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Black Urushi


Johnson
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Hey good folks-

 

Been a while since I've been active on the forum. I fell away from fountain pens for a bit, but recently started grad school (masters of accounting) and picked up a Pelikan M100 with an XF nib I had lying around. Man I really enjoy taking notes with this pen! Which is odd since before I was more in the M nib camp.

 

Anyway getting to the topic at hand, I've been scheming for many months about using my entrance into grad school as a great excuse to buy a new FP. Now I love a beautiful ornate FP as much as the next guy/gal, but I find that again and again I am drawn towards the simple. Since I work with the public and see a lot of people on a daily basis (retail banking), I don't like carrying a pen that jumps out and screams "look at me! look how fancy I am!". Having said that, I do enjoy when someone notices I'm using an FP, it is a great conversation piece. I just don't like my pens to "look expensive", even if their price tag would seem expensive to the non-FP fan.

 

Having said all that, amongst other pens (Pelikan, Namiki) I am considering Nakaya. I'm leaning towards either the blackish red or the regular black. My question is, while I don't like my pens to be flashy, if I spend $450 on a pen, I'd like it to provide me with some visual / tactile joy. What do you think of the plain black only urushi pens you've owned or seen in person? Do they have a similar visual depth that there more expensive layered brethren have, or is it more of a flat, I can't really tell the difference between this and plastic look?

 

I'm just looking for opinions. The black portable writer really appeals to me with its simplicity, I'd just hate to get it in hand and think "this looks and feels just like Pelikan black resin".

 

Thank you!

happiness isn't caused

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Here is the Nakaya Portable Writer in Shu, and a Danitrio Densho in Raw Ebonite. Interestingly, I once had a non-FP user ask me if the Nakaya was made of plastic - I think because it has a "hard shell" look - which is kind of nice if you are trying to fly under the radar with a nice pen that people can't identify. I can say for certain that neither looks or feels anything like a Pelikan.

 

fpn_1315937056__japanese_ebonite.jpg

 

Sorry about the bad iPhone photo - I just happened to have both inked today and thought I'd take a pic to show what they look like side by side.

How small of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure.

— Samuel Johnson

 

Instagram: dcpritch

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I am biased, there is no plastic look to urushi. Below are some pictures of black urushi pens, all have a special feeling and shine to them. Go and get one! (Nakaya is the second from below and the right most nib) Good luck, Ruud

 

 

 

http://www.rhkoning.com/penpics/varia/four%20black%20urushi%20closed_600.jpg

 

http://www.rhkoning.com/penpics/varia/four%20black%20urushi%20open1_600.jpg

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I think it's a great photo. thank you for sharing it and your thoughts.

 

edit: thanks rhk as well, great pics!

Edited by Johnson

happiness isn't caused

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see I think my ultimate goal is I don't want everyone else to notice how nice the pen is, but I want to be able to look at the pen and see how nice it is. :) "flying under the radar" like dc said above. sounds like a simple black urushi pen might accomplish that, though I'm not ruling out black/red. it's still subtle enough for me, though I'd rather not spend the extra cash.

happiness isn't caused

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In the hand they don't look or feel like plastic, so have no concerns on that account, although from a distance it's possible someone might think it's a plastic pen. Black urushi is a good choice if you want an understated stealth pen, and you don't have the oxidisation issues that you have with raw ebonite. I must admit though that my preference would be for kuro tamenuri - the blackish red finish. It's very understated but looks a little warmer and has a little more visual interest (quite a bit more if you go for the Decapod). You also get more of a sense that it's hand made and it may also change slightly as the pen ages, whereas the black finish will likely stay the same. However, if you crave absolute simplicity, black is your best option.

D A N i T R i O f e l l o w s h i p

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I've owned two Danitrios in urushi, one in black. The combination of the urushi over the ebonite was just awesome. The feel in the hand is what made it so nice to me. The combo of the two in no way feels like plastic. It has a luxurious feel to it, even though it's quite light.

