chose a winner! I carried it in two cases - the first, a Levenger parapet and the other, a Kate's Paperie zipped pencil case. I wanted to be sure that it was properly protected! There is no way I would carry a pen of this size and value in a typical pen case with rubberized bands.

I love all the pens in my collection and I use them all.

A special thank you to Kevin for making this purchase (for me at least) possible!

---------------------------------------------------------------

The box:











Nib and cap:









In the collection:


Edited by MYU, 01 December 2008 - 02:43.


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#2 BillTheEditor

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 18:32

That is one totally beautiful pen. Congratulations! and kudos to winedoc for his willingness to make it possible for more people to share in this kind of portable art.

#3 amh210

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 18:35

Very handsome pen. Keep it away from those school-kids!
"Andy Hoffman" Sandy Ego, CA
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#4 xmattxyzx

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 18:46

I was going to post a picture of the cover of Alejandro Jodorowsky's film Holy Mountain but it's a bit too raunchy, I guess. The sentiment is there, though.

#5 Nikolaos

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 19:11

Magnificent pen! Enjoy it happyberet.gif

Nikolaos

#6 roger3

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 19:16

Kevin is indeed a generous and knowledgeable man! My interactions with him have been pleasant and he has helped me in my ever growing collection of fine art pens. I am glad to have made his acquaintance
oh, your pen is stunning! Can I have it? smile.gif
May you and those you love, be always blessed with peace and never ending joy.
Roger

#7 Leigh R

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 19:34

Congratulations on a beautiful acquisition. smile.gif

#8 Gawain

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 19:34

WOW! Now I have seen the mountain. Actually, I climbed Fuji-san in 1973. A beautiful and powerful place. Magnificant, just like your new pen!

Enjoy,

Gawain
Thoreau "for every thousand hacking at the branches of evil, there is one chopping at the root"

#9 kiavonne

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 22:15

How spectacular!

This makes me want my custom DaniTrio even more. Problem is, it would really be custom, and quite expensive. I have to continue to dream until I win the lotto.

Scribere est agere.
To write is to act.
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#10 playpen

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 14:19

Thank you all for your comments.

Andy, don't worry, the kids won't get close to it!

Roger, I promise that if I ever give the pen away, it will be to you! smile.gif

#11 winedoc

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 16:42

Hi Gail,

Glad you like the pen and that you are using it!! See, who says maki-e pens are only for shows :-), so please use it in good health.

As for most Maki-e, devil is in the details. I am sure you all have seen many "Mt. Fuji" pens, since it is the most "sacred" mountain in Japan, this is no surprise. What is interesting is the differences in artists' redndition of the same theme. Please allow me to walk you through different "Mt. Fuji" and each has its own merit and we must appreciate them differently.

First, let's closely examine Sailor's Maki-e "4 Seasons of Mt. Fuji". Retail is about $7000 per pen? (I forgot the actual price)
Here the Mt. Fuji is clearly there, but the emphasis is the "4 seasons" sping here:

The "snow" is done with urushi while the accent is done with round gold flakes

Here is Namiki's Nippon Art series. This is their entry level pen and priced as such. Nothing fancy about this Mt. Fuji, but tastefully done with urushi.


Here is Danitrio's Mt. Fuji, the approach is a bit different. First the back round urushi is of different color: burgundy on top then traditional black on barrel. Here the theme is Mt. Fuji, front and center. It is a bold, and if you are going to make the mountain this big... well, you better do a better job. Here we see the mountain is more detailed. Snow, typically done using silver powder is replaced here by more expensive platinum powders. Silver can tarnish before it is applied, and platinum solved this problem. It also give the pen more glistering... try this under sunlight. The mountain is also done with Taka-maki-e, so is more on the foreground and not flat like the Hira-maki-e. Anyways, here some close ups. photograph maki-e is not easy, and maki-e in general are best in person.... and the best maki-e is the one in your hands :-)








BTW, thanks for the kind words guys.... see, lay away plans does work! :-)

Best,

Kevin
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#12 QM2

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 16:48

Kevin,

May I ask, what was the price of these pens and how many were made?

#13 winedoc

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 17:11

QUOTE (QM2 @ Aug 14 2008, 09:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Kevin,

May I ask, what was the price of these pens and how many were made?


The Danitrio retails $1500 which I think is very reasonable considering material used. One word about artist. It is made by an young and budding artist in a family with 3 generations of Maki-e artists. Same pen, if made by his much more famous father would cost at least double. He is very fortunate that he has a father who is very meticulous in execution of maki-e, yet he is young and do take chances with new or rare materials (ie. platinum). His name is Hironobu Okazaki. His future is very bright indeed.


photo taken when a small group of us visited in 2006. From left to right: mama Okazaki, Father, Koichiro Okazaki san, the young artist, Hironobu Okazaki and Grandma Okazaki. 3 generations living under one roof.... though young Okazaki just got married last year, so not sure if they moved out and got a place of their own. He is a very nice, quite young man, but his dad sings a mean Karaoke. LOL.

This is an open addition, so no LE numbers, though they are quickly gone as soon as they arrive, and currently there is a short wait list. Danitrio's artists would usually make particular pens until they got tired of it, then they simply move to differnet subjects. So, truth be told, most of their non-LEs actually much more limited then many other companies' sort call LEs.

Best,

Kevin
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#14 FrankB

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 12:48

Wow! After Kevin's posts, what can I say about this pen? Uh, me like! Me want!

#15 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 13:05

fantastic fp wink.gif enjoy
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#16 JFT

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 01:29

Congratulation, that pen is stunning wub.gif

Thank you Kevin for the artist story, I am surprised that he is so young! You are right he as a bright future ahead of him!
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#17 DRP

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 02:55

TREMENDOUS!

#18 Immoteus

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 05:22

Thats a beautiful pen! Congrats on your new purchase. May I ask what type of nib did you pick?
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#19 playpen

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 10:14

After much thought and consideration I chose a B nib.

#20 HDoug

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 18:54

Congrats! Good to see something that has had so much attention put into its creation in the hands of someone who can appreciate (and USE) it.

Doug






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