Dao Huy Hoang self-taught to become an artist in making calligraphy pens – Photo: NGUYEN HIEN
Charming with calligraphy since he was a student at Foreign Trade University (Hanoi), Dao Huy Hoang (born in 1993, Hanoi) took more than 2 years to learn and self-study but encountered great difficulties. when there is no tool (special pen) to practice writing.
Calligraphy is the art of writing with a pen that is popular in foreign countries. After being introduced to Vietnam, this subject has received the attention of many young people. The type of pen used for writing calligraphy is a specialized pen consisting of a pen handle and nib, which can be used flexibly to match the typeface.
“In 2013, I started making pens because it was very expensive to buy from abroad. I remember forever, when I was a student, I worked part-time for a whole month to earn 600,000 VND, but had to spend 550,000 VND to save money to buy calligraphy pens. .
I suddenly thought it would be good to try it myself. Since wood in Vietnam is readily available, watching tutorials on YouTube is not that difficult. Taking a risk, I borrowed 7 million dong from my brother (a rather large amount at that time) to buy an old lathe and started making pens when I had no experience in turning wood,” shared Dao Huy Hoang.
At first, every day, Dao Huy Hoang worked hard to make pen managers from 8 am to 11 pm, only taking lunch and dinner breaks – Photo: NGUYEN HIEN
The first time was the most difficult time when Huy Hoang realized that making calligraphy pen is not as easy as what he watched on YouTube. A series of problems arose after “buying” the first lathe: no sharpening tools, no set of tools (turning tools had to be purchased abroad).
To choose wood to make a pen, he had to travel from Hanoi to the rosewood village in Bac Ninh to find and buy. Because before that, he bought some types of wood on De La Thanh street (Hanoi) but couldn’t use it.
After more than a year of tinkering, the first machine-turned calligraphy pen was made by Huy Hoang from a piece of red rosewood. Currently, he still keeps this pen as an interesting memory.
“For a beginner, the magic pen is the most difficult thing. It only took me 1 year to make the first pen. But it took me 5 years to get the unique quality and beautiful curves on the pen. years of constant practice.
At one point, I worked continuously from 8 am to 11 pm, only taking a break for lunch and dinner. Passing this threshold is more difficult to reach another. It’s a paint that’s smooth, spotless. Depending on the level of understanding of the profession, there are different difficulties”, the boy born in 1993 shared.
From raw wood logs, through the skillful hands of Dao Huy Hoang, they become high value art pen products – Photo: NGUYEN HIEN
Currently, in Huy Hoang’s pen workshop in an alley on Thai Ha Street, there are tens of thousands of wooden bars for turning pens. In particular, there are many types of wood in Vietnam, but there are also types that must be imported abroad, because wood in temperate countries has many different colors.
Each pen is crafted as a feat of the maker. The simplest pen only takes about 3 hours to complete. But Japanese lacquer pens take 2-3 months.
The introduction of oriental elements such as lacquer, Japanese lacquer into production makes Dao Huy Hoang’s pens completely different and of high value. but each calligraphy pen crafted by Dao Huy Hoang costs 1.5 – 3 million VND, the more advanced ones cost 10 – 15 million VND.
Dao Huy Hoang is highly appreciated by the world calligraphy and international press – Photo: NGUYEN HIEN
Before the COVID-19 epidemic took place, Dao Huy Hoang was regularly invited to lecture at workshops on calligraphy and pen making in countries around the world. He said that he is always ready to teach the profession to any young people who are passionate about this art.
“In 2021, I had planned to do a solo exhibition to celebrate the 10th anniversary of calligraphy. But because of the complicated epidemic, I postponed it. It is expected that I will conduct an exhibition in 2022 with 3 segments. : calliragphy, pen making, lacquer.
Through my story, I show everyone that sometimes niches can be interesting work, encouraging people to discover themselves more. Moreover, I want to promote this art to all those who love letters”, cherished Dao Huy Hoang.
Dao Huy Hoang shared in the first solo exhibition called “The letters in line” in 2019 – Photo: NVCC
To find the typeface he liked best, Dao Huy Hoang spent a lot of time researching and practicing – Photo: NGUYEN HIEN
The set of calligraphy pens that Dao Huy Hoang always carries with him – Photo: NGUYEN HIEN
Pens using laminated wood need more time to craft than regular pens because it takes more time to wait for the glue to dry – Photo: NGUYEN HIEN
Pens of all kinds are suitable for each type of writing – Photo: NGUYEN HIEN