Pilot Namiki Nippon Art Maki-e Fountain Pens are designed and produced by the celebrated artisan group called Kokkokai (國光會) who employ traditional Maki-e techniques to create these beautiful pieces of art, which feature traditional Japanese auspicious motifs on a black lacquered background. The Nippon Art collection of fountain pens features the Hira Maki-e, or Flat Maki-e, technique. The making of a Maki-e piece is an extremely labor- and time-intensive process involving a repetitive series of applying layers of lacquer, drawing the design outline, sprinkling gold and silver powders to fill in the designs, and polishing to achieve a lustrous surface. In the Hira Maki-e technique, the lacquered main design is filled in with the carefully sprinkled gold and silver powders, and then several additional layers of lacquer are applied. Once these layers harden, the surface is polished many times. A finished product can take up to 3 months, and some of the pieces go through the repetitive lacquer-drawing-sprinkling-polishing process up to 130 times.