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  1. Here is a focus stacked macro of the Platinum Izumo Kurikara-Ken in sumiko taka maki-e. This pen is subtly amazing. The mix of texture and contrasting finishes all in black is super cool. Best seen and felt to understand its intricacies. f2point8 stacked logo by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  2. jandrese

    Taccia Miyabi Imperial Koi LE

    Here in full focus stacked macro glory is the limited edition Taccia Miyabi Imperial Koi. The background is, I think, byakudan-nuri whereas the fish are in rankaku with mother of pearl raden eyes. Usually, koi are not usually represented this large but Taccia made the specific choice to render them this way to good effect. Sailor nib so it writes well. focus stacked logo by Ja Ja, on Flickr focus stacked koi closeup logo by Ja Ja, on Flickr cap logo by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  3. This is the incredible Sailor King of Pen Battle of Itsukushima LE in full focus stacked macro glory. The artist is Ikki Moroiki and the total number of pens is 33. The presentation box is also incredible in black lacquer and maki-e. Details of the maki-e on the box are shown below. 8E7EBA7F-D2BE-4748-B5AF-EFB645A9EBC9 by Ja Ja, on Flickr 4FDBB95A-F8C8-4497-8026-D63CF7B90898 by Ja Ja, on Flickr 358CEAD5-FDD5-4C92-9B49-AE9CCEC83717 by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  4. I shot focus stacked macros of all these pens for Dromgooles. As far as I know they are all still currently available. Good, high relief maki-e by the French craftsman, Morgan Wisser. I have several pens customized by him and have been happy with the work. Let me know what you think or if you have any questions. focus stacked yes logo by Ja Ja, on Flickr focus stacked yes logo by Ja Ja, on Flickr focus stacked yes logo by Ja Ja, on Flickr focus stacked yes logo by Ja Ja, on Flickr turtle side focus stack yes logo by Ja Ja, on Flickr shark side focus stack yes logo by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  5. jandrese

    Pilot Maki-E Seirei-Nuri

    Here is my Pilot Maki-e Seirei-nuri pen that I purchased at Itoya in Ginza, Tokyo in full focus-stacked macro glory. I love writing with pen, which is the same form factor as a Namiki Yukari. From my 2019 post on this pen "The nib was expertly adjusted by the resident meister at Itoya and it is freaking perfect. Like, perfect. Just a light touch is needed for generous but far from gushing ink flow. The nib has the faintest hint of feedback without being intrusive. The lady working there is a savant!". Good stuff. pilot seirei nuri focus stacked yes logo by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  6. Yesterday, I stopped at my local Danitrio fountain pen dealer and stumbled upon a parade of stratospheric pens. I just had to snap some pictures. Unbelievably, these pens represent but a fraction of the hyper pens available in the same trays. First up is the Genkai style 100 Kids design--it is truly extraordinary. I have several from the same artist but none like this! Next a Kaijin style Ebisu (A god of seven) design by Kogaku Then a Yokuzuna aka kyokuchi style emperor dragon design--indescribable beauty and technical prowess The self described #50 gigantic nib, which looks like custom work.
  7. jandrese

