Just Three Pens for Now and Other Things

We are just a few days away from the month of December and I have something brewing in my studio. Well not literally brewing, but it’s something that is sitting inside a brown box and waiting for December 1st to arrive. I ordered this at the end of August and received it at the end of September. So for two whole months the excitement has been building up. That’s all I will say. For now. ūüėÉ

I’m also contemplating doing a sketch/drawing a day in December. We will see how that works out as I’ll need to allocate two hours a day depending on the art medium I use. Lots of ideas and very little time to do all of my favorite hobbies. Sigh!

I wanted to share my three currently inked pens: Leonardo, Pilot, and Visconti.

I would classify these three pens as the oldest pens I have in my collection. I purchased them when I first fell into this fountain pen rabbit-hole. I thought it would be a great time to bring them into my pen rotation. They are amazing and fine writing tools. They write beautifully on all types of paper I use including plain notebook paper.

I had three bottles of ink sitting on my desk and it was easy to figure out my matching pen and ink scheme. As I’m typing this post, I’m wondering if Pilot will ever come out with other pen colors in their 823 model. I could easily enjoy an olive green or a copper colored 823. That would be so cool!

Earlier this week I was dabbling with Urban Sketching. Mostly from photographs I’ve taken. It’s a different style of sketching for me and basically learning to look and sketch quickly. I’m learning to loosen up and not worry about the details or shapes too much.

I’m hoping to take this new sketching adventure outside and in the public areas. Since it’s around 40-something degrees outside, learning to sketch quickly would be most beneficial. Now that I’m thinking about it, sitting in a warm car and sketching sounds even better. ūü§£

Pens: Leonardo Momento Zero Pietra Marina (Fine). Pilot Custom 823 Amber (Fine). Visconti Vertigo Orange (Fine)

Inks: Van Dieman’s Ink Tamar Pinot Noir and Eucalyptus Regnans. Robert Oster Aussie Brown.

Paper: Rhodia

Another Van Dieman’s Ink – Tamar Pinot Noir Wine Red

Here’s the most recent fountain pen ink acquisition from Fountain Pen Day. It’s a Van Dieman’s Ink called Tamar Pinot Noir from their Original Colours of Tasmania series. It’s a beautiful red ink that is a subtle color and leans a bit towards brown. It’s a red that has some character with some shading and a tiny bit of sheen.

This has been on my wishlist for some time and was passed up several times as I selected other Van Dieman’s colors that had more sheen and/or shimmers. Now that I’ve gotten over the sheen mood (with much delight), it was time to try out what I call their basic ink colors.

It wasn’t too hard to find a fountain pen to go with this lovely ink. I thought it would be a great time to bring a few of my favorite pens back into my pen rotation. Here’s my Leonardo MZ in Pietra Marina. My Leonardo has a wonderful smooth nib and I can always count on having an enjoyable writing experience. It doesn’t hurt that the colors in this pen is gorgeous.

Okay, back to the ink! Depending on the lighting, this ink color appears to be a red wine color. When I pull my swatch card away from my lamp, the color appears to be more of a reddish coppery color. It reminds me of the underlying color in Private Reserve’s Copper Burst.

Here’s another sample swatch in my Stalogy ink journal.

It’s definitely a gorgeous red color. Not too dark and not too light. Just right!

Ink: Van Dieman’s Ink Tamar Pinot Noir Wine Red from the Original Colours of Tasmania

Fountain Pen: Leonardo Momento Zero in Pietra Marine (Fine nib)

Journal: Stalogy 365

My Maiora Impronte OS Posillipo – the Good/the Bad

Update (05/24): I have received a package from Yafa. They sent me the wrong cap and it appears to be the regular size cap for their smaller Maiora Impronte pen. Unbelievable! I contacted the online pen shop and the solution is to return both (my defective OS cap and their regular replacement cap) to Yafa along with a nice letter. It looks like it will be sometime in June when I’ll get to use my pen again. Not a happy camper right now.

Update (05/22): In a few days I will be receiving a new cap from Yafa Brands. I cleaned my pen and have been patiently waiting to use it again. I can’t wait to see what this new cap looks like. Stay tuned!

Maiora is an Italian fountain pen manufacturer based in Naples, Italy and is managed by former co-founder and president of Delta Pen Company, Nino Marino. Maiora also produces fountain pens under the Netunno brand. I have to mention here that the other former co-founder of Delta was Ciro Matrone. Ciro and Salvatore Matrone (Ciro’s son) are the brain child behind Leonardo Officina Italiano Pens. To me, the Maiora pens remind me of my Leonardos and look a bit similar, but are quite different.