 

I'd say go for it.

 

Dave

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

http://www.the-highw..._questions.html

 

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rhk, I never meant to imply that I think the urushi looks plastic, I just thought it was interesting that a non-pen person would look at it and immediately conclude it to be so. When I unscrew the cap and see the hand cut threads, and notice the depth of the urushi finish, it makes me proud to have such a work of art and craftsmanship, and I sort of chuckle at the comments of someone who doesn't see that. As far as the shu finish on mine, I like it, but if I had it to do over again I would follow the advice of Painterspal and get the aka-tamenuri or the kuro-tamenuri finish, as they are more understated. And the Decapod and Decapod Twist - WOW!

How small of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure.

— Samuel Johnson

 

Instagram: dcpritch

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As far as the shu finish on mine, I like it, but if I had it to do over again I would follow the advice of Painterspal and get the aka-tamenuri or the kuro-tamenuri finish, as they are more understated.

Agreed -- a nice plain urushi is elegant without being flashy IMO. FYI, here's a picture of my aka-tamenuri Nakaya Long Piccolo; I also love the darker kuro (maybe someday... :)), and the all black is beautiful too:

fpn_1314573349__nakaya_long_piccolo.jpg

fpn_1314573368__nakaya_long_piccolo_uncapped.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_qVJOiluU9_4/THp4iGeCcpI/AAAAAAAAA2A/xh2FRE0B8p0/s320/InkDropLogoFPN3.jpg (member since 8/28/10) Current pens:fpn_1314757310__pen_logo_collage_083011_450_hr.jpg
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rhk, I never meant to imply that I think the urushi looks plastic, I just thought it was interesting that a non-pen person would look at it and immediately conclude it to be so.

 

and that is just the type of input I was looking for, that someone without an eye for it would assume its just a pen, whereas I will be able to tell its something special.

 

In the hand they don't look or feel like plastic, so have no concerns on that account, although from a distance it's possible someone might think it's a plastic pen. Black urushi is a good choice if you want an understated stealth pen, and you don't have the oxidisation issues that you have with raw ebonite. I must admit though that my preference would be for kuro tamenuri - the blackish red finish. It's very understated but looks a little warmer and has a little more visual interest (quite a bit more if you go for the Decapod). You also get more of a sense that it's hand made and it may also change slightly as the pen ages, whereas the black finish will likely stay the same. However, if you crave absolute simplicity, black is your best option.

 

As far as the shu finish on mine, I like it, but if I had it to do over again I would follow the advice of Painterspal and get the aka-tamenuri or the kuro-tamenuri finish, as they are more understated.

Agreed -- a nice plain urushi is elegant without being flashy IMO. FYI, here's a picture of my aka-tamenuri Nakaya Long Piccolo; I also love the darker kuro (maybe someday... :)), and the all black is beautiful too:

 

I'll probably spend a more time mulling over the finish (black or kuro). For all black pens I usually prefer silver accents, and to add those to the pen would cost me extra. On the other hand I think gold looks great with red, so the blackish red would make me OK with the gold nib. And of course there is the clip or no clip decision. I'm leaning towards no clip because of the zen quality it brings to the pen. This would of course reduce its utility at work, but would still make for a fine note taking pen in class, as well as for use at home. Finally I've pretty much narrowed it down to either portable or long. I know the long is ridiculously huge, but unposted it looks like a very manageable size. But the portable would definitely be more practical, and its not exactly tiny either. The piccolo I think is too small for me, or at least for what I have in mind right now.

 

I've owned two Danitrios in urushi, one in black. The combination of the urushi over the ebonite was just awesome. The feel in the hand is what made it so nice to me. The combo of the two in no way feels like plastic. It has a luxurious feel to it, even though it's quite light.

 

I'd say go for it.

 

awesome, thanks! and thanks everyone for the responses (and awesome pics), you've all given me plenty to think on.

happiness isn't caused

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Oh man, I didn't need to see that!