    Namiki Yukari Royale Frog

    This is the Namiki Yukari Royale Frog in full focus stacked macro glory. Namiki calls this motif Frog. There is more than one frog but more importantly the dynamism and joy of the piece jumps off the pen. Note the different colors of urushi and raden to depict the water. I'd call this pen Happy Frogs. Focus stacked curves up color shift yes logo by Ja Ja, on Flickr frogs focus stacked with logo by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  8. One of my Danitrio Mikado (eyedropper filling model) pens leaked on me at work. That is Noodler’s Navy you see on the section in the first image. I collect Danitrio and this sort of thing happens more often than I care to admit on their eyedropper filling pens. I still collect Danitrio but stopped buying eyedropper models a couple of years ago. At this point I know all the potential ways in which a Danitrio can leak. This one leaked at the junction between the section and the barrel. Naturally, with a leak like this you don’t know it’s happening until you look at your inky hand so that’s nice. There is no obvious reason for the leak, which led me to investigate further. To do so I thought a comparison to a Japanese eyedropping pen that has never leaked on me was in order. Thus, I cleaned out the Namiki Emperor I had with me at work and set about comparing the two pens. What have I learned? 1) That even compared to a Namiki Emperor the Danitrio Mikado is a big pen and looks great. Feels good to hold and to write with and that stub nib is extra nice. Seems to be on par with the Namiki on looks and feel but… 2) The section engineering and machining execution is different between the two pens. The concept is the same—eyedropper with shutoff valve—but the Namiki has some advantages. a. The Namiki threads are finer pitched and better machined inside the barrel and on the section. This can be felt when screwing in the section; there is a smoother feel and less play. b. The threaded portion of the section has a bigger diameter on the Namiki. The overall diameter is 10% greater and but the ratio between the diameter of the grip portion and the threading is also 10% greater on the Namiki. c. The o-ring on the Namiki is more precisely seated, that is, it has no room to move about. d. Both o-rings fit into a slot in the barrel that is flat and smooth before the threads start up. The slot on the Namiki is not as deep. I have a gang of Danitrio pens that fill by eyedropper. One or two have never leaked on me at the section. This pen used to be one of them. The problem is at the level of the o-ring. There is too much potential for the o-ring to move about, get twisted, or otherwise compressed in an uneven fashion. It only takes an infinitesimal gap for ink to leak. Water always finds the path of least resistance. A little side pressure from your grip and the heat from your hand is all it takes to set the leak in action. Part of loving Danitrio seems to be leak mitigation. Changing o-rings has helped in the past on other pens but o-rings that fit are not easy to come by. Danitrio themselves does not seem to have consistently sized, readily available replacement o-rings. That bit about consistently sized o-rings may make more sense knowing that there is more variability between Danitrio pens of the same model than Namiki pens of the same model. I reckon Namiki buys only one size of o-ring that always fits like it is supposed to. I admit that it all is a bit frustrating, but I press on. IMG_8517 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_8529 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_8535 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_8539 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_8541 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_8543 by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  9. This is the new LE from Sailor, the Bespoke Maki-e King of of Pen Shika to Gekkou or Deer in Moonlight. The artwork is amazing and emotive. Feast your eyes on this focus stacked macro capture of a wonder. Untitled-1 watermarked by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  10. This is my Danitrio Hyotan Special edition Maki-e F-49 Blue Dragon LE. There are only 30 of these pens produced by the artist Yuji. This dragon does, however, appear on another pen, a Mikado model with more involved maki-e that retailed for far more than this pen. Untitled-1 yes logo by Ja Ja, on Flickr closeup yes logo by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  11. I've had this pen for awhile. Since it's attractive I thought I'd capture a good picture of it. Danitrio really does tamenuri well and the curvy shape of this pen lets the light play off of the tamenuri. working image full yes logo by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  12. The Taccia Hyakko-Hisho II collection Sango. The Hyakko-Hisho is a collection of 100 urushi styles, a type of reference work that artists have drawn on since the Edo period. Sango means coral and this pen in kawari-nuri captures the essence of coral. A unique addition to the collection. Fitted with a Sailor Zoom nib. AC7FC6BB-687B-4FAA-A81B-A3EAC71B0CB4 by Ja Ja, on Flickr 233884EA-F18B-4476-B23D-236FA60821C8 by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  13. Sakura FP Gallery

