Pilot’s Pen Doctor Mr. Atsushi Takizawa is here in Singapore for a 3-day fountain pen clinic. I dropped by Aesthetic Bay yesterday for my slot with Mr. Takizawa. He had neatly organised plastic boxes of work tools all stacked cleanly on the table. I handed him my Pilot Murex. I had found the ink flow was a little dry. He took a look through the loupe, flushed the pen and cleaned the pen using the ultrasonic cleaner. He offered me a choice of ink between Pilot Blue, Black and Blue Black. I went with Pilot Blue. With his steady hands, he adjusted the nib by running over micro-mesh. He constantly checking his work by running the pen over paper and looking through the loupe.
I handed him my Pilot Myu 701, I had only wanted a deep cleaning session for the pen because Pilot has specialised tools to remove the feed from the pen. Mr. Takizawa found the nib has a different curvature than was normal. I suspected the previous owner has attempted to make the nib wetter. He disassembled the pen fully. The Myu 701 like the Murex took a bath in the ultrasonic cleaner and emerged from the adjustments a different pen. The nib wrote dryer than before, just what I needed as a lefty. Mr. Takizawa has reset my pens to their factory settings. Many others have had their pens worked on by him over the 3 day pen clinic in Singapore. I am glad that we get to enjoy Pilot’s Pen Doctor Mr. Takizawa’s services here in Singapore.
I was also honoured with a chance to do an interview with Mr. Takizawa. My thanks to Pilot Singapore for providing me the opportunity.
How did you stepped onto the path of being a nib specialist?
When I started, I was in the design team where we make the mould of a fountain pen nib. However, I came to know about the job of a pen doctor and was invited to attend a workshop. Since then, I never looked back and became a nib specialist.
How does one get trained to be a nib specialist?
My predecessor taught me. Besides that, I also trained and learnt from daily work experience back when I was moulding fountain pen nibs.
Does your background in mould designing inform your work as a nib specialist? If so, how?
Yes. However the experience is not connected the pen doctor career. I was invited the chance to attend a workshop. After which, Pilot Japan offered me the job and I accepted it.
What is a typical day at work for a nib specialist?
I start work around 9 in the morning and start repairing and adjusting customer’s nibs. If the condition is too severe, we would send it back to the company and await for the instructions on how to service it.
What are challenges do you face when servicing fountain pens?
If a customer is not satisfied with my adjustment, I will try to continue to adjust until he/she is satisfied.
Pilot offers a wide range of speciality nibs, are there any common misconception regarding any of these speciality nibs?
There is a popular video on YouTube where a Pilot Falcon fountain pen is used to demonstrate calligraphy. The Falcon nib in the video has been modified and I would not encourage users to modify their nibs.
As calligraphy uses strong strokes, it is not suitable for the soft Falcon nib. Users who are looking to do calligraphy should consider the Pilot Elabo fountain pen as it has a harder nib that can withstand the stronger strokes.
Personally, I am a left handed user, how does that affect the way you approach adjusting the nib?
Generally, left handed writing on fountain pens causes poor ink flow. My job would be to adjust the nib to ensure there is good ink flow for my left-handed customers.
In your opinion, how does Pilot differ from other Japanese fountain pen manufacturers?
In my opinion, pen point is the most important part of fountain pen. The pen point used in Pilot fountain pens is the result of years of technological refinement.
In your experience, is there any difference in preferences between Japanese and Singaporean fountain pen users?
Singaporeans prefer exciting design and brand status as compared to Japanese. On the other hand, fountain pen users from both countries share a common focus on writing experience.
What is your favourite Pilot pen, nib and ink combination?
My favourite Pilot pen is the (Pilot Vanishing Point) Capless Broad nib and (Pilot) Iroshizuku Ama Iro ink.
Check out Inky Passion’s interview with Mr. Takizawa.
Pssst! Though it is 31st January I have made a head start on my letters. Plus I have purchased a stack of envelope and stamps in preparation for InCoWriMo. Join me in InCoWriMo 2015.