 

Beautiful Piccolo, schadowrider! :thumbup:

Thanks -- I'm quite thrilled with it!

 

I'll probably spend a more time mulling over the finish (black or kuro). For all black pens I usually prefer silver accents, and to add those to the pen would cost me extra... The piccolo I think is too small for me, or at least for what I have in mind right now.

I'm with you on the silver hardware; on my long piccolo I went clipless and with a two toned nib, which works well for me; I have a custom Neo on order that's going to have rhodium trim and nib. Just food for thought -- the regular piccolo was a bit short for me too, but mine is the long piccolo which nibs.com is now importing into the US -- it's a great length (for me). Here's a picture of it next to a MB LeGrand (146 size...):

 

fpn_1314573388__nakaya_long_piccolo_146_comparison.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_qVJOiluU9_4/THp4iGeCcpI/AAAAAAAAA2A/xh2FRE0B8p0/s320/InkDropLogoFPN3.jpg (member since 8/28/10) Current pens:fpn_1314757310__pen_logo_collage_083011_450_hr.jpg
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I'll probably spend a more time mulling over the finish (black or kuro). For all black pens I usually prefer silver accents, and to add those to the pen would cost me extra... The piccolo I think is too small for me, or at least for what I have in mind right now.

I'm with you on the silver hardware; on my long piccolo I went clipless and with a two toned nib, which works well for me; I have a custom Neo on order that's going to have rhodium trim and nib. Just food for thought -- the regular piccolo was a bit short for me too, but mine is the long piccolo which nibs.com is now importing into the US -- it's a great length (for me). Here's a picture of it next to a MB LeGrand (146 size...):

 

That Long Piccolo is nice, thank you for sharing! I'll have to throw that one in the mix for consideration, though it does cost slightly more on nibs.com. Looks like it would be worth the extra cash to have the design of the Piccolo with the greater length.

 

I keep coming back to the clipless long though. Even though its ridiculously huge with the cap on, with the cap off its really not much longer then some other pens posted. Not to mention the long for me just has that "gotta have it" quality to it. I've literally been reading about Nakayas for years, and that simple "long" model has always called to me, even though a model like the portable cigar or piccolo makes more sense logistically.

 

If I went with an all black pen I'd spring for the silver nib, either rhodium or ruthenium (not really sure what the difference is to be honest, looks like ruthenium is a bit less shiny maybe?), so that puts me in $490 territory, whereas a kuro puts me in $550 with the stock gold nib. So really it would be another $60 to get those beautiful red undertones. Not sure if I can swallow the $80 for the two tone, even though its beautiful. Its funny how I still pinch pennies even for a pricey pen like this, but I think thats just the person I am. I love quality products and am willing to pay a premium for said quality, but I want to save as much money in that process as possible, if that makes any sense.

 

I know for sure I'm going clipless on this one, I think thats the only hard and fast decision I've made. :)

 

I could think out loud all night here in this thread, hopefully I'll make a decision soon so the fruits of all your helpful responses will not be in vain!

Edited by Johnson

happiness isn't caused

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You'll have a great pen with whatever configuration you end up with, and I think the all black clipless with rhodium trim would be beautiful; my only suggestion is to make sure you don't feel like you are settling for something less than what you really want (although you could easily have the nib upgraded down the road funds permitting). In any case, let us know what you decide, and put up some pics when you get it!

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_qVJOiluU9_4/THp4iGeCcpI/AAAAAAAAA2A/xh2FRE0B8p0/s320/InkDropLogoFPN3.jpg (member since 8/28/10) Current pens:fpn_1314757310__pen_logo_collage_083011_450_hr.jpg
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Just a thought - $60 for going with the kuro is but 12.2% additional cost for a pen you will likely keep and use for decades. If you amortize that out over say 10 years, it is nothing. Of course if we used that logic consistently we'd all be buying way more pens for way more money. Still, $60 compared to the initial outlay of $490 is a small price to pay if you think you want the kuro. I agree with Shadowrider, give this some serious thought. If the upgrade cost is bothering you, you will not likely buy another $500 pen anytime soon; get the one you really want even if you have to save up for a few more months.

