Ganesha, Guilloché and David Oscarson – a holy trinity of high art!
Ganesha is the remover of obstacles, the Lord of intellect and wisdom, the patron of the arts and the sciences. The God of beginnings, He is invoked at the start of all rites and ceremonies.
Guilloché is the technique of engraving in metal (mainly sterling) intricate, repetitive patterns that play with light to create an ethereal beauty. The work is so exacting that only the most revered masters attempt it.
David Oscarson is the horologist, as in a timekeeper, of fine penmanship. For one, he uses signature techniques – Guilloché and Hard Enamel laying – which are largely associated with the heights of horological perfection and secondly, because of his ability to create masterpieces that are so mesmerising, that they virtually freeze time. Little wonder, a David Oscarson signature piece is “timeless” in its aesthetic beauty and sheer elegance.
The Ganesha range, David Oscarson’s latest brush with eternity is everything that the connoisseurs from around the world look up to him for, and more. The pens are intricate to the point of inducing breathlessness and the attention to detail just amazing, to a fault even. What however is remarkable is the fact that David Oscarson’s Ganesha has transcended to a level, where the art has risen above the typical “exotic mysticism” with which eastern iconography is generally approached.
The crafted brilliance of David Oscarson’s Ganesha is thus way beyond the functionality of a fountain pen – with its precise detailing and symbolism, it is good enough for the sanctum sanctorum – ready for the reverence of the faithful. And it is here that mention must be made of Oscarson’s dear friend Firdosh Patel – an Indian settled in the United States. Patel, a fountain pen aficionado and a major fan of Oscarson’s creations was the one who had originally mooted the idea of the Ganesh line and it is to him that a fair amount of credit is due for the detailing on the pen. The thoughtfully placed “Om”, the etched “Ganesh Vandana” (prayer to Lord Ganesha) on the grip section of the pen and the aesthetically created Ganesha Clip are all hallmarks, not only of the sway of the creator on his craft but also of the thought that has gone into making it a perfect prayer. However, the real coup de grace is the numeral “108”, which occupies a special significance in Hinduism. The chanting of the 108 names of Ganesha – the meanings of each of which has a special significance – is supposed to ward of all evil, clear all obstacles from the path and shower the choicest blessings!
Making of an Oscarson pen is no easy task. The enamelling requires a mixture of glass, water and metal oxides ground to a fine dust by hand – which is applied to cover the entire area where Guilloché is sought. Then follows a firing in the furnace at temperatures exceeding a thousand degrees Fahrenheit so as to fuse the enamel to the metal forming a thin layer of glass. The cooling is followed by manual grinding (and yes, the tools used are primarily diamond files), repeatedly, till all the crests and troughs of the intricate Guilloché pattern are covered, so as to let the light play on the surface with its soft caresses. The effect has often been described as divine and if one may add, rightly so. The polishing and buffing that follows is, in comparison, mere mortal, mundane stuff.
Engineered in Heidelberg, Germany, the 18-karat gold nib is unsurpassed in quality and form. Coupled with an ebonite feeder, each nib is plated with rhodium and tipped with iridium to ensure durability in fine, medium and broad sizes.
David Oscarson’s unique filling system accommodates a cartridge, converter or eyedropper fill; a series of seals and “O” rings prevents the ink from leaving the chamber at any point. A roller ball version of each Oscarson Collection piece is also available.
David Oscarson is often called the Rockstar of Limited-Edition Fountain Pens. He “arrived” almost two decades back and has, since then, offered to the bewildered world a number of lines, each more ostentatious than the other. However, it is not the creation of the writing instrument that propels him on his search for excellence, it is the very art of writing that he wants to help revive: “the biggest challenge today is helping people remember what a signature means: that it is an extension of one’s self,” says Oscarson. “Much is electronic today, including communication, but I always prefer talking on the phone to texting, and visiting in person to the telephone – old-fashioned, maybe, but much richer, and in my mind, much more rewarding.”
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