Behind every single beautiful pen that you are holding is the many-month process of creation and dedication. Our artisans have devoted their whole life into the art and created beautiful artwork that can be used for decades. These are the arts of 9000-thousand-year history and it takes lifetime delicacy to create a product with such traditional values.
* Please note that we do not publish information and pictures of some artisans per their requests.
Master Okagaki Yukie
Master Okagaki Yukie has crafted amazing shippoyaki arts for the Seven Treasures fountain pen.
Growing up in the land of traditional crafts, Master developed a strong passion for arts and designs, and had her life tied to this field by starting her major at Kuwasawa Design School.
In 1968, after a few years working for Nitto Boseki (日東紡績) Co., Ldt., Master Okagaki founded Okagaki Shippo Research Institute (岡垣七宝研究所) where she and a group of artisans have done a lot of research about Japanese Shippo as well as created many Shippoyaki masterpieces.
In 1970, Master Okagaki joined Japan Cloisonne Craft Association (日本七宝クラフト協会入会).
In 1973, she received the Tokyo Governor's Award at the Japan Cloisonne Craft Association Exhibition (日本七宝クラフト協会展東京都知事賞受賞).
In 1975, Master Okagaki's shippoyaki art was chosen for 日展展 - Nitten The Japan Fine Arts Exhibition, one of the most honorable recognition for artists in Japan.
In the same year Master's artwork was selected for the Japanese Contemporary Crafts Exhibition (日本現代工芸美術展入選).
In 1978, Master Okagaki won the 1st International Cloisonne Exhibition Bronze Award (第1回国際七宝展銅賞) and Japan Cloisonne Writer Association Award. She won another 8 awards in these two exhibitions following years.
1990 marked her first Shippoyaki artwork exhibition in Tottori Daimaru. This exhibition has been held for 6 times until today.
In 1993, Master Okagaki became a writer of Japan Cloisonne Writers Association Exhibition (日本七宝作家協会展審査員)
In 2009, she won the Yukawa Sosuke Prize (湯川惣助賞受賞).
Since then, Master Okagaki served as Vice President of Nakazono Cloisonne Association (中園七宝協会副会長) and now a special member of the Japan Cloisonne Writers Association (日本七宝作家協会特別会員).
Master Tsutomu Taya
Master Taya is the former president (理事長) of Wajima Urushi Association (輪島漆器商工業協同組合) and the former owner of Taya Shikkiten (田谷漆器店) that holds a history of 200 years in making lacquerware products. With 63-year hands-on experience in lacquerware technique, Master Taya is one of the top Masters in Japanese lacquerware creation. Believing that "Once the traditional technique disappears, we cannot revive such valuable art", Master Taya has spent his whole life to master the lacquerware techniques and pass it to the next generations. His son, Mr. Akihiro Taya is also current vice-president of the Association and owner of Taya Shikkiten.
With many years of experience as a Maki-e artisan, Master Yamanoshita has created precious artwork not only on fountain pens but also many other luxury lacquerware products.
To Master Yamanoshita, every single maki-e product caries it own story and spirits which can bring luck, prosperity and peace.
Master Toshiaki Hiko
With 36 years of experience in doing coating for Urushi products, Master Hiko enjoys his everyday work with the beautiful Urushi layers. This job requires great attention and patience but it never fails to motivate Master Hiko. He believes that creating a smooth base coating is the first step toward making a perfect lacquerware product.
Master Mitsuo Uwamaki
Master Uwamaki already possessed a 33-year experience in making Urushi lacquer and doing the base coating. Creating a satisfying Urushi lacquer without any flaw is one of the steps that Master Uwamaki spent his whole career to learn and master.
Master Satomi Hira
Master Hira, whose age still remains a secret is one of very few ladies spending her whole day in lacquerware workshop and making Urushi products. Master Hira loves the perfect shape and beauty of the final artwork. Her main role is sharpening and scraping of lacquer products, which requires a lot of detailed attention and significant effort over a long course of time.
Background of Master Hirota:
1988: Graduated from Joshibi University of Art and Design
1991: Completed research course at Kagawa Prefecture Urushi Art Institute; Selected for Japan Traditional Lacquer Art Exhibition
1993: Graduated from Kagawa Prefecture Urushi Art Institute; Fukuoka Art Exhibition First Prize
1994: Fukuoka Art Exhibition Board of Education Award; Selected for Japan Industrial Arts Association Western Art Exhibition
1995: Selected for Japanese Traditional Crafts Exhibition; Western Crafts Exhibition Urasoe Mayor's Award
1996: Buzen City Cultural Merit Award
1997: Seibu Crafts Exhibition Award of Mayor of Urasoe
1998: Fukuoka Art Exhibition West Japan Newspaper Award
1999: Became a member of Fukuoka Art Association; Certificated as a regular member of Japan Crafts Association
2004: OAB Oita Asahi Broadcasting Award at Western Crafts Exhibition
2005: Oita Mayor's Award at Western Crafts Exhibition
2006: Solo Exhibition at Buddha Museum
2008: Western Traditional Craft Exhibition Asahi Welfare Culture Corporation Award
Master Yoko Hirota
With a great interest in traditional handmade crafts since elementary school, master Hirota decided to choose this path and developed a strong passion for Japanese Urushi-making traditions. Master Hirota now has more than 30 years of hands-on experience in making Urushi and Maki-e.
Hirota's artwork focus on the stylish minimalism and durability of the objects. Either it's a pair of chopsticks that serve everyday meals or it's an ornament used in the palace, it must last long and express aesthetics of Japan's art.