The question is whether you view design as a necessity or a luxury. If you view good design as a luxury, you will take the nouveau riche approach to life, by which I mean that you will flaunt branded high-quality objects where others can see them. Your living room will be elegant while the rest of your house may be a pig-sty. You will carry a Celine handbag but wear tattered knickers. You know the type.
If you view design as a necessity, you will insist on elegant high-quality objects even while roughing it. This fountain pen is for the latter group of people who view design not as a contrived accessory that can be put away when the crowds disappear but as something as necessary as air or oxygen.
The great outdoors is the fantasy. But how to access the great outdoors varies from culture to culture. In Japan, there is this lovely term called shinrin-yoku or forest bathing. People repair to the woods like Thoreau did to reclaim their souls and rejuvenate their selves. The ancient Hindus called this “vanaprastha”, or retreating into the forest. Today, we carry accessories ranging from a simple backpack to a GPS. But what about your favourite fountain pen? Do you need to carry it to the forest? Probably not. Would you want to? With this product, most definitely yes.
In this age of emojis and abbreviated texts (IMHO, ROTFL), does anyone actually use a fountain pen anymore? Lovers of calligraphy and handwriting can mourn the loss of actually written letters in the age of SMSes and texts. Then again, what do you need these days beyond your smartphone. It sends money, messages, location and love. Even so, consumers around the world buy wallets, bags, Valentine’s Day cards and yes, fountain pens. So, yes, the reality is that you don’t need most objects, but how poor a world it would be if you couldn’t scribble or doodle your thoughts, preferably on recycled paper with a fountain pen.
Kohezi is an online store based in Amsterdam that stocks a small list of products, primarily from Taiwanese and Japanese designers. The word links the Dutch pronunciation to the English word, “cohesion”, and has to do with respecting natural materials. Y Studio is one of the designers featured in the store. Based in Taiwan, Y Studio makes beautiful stationary objects: pens, pencils, paper and cards.
The portable fountain pen comes in a minimalist box with the inscription: the weight of your words. There is some sort of kanji type calligraphy on top. The fountain pen is made with copper with a gold nib made by Schmidt, a German company. The ink is refillable. The cover has a protrusion that neatly slides into the straight cut on top of the pen-holder. You insert the supplied leather lace and link it to whichever object you are carrying, be it a backpack or a handbag.
The fountain pen container is also gorgeous. Made of white maple (wood), which happens to end up black, it is smooth and hand-carved or curved into a cylindrical container.
It is also overkill. Chances are that this pen will rarely see the inside of its container. Use it instead for your pencils or brushes.
The Y Studio portable fountain pen is available at Kohezi for €140.00. It is shipped worldwide.
The bottom line:
This may well be one of the most beautiful fountain pens you will behold and use. It is tactile, has girth and weight and the ink never dries up, thanks to its heavy duty cover. The only problem? You won’t want to take it camping lest you lose it. So this object with a very specific purpose may not be the purpose you use it for.