This post has been updated, check the bottom.
Last year I had the pleasure of playing with a “brush pen”. The beauty of its lines blew me away. Writing and drawing with it was such a pleasure! Drawing type, logos, sketches, everything looked different from a normal pen, free, vibrant, ever-changing in thickness, ranging from hairline-thin to broad, thick brush strokes. And everything without the hassle of dipping it in ink every three or four strokes. Just cap it back and put it in your pocket. I had to have such a wonderful tool.
Several weeks of searching on the web only brought me frustration. Sure you could find it easily. But finding someone that would ship it to Romania was a different story. After a few months, a colleague told me she was going to Tokyo. You can easily guess my plea :) She brought me some brush pens—thank you Delia—and I was finally able to enjoy drawing with them every day (another friend brought back from Paris a big Corto Maltese poster, one could not ask for a better subject to copy and practice the brush pen). But the pleasure would’ve soon ended, since you can’t refill them (there are other refillable brush pens, a little more expensive, but the problem is the ink, you have to use special ink since other types would dry and make the brush tip useless).
Fortunately, last weekend I showed the brush pen to my sensei and he told me its real name: fude pen (“foo-day” pen). Searching again on the web, this time with the proper name, gave me the much expected results: someone that would ship fude pens to Romania. So here you are, JList ships almost everywhere in the world a lot of Japanese merchandise, fude pens included. Be sure to check out the wide variety of fude pens. I’d recommend the bold line one, the others I still have to test (the shipment’s on the way, can’t wait).
So, if you’re an illustrator, any kind of designer or artist, or just an asian-caligraphy enthusiast, the fude pen is a must have—no other drawing tool will ever compare (ok, fineliners excepted) :)
(foto taken from wikimedia commons)
Later update (Oct 2009):
I’ve found a much better and practical fude pen at MUJI (it’s called a calligraphy pen on their site, but with just one ‘l’), you can buy it online here. I bought myself half a dozen last time I went to London, they last at least two years without drying and they’re the best ones I’ve had so far (the tip is made of synthetic hair, not soft rubber).
Another later update (Jul 2012):
You can now find a wide range of ‘fude’ or brush pens shipped internationally by Cult Pens. Still, the Muji pen remains my favourite, as its brush acts more like a real hair brush, not a syntetic one. And they last for years (if you don’t use them daily, of course). My only gripe is they don’t come in other colours (red at least).