How to order?
For any inquiry, please feel free to contact us directly at Manu Propria Pens http://www.manupropria-pens.ch/welcome/Contact.html

Since 2012 I maintain a daily updated Facebook site where you can find interesting information on new products, working processes http://www.facebook.com/manupropriatime

Meaning of the term "manu propria"
Manu Propria is a registered trade mark. A Latin term, literally means" made by one's own hands "Fountain Pens marked or signed with the wording or sign "manu propria" are personally and completely hand-made by Martin Pauli






Where does Manu Propria buy its Urushi
Urushi is a precious natural material and the most important material in Japan lacquer art. Only 150g of sap can be collected from each mature lacquer tree over ten years old. In comparison to the world’s annual yield of diamonds which is about 30 tons, only 1.5 tons of the highest quality Japanese urushi can be obtained in a year. Manu Propria buys its urushi from a friend in Japan who collect his own urushi in the mountains of Nagano. The urushi from Nagano is considered among the best collected all over Japan
"Tenbikurome" is the term for processing and refining urushi by stirring raw lacquer in a wooden container in the Spring Sun for several hours. This process reduces the water content and the reaction to the sunlight turnes the raw lacquer into the highest quality of urushi called "Sukurome-Urushi". I am making the tenbikurome for the urushi used for Manu Propria Pens myself every Springtime


Urushi - toxic - allergic contact reactions?

Japanese lacquer is made from the sap of the Japanese lacquer tree (Toxicodendron vernicifluum). Fresh lacquer may evoke allergic contact reactions ascribable to the urushiols contained therein. Urushiol is an oil, made up of a particular class of chemicals, produced by the urushi tree "urushinoki". Sensitivity varies from person to person, tough urushiol produces a allergic reaction in more than 70% of people. Urushi dries/hardens in a constant temperature and humidity chamber "urushi muro", "urushiburo" or simply "furô" for 24 hours at +/- 25°C and relative humidity of 75% to 85%. Once urushi has dried, it is almost 0 toxic any longer, furthermore, urushi has antibacterial effects so that it is suitable for food storage. That that also strongly allergene persons can write with an Urushi fountain pen, all Manu Propria fountain pens are heated up on 150°C over a period of time. 

Assays for free urushiol in the lacquer films demonstrated that free urushiol content decreased with increasing heat treatment and that urushiols with saturated und monounsaturated alkenyl chains predominated.



Urushi Finishes - Nuritate, Roiro, Fuki-Urushi

Urushi Finishes - Nuritate, Roiro, Fuki-Urushi
There are three main urushi finishes, "nuritate", "roiro" and "fuki-urushi".
Nuritate is the term for the technique in which the final urushi coat is applied carefully with a brush. The urushi is cured in the "furo" and remains unpolished. This technique is often used on table ware like for example soup bowls. The technique also includes a final transparent layer called "tame"which remains unpolished. The surface of a high quality nuritate is normally of a satin finish. When nuritate appears glossy the urushi was mixed with oil, which again weakens the urushi film.
Roiri is the term for any urushi surface polished to a high gloss.
Fuki-Urushi is the term for the technique used to impreign wood and bamboo. Raw urushi "ki-urushi" is rubbed into the surface sevaral times until the wood is saturated


How many layers of Urushi
Urushi on Manu Propria Fountain Pens is built up on 30 to 50 different layers.