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  1. Good day FPN friends! Its been some time since I’ve posted here but perhaps some of you may have read my reviews of Japanese pens in the past. My name is Nicholas and I write at www.inkypassion.com. I’m thankful that my site has given me the opportunity to meet many enthusiasts and enjoy unique pens. Many of you know that I have always had an interest in Japanese pens, and Maki-e was a natural progression – I trimmed my collection of over 40 pens to move to Maki-e because I really appreciate the fine artistry and craftsmanship. You can read some of my pen reviews on my site too! I have been photographing some pens from AP Limited Editions and I thought that I would share some pictures for your viewing pleasure. Anyway, AP was founded in 2006 by Andy and Smita Poddar. The brand produces Maki-e and Russian Lacquer art pens and has four collections which cater to different audiences – they include the Connoisseur (US$9000+), Writer (US$3600 – US$8500), Zodiac (US$2400) and Apprentice (US$800+). http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w143/nicholasyzh/Zodiac%20R.jpg Recently launched was the Great American Bald Eagle Commemorative Edition, which commemorates the 10th Anniversary of the brand’s founding. The Maki-e version retailed at US$9500 (and it is sold out), but a Russian Lacquer version is available for US$4950. I am enamoured by one Connoisseur masterpiece - the Tree of Life, by artisan Kosetsu. The nine-piece Limited Edition shows how the brand has pushed boundaries (as compared to the traditional brands) and explored different cultural themes from across the globe. That said, not all pens from AP are like the Connoisseur – there are other collections at a more accessible price point. Pens I photographed in the Writer Series included the Chrysanthemum Crest, which features floral reliefs contrasted by gold flakes sprinkled onto lacquer, as well as the Hanakotoba, which is completely covered with delicate flowers. http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w143/nicholasyzh/Writer%20Compilation.jpg The Writer Series will appeal to many people because of the abstract designs offered. My personal favourite is probably the Boy with the Ox - a depiction of Japanese Zen philosophy, it espouses control of one’s consciousness as the greatest form of mastery. It is fascinating that each pen is not merely aesthetically pleasing but also tells a story and pens like these inspire me each day to strive to high ideals. To cater to a wider audience, AP has launched the Apprentice Series, which the company says will soon be available online at wholesale pricing. These include Urushi models in plain solid colours and Tamenuri, which are perfect for those who wish to own a value-for-money daily writer. http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w143/nicholasyzh/Apprentice%20Urushi%20Compilation.jpg In case you’re wondering about writing performance, AP feeds are ebonite and their nibs are manufactured by bock. My personal experience is that the nibs are slightly springy, which makes for comfortable writing. The company says they will offer Soft nibs in future and I am excited at the prospect of a wider nib selection. The pens are filled by international converter. I hope that my post has been informative and you enjoyed looking at some of my photos of these pens - I'm not part of the company (I just do freelance photography occasionally), so if you are interested you can look them up on the web. If you have any tips on photographing maki-e pens, I would really appreciate it as well! Good day! Nicholas

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