There is something exquisite about holding a Maki-e pen. With its rich color, its wonderful handfeel, and the history behind this traditional form of lacquering, it’s the sort of pen that becomes an heirloom the first time you take it out of its package.
To understand the beauty of Maki-e, one should look to the industry leaders of the craft. Take, for instance, Namiki. Owned by Pilot, the Japanese pen brand has made a name for itself as a world-class leader in the lacquered pen space, creating artisan-level products that showcase the wonderful ways in which this artistic expression can be utilized on a pen.
Most illustrative of this is through Namiki’s Aya Collection. The name of this collection comes from the Japanese word which means beautiful color, luster, shine and pattern. All of which easily define the Aya collection and the four pens currently for sale.
Utilizing a special type of Maki-e called “Togidashi” or “burnished maki-e”, these pens evoke depth and luminous colorways through the layering process of lacquering, which is finished in bits of metallic sparkles.
The four colorways are:
Akatsuki – which is a deep, burnished red created using a layering of red lacquering powders and finished with gold.
Hayate – A silvery-gold pen against a dark backdrop that evokes a gust of wind. The pattern on this pen also has a bit of movement which is eye-catching and fun.
Seiryu – a cobalt streak runs through the dark barrel of this pen. What’s most exciting about Seiryu is the used of abalone shells and silver powder, showcasing the use of raw and natural materials to produce a special Maki-e finish.
Tokiwa – Also using abalone shells, but with gold, is the Tokiwa colorway, which is a forested green with a verdant, natural look to it.
Each pen is fitted on a No. 30 18-karat gold nib for a soft, smooth writing experience that is synonymous with Namiki’s performance. Due to the nature of these pens, the price is commiserate to the craftsmanship necessary to create such a masterpiece. Therefore, the Aya line is retailing at $3,400. We don’t anticipate these beauties to last long!