Welcome to 2022! Once again, my first post of the year is about pens. And there are several more this month.
Early in 2021, I commissioned a Día de Muertos pen from Mr. Cypress. I wrote a 3-part series about that experience (part 1 | part 2 | part 3). At the end of the year, I purchased a second pen from Mr. Cypress, which also has a skull-based design. This puts me in the unique position to compare the two.
My overal observation is that they have clearly “upped their game.” The new pen has a higher level of detail, more accurate raden placement, and less “flaws.”
A couple of interesting differences are the weight balance and type of shell used. The first pen is weighted more evently. The cap and barrel feel about the same in my pands. The new pen, however, has a heavier cap.
I don’t know if “type” of shell is the right way to refer to it, but there is a definite difference between the two pens. The older pen shows significantly more green in the shine when tilted. The newer pen has more pink.
In my final post about the first pen, I was very upfront that there are flaws. This new pen, however, is nearly flawless in my eyes. Surprisingly, however, it still retains a sense of human craftsmanship, a handmade character, if you will. The details painted (I think they’re painted) ovr the shell are almost sketchy. They remind me of early hand-drawn animation in the best way.
As you can see in the photos below, the new skull has significantly more small detail than the older skulls. While the new skull is larger, The areas in which the details have been included are of a similar size to the older skulls.
The placement of the raden is also, as I mentioned before, much more precise. The only misalignment I can find on the new pen is on the barrel finial.
And that misalignment is less noticeable than some of the ones on the first pen.
There also don’t appear to be any of the obvious flaws that the first pen had — missing/too thin lacquer, uneven surfaces, rough cut-outs, etc. This newer pen is really just a superior product.
I have two theories as to why there is such a difference between the quality of the two pens.
The first: practice. My first pen was Mr. Cypress’ first attempt at a foreign motif styling. The newer pen is at least #2, most likely #5 to #8, based on when they’ve posted pen photos. I’m assuming they post photos of pens as they finish them. And that count is only taking the skull based pens into consideration.
The second: type of production. My first pen was a commission. This second one they did in their own time. I suppose it’s possible they rush commissions.
Of course, both of my theories could be completely incorrect. Either, or both, of my pens could be anomalies in Mr. Cypress’ production quality. Regardless, I love them, and would definitely recommend Mr. Cypress pens to anyone.
So, do you have any Mr. Cypress pens? What do you think of my new Mr. Cypress pen? Which one do you prefer? Let me know in the comments.