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Día de Muertos, Pen Realized

Posted in Fountain Pens

I’m back with post three, so you know what that means. My pen arrived! If you have read my previous posts (1, 2), I suggest you do so to know how this pen came to be. Be forewarned, there is A LOT of pen porn in this post. And you can click/tap any image to view it larger. I take no responsibility for pen envy, pen lust, or pen purchases resulting from the content in this post.

The Notification

On Tuesday, April 27, Mr. Cypress sent me a message on Instagram to let me know my pen was ready. And OH. MY. GOD. The photos they included.

Mr. Cypress sent me a link I could use to pay, which I did, and by the next morning, I had a photo of the shipping label. It was a very easy process.


FedEx’s tracking projected my pen would arrive on Monday, May 3, but they outdid themselves and got it to me by Friday, April 30. You can probably imagine my excitement when I checked my tracking app for a different package, only to discover that FedEx had stealthily delivered my día de muertos pen. I didn’t waste a moment to hurry downstairs and grab it.

The Unboxing

I poked my head into Jim’s office to tell him “It’s here,” once I’d brought it inside. He helped me film an unboxing; although, sadly, my phone literally couldn’t handle the beauty of raden. If you want to watch the video, you can find it on my Instagram.

The pen came very well packaged. There was the outer, cardboard box; a layer of bubble wrap; the inner, bamboo box — with a magnetic lid; a layer of bubble wrap; a hard plastic pen tube; and a drawstring bag all protecting it. Nothing was happening to it during transit.

All of the things that came with my pen.

Once I had the pen out, I was astonished. It’s gorgeous. Truly stunning. It absolutely blows my greatest expectations out of the water.

The Critique

As much as I love my pen, I want to be completely transparent. There are flaws. However, I would say most, if not all, seem to be in the finishing stages. Granted, I am certainly no lacquer work expert. Although it could be argued whether or not this would affect the final result, I think it’s worth noting that this is the first pen that Mr. Cypress has completed that isn’t based on Asian imagery, styling, and iconography.

The section suffered the most, looking almost as though the final layer of lacquer/urushi was forgotten.

Dia de Muertos pen section
See that matte area around each diamond?

The body has a few oddities, either areas that didn’t get polished enough, or that didn’t quite get filled in enough. Also on the body is an area that seems to not have enough lacquer, as you can see markings underneath. Finally, the candles at the end of the body have some slight placement issues.

The cap has minor placement issues as well, and a couple of spots where the lacquer overlays the shell. I think the biggest misplacement issue on the pen is the flower on the cap. However, seeing as part of día de muertos revolves around marigold petals, perhaps the petal is merely getting plucked. 🙂

Of these flaws, only the section actually bothers me at all, and that’s because it’s in front of my face, and under my fingers.

Overall Thoughts

Because I paid half — or less — that I would pay from most of the big companies that do urishi/raden pens, I can’t be particularly bothered. I got an absolutely stunning work of art custom made for me. And not just any custom work, it’s raden work the likes of which I’ve never seen done before.

Dia de Muertos pen
Look at all those colors!

I also feel like the slight positioning flaws give my pen a more “human” feel, like a real person made it. I can picture someone working hard on it, putting their time and love into the art. While I admire the perfection of the work on the lacquer-based pens from Platinum and Pelikan, among others, it’s harder for me to picture someone working on them. The perfection is unreal, almost mechanical, to me.

I’m really happy with my día de muertos pen. Despite Mr. Cypress’ original warning, it’s not “one color” at all. The iridescence of the shell gives it nearly all the colors of the holiday. It’s one of my “always inked” pens, and I know it’s going to bring me joy for many years. If I had to rate it, I think I’d give it an 8.5/10. And I 100% would recommend Mr. Cypress to anyone.

So What Did I Ink it With?

I currently have Platinum Mixables Sunny Yellow in it. However, I’ll be ordering some ink samples to find a good marigold petal colored ink. I’ve got to keep the día de muertos theme going.

Mr. Cypress, Thank you for such a beautiful pen. I'll cherish it for years to come.

TLDR: A few flaws, but 8.5/10. Love this pen, would recommend Mr. Cypress.

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