By serendipity, I learned about fude nib fountain pen by Sailor by reading Bruno Taut’s Crónicas Estilográficas. It is considered a specialty nib and the price is as special as the nib shape (around $365-$655, depending on the pen model). Fortunately, Sailor does produce an economy version of it that costs $16.
The body of the pen printed “ふでDEまんえん,” which literally means “brush stroke fountain pen.” The first impression I had of the pen is its extended length compared to regular fountain pens. It measures 17cm (6.7inch) with the cap on and 19cm (7.5inch) with the cap posted. Instead of resting one’s wrist on the desk surface, one holds the brush pen toward the end of the barrel with wrist raised; hence that explains the extraordinary length of this fountain pen.
The look of the nib is rather curious. The tip of the nib is raised in a 40-degree angle, and this angle is determined by drawing an imaginary line from the base of the tip. The line width varies as you change the writing angle. When you hold the fude nib as a regular fountain pen, you will produce a wide stroke. As you adjust the writing angle closer to 90 degrees (almost perpendicular to the paper), the line becomes finer. It almost feels like you are having several different nibs in one, which is quite amazing.
|Look at that nib tip tilted at an upward angle! It looks extraordinary|
|With Sailor’s trademark anchor engraves on the nib, it is the simple elegance of the nib that draws me to it.|
One other fascinating thing about this nib is that it seems to bring out the shading quality of a given ink. It also gives a feeling of watercolor. The broader stroke also gives a sense of “artsiness” to ordinary writing.
|Written at 40-45 degrees. Paper: Apica|
The shading is still visible with thinner strokes.
|About 60 degrees|
|At 90 degrees. It is as if you are using a regular fine nib fountain pen.|
So can you use this pen to do calligraphy in characters? Yes, it is possible. It takes a bit to adjust, since it is definitely not as flexible as a regular brush pen, but it is amazing how the nib can do different strokes precisely. Too bad that I cannot do any other print type besides standard printing in Chinese calligraphy, otherwise, the line variation and fluidity will be more prominent.
|The two lines roughly translated to “Budding red plum shows contempt to winter snow. Burgeoning catkin of the willow welcomes the spring.”|
Here are more reviews on the same pen, done by fountain pen gurus: