Uniting tradition and innovation.
This is a writing instrument that has been hand-turned on a lathe by myself. Something of my own design. Designed to have perfect balance and resemble a katana to some degree.
Made from Japanese ebonite which is produced in Nikko. Ebonite is a form of hardened rubber. It was traditionally used to make fountain pens before plastic was used. It is a difficult material to produce and in recent times it is only made in Japan and Germany. It is a truly beautiful material that polishes to a great shine. The feel of urushi on ebonite in your hand as you write is beautiful.
After the pen has been turned I start the process of the urushi coating. This particular design requires around 50 coats to complete
The coating order goes like this
Kiji: The base coating (3-4 layers)
Nakanuri: The intermediate layers (10-15)
Kawari nuri decoration: texturing, gold powder, then shuai urushi (10-15)
Kijome layers: The final finish (5-10)
Thank you very much for looking at my Kickstarter campaign. If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch.
Risks and challenges
The main risk of this project is my choice to use urushi
First of all, urushi contains urushiol which can cause a server allergic reaction in some people. Once cured, urushi becomes inert and although reactions are rare please do not purchase this product if you have a severe allergy to poison ivy.
Urushi is difficult to use, takes a long time to cure, is easily influenced by changes in humidity, and toxic when wet.
But I love it anyway
The urushi coating requires about 50 layers, and each layer takes about 24 hours to cure. This adds around two months to the completion time. Urushi is unpredictable and things can go wrong easily. A dry winter for example will knock back production time significantly. I am going to deliver this project in the new year.
These pens are handmade, and after each layer of urushi they are sanded by hand and finally polished by hand.
I have given myself three months to complete this project but please be patient because I want to give each pen its full 50 layers and not cut corners.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (4 days)