October 13, 2004 Pilot Pen is world renowned for its popular and affordable ink tools. This year they also released their most expensive model - the Shark - a hand crafted limited edition collector pen in the Namiki line of fine writing instruments that retails for US$10,000.
Combining exceptional artistic vision with top-level craftsmanship and the finest materials, each hand-made Shark pen takes one artist four months to complete, using the traditional raised Maki-e (raised lacquer work) technique, painting the illustration on the body of the pen with brushes so small that some have only two rat-hair bristles.
Only 80 pens will be released worldwide so retail value is sure to soar.
The craft of Maki-e goes back to Seventh Century Japan and there are only a handful of artists who are certified to work in this medium. Namiki has long employed Kyusai Yoshida, the acknowledged master in the field (certified by the Japanese Ministry of Labor as First Class Maki-e Technician), in addition to a team of top craftsmen.
The task of transforming an outline drawing into a complex decoration of sprinkled powders and fine lines is lengthy and requires many years of study and practice.
The lacquer itself comes from trees that grow only in Asia and the ornamentation is done with 18k gold and sterling silver.
The result is a rare catch indeed for connoisseurs and collectors of fine writing instruments.