Hand Made Urushi pens

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URUSHI TECHNIQUE

Urushi is a type of lacquer processed from the sap of the Japanese lacquer tree.

With a history dating back to Japan’s Jomon period (13,100 BCE– 400 BCE), Urushi is said to have been used not only as a coating and ornamentation, but also as an adhesive to bind handgrips to stone axe handles.

Urushi was subsequently used for its antiseptic and preservative properties to protect valuable items such as furniture and musical instruments from wear, and was eventually elevated to use as an aesthetic element in works of art.

Traditional Urushi lacquerware techniques are still employed throughout Japan.

Japanese lacquer

 Once hardened, the urushi lacquer forms a protective coating against the surface on which it’s applied. It’s both durable and aesthetically-pleasing (in fact, add some gold or silver powder on top of the traditional wet urushi, and that becomes the maki-e designs that are also very prominent in fountain pens).

The full process of making an urushi fountain pen may take several weeks to months to complete. It must be conducted under strict supervision, as any error can permanently stain the finished pen.

For fountain pen collectors and enthusiasts, it’s certainly one of the sleekest and beautiful designs around.

THE COLORS OF JAPAN

penteo samurai enji iro 2

The traditional colors of Japan trace their historical origins to the Twelve Level Cap and Rank System which was established in 603 by Prince Shōtoku and based on the five Chinese elements. In this system, rank and social hierarchy were displayed and determined by certain colors. Colors known as kinjiki (禁色, “forbidden colors”) were strictly reserved for the robes of the highest ranking government officials; for example, the color Ōtan (orange) was used as the color for the robes of kuge and use by any other lower rank was prohibited. Colors known as yurushiiro (許し色, “permissible colors”) were permitted for use by the common people.

Most names of colors originate from the names of plants, flowers, and animals that bore or resembled them. Certain colors and dyeing techniques have been used since the Asuka period, while others had been developed as late as the Meiji period when synthetic dyes became common.

Due to the long history of use of this color system, some variations in color and names do exist. Many of the names of these colors originate from Chinese culture, where the hierarchical color system is even more complex.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_colors_of_Japan

 

PenTeo Pens Samurai SHOJOHI – VERMILON

PenTeo Pens Samurai Enji Iro  (Cochineal red/rouge)

PenTeo Pens Samurai Ume (Japanese plum)

URUSHI RADEN TECHNIQUE

Penteo Samurai Raden Penteopens.com 2

Raden is a decorative technique that uses the iridescent parts of seashells like abalone, turban shells, and pearl oysters, which are shaved very thinly. Ra means a spiral shell and den means to decorate. The technique was conveyed to Japan from China about 1300 years ago, and marvelous examples can be seen at the Shoso-in Treasure House in Nara.
The seashell used for raden is classified as either thin or thick. Thin shell pieces are obtained by rubbing with a whetstone or simmering and peeling off the shell surface. They are no more than 0.1 millimeters in thickness. Gold or silver can also be applied to the reverse side of the shell so that it seems to glow from within.
Thick shell pieces are made by rubbing seashells flat with a whetstone, and approximately one millimeter thick. The special beauty of raden comes from the contrast between the jewel-like luster of seashells and the deep tones of the lacquer.

URUSHI NEGORO TECHNIQUE

Negoro refers to rustic and simple lacquerware that has been coated with black lacquer and then layered with a topcoat of red lacquer. Items often made using this technique include tables, trays and bowls. This lacquering style was originally applied to utensils used by monks in training at Negoro-ji, a Zen temple that prospered from the Kamakura period (1185-1333 CE) to the Muromachi period (approx. 1336-1573 CE). Negoro lacquerware offers an ever-changing beauty. Over the years, as it is used, the red lacquer fades to gradually reveal the black lacquer beneath.

For fountain pens, the wear is created by carfully wet sanding the red layer of urushi.

 

URUSHI TAMENURI TECHNIQUES

penteo samurai longsword sakurakawanuri 4

 

Tamenuri is an ancient traditional Japanese urushi technique.

Translucent urushi is applied to the special base coating, resulting in a unique deep patina which will naturally lighten and mature with use over time.

“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. The black color is also mixed with translucent urushi to create darker coating.

When the process is finished, you can still see the base surface of colored urushi. After this coating process, the surface is polished by hand in order to attain greater transparency, allowing you to clearly see the underlying colored usurshi surface.

 

Nashiji – nuri technique that fixes irregular flakes of gold and silver. Nashiji is a Japanese Urushi lacquer that requires special conditions for curing.

Mixes with nashiji can be used to create tamenuri effect.

 Sakurakawa nuri technique. Is an urushi Tamenuti technique called ‘cherry bark lacquer’ . This technique imitates the color and surface of a cherry tree bark. In Japan the bark of the cherry tree has been used to decorate objects called “kabazaiku”, tea and kitchen utensils like tea caddies, trays but also small furnitures, sword sheets, calligraphy brushes, smoking accessories and more.

