I’m far from alone in liking maki-e and appreciating the skills and processes that go in to the creation of this form of art. As with many I often thought that my only options would be the ‘cheap’ commercial screen print pens, which are approximately £100 a pop, as the far more attractive alternatives I saw were all high end in the four figure price range and with releases been limited to single digit numbers of pens. Discovering the Namiki Nippon Art range was a revelation. Sure these pens are still £400+ outside of rare deals, but they are also much more affordable for a hand drawn piece of work.
Most people who are involved in the pen world are aware of the Sailor King of Pen. A range of over sized fountain pens with a 21k nib available either as a medium, broad, or a hand made naginata (supposedly while Nagahara-san has retired, his son is meant to be restarting a limited set of the range). Most commonly found in the cigar shape of the 1911/Profit and ranging from acrylic, through the eponymous ebonite version and on to high end and high art Maki-e master pieces, the KoP is also found to a lesser extent with the flat finials of the Pro Gear shape. Over the last number of years there has been a limited edition release of the latter based on the five Japanese elements, starting with Wind (2016), then Earth (2017), Ocean (2018) and now Fire (I expect ether/heaven will finish the set next year). The same Pro Gear limited edition can also be found in regular and slim sized models.