May we live, not by our fears but by our hopes; not by our words but by our deeds; not by our disappointments but by our dreams.

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I think the black urushi is elegant. It's simple, yes, but that simplicity is part of the zen-like appeal. My personal preference is for kuro-tamenuri or aka-tamenuri--because there is so much more warmth and depth and beauty there. I love how the coloring changes slightly over time. But the black urushi is very, very, very nice. You will notice the difference between urushi and plastic, regardless of the finish you choose. It's a definite tactile difference, and it feels wonderful in the hand. About the two-tone nib, it's a surprisingly pretty nib in person. I much prefer the look of the two-tone nib over any of the mono-tone nibs, so, at least for me, it is worth the additional cost. Either way, it will be a wonderful writer.

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get the one you really want even if you have to save up for a few more months.

 

I agree with Kelly. If you're like me, you'll end up getting the one you really want, anyway, so might as well get it first, even if it takes a tad longer.

 

Actually, my "problem" was that I wasn't sure what I wanted, so the first Nakaya I bought was a solid black Piccolo, and it is the blackety-black blackest pen I own, but it does not look or feel like plastic. I don't know if that's a psychosomatic perception, but I love my urushi Nakayas and Danitrios!

 

I have a kuro-tamenuri Desk Pen, and I have to say that the red ring at the ends add that little something, and knowing that my use of the pen will manifest in the red's becoming inexorably more apparent is tantalizing.

 

With the solid black, I will always have a completely blackety-black black pen -- with my name in red kanji -- and that has its own appeal.

 

With the kuro-tamenuri, though... that red around the edges is very... appealing in its own way.

 

You know, what reprieve said.

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etherX in To Miasto

Fleekair <--French accent.

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I have a Nakaya Decapod Twist in kuro, and a Danitrio Mikado in raw ebonite, both clipless and both "fly under the radar",,,until they're uncapped.

 

Then, when one of those brilliantly engraved nibs the size of a toe nail is exposed, you're a goner.

 

Both magnificent makers. You can't make a bad choice.

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You'll have a great pen with whatever configuration you end up with, and I think the all black clipless with rhodium trim would be beautiful; my only suggestion is to make sure you don't feel like you are settling for something less than what you really want (although you could easily have the nib upgraded down the road funds permitting). In any case, let us know what you decide, and put up some pics when you get it!

 

This thread has definitely made clear to me to not let the extra $100 sway me from the kuro-tamenuri if that is what I really want. So now the ultimate decision is money aside, what will I be happier with, all black or blackish red? I like that the kuro-tamenuri is still really really black, because I do want a deep black pen.

 

 

Just a thought - $60 for going with the kuro is but 12.2% additional cost for a pen you will likely keep and use for decades. If you amortize that out over say 10 years, it is nothing. Of course if we used that logic consistently we'd all be buying way more pens for way more money. Still, $60 compared to the initial outlay of $490 is a small price to pay if you think you want the kuro. I agree with Shadowrider, give this some serious thought. If the upgrade cost is bothering you, you will not likely buy another $500 pen anytime soon; get the one you really want even if you have to save up for a few more months.

 

Absolutely, and I appreciate the percentage breakdown, it makes sense. Actually in further thought I think I'll go with the rhodium/ruthenium nib regardless of barrel color choice. This will be my pen, after all, and I really prefer silver over gold, so why not go all silver? I think it will look great with the kuro as well. And you are correct that I won't be buying anymore $500 pens anytime soon, so I might as well try and get it right the first time. I've owned lots of pens over the years, including some of the big guns like the M1000 and MB149, but those were purchased used, I've never paid greater then $500 for a pen, so this is a big step. I think I'm at a point now where I'd rather buy a pen direct from a nibmeister and pay a premium rather fooling around and trying to save a few bucks and ending up with a stinker nib that you end up having to send off to a nibmeister anyway.

