I missed the Pilot Pen Clinic, but…

I blogged a few days ago that there was going to be a Pilot Pen Clinic in Singapore, and I had to miss it due to work trips. It was a rare event that I wish I could have attended, and met the Pen Doctor, Mr. Atsushi Takizawa, in person. It was really too bad that there was a schedule conflict! Nevertheless, Pilot Singapore and Mr. Takizawa have very kindly accommodated to my request of doing an email interview instead of a face-to-face one, so I am really appreciative of this opportunity to ask Mr. Takizawa a few questions.


Mr. Atsushi Takizawa cleaning a pen nib

Mr. Atsushi Takizawa is Namiki’s nib specialist, with 14 years of expertise in mould designing for pens and jewellery before he specialized in nibs. He has been travelling globally to service Namiki pens since 2005. I was curious about some of his personal preferences and experience and was interested in his perspectives of nib choices. Here were the questions asked and the answers provided:

Nibmeisters and a pen doctor like you are highly respected in the fountain pen community due to the high level of expertise you possess. It is certainly interesting for us to learn about your life as a pen doctor and nib specialist back in Japan. Could you give us some insights?
Before becoming a pen doctor, I worked in a factory to make the mould of the fountain pen nib. It is good experience for a pen doctor job because I get to learn the mechanism. Now I am checking and maintaining a lot of pens every day. The everyday works taught me to be good pen doctor. My job is to help repair and adjust nibs to the user’s preference.

Adjustment of nibs is a very delicate activity which requires a great deal of experience and skill. Have you ever encountered a particularly difficult nib that you had to service?
A gentlemen once brought 6 fountain pens which were of different nib size and brands. He requested to change every pen to have the “same writing feel”. Regrettably, I replied that I was unable to accommodate to his request.

Do you have one single go-to Namiki fountain pen?
When I just joined the company, a predecessor gave me a Namiki-Capless. It bring backs a lot of fond memories.

How was your experience with the requirements of left-handed fountain pen users, and do you have some recommendations of nib types for a left-handed writer?
The recommended nibs are medium or WA (waverly) nibs as both nibs have good ink flow. This is because left hand fountain pen writing causes poor ink flow.

On that last bit, I do agree that the Waverly nib is a good choice for a left-hander. Being left-handed myself, I have tried the nib at Pilot’s pen meet in Singapore last year, and found it quite to my liking. I should consider getting that nib for the next Namiki pen that I will buy!

Once again, I wish I had done this interview in person instead, but I am really happy to receive the answers to my questions. For this, I’d like to thank Mr. Atsushi Takizawa, Felicia, and Pilot Singapore very much, and I hope to have the opportunity to meet Mr. Takizawa in person in future, and to attend a future Pilot Pen Clinic too!

For more information about Namiki’s Maki-e techniques, check out the video on their website: http://www.pilot-namiki.com/en/technique/

I would love to hear your thoughts!