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Urushi Patina


larsm
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Dear lovers of (japanese) Urushi Pens

 

I got hooked with collecting urushi / maki-e pens roughly 1,5 years ago. I was always wondering how my pens will look when I use them regulary - and I think this is (same as with watches) a story that is told by a personal item. 

 

So my question to you: did you notice any change, any patina on your urushi pens? Especially interesting would also be how the tamenuri finish of Nakaya changes over the years - will the bottom layer be more visible?

 

I noticed that SBREbrown's Namiki #50 is much darker than mine. I guess this is also the patina over time (or a different production time as his pen is much older than mine).

 

Looking forward to your feedback! 

 

Cheers from Zurich,

Lars

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9 minutes ago, larsm said:

the tamenuri finish of Nakaya changes over the years

 

Maaaaannnny years is my understanding; gained from conversation with Michal at Tamenuri.  Top layer becomes more transparent.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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Nakaya's pens can and do vary somewhat from piece to piece right from the start, depending on the individual artist, atmospheric conditions, etc.  The differences can become quite pronounced over a long period of time, although this too varies.

 

The most significant example I have seen are the two Dorsal Fin 1's in Heki Tamenuri on the left in this photo.  The one on the left is like new; the one on the right is years older.  

 

 

Aged Heki.jpg

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12 minutes ago, whichwatch said:

Nakaya's pens can and do vary somewhat from piece to piece right from the start, depending on the individual artist, atmospheric conditions, etc.  The differences can become quite pronounced over a long period of time, although this too varies.

 

The most significant example I have seen are the two Dorsal Fin 1's in Heki Tamenuri on the left in this photo.  The one on the left is like new; the one on the right is years older.  

 

 

Aged Heki.jpg

wow! that is a great example - I do prefer the look of the "old" DF. Thanks for sharing!

Does anyone know if Roiro Urushi gets darker? Seems like Tamenuri gets lighter of years.

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Please do note that the example I posted is the most dramatic example I have seen, and I have owned several hundred Nakayas over the years.  I am reasonably certain that not every pen will age exactly like this one did.   I bought it pre-owned from a collector, and I do not know the history of how it was stored, how it was treated, what it may have been exposed to, etc.

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Urushi is a natural product. Fully polymerized it is highly resistant to many chemicals and is quite hard. It is, however, susceptible to UV light and the ingredients that give it color are similarly sensitive to UV light and to oxidation. I reckon trapped gasses and chemical reactions between color ingredients, binders, and extenders, etc all contribute to changes over time depending on many factors. Even so it is highly durable and capable of lasting centuries. The best stuff will no doubt have the greatest chance of remaining in top condition for longer. Of course, there is an aesthetic to naturally worn items the imbue them with life.  

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