Sunday, July 5, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 39

In the spotlight today---Melodie's lovely Nakaya 'Decapod Twist Writer' "Heki-Tamenuri" fountain pen:

(all photos courtesy of Melodie ~ please click on images to enlarge)

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I was just going to let the photos Melodie sent in for the "show & tell" do all the talking... but after doing some research on her new pen, I thought I'd share some interesting facts about it...

The Nakaya 'Decapod Twist Writer' is a Japanese handcrafted ten-sided fountain pen made of hand-turned ebonite (hard rubber) covered with multiple layers of urushi*, each carefully applied to create the beautiful effect you see. It takes over one year to make this particular fountain pen, due to the complexities of its twisted-faceted design. As well as being aesthetically-pleasing, the design is exceedingly practical - the flat facets reduce the chances of the pen rolling off of a desk.

* Urushi is the sap of the urushi or lacquer tree that is native to Japan, China, Korea and the eastern Himalayas. The sap contains a resin called urushiol that polymerizes to become a very hard, durable, plastic-like substance when it is exposed to moisture and air.

The finish on Melodie's pen is called "Heki-Tamenuri", and is one of a variety of different finishes that Nakaya uses on their writing instruments. From Nakaya's official website:
"Tame" means "pool" and "nuri" refers to the lacquer coating process. You can actually see through the layers of clear urushi lacquer as if you were looking into a pool. "Heki" is the color between blue and green. It is one of the Japanese traditional colors...This shape of barrel has 10 angles, so that we can see this light color."

From (the the exclusive retailer of Nakaya products in North America):"As with all hand-painted Tame-nuri pens, the colors will vary slightly from pen to pen - no two will ever be exactly the same. With time, the outer dark layer will grow more transparent, allowing the Heki under-layer to show through."

Nakaya pens are available in a wide variety of gold nib widths (from Ultra Extra-Fine to Music, and seven other nib widths in between) and nib platings (pink gold colour, rhodium colour, ruthenium colour (plated), two tone and single tone).

According to their official website, all of Nakaya's craftsmen worked for the Platinum Pen Company for more than 40 years before retiring to work for the Nakaya Fountain Pen Company. To assist their craftsmen in creating nibs that best fit their customers' writing needs, Nakaya created an eight-part questionnaire on handwriting style that customers can fill out and submit with their online pen orders. They take nib-making so seriously, in fact, that they even have a Fountain Pen Writing Science analysis section on their website! It should come as no surprise, then, that their company's homepage proudly states "Our mission is to design a perfect pen for your hand and for your hand only."

Many thanks to Melodie for sharing her lovely new acquisition with us. After reading this blog post, I wonder if some folks will be adding a Nakaya to their "Pen Wish List"...I know I will :)

Stay well, everyone!

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