 

PenTeo Pens Samurai Flat Top Sakurakawa nuri

PenTeo Pens Samurai Longsword Sakurakawa nuri

PenTeo Pens Samurai Aka Nashiji-nuri

PenTeo Pens Samurai Spirit Aka Nashiji-nuri

PenTeo Pens Samurai Flat Top Sakurakawa nuri

PenTeo Pens Faceted Samurai Spirit Kuro Aka Tamenuri

URUSHI ISHIME TECHNIQUE

Penteo Samurai Kuro Ishime6

 

Dry Urushi powder is sprinkled on a fresh layer of Urushi, after curring is covered with sveral layers of urushi.

The final goal is to create a stone like texture.

Additonal technique can be used, tamenuri or sprinke the surface with metal powder.

TSUGARU NURI TECHNIQUE – KARA NURI

Penteo Samurai Spirit Tsugaru Nuri V4

Tsugaru Nuri is the traditional lacquerware of the Tsugaru region in Aomori prefecture, centralized in Hirosaki city. Lacquerware crafts in Tsugaru has an extensive history dating back to the Edo period (1603 ~1868). The four styles practiced today are the Kara-nuri, Nanako-nuri, Monsha-nuri, and Nishiki-nuri.

 

Kara-nuri is the most popular style of Tsugaru Nuri and has the longest history. Kara-nuri is characterized by the speckled spots made using a special pallet knife with multiple circular holes. The lacquer is applied using this special tool, dried, then polished, a process that is repeated over and over again.
Each product is a one-of-a-kind item due to the intricate and time-consuming nature of the craft. This uniqueness is one of the highly valued features of Tsugaru Nuri.
The word “kara” of Kara-nuri stands for something that is unique and exceptional.

 

PenTeo Pens Samurai Spirit

PenTeo Pens Samurai Spirit

PenTeo Pens Samurai Kamereon

TSUGARU NURI TECHNIQUEs  NANAKO NURI

Penteo Samurai Nanako Nuri 8

Nanako-nuri is made using togidashi kawarinuri, a method in which the pattern design is made with seeds. When the first layer of colored lacquer is applied on the base, seeds are scattered across the surface to make small circles while still wet. The seeds are removed once the lacquer dries. The lacquer is then polished thoroughly to bring out the elegant circular shapes in the Edo komon style (designs with small elaborate patterns used for kimono during the Edo period). The term “nanako” originates from the resemblance of the circular shapes to nanako, or fish eggs

 

 

PenTeo Pens Samurai Autumn

PenTeo Pens Samurai Nori

PenTeo Pens Deep Sea

PenTeo Pens Akai Samurai

SEIREI NURI TECHNIQUE

Penteo Samurai Spirit Dragonfly6

Seirei – Nuri translates to Dragonfly wing pattern.

FUKI URUSHI TECHNIQUE

penteo pens samurai spirit amboyna4

Raw Urushi (Ki Urushi) is applied on the wooden surface, wiped and cured. The process is appled several time till the wood is saturated. A glosse surface can be applied or let to shine naturally.

Kijiro urushi also can be used to show off the beauty of the underlying woodgrain. Applied several time it will darken the surface and produce more deep effect.

 

 

Samurai  –  IRONWOOD

Faceted Samurai  – Lignum vitae wood

Samurai Spirit – Amboyna wood

Samurai Ona Musha – Amboyna Wood

Faceted Samurai – Ironwood

I ordered a custom ebonite fountain pen from PenTeo and it arrived yesterday. It is truly stunning, comfortable in hand despite the large diameter barrel and cap (I like larger pens, but this handles more like a mid-sized one) and was beautifully presented. I cannot wait to get more miles under its nib!

Superb, the size is excellent handling, good pen. I loaded it with iroshizuku ink asa gao and it works fine. The set is light which will allow to write long without fatigue. I am very happy with this pen. thank you so much!

The best moment is when I saw the pen and unscrewed the cap and section and barrel. It all screamed – EBONITE! And it is HUGE! Good weight and comfortable to write with. The cap does not post but you do not need to as it is a BIG pen. What an awesome pen! WOW! The pen writes superbly and the nib is buttery smooth. No skips. No hard starts. Good flow.

I ordered a custom ebonite fountain pen from PenTeo and it arrived yesterday. It is truly stunning, comfortable in hand despite the large diameter barrel and cap (I like larger pens, but this handles more like a mid-sized one) and was beautifully presented. I cannot wait to get more miles under its nib!

Superb, the size is excellent handling, good pen. I loaded it with iroshizuku ink asa gao and it works fine. The set is light which will allow to write long without fatigue. I am very happy with this pen. thank you so much!

The best moment is when I saw the pen and unscrewed the cap and section and barrel. It all screamed – EBONITE! And it is HUGE! Good weight and comfortable to write with. The cap does not post but you do not need to as it is a BIG pen. What an awesome pen! WOW! The pen writes superbly and the nib is buttery smooth. No skips. No hard starts. Good flow.

Contact me

If you want any of the fountain pen models that are currently in stock !

My email

penteo@penteopens.com

Location

Brno, Czech Republic, Europe

Open Hours

M-F: 10am – 17pm,

Email

penteo@penteopens.com