Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Interview with the "God of Fountain Pens"

Nobuyoshi Nagahara was born in Hiroshima, 1932. He is a fountain pen craftsman, and is widely known as the "God of Fountain Pens." PingMag has a lengthy and fascinating interview with Mr. Nagahara.

Q: So when you adjust a nib, you can make it write that much more comfortably.

A: Yes, of course. One time an artist came to see me. All his drawings ended up looking the same, he said, and he asked me if I could make him a fountain pen that was easier to draw with. So I asked him to show me some of his drawings. “Your drawings don’t have any fullness to them - all the lines are the same, they’re boring.” Well, I just said what I thought. So he says “Then please see what you can do to adjust my pen.” So I took his drawings home and studied how each line flowed, every single one. His drawing style used lots and lots of lines. So, to make it easier for him to draw so many lines, I made him a nib in a V shape. And he was so surprised. “What!?” he said “With a pen like this I’ll be able to draw beautiful big, full-bodied nudes…” And off he went home with a big old grin on his face. I guess when you get two dirty minds together, nothing of much worth is ever going to come out of it (Laughs). But seriously, seeing just how close you can come to the customer’s dream - that’s what makes work so interesting.

Link (via haha.nu)