The Maki-e technique is a specific form of Japanese lacquer work, characteristic of an extreme artistic wealth from the Nippon craftsmanship. If we look behind in the history of lacquer, we would have to go back 1500 years to see that at that time was when the masters in lacquered developed their imagination and refinement to coat eternal ornamented elements for the nobility.
The shellac is a natural enamel discovered in ancient Asia, approximately 5,000 years ago. They realized that the sap extracted from the lacquer tree, called Urushi, had adhesion and resistance qualities that no enamel and no paint could ever have.
Once dried, the lacquer is an almost impenetrable element, extremely heat- and water-resistant, which salt or chemicals cannot alter. But above all, a natural lacquer gives a more beautiful result, than with any other procedure. Only natural lacquer can produce such deep black and so exquisite nuances.
The maki-e technique is coated with several layers of natural lacquer, hardened and polished one by one. They are printed and decorated with gold leaf or dust, which overlap. Silver powder, pearl or eggshell are, sometimes, mixed with gold to enrich the ornament.
On the border between the craft and artwork, the maki-e requires a great skill. Nowadays, Namiki perpetuates this artistic tradition and presents a series of fountain pens decorated by the Maki-e technique.
Shishiai Togidashi Maki-e
（Combined Raised and Burnished Maki-e)）
Shishiai Togidashi Maki-e is the intricate combination of Taka(raised)Maki-e and Togidashi(burnished)Maki-e,and the highest level of Maki-e requiring very advanced techniques.Urushi lacquer and charcoal powder are used to bring up the main design in high relief.Then raised elements are smoothed to a grandient and burnished to a uniform lustre.
On completion of back ground and other elements of the scene using Togidashi Maki-e techniques, greater emphasis is provided to the main design through the use of other materials such as lacquer and charcoal powder. The design is then finished using the same techniques as those used in Hira(flat) Maki-e. The result is an impression of stately opulence.
After finishing the back ground and other scene features by Togidashi Maki-e, then the main design is created using Hira Maki-e techniques.
Hira Maki-e（Flat Maki-e）
The lacquered main design is decorated with sprinkled gold and silver powders. Sevelal additional layers of lacquer are then applied. After the lacquer is hardened, it is then burnished.
Various metal sheets such as gold or silver are cut out into the desired shape and embedded into the lacquer surface.These metal figures are then secured in place with further layers of lacquer. The surface of the Urushi lacquer is burnished with charcoal to reveal the embedded design.
The design is created using small pieces or powder of quail shells. It is embedded into the lacquered surface and coated with lacquer. Then, the surface of the lacquer is burnished to reveal the design.
The inside surface stratum of various shells such as turban, trumpet and ear shaped shells etc. are pealed off in a thin layer. They are then cut into small pieces and these are coated with Urushi lacquer to secure them in place. This is then burnished to create a finish.
A technique involving special chisels are used to engrave a pattern onto the lacquered surface. The design is imbued with colour by applying an additional layer of lacquer to the chisel’s tracings and inlaying gold leaf or gold powder.
UNESCO has recognized as World Heritage the highest peak in Japan, Mount Fuji, which reaches 3776 meters. Its official name is “Mount Fuji: cult object and source of art.” It has become the seventeenth place of Japan considered as a World Heritage Site.
Considered sacred since ancient times, it has been an special accessory of Japanese painters, as the master of Japanese print Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) with its Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku Sanjurokkei, 1831). They have a strong influence of European impressionists. In 1835, Hokusai published Hundred Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku Hyakkei) as three books in black and gray.
The Dragon with Cumulus design exhibits good fortune & power in the japanese culture. This line features a smooth flowing 14 karat gold nib which delivers a superb, consistent line. According to the Japanese Mythology, the dragon is one of the four Sacred Beasts.
Urushi, the red material that forms the surface of this pen is made from the sap from Japanese lacquer tree. The process of collecting the Urushi (sap) and applying many layers of lacquer to this fountain pen took three months to complete. A must for Japanese culture and fountain pen enthusiasts.
This collection comes with 18 karat gold nib. A special ink bottle completes the striking presentation. The pen is presented in a traditional japanese wooden gift box.