Passion is contagious. It is infectious. I have people in my life that are filled to the brim with that sort of passion and energy. I am lucky that way. When they share their enthusiasm with me, I can’t help but be pulled along by their excitment. The word “hobby” or “past time” would be too light a word to categorise the activity. Be it music or movies or film, the activity means so much to them. It is the very essence of their being, without the activity that inspires them, they wouldn’t be themselves.
However, they do not only just affect you with their passion but they also encourage others to try in the area of their interest. In fact, they are so happy when others show the least bit of interest in what they love. When I talk to them about their area of intense interest, I would be thinking that I should better myself in any tiny way possible, just so I can be more like them. Not only just bettering myself, I would be convinced that I am totally capable of attaining at least a certain level of skill in playing the guitar or I would be able to actually complete my novel or do whatever I put my mind to, though I have had many such attempts fail.
These people inspire me. Their energy fuel me. I am envious and just a little jealous. I wish I can be like them one day, some day. And have something that I am that passionate about. In the end, I am thankful for the passionate people in my life.
Reading is more than a hobby. It is something essential to my way of life. It feeds my soul in ways that a good movie or game cannot. I started reading at a young age. My father is a avid reader and visits to the library were frequent when I was a child. That started my life long love of reading. Books and comics bring me to an alternate world in a sustained and detailed manner that is just different from any other medium.
My favourite genre has got to be fantasy and science fiction. From epic fantasy to hard science fiction I devour them all. Some of my favourite authors include:
- Brandon Sanderson, Elantris
- Robin Hobb, Assassin series
- George R R Martin, Song of Ice and Fire
- Patrick Rothfuss, The Kingkiller Chronicles
- John Scalzi, Old Man’s War
- James S. A. Corey, The Expanse
- Jim Butcher, The Dresden Files.
I got into Marvel comics in my teens. I read X-men and my favourite character is Gambit. I stopped reading comics for a long time after my teens but I recently got back into reading them when I discovered Comixology. Comixology saves me the trouble from having to find space for my comics. It makes life so much easier to just read my comics off my iPad Mini. I am now back into reading X-men and discovering new and exciting titles.
At the same time, I started reading manga (Japanese comics) that were translated to chinese. I had always been a potato eater (Jiak Kan Tan) aka english speaker. My chinese was horrible both written and spoken. That all changed when I discovered manga and it helped me more than all the tuition I had when I was taking my O’ Levels. Some of my favourite series include:
- One Piece
- Ruroni Kenshin
- Hikaru no Go
- Samurai Deeper Kyo
- Fullmetal Alchemist
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments.
It seems that I cannot afford to keep my teeth healthy and whole. It’s the end of the year. It’s that time where every working adult realised that they have unclaimed dental benefits and everyone starts setting up dental appointments. I am one of them. I set up an appointment at a dental clinic near my office at Chinatown when my usual one had no available slots for me till 2013.
I found out that the clinic charged a consultation fee for all first time customers. That’s $20 gone without anything done. Then, scaling and polishing was $60 - $100, mine was $70. Then I was prescibed a mouth wash because my wisdom tooth is swollen. That’s another $10. The total came up to $100 + $7 (for GST)
All that is fine, since I have dental coverage of $100 every year. However, the dentist found 5 holes that needed filling. The dentist advised me to do an x-ray first before doing the filling so that he has something to go by. I had also asked him if my wisdom teeth needed removing. He told me the reason my wisdom teeth keep swelling on and off is due to the food getting stuck and rotting the teeth. It is probably wiser to remove them now before the infection spreads to the neighbouring tooth. Then, you would have to remove the neighbouring tooth as well.
How much does it costs to fill a teeth? $50 - $100 per teeth. So that’s 250 at a minimum. X-rays are going at $60 each. Finally, the extraction of all 4 wisdom teeth is a grand total of about $1000.
Conclusion, I can’t afford to keep my teeth healthy.