Wednesday, November 13, 2013

On Kawakubo

Kawakubo is a Japanese nibmeister working in Tokyo. His main activity is as a repair man, but he is also well known among stylophiles and now and then we run into some of his creations. At the last meeting of the Wagner group in Tokyo I could check the following pen.

But there is catch—the pen is not entirely Kawakubo’s. The base is an old Japanese pen (I guess from around 1955); eyedropper with shut-off valve, in ebonite, and with a 14 K gold nib. And then –and only then— the work of Mr. Kawabuko's started.


First, fixing the issues most old pens have. In particular, fixing the seal of the shut-off valve, a typical problem found in Japanese eyedroppers.


Second, polishing the gold nib to remove all previous engravings.



Third, retipping the nib and cutting it to a variable point (what Sailor calls a “zoom” nib).

Fourth, creating a maki-e decoration on cap and barrel. The pattern of this pen is called tanzaku, which are poem cards and strips used in a number of Japanese rituals.


These are the dimensions of the pen:
  • Length closed: 129 mm
  • Length open: 113 mm
  • Length posted: 159 mm
  • Diameter: 12 mm
  • Weight: 16.0 g (dry)

The result is truly interesting and makes a very nice writer. Now, is this a form of pen making or just a form of tunning a pen? Anonymizing it by polishing the nib to a blank slate, so to speak, makes me uncomfortable. Was that really needed?

My thanks to Mr. Sekinen.


Pilot Vpen, M nib – Pilot Blue (refilled)

Bruno Taut
In transit, November 13th, 2013
etiquetas: evento, nibmeister Kawakubo

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