Why Are Japanese Calligraphy Brushes So Expensive?- InkSmooth
Why Are Japanese Calligraphy Brushes So Expensive? How are Japanese calligraphy brushes made? What are calligraphy brushes called? Let’s see all of these questions in this article.
Why Are Japanese Calligraphy Brushes So Expensive? Most Japanese Calligraphy Brushes can cost you around 1000 yen. They are made with quality bristles. And the more expensive brushes used by advanced users who have a purpose they want to achieve. At Hata Bunshindou each brush tip is made by a single artisan. Also it took months to make them.
Read further for more information about Japanese calligraphy brushes. Why are they so expensive? And how to use them?
Is Japanese Calligraphy Brush Expensive?
Japanese Calligraphy brushes are more expensive than other pens. Most Japanese calligraphy pens cost around 1000 yen. And custom special handmade Japanese brush pens can go up to $1000 USD. And compared to it a normal brush pan can cost you $10 USD.
Usual cheap calligraphy brush pens can cost you up to $10- $15 USD. That can also just do the work. But the expensive calligraphy brush pens have their own advantages.
Expensive brush pens such as Japanese calligraphy brush pens are made with high quality bristles. Sometimes custom made pens are specifically designed to achieve the result we want.
They are handmade. And it took months for an artisan to make them. Some companies like hata bunshindou each brush tip is made by a single artisan. And still it took months.
Therefore the labor cost, as well as time it took to make. And its specific design for achieving certain results make it so much expensive.
Therefore some special brush pens can cost you thousands of dollars.
And other regular machines made brushes. Which does not use good quality bristles can cost you way less. It starts from $10 USD.
Why Are Japanese Calligraphy Brush Pens So Expensive?
So let’s break down this question, Japanese calligraphy brush pens are so expensive for mainly 4 reasons. The time it takes to make. The intensive labor it requires, the high quality bristles. And lastly special custom designs.
Now let’s see one by one in detail.
1. The Time It Takes to Make.
Japanese calligraphy brush pens are handmades. It takes months to make them. Because each single bristle is made by a single artisan.
The brushmaker has to separate every single imperfect and damaged hair. And it took them months to do so. As well as every handle of brush are custom designed for specific purposes.
Therefore it took more time. Brushmakers have to assemble the hairs in a handle perfectly or it would rain the months of their hard work.
And because of this whole time consuming process it makes the Japanese calligraphy brush pens so expensive.
2. The Intensive Labor It Requires.
The second reason is the intensive labor it requires. Each single bristle has to be perfect. Even if one single hair is out of place then it must have to be removed. And this high attention to detail makes them cost thousands of dollars. Their years of experience, attention to details and intensive labor makes it so expensive.
The artist has to be experienced and trained very well. They had to pick high quality and perfect hairs by eyes and this is the hardest task to do for new brush makers. They have to be precise.
They have to boil and separate perfect size and straight hair.then throughout the process they remove every imperfect and damaged hair. Because a slight difference can make a drastic effect on the result provided by the pen.
And this took so much effort by the brushmakers. It requires perfection and attention to little details.
Then they trim the hair and give it shape. They have to shape them in particular way so the brush will stay durable.
Then they burn the bottom of hairs so they stick together. Then they assemble the hairs in handles.
Each handle is custom made for the specific purpose. And this intense task and perfection makes the brush valuable.
Therefore Japanese calligraphy brushes are so expensive.
3. High Brush Quality.
The third reason is High brush quality. The hair choice of a brush can make a huge impact on the brush price. The hair of Yangtze river delta white goats are the priciest hairs for calligraphy brush.
Hair from this specific breed of goat is classified under Type 3 hairs. It is the best and costly choice for brush making because of its size, elasticity and luster.
These hairs are very soft but durable and retain ink very well. Therefore this is the best choice for brush making. But they are very pricey. At hata bunshindou it’s the only choice for making calligraphy brush.
But Japanese calligraphy brush pens come with other types of hairs also. Such as horse hairs, raccoon hair, sheep’s wool, etc. The hair does affect the performance and price of the brush. Because it’s the main part of the brush which gets used frequently.
Hair has to be soft in order to write smoothly. Also also has to be flexible to write perfectly. As well as it has to be durable and observe ink. Therefore the quality and performance of the bristle matter the most.
And this can make a huge difference in the price of a brush. Our normal calligraphy brush pens are made with nylon bristles. Therefore it is very less expensive.
4. Special Custom Designs.
Sometimes companies make special custom designs for big artists according to their needs. You can tell them your special needs and style you want to achieve with your pen.
And they can make you a special customize brush pen for fitting your own needs. But this makes the brush so much more expensive.
The article who gets these custom brushes are very well impressed by the result of their pen. So maybe this thing is worth that much money.
And these are the main 4 reasons why Japanese calligraphy brush pens are very expensive. It is expensive because of the time artists invest to make this. It took their years of experience and specialization. Also it is handmade as well as the attention to detail paid by the artist.
See Our other article about, 5 Reasons Why is Fountain Pen Expensive?- InkSmooth
What are Calligraphy Brushes Called?
Calligraphy brush pens are also called ink brushes. It traditional Chinese it called as Máobǐ. which means writing brush.
Wondering is Calligraphy Chinese or Japanese. let’s the out here in this article- Is Calligraphy Chinese or Japanese? The Origin of Calligraphy- InkSmooth
How are Japanese Calligraphy Brushes Made?
Making a Japanese calligraphy brush pen is a very hardworking and time consuming process. Our normal calligraphy brush pens are made with a machine. They use a nylon for their bristles. And they are pretty easy to use. You can mass produce them easily. Therefore they are very cheap.
But Japanese calligraphy brush pens are very expensive. They cost up to thousands of dollars. They are handmade and go through a special process. They are very time consuming to make, therefore they are very expensive.
Let’s see the process of making Japanese calligraphy brush pens.-
Firstly everything starts with choosing perfect hair. Japanese calligraphy brushes can be made with several types of hair. Such as Alaskan horse hairs, raccoon hairs, sheep’s wool, and Yangtze river delta white goats hair.
Yangtze river delta white goats hairs was the priciest one, but it gives best performance and quality. It can cost you thousands of dollars for 1kg of hair. It’s very rare and comes in type 3 hairs.
And it’s the best hair to use in brush pens. Hairs are important because the overall performance of the brush pens depends on elasticity, flexibility and softness of the brush.
Also durability of the brush pen. Yangtze river delta white goats hairs are very soft but also durable. Therefore it is ideal for brushmaking.
But it is not that simple. You have to separate the best hair. It is done by normal eyes. Therefore it took years of experience and training. This is the hardest part for every beginner brushmaker.
Then you have to boil these hairs to make them perfect and straight. Then you have to separate every and i mean every single imperfect and damaged hairs.
This process takes a few months for every brushmaker. Even for experienced ones also. It took attention to small details and it makes it stand out then any other brush.
Then the hardest part comes. Brushmakers trim and tie the hairs together. They do it in a particular format to increase the durability of the brush pen.
And lastly the hardest brushmakers iron the back of it to stick them together. If something goes wrong here, it will ruin months of hard work.
Therefore it has to be done precariously. And they stick brushes in their handles. Every handle is custom made according to the artist’s demand.
This way the artist can achieve the style he wanted. And this process takes a few months and hours of daily hard work, with precision and attention.
The brushmaker has to be trained and very well experienced. Therefore the Japanese calligraphy brush pens cost thousands of dollars.
You can see the full process of making Japanese calligraphy brush pen in this video here- Process of Making Japanese Calligraphy Brush Pens.