Sunday, February 28, 2010
A Spring Snow
The Taccia Snowy Dreams is at first glance, a pretty pen. But as I examined it more closely, I discovered that its beauty is much more than skin—or should I say, ebonite—deep. The pen is an example of maki-e, the ancient Japanese art form that means, literally, sprinkled picture. A spiral of raden—hand-inlaid eggshell and abalone—and hand-dusted bokashi-maki abalone climbs the barrel of the pen, making it appear as if lit from within. The trim on the pen is silver colored, accentuating the matte finish of the ebonite, which is sealed with urushi lacquer. Decorative bands belt the barrel in two places, and the cap has a simple band and an arced ring clip that lines up perfectly with the nib when it is posted via threads. Another nice touch is the button of abalone set in the cap crown. The polishing is flawless, and the pen’s balance is good. The Snowy Dreams fountain pen comes with an 18-karat gold nib, and it is filled by cartridge or converter. This is a limited edition of just 50 fountain pens and 15 rollerball pens, priced at $895 and $745 respectively. In general, I like the Taccia brand a lot—in part because and it owned and operated by a woman, Californian Shu-Jen Lin—and also because it was one of the first small pen brands to bring fashion in pen making to the fore. The whole range of moderately priced Taccia pens, some gender specific, offer good value, and needless to say, that’s important these days.
I used the Snowy Dreams to pen a letter to my dearest friend’s mother who had recently lost her husband. A pen is a powerful agent for inspiration. Sometimes it’s simply something to hold on to when the words fail.