    Sailor 'Shika to Gekkou' limited edition

    Sailor is pleased to announce a new series of limited edition maki-e fountain pens entitled 'Dobutsu to Gekkou' or 'Animals in the Moonlight.' The first one to crown the series is the Antler Stag. Proud and without fear, he stands in the moonlight. 'Sailor Shika to Gekkou' The round moon is one big spot of mother of pearl dusted with silver powder. The background of the pen is matt and has a slight ishime structure. At first sight, it looks black, but with changing light, it turns dark green. This piece of art is executed in Togidashi Taka Makie by master Ikki Moroiki. Fifty copies for the world. We have a few pens in stock, first come first served. https://www.sakurafountainpengallery.com/en/boutique/detail/sailor-shika-to-gekkou-deer-in-moonlight-sailor-maki-e
  14. Here I present the Dantrio Hakkaku with dragon Maki-e and a 18k #6 size stub nib. I don't know anything about this pen other than I bought it in 2017. I've never seen the design on another Danitrio pen. Danitrio does not offer any story or explanation of the artwork. I posted about this pen in the fountain pen review pages back in 2017 but since then I've gained the ability to take good photos so I'm sharing again. Let me know what you think. I could be tricking myself but the tamenuri seems to be changing in a most enjoyable way. The artwork on this pen is rather nice and involved and also makes good use of the space on the pen. _SON4588 by Ja Ja, on Flickr _SON4593 by Ja Ja, on Flickr _SON4597 by Ja Ja, on Flickr _SON4598 by Ja Ja, on Flickr _SON4599 by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  15. This is the Namiki Limited Edition 2021 Coral Emperor in full macro glory. Drink it in. This pen is above and beyond in every way possible. _SON4578 by Ja Ja, on Flickr _SON4577 by Ja Ja, on Flickr _SON4580 by Ja Ja, on Flickr _SON4582 by Ja Ja, on Flickr _SON4584 by Ja Ja, on Flickr _SON4583 by Ja Ja, on Flickr _SON4585 by Ja Ja, on Flickr _SON4586 by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  16. Here is the mighty No. 50 size Namiki Emperor in the 2021 Limited Edition Coral maki-e. Words cannot express the amazingly superlative incredibleness of this pen. I have some pretty awesome macros I can share in a followup post if anybody is interested. IMG_8256 by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  17. Wanted to present my current stable of Stylo Art pens. 1. Akebono/bokashi chinkin butterflies 2. Dragon maki-e 3. Pine tree and cranes maki-e The pen bodies are exclusive to Stylo Art and are large pens being slightly bigger than a Namiki Yukari but are lightweight. I believe the base material is plastic. The akebono chinkin pen has an amazing Pilot #15 nib custom ground by Yukio Nagahara to what is called an N-point. It writes a super smooth and juicy fat line at about 45 degree that gets more narrow as the pen angle is steepened. It's kinda a cross between a Sailor Zoom and Naginata grind sort of, it's doing it's own thing really. The other two pens have stock (?) Pilot stub nibs, which be warned, are really more like cursive italics. Wonderful nibs but a little more demanding than a Western stub. All come with Paulowina wood boxes, pen sleeves, and CON-70 converters. Most excellent pens and more than fairly priced. Highly recommended. capped rotated_SON3728 by Ja Ja, on Flickr capped fan_SON3729 by Ja Ja, on Flickr uncapped_SON3731 by Ja Ja, on Flickr writing sampe by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  18. I thought it might be interesting to start a thread on differentiating (in a practical way) between Hira maki-e and "screened" maki-e; something I have no experience with. I only have two maki-e pens and would like to find out if any of them actually has any Hira maki-e as opposed to being silk screen entirely. I am aware the latter is probably the case since both pens were "budget" pens in their day. Here are some close-up shots (apologies for the dark shadows). I don't find it easy to single out discerning elements, any comments (or further examples) would be very much appreciated! - Platinum #3776 Tsubaki (Camellia), Lambrou's Japan book (p. 304) ca. 1982 - Pilot FK Balanced Ume (plum) (FK-3MP-UM); supposedly Kokkokai artists (?), early 1990s (?) The Platinum looks like ebonite. The Pilot is resin I believe.
  19. jandrese

    Platinum Izumo Urokomon

    This is the Platinum Izumo Urokomon with cosu nib. A most excellent pen and nib. A fantastical, comfortable writer. Not a cheap pen but most impressive and indeed value for money. The display of urushi/maki-e craft is a wonder to behold. Photos do not do this pen justice. Uroko mon are diamond shaped Japanese family crests that are meant to evoke animal scales. These are hand drawn and finished in a variety of techniques. Platinum has done this pattern on several pen lines including the President, 3776, and this Izumo. The Izumo pens are really incredible sleeper hits. I have quite a few and in my opinion they are beautifully made superb writers and are value priced.
  20. Sharing my new Danitrio Sho-Hakkaku Hummingbirds maki-e pen with stub nib. Danitrio made some major changes in 2020. That is, they pulled pens from most retailers in the USA and started selling exclusively (?) through urushipens.com. As a Danitrio collector with a favored brick and mortar AD this move was not welcome. It did, however, give me the opportunity to purchase many other urushi and maki-e pens from other companies such as Namiki, Taccia, and more. While I’ve enjoyed expanding my horizons I was hankering for another Danitrio. I previously had dialogue with Jason at urushipens.com, and had more or less resolved to one day purchase from them, but when I saw this pen on instagram I had to have it. For one thing it was made by one my most favorite Danitrio artists, Yusai, but I had narrowly missed out on a Hyotan model with similar artwork by the same artist and was always thinking about it. A message to Jason via instagram and I was able to snag this pen before it even hit the website. It’s worth mentioning that there are no hummingbirds in Japan, they are endemic only to the Americas. Nevertheless, they are depicted in the most animated and attractive fashion on an absolutely perfect black gloss background. The flowers are no less a feature than the hummingbirds but really, the birds steal the show. There are hummingbirds where I live and we love seeing them twice a year as they migrate. The mix of technique and and artistic rendering rises to the level of the sublime. If one were so inclined this could be an exit pen. Sometimes I wish I were so inclined. The nib is a stub, which is my wont on Danitrio pens and it characteristically writes a juicy line. While I do enjoy writing with this pen for me it is a work of art. I have more than enough pens that write well. I shall never stop adding art to my life. Danitrio now has a new website and more pens are being added to urushipens.com all the time. Personally, I do not prefer to buy these types of pens online sight unseen and nib untested. In my opinion it is a poor business choice and is damaging to relationships with collectors. Urushipens.com seems like good people so I will probably continue to support them but my Danitrio collecting will dramatically slow. There are other pens I can see and touch before buying from an AD I have a long-standing relationship with. The Danitrio pens, as always, satisfy.
  21. From the album: Japanese pens

    Platinum's current line-up of Vicoh fountain pen models as of Christmas 2020.

