Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 338

(Long intro to this one, but if you want to skip ahead to the pen review, I won't be offended ;)

On May 19, 2021
I ordered a lovely handmade PennaRossa Modena fountain pen directly from the manufacturer, an Italian pen and leather goods maker. The company was founded in 2017 and I believe they originally made pens under the Martemodena brand (link). I own several Martemodena writing instruments and I love them, so I thought I'd give PennaRossa Modena a try. The pen had a variety of nib options, so I
chose the Stub nib, which cost an extra 12.30. 

The next day, I got an email from the seller informing me that, in the process of inspecting my pen, an employee of theirs accidentally dropped it, breaking its barrel.😮 They ran out of material(s) to make a new barrel, so they asked if I still wanted the pen (they said it would take 20-25 days for them to create a replacement barrel after they got the materials), but if not, they'd issue a refund immediately. I did still want the pen, so I said I would wait. On July 3, I got an email notifying me that the pen was shipped (by overnight courier--a shipping upgrade, at no cost to me), along with the tracking information. The pen arrived on July 9, safe and sound (along with some nice gifts)...but with a Medium nib. 😩

I really wanted the Stub nib, but I was starting to feel that my luck was running out with this pen, so I decided to keep the Medium nib and asked them to just refund me the 12.30 extra I paid for the Stub upgrade. They wrote back and said they'd actually sent me an email before my pen was shipped to me (an email I never got) saying that they were out of Stub nibs and would I like a Medium nib instead? As they didn't get a reply from me, they just shipped the pen with a Medium to avoid further delay. They said the Stub nibs were back-ordered from their supplier, but were expected to arrive in about a month. I said I would mail them back the Medium nib (at my own cost) but they said I could keep it, which I thought was really nice of them. That was on July 10.

I hadn't heard from them in nearly 3 months, so I sent them an email in early October asking about the Stub situation. They replied, saying "we
should have sent the nib several weeks ago", but that they'd check on it and get back to me. After 6 weeks without any follow-up from them, I emailed them (in mid-November). They wrote back, apologizing for the delay due to the back-order and explained that, due to a business agreement, they were tied to one supplier for their nibs. I sent a reply to that email saying I understood, etc., but I haven't heard from them since November 2021. I'm hoping PennaRossal Modena's nib supplier comes through with the Stubs they ordered, but I know a lot of companies are experiencing supply chain issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anyway, that's the never-ending saga about my pen purchase... Onto the actual pen now!

(~ please click on images to enlarge ~) 

My PennaRossa Modena The Artist Strat "The Sea" fountain pen!

Gorgeous, isn't it? :) The pen came with a very soft calfskin leather PennaRossa Modena 2-pen pouch (shown above) with a depiction of Modena's famous cathedral --a UNESCO World Heritage Site-- on it (note: the pouch is available from their Etsy store for a greatly-reduced price vs. ordering it from their website). I think the pouch was a gift because the pen was advertised as coming in a "plexi box". Along with the pen and leather pouch, they sent me two more nice gifts as a 'thank you' for my patience -- a very soft, dark brown leather (PennaRossa Modena-branded) business card/credit card holder, and a heart-shaped tan leather key chain. 

The pen was described as being "totally handmade in casein and acrylic", with "urushi lacquer hand painted" with "bronze and red gold trims". I fell in love with the design the moment I saw it online.

The barrel is composed of a series of concentric rings made of two different (alternating) materials separated by four thin metal bands. The colours used in the handpainted cap are the same colours as the barrel's materials. The cap depicts several small fish (light and dark) swimming in a coral reef with aquatic plants and is nicely rendered.

(Tip: to see extreme closeups of the photos, left-click on a photo, then right-click & select "Open image in new tab" or "View image", then left-click on the image in the new tab)

(I'm so glad they didn't put a plain black section on it!)

Here's the Medium semi-frosted steel #6 nib with the PennaRossa Modena logo (the letters P and M) engraved on, it as well as the nib width (M). You can't see it in this photo, but the feed is made of a clear plastic material.

The nib isn't scratchy and the tines aren't misaligned, but it was quite a toothy nib, so I used some very fine Micromesh on it and it's a lot smoother now. Don't get me wrong--I like nibs with *some* tooth, but this one was *really* toothy. If my Stub nib ever shows up, I'll switch it out and use the Medium in another Italian pen of mine. As for how to fill it, the pen was advertised as having "a removable piston filler filling system", but I haven't tried to remove it (and have no plans to), given my luck with the pen!

(Above: the original salespage for the pen; total pen weight = 36 grams; barrel weight: 24 grams)

The salespage above doesn't say if it was a limited edition or not, but I suspect it might be, due to the amount of time it takes to make one pen. It really looks like a work of art - a dreamy painting of a tranquil undersea scene -  and I think that's why I was so drawn to it. I don't own any other handpainted fountain pens (and I've never seen one like this before) but I do use this one...and I love looking at it, too :) 

(photos and review by Maja)

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