Urushi has a millennia-old tradition in the East Asian region, in particular in Japan, China, and Korea, and has been preserved as part of the countrys’ cultural heritage to the present day. LAMY has brought the art of urushi to the 2021 LAMY Dialog Urushi Limited Edition pens. The Japanese term “urushi” describes the material — often also called Japanese or Chinese lacquer — as well as the technique with which it is processed and applied. This lacquer technique has been used to decorate items like chopsticks, plates, bowls, and even caskets. Urushi decorates an object as much as it protects, especially when applied by an expert. Manfred Schmid is said expert. Though once a cabinet maker, he first learned the art of urushi at two famous art institutions in Barcelona before honing his skills over the next two decades.
The 2021 LAMY Dialog Urushi Limited Edition consists of two editions of the fountain pen as designed by Schmid: a dark, brooding number titled Mystic Leaves underscored by a blue niobium base layer; and its partner, Bright Leaves, plated with a wafer-thin veneer of gold via the physical vapor deposition method. The designs of the Mystic Leaves and Bright Leaves models are based on the transformation of the visible structures of leaves onto the fountain pens using the properties of the urushi varnish. This transformation does not occur by simply painting the leaves on the surfaces of the fountain pens. The corresponding structures in the surface of the instruments are rather created through the specific properties of the varnish and special paintbrush techniques. The fountain pens themselves are LAMY Dialog 3s, which are twist-action with a retractable gold nib for precise and beautiful script. Available in September, only 20 examples of each of the LAMY Dialog Urushi Leaves will be made.
For more about LAMY’s fountain pens, check out its 2000 Brown Piston Fountain Pen.