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Hira maki-e versus screened maki-e



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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.

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The catalogue notes the Platinum model to be makie as opposed to some other models termed aizu-makie and kaga-makie. Aizu- and Kaga-makie refer to techniques of makie in those prefectures. 

 

Look closely at the photo in FPOJ and you will see the decoration is different. So different to question whether it was screened. I have many 3776 models but not yours. Darn! I would bet it was different too. That noted, it would be a safe bet it was either partly or not screened. Platinum has a history of making pens with some screened artwork and some hand artwork. BTW, you should search for aizu-makie and kaga-makie on the net. 

 

The Pilot looks screened. If you look closely you can almost discern what colors came first, second, and third. 

 

Both are different from traditional hiramakie.

stan

Formerly Ryojusen Pens
The oldest and largest buyer and seller of vintage Japanese pens in America.


Member: Pen Collectors of America & Fuente, THE Japanese Pen Collectors Club

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Thank you stan for the enlightening comments!

I was wondering if the "ribbed" (almost serrated) edge of the Pilot's plum flowers is also an indication of the screen somehow? (A brush stroke would be smooth I guess.)

The images I find online of the Pilot are also a bit different, but I suppose the different "screens" (for the different colors?) are slightly off relative to each other (if that makes sense ...) . It seems to me that the screening technique is also a mostly "manual" craft (as opposed to an assembly type of work)? 

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Best would be to compare similar pens. Find a decent photographs of your pen and care it. Some of the artwork on some of the Platinum pens is done by hand. Top line models are done entirely by hand.

 

Different screens for different colors. I've not seen any photographs of the screening process. I understand Pilot pen artwork is entirely mechanical. Something fascinating about artwork on some of Platinum pens is it seems to have a greater depth and is more tactile than similar models by Pilot.

 

The object of screening is to make a more attractive pen at a more economical price. The more screens, more handwork, more anything and the price goes up.

stan

Formerly Ryojusen Pens
The oldest and largest buyer and seller of vintage Japanese pens in America.


Member: Pen Collectors of America & Fuente, THE Japanese Pen Collectors Club

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