 

 

I think the black urushi is elegant. It's simple, yes, but that simplicity is part of the zen-like appeal. My personal preference is for kuro-tamenuri or aka-tamenuri--because there is so much more warmth and depth and beauty there. I love how the coloring changes slightly over time. But the black urushi is very, very, very nice. You will notice the difference between urushi and plastic, regardless of the finish you choose. It's a definite tactile difference, and it feels wonderful in the hand. About the two-tone nib, it's a surprisingly pretty nib in person. I much prefer the look of the two-tone nib over any of the mono-tone nibs, so, at least for me, it is worth the additional cost. Either way, it will be a wonderful writer.

 

It seems like the general consensus is yes, we love our black urushi pens, but we love our kuro or aka tamenuri pens more. :) The idea of the color changing slightly over time is appealing to me, even though I'm not typically a big red fan, I do think it looks great when minimally done against the black.

 

 

get the one you really want even if you have to save up for a few more months.

 

I agree with Kelly. If you're like me, you'll end up getting the one you really want, anyway, so might as well get it first, even if it takes a tad longer.

 

Actually, my "problem" was that I wasn't sure what I wanted, so the first Nakaya I bought was a solid black Piccolo, and it is the blackety-black blackest pen I own, but it does not look or feel like plastic. I don't know if that's a psychosomatic perception, but I love my urushi Nakayas and Danitrios!

 

I have a kuro-tamenuri Desk Pen, and I have to say that the red ring at the ends add that little something, and knowing that my use of the pen will manifest in the red's becoming inexorably more apparent is tantalizing.

 

With the solid black, I will always have a completely blackety-black black pen -- with my name in red kanji -- and that has its own appeal.

 

With the kuro-tamenuri, though... that red around the edges is very... appealing in its own way.

 

You know, what reprieve said.

 

ethernautrix I've read just about every thread on this forum about Nakaya (plenty of search engine and google usage over the past couple weeks!) and your name comes of A LOT. glad to have your input in this thread. :) lots of other FPN Nakaya stars representing in this thread as well, so again many thanks. I suppose I could always start with a kuro-tamenuri long writer, then maybe a year down the road start thinking of an all black portable or long piccolo?

 

To make things even more confusing I am also a fan of the heki-tamenuri. :eureka:

 

 

I have a Nakaya Decapod Twist in kuro, and a Danitrio Mikado in raw ebonite, both clipless and both "fly under the radar",,,until they're uncapped.

 

Then, when one of those brilliantly engraved nibs the size of a toe nail is exposed, you're a goner.

 

Both magnificent makers. You can't make a bad choice.

 

haha, in that case I'll just have to get them as a ball pen instead

 

*ducks*

 

just kidding, but class is starting, gotta run. :ltcapd:

happiness isn't caused

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Oh, Johnson, now you've done it.

 

I LOVE the heki-tamenuri! I have a Mini Decapod in heki-tamenuri and a Piccolo Writer and a Long Piccolo Cigar (or, wait, maybe Writer -- I don't remember if I ordered it with a clip. Probably.) in heki-tamenuri on order*, and, in fact, I thought about mentioning it earlier but didn't want to confuse the issue or inject my own preference.

 

As much as I admire the blackety-black blackness (and the kuro-tamenuri is blackety-black, except where it's red at the edges -- for now), I LOVE the heki-tamenuri!

 

Yeah, I'm no help....

 

I have an aka-tamenuri Desk Pen (red-on-red) that is very beautiful. But that heki-tamenuri... just something about it that I can't resist.

 

 

 

*I became so excited about the heki-tamenuri, that I forgot to include "on order." Hee.

Edited by ethernautrix

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etherX in To Miasto

Fleekair <--French accent.

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