Carrying on with some more maki-e, this came in the same shipment as last week’s Platinum Standard: my very first brush pen!
It came packaged in a beautiful light wooden case with some rice paper and 3 cartridges of sumi ink, and had a little booklet which explained how to care for the brush. The bristles are made of weasel hair and are really soft and smooth.
The maki-e on this is done in the same way as in the previous review: a screen-printed design that is slightly raised. That does not detract at all from how beautiful it is: everything has a slight pearlescent shine to it, especially pronounced in the silver rabbit and the clouds, and the rabbit-and-moon motif is a familiar from Eastern mythology.
The pen itself is far lighter than any fountain pen, and rather slim, which I like. It definitely reminds me of Chinese bamboo calligraphy brushes, weighing this close to nothing. The snap cap is also very tight compared to fountain pens, presumably for an airtight seal. I think there is a slip-and-seal inner cap in the Platinum style as well, because I have never experienced any drying out.
Ink is supplied with Platinum proprietary cartridges, and you can use a Platinum converter as well. For the purposes of this review, I loaded the brush with Pelikan 4001 Violet, which was a freshly-bought bottle.
However, I think I jumped in a little too deep with this one: I didn’t have any experience writing with brush pens, and wanted to learn, but a brush this soft is hard to control. I would definitely recommend firmer brushes for brush writing, at least at any speed that is faster than very slow, but that also depends on the user’s skill level. On the other hand, it is excellent for Eastern scripts, and I’ve had lots of fun writing in tiny sizes using the very tip of the brush. You’ll get loads of variation on this one: it exceeds 5mm easily, while still allowing for lines down to 0.3mm or less.
I’m not entirely convinced even now (almost a year later) that I’m good enough at Western brush calligraphy for it to work on this pen; as you’ll see in the writing sample, there’s still tons of unevenness.
To finish, I would like to point out something strange I discovered in the course of writing this review: the Pelikan ink would come out of the brush as a light bluish-purple, then change colour over a few hours to settle at the purple seen above in the writing sample. The ink dried quickly but the colours kept changing…
This is the first time I'm using Pelikan 4001 Violet, and the ink writes a light bluish colour before drying *over several hours* to the final purple. Is this normal? 😓 (Purple from 10 hours ago, lighter shade made just before the photo was taken.) At any rate, I'm reviewing the brush pictured — a Kuretake weasel-hair brush that takes fountain pen inks! It'll be up later tonight. #fountainpens #penandink #brush #fude #brushlettering #calligraphy #kuretake #makie #rabbit #fabriano #pelikan #violet #4001 #review