I saw a few Maiora Impronte OS pens on my social media feed. Someone had posted a picture of their Posillipo pen and the colors reminded me of the Caribbean waters. Yes, I’m a sucker for island and water related colors.

My Maiora Impronte OS in Posillipo

I did a bit of research to find out the meaning behind this color’s name. Posillipo is a town located near the coastal region of Naples. This pens’s blue and green flecks represent the surrounding waters and the rolling hills of this coastal town in Italy.

I’ve had this Posillipo for a couple of weeks and I wanted to share what I love about this pen, the good and the bad.

The Good:

The pen is made from hand turned solid resin bars and the pen’s clip is machined from solid brass and then hand polished. The pen has a curved grip/section which is made from the same matching resin as the barrel and cap. It has a really nice feel and my fingers rest comfortably in the curved section. I’m starting to prefer this kind of grip.

My Posillipo with silver clip and ring trim

I was happy to see the Maiora uses a threaded converter which is my favorite type of converter. This one is designed beautifully and well made. I had a lovely experience filling the converter with ink. That says a lot about the quality. Similar to my Leonardo Momento Zeros, there’s blind cap at the end of the barrel that allows quick access to the converter knob. The blind cap threads are metal.

Maiora uses JoWo #6 nibs. Swappable nib units? Yes! That means Franklin-Christoph, Esterbrook, Edison, Opus 88, Retro 51 and other pen manufacturers who use JoWo #6 nib units are swappable in my Maiora Impronte pen.

I took a picture of my pen disassembled. Notice the curved grip, the nib unit unscrewed and sitting in its section, the blind cap, and the lovely converter.

The nib is engraved with the Maiora logo and the converter has the etched name

Another nice feature of my Maiora pen is it can use the short or long standard international ink cartridges. I mentioned before I have a few boxes of the Jacques Herbin, Pelikan, and Waterman long ink cartridges that I like to use.

My Fine nib needed a slight adjustment as the tines appeared to be a bit off and I could feel the nib drag a bit on the paper (scratchy). After I realigned the tines, the nib wrote smoothly with just a tad bit of feedback. A lovely feeling for a Fine nib. It writes slightly wet and I filled my pen with Diamine Enchanted Ocean to show off all the shimmers.

The Bad:

Yes, there is a big issue with my Maiora Impronte OS. It’s with the cap. There’s a small opening where the clip attaches to the cap. That means air is flowing inside the cap. My beautiful Fine nib dries out in between writing sessions and overnight.

Picture of the opening where the clip is attached

There is also a floating rubber disk sitting inside at the end of the cap. It’s not secured and I’m not sure if it’s suppose to be there. When I twist my pen into the cap, the tip of the nib rubs against this rubber disk. After the first night when my pen sat on my desk, the tip of the nib (iridium) had developed some crust and the nib was covered with ink. It wrote for a bit and then I decided to clean off the gunk. It took several attempts to wipe it off and then I ended up dipping the nib into some water. I did the dipping into the water about three times before I could remove the ink completely from the nib and the iridium tipping was shiny again.

I sent this picture of the inside cap to the pen shop

After spending some quality time writing with my Maiora, I sent an email to the online pen shop and included a few pictures of my pen and my sample writing where I documented the issues. I received a response that included some options: request a new nib and a new cap. I provided additional pictures of the cap include a gap/opening where the clip joins the cap. I actually blew some air into the cap and sure enough the air came out of the cap.

I went ahead and requested a new cap. I did not request a new nib as my Fine nib writes beautifully and I have no issues with the nib. As a few of my pen friends know, when a beautiful writing nib is in my possession there is no letting go. My only problem with the pen was the cap and its two apparent issues. The pen shop is waiting to hear back from the distributor, Yafa Brands.

Why didn’t I return the whole pen? There were too many positive and feel good qualities I was experiencing with this particular pen. Besides checking off all of my pen requirement boxes, this nib writes beautifully. Plus the pen feels comfortable in my hand after several long writing sessions. I’ve become one with this pen minus the cap. Hahaha!

I will be back to post additional updates and the solution to this major cap problem.

Pen Comparisons:

I wanted to include a picture that shows my Esterbrook Estie OS and my lovely Maiora together. They are both “over sized” pens and look somewhat girthy, but they are extremely comfy pens to write with.

