Stunning – I could just end the review here for the Danitrio, it’s that beautiful.. and a pen that must be held to truly enjoy the work put into the Nashiji-nuri surface. Full disclosure – I tend to over-rationalize and research bigger pen purchases like this, so I had been window shopping for a Danitrio for several months. I’d been debating (procrastinating to be honest…) on which urushi finish to order from the standard options available. My Nakaya Decapod Twist is finished in Kuro-Tamenuri urushi, so I wanted to look at something a bit different this time.
From a model perspective I liked the idea of a non-traditional shape like the Nakaya, and the Sho-Hakkaku fit the bill with its faceted octagon design and clipless cap. The facets really help show off the finish and provide a flat surface to negate the need for a clip or roll stopper. When it came to the finish I had originally looked at the Ki-Dame (yellow) urushi finish—which has a wonderful warm orange blend along the edges. Just as I was about to order I came across the unique Nashiji-nuri finish at Chatterley Luxuries – and things changed. This lacquer process involves taking gold or silver flakes called nashiji-ko and sprinkling them onto the ebonite surface of the pen, on which lacquer (in this case red) has been applied. Nashiji lacquer is then applied and burnished with charcoal, so that the gold flakes can be seen through the lacquer. The origin of the name nashiji is thought to have come from the resemblance that the lacquer has to the dotted skin of a Japanese pear – or nashi.
Sitting at the business end of this pen is a #6 18k “Fireball” two-tone fine nib (sourced from Peter Bock GmbH in Germany). It has a very springy flex that works wonderfully. The smooth and responsive feedback keeps up with even my most frantic scribblings or doodles. I find two-tone nibs to be hit or miss from a design standpoint, but this one hits the mark— unlike their older JoWo “T” nibs which I find a bit dull. The large fireball design is a fantastic match for this pen—adding to the energy the pen seems to exude. The converter and feed do a good job keeping up with the nib, providing light flow when under no pressure, but putting down nice wet lines when the nib is flexed.
The pen itself is on the medium side with a capped length of only 5.28″ and a barrel length of only 4″. It’s still pretty beefy with a diameter of 0.6″ and a tapered 0.4″ section so it fits nicely in the hand. The pen does not post (though I would be paranoid to do even if it could, for fear of hurting the finish), and uses a threaded clipless cap. Weight comes in at 28g with the included converter that holds about 0.75ml of ink. It all comes packaged in a velvet lined paulownia soft wood box—similar to the Nakaya, but lacks the kimono-style pen case. One nice detail that is added at the end of the process is the signature of the artist, painted in black and gold, at the end of the barrel. These touches add to the unique quality of the pen and give it more personality.
The tough part, if anything, is the price. When you get into these hand crafted and limited run pens there is a premium price to go with it. The urushi process is slow, taking months to fully complete and with plenty of hand crafted labor needed. It’s this unique and artistic process that I believe justifies the added cost. If you’re interested in a Danitrio give Bryant a call over at Chatterley Luxuries – he is great to deal with and shipped about an hour after we talked—highly recommended!