Fountain pens Reviews

Copper & Urushi: a unique pen

Being a contributor to United Inkdom is a real pleasure, as I get to use and review some incredible pens and this is no exception.

The talanted UK pen maker behind this copper and urushi enamelled fountain pen is Ruth Bolton, who has yet to have her website set up but you can see her work on Instagram @shibui.north and believe me her pens are stunning.

This is her new Kibo pen in copper finished with an urushi enamelling technique called yaketsuke, which is baked in an oven rather than slowly air cured. This makes for a harder, glossier finish and is a much quicker process – days rather than weeks or months. However, Ruth has been studying urushi for a long time including time living in Japan and started learning the more traditional air cured urushi finishes, so her expertise and obvious skill isn’t deminished by the faster results.

Ruth hand machines the Kibo pens in copper, brass and aluminium and on the 1st June 2021 launched her latest Kickstarter project Urushi Enamelled Metal Pens – It has been a dream of hers for the past ten years to create these pens and finally it is ready – do go and check it out.

The urushi finish on this pen is called Sabi and is applied using a sponge to create a weathered look and that’s exactly what it looks like. Together with the copper, which is a softer metal and produces its own worn effects and patina, it immediately looks like a vintage pen, though you can also get it in the beautifully polished metal without the urushi.

Now, the one thing to note about this pen is that it is very heavy – capped it comes in at 140g and 101g uncapped. It’s the same for her brass pen, but for those of you who might not find such a weighty pen appealing, she also does an aluminium version, which is much lighter at 80g capped.

The length is 141mm and the section diameter is 13mm at its thickest point and that is a very comfortable size in my hand.

The threading is a triple start and uncaps in two turns. As I may have mentioned in previous reviews the threading and finish of the section are really important to me, i.e. that they don’t interfere with how I hold my pen. Happily this one is just fine and the urushi finishing and taper makes it nice to hold.

The look and feel of this pen is great, but the weight is definitely something that makes me think twice, as my hand suffered from fatigue from just writing a couple of A5 pages.

But that’s ok, as it will be fine for others and I’m going to get one of her aluminium pens but with a Kara Nuri finish, which I’ve been lusting after ever since I first came across urushi pens.

It is quite something to have a UK pen maker that not only makes her own pens but also uses urushi to finish them, so I highly recommend supporting her, as I have a feeling she’s going to be producing amazing pens over the next few years. Ruth is also very friendly and happy to talk to you about her work and design something very special.

NB: I am not affiliated in any way and the pen was loaned to me for review purposes by United Inkdom –


By jomatthews

Colour, that's what I love and I get my colour fix from fountain pens and because they provide practically every colour under the sun the possibilities for use are only down to the limits of your imagination.

One reply on “Copper & Urushi: a unique pen”

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