Maki‑e is a Japanese lacquerware technique that was developed 1,200 years ago.
Maki‑e artists are very talented and diligent artists. Humble, honest and friendly, they prefer to be called "artisans" or "craftsmen" rather than artists.
The pool of Maki‑e artists in Yamanaka and Wajima is dwindling and fewer Japanese people are interested in learning the art of Maki‑e, but thankfully the government has taken an interest in ensuring its survival.
The cost of Maki‑e is measured by the volume of work by which it was created. Pieces that employed Shishiai techniques are more expensive, and ones that used simpler Hira Maki‑e techniques cost much less.
However the beauty of Maki‑e does not depend on which techniques are used; it depends on the artist's designs and technical skills.
This site offers a comprehensive collection of Maki-e pens.