    © Platinum Pen

  22. Dear all, I have 2 Nakaya's, clipless versions Cigar Aka Tamenuri and Piccolo long in Kuro Tamenuri. Both comes from the dealers and now I thinking to personalize them- put my signature in Kanji. This option in Nakaya company available for new orders, but I afraid that it will be too difficult and pricy to send them old Nakaya with inquiry only for maki-e sighature.. May be there are other independent artists who can make (draw) signature in this technique on my Nakayas? Thank you in advance for suggestions! Giedrius
  23. From the album: Japanese pens

    The prices of the models designated with a PTL prefix have been raised significantly by the manufacturer this year, with the Kanazawa gold leaf models going to ¥20,000+tax (up from ¥15,000+tax in Platinum's 2019–2020 catalogue) and Modern Maki-e models going to ¥18,000+tax (up from ¥12,000). The previously top-of-the-line ‘Kaga’ Hira Maki-e models (PTL-20000 with no suffix), and undecorated models (PTL-10000 and PTL-5000A) on the other end of the product line, have been discontinued. The Vicoh Sheep (PS-10000N) range was also discontinued.

    © Platinum Pen

  24. jandrese

    Two New Danitrio Maki-E Pens

    Recently picked up these two super cool Danitrio maki-e fountain pens. Where I shop, Dromgooles in Houston, I have a very large selection of urushi fountain pens. I considered the new and very well made Sailor tamenuri midore-dame King of Pen but rejected it for a variety of reasons. IMG_4295 by Ja Ja, on Flickr Among those reasons was the there were other pens I was more interested in. These pens I purchased were certainly among them! IMG_4296 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_4297 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_4298 by Ja Ja, on Flickr The first is a sho-hakkaku (short/small octogon) based maki-e piece by Hironobu, who is the son of Okazaki. Some of my favorite Danitrio pens are by Okazaki including my sublime shu tamenuri flat top Mikado so I was happy to collect the son's work too. The theme is Aka Fuji (red Mt. Fuji). It is really very beautiful and features many different finishes. The cap base is shu tamenuri whereas the body is kuro-roiro. There are at least 5 different metal powders and no less than 3 different colors of urushi in the maki-work. Then there is the rankaku or egg shells for the snowy peak. The nib is a medium flame decoration 18k piece with plastic feed. Ink is held in a CC. It is a smooth and consistent writer. IMG_4307 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_4306 by Ja Ja, on Flickr The second pen is really something special in my collection. Sure, the maki-e work is very nice, but the colors are really very unusual. The base of the Hyotan (gourd) shaped pen is all of rose pink urushi. Not manly perhaps but I love it for its uniqueness and because my daughter really digs it. The colorful maki-e features a stylized mythical Asian phoenix. There is yellow, red, orange, black, and green colored urushi in the flamboyant bird. There appears to be only one type of gold powder used in the design. Wish there was some information on the design, there never is, but I'm interested and my searches thus far have not turned up any answers. Probably a very specific reference to a tale involving a particular phoenix. The artist is another new one to me and one I am very happy to collect, that is, Yuhaku. The nib is a broad 18k with plastic feed and CC filler. The flame design nib is spectacular, it's an amazing writer. IMG_4305 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_4304 by Ja Ja, on Flickr Super happy to have these cool new Danitrio pens.
  25. Sakura FP Gallery

    Sailor Taki-To-Hotaru Limited Edition

    Lampyridae is a family of small beetles in the Coleoptera order with over 2000 different species. They are soft-bodied, nocturnal, winged insects commonly called fireflies or lightning bugs because of their very conspicuous use of bioluminescence during twilight to attract mates or prey. The firefly is a very well known symbol of Summer in Japan. The Sailor Taki-to-Hotaru is an unexpected fifth pen in the Taki-to-Shizen series featuring a summer evening with a crescent moon in mother of pearl shining over the waterfall. Several fireflies are enlightened in the reed, creating a magical path for prey and mates. Limited edition of 38 pcs worldwide! Reserve yours now; we'll have a few in stock! https://www.sakurafountainpengallery.com/en/boutique/detail/new-sailor-taki-to-hotaru-waterfall-and-firefly-sailor-limited-edition





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