Aesthetic Bay held a Nakaya Pen Clinic from 25-27 August 2015 and I was happy to be invited to the Pen Clinic and the Thanksgiving session for the Nakaya team, which was held on the final day of the Pen Clinic.
I arrived there right after work, and there was already a crowd gathered around the table where nibmeister Shinichi Yoshida was hard at work, tuning nibs for Nakaya pen owners. There were also many pens on display, and needless to say, I was tempted by a good many of them!
It was fascinating to watch the nib tuning in progress. Yoshida-san was a humble man of few words, and he was very focused on the nib work. The speed at which he adjusts the nib was amazing! The way he ran the nib across a grey stone to smoothen it out was like an artist running his paint brush across canvas. I imagined that if I was the one doing this, I would have removed all the tipping from the pen nib. Yoshida-san also could do grinds for left-handed pen users, and I was told that he does it excellently too.
To help you choose the right type of nib for yourself, there was a multi-pen stand propped up on the master’s desk with various test pens and various nib types. The pens are all inked, so you could just pick one up and write with it. Both stiff and soft nibs were also available for testing. My favourite was the soft medium nib. I also like the soft fine, but it may have been a little too scratchy for my liking, but of course, it could be tuned to suit my hand if I had handed it to Yoshida-san.
Fellow Singaporean pen bloggers Nicholas Yeo (Inky Passion) and Junee Lim (Alt Haven) were also there, and Junee has bought for herself a Decapod Kuro-Tamenuri fountain pen. It comes in a large wooden box, and the pen is stored in a pen sleeve inside the box. I’m not sure which one I like better – the pen or the sleeve!
I didn’t buy any pens on the spot, but I have spotted one that I like very much. I believe it’s called Ishi-me Kan-shitsu. I love the textured surface of the black pen, which is made by sprinkling Urushi powder on the body, making the surface grainy.
At the end of the Pen Clinic, two of our local sketch artists presented their wonderful sketches to Yoshida-san as gifts of appreciation. The first piece was by Zhusheng Yiyu and it’s of a Supertree from our Gardens by the Bay.
The second piece was by Choo Meng Foo, and it’s of an Indian temple from Little India in Singapore. Meng Foo and Yiyu are father and son.
The intricacies of their art were amazing!
The fine evening ended in a small group dinner at Newton Circus, which is a hawker centre in Singapore selling local delicacies, and also Yoshida-san’s favourite eating place whenever he comes to Singapore.