My Esterbrook Estie OS in Dreamer Purple and my Maiora Impronte OS in Posillipo

Since I’m displaying my current favorite pens, I thought I would add another favorite to the mix from Franklin-Christoph.

For comparison: Franklin-Christoph 31 (Candystone), Esterbrook Estie OS, and Maiora Impronte OS

After looking at this picture, I realize that my Candystone pen contains my favorite colors and it also incorporates the colors from the other two pens.

Tips/Additional Comments:

  • My Leonardo Momento Zero pens have friction fit Bock nibs. Leonardo included the Bock #6 nibs with their pens until earlier this year (2021) when they switched to JoWo #6 nibs. The JoWo nibs in the Leonardo pens are also friction fit meaning you can pull the nib and feed out to change the nib. The nib collar unit is still secured into the section. No unscrewing of the nib unit/collar on the Leonardo Momento Zeros.
  • I have no issues with using shimmering inks with a Fine nib as long as the feed and nib can handle it. Most of my JoWo nibs (Extra Fine, Fine, and wider nibs) do well with shimmering inks. If I can see daylight between the tines and through the tip of the nib, I know the shimmering ink will flow. I mostly use my Diamine Shimmertastic and Jacques Herbin shimmering inks with my Extra Fine and Fine nibs.

Pen: Maiora Impronte OS Posillipo with Fine nib

Ink: Diamine Enchanted Ocean

Leonardo Momento Zero

My first Italian pen was a Visconti Rembrandt in a purple color. I ordered an extra fine nib and stumbled upon a unique nib that came with that pen. The etched writing on my nib said Calligraphy. The extra fine nib had a crisp edge and I enjoyed the writing style I was able to produce on paper. The nib made my handwriting look a bit artsy. Visconti opened my eyes and enabled me to consider other Italian brands.

I saw a pen color called Blue Hawaii. It kept popping up on my radar. I first saw one at the local pen show I attended. I knew it would be a future purchase. On my wish list.

I finally purchased my first Leonardo around the same time I purchased my first bottle of Robert Oster ink. I paired my Blue Hawaii with Rhodium (exclusive pen) trim and extra fine nib with the beautiful Frankly Blue ink and that was the start of a lovely pen and ink relationship. A few weeks later, I found a great deal with the Dark Horn color with a stub 1.5 nib and paired it with Thunderstorm. That was the largest stub nib I had in my pen collection (still is) and I was floored at how bold this pen wrote. It took me awhile to get used to this interesting nib and figure out the best writing style.

Another few weeks passed and I saw a new version of Blue Hawaii in Matte Black with Ruthenium trim (another exclusive pen) and nabbed an extra fine nib. I filled that pen with Fire and Ice. My fourth Leonardo in Pietra Marina showed up with a fine nib. That pen was filled with Australian Syrah. Yes. A pattern to my rabbit-hole madness.

From bottom left to right: Pietra Marina, Dark Horn, Blue Hawaii Matte Black with Ruthenium trim, and Blue Hawaii with Rhodium trim.

Overall, the nibs are smooth. The extra fine nibs are smooth with some feedback. It’s an enjoyable extra fine writing experience. More so than a few of my other extra fine nib pens (like my TWSBIs). The fine nib is also smooth, but with a hint of feedback. A pleasurable writing experience. Of course my juicy stub 1.5 is just smooth and a wet writer.

There’s a little screw cap at the end of the body that can twist completely off. This gives you access to the top of the converter. This is an alternative way to fill the pen/converter with ink instead of unscrewing the whole body to get to the converter. Just remember to put the screw cap back on as you don’t want to lose it.

The extra fine nibs are lovely to write with and show off the ink’s characteristics beautifully.

The Momento Zero is a fairly light pen. The shape is beautiful and the pens are well made. They have a nice resin section and I hardly notice the threads. The pen is comfortable and well balanced in my hand whether I post the pen or not.

It feels like a girthy pen, but it really isn’t especially when you compare it to it’s relative, the Grande version.

Mostly matching my inks with my pens. I tried to avoid using one single ink manufacturer. Also thinking of using these pens for some Holiday sketching.

I think we need one more picture of my pens close up.

Unique pens with a wonderful writing experience. Easily one of my EDCs.

I will do a few more writing samples and post more pictures here in the next day or so. Stay tuned!