After the success of Homo Sapiens Lava Etna, Visconti wondered if it was possible to produce a penwith the material that best represents Florence: the Cotto Fiorentino
We named the pen Brunelleschi, in homage to the great architect and the dome of the cathedral as thelargest artifact in the world made of Florentine Cotto.
An age-old traditional product.
Man has been manufacturing artefacts in terracotta since roughly 5000 BC, the date of the earliest
items discovered by archaeologists in Egypt, Syria and Mesopotamia. But then, it's a really simpleprocess. You mix earth and water together, kneading and moulding them into a malleable mass, whichyou then shape into the required pieces, and allow fire to finish the job for you by turning them solid.
The Etruscans probably achieved the highest level of excellence in this field, adorning their temple swith terracotta artefacts and using the material to make tiles and cornices, home furnishings and
pottery, statuettes, vases and so forth. It was from Etruria that terracotta was introduced to Rome,being used by the building industry in the imperial capital chiefly to manufacture bricks and tiles. So the production of terracotta artefacts in the Florence area is likely to date back to the Roman era,although there is little documentary evidence for this, and the first Tuscan Terracotta Artistan Guildsare only recorded in around 1400.
Earth, water, air and fire.
The first phase of the process in the manufacture of artefacts in terracotta involved finding the clay andgetting it to the kiln. Once there, it was given an initial cleansing with water to rid it of alien organic substances, after which it was filtered through a series of sieves. Once the artefacts had been modelledby hand using moulds, they were set out to dry in the courtyard by the kiln before firing. The firing process itself was a fully-fledged ritual with its formulas and its incantations in the old wood kilns.
After the artefacts had been fired, they were taken outside to the courtyards again and hosed down. Technical specifications
Brunelleschi is an oversized, eight-sided pen accurately reflecting the cathedral dome. Weighing
roughly 45 grs, it falls perfectly within the virtually universal weight range, being neither too light nor too heavy – in fact, it's the perfect weight for daily use.
Its shape, like that of our Homo Sapiens pen, is based on Leonardo's Divine Proportion, which makes the size of the cap 0.618 of the size of the barrel.
The pen's lock system, a Visconti patent, is the well-known Hook Safe Lock method that allows the user to close the pen by rotating it by only 20°, thus making it absolutely impossible to open the cap by accident.
The material, a Cotto Fiorentino terracotta resin compound, was developed on the basis of the
experience built up with the lava used in our Homo Sapiens pen, although of course it has its own
First of all the colour, the brick colour is dark enough to have become a colour in its own right: the word "cotto" is traditionally used in Florence to define this specific terracotta hue!
The colour is very similar to the red ebonite so dearly cherished by collectors enamoured of the
legendary Parker Big Red or the early Waterman.
Unlike ebonite, however, the terracotta compound is extremely stable, it does not dull with age and it is considerably more shock-resistant, although admittedly without the outstanding resilience of the Homo Sapiens lava.
It is absolutely accurate to call the terracotta compound a latter-day version of red ebonite, and its extremely high resistance to heat and flames confirms that fact
The package set comprises:
an oversized fountain pen with a 23 kt 950 Palladium Dreamtouch nib; a now well-known,
iconic Visconti nib, this is the only nib in the world manufactured in 950 Palladium with
optimal flexibility and memory features;
a travelling inkwell for filling the pen while travelling and for boosting the power filler's
a dripfeed for filling the travelling inkwell;
a glass inkwell with ink;
a luxury presentation case in eco-leather
Collection: Pd 23 kt. Fountain Pen
Material: Compound of Cotto Fiorentino Terracotta
Nib : 23 kt 950 Palladium Dreamtouch in Two-tones
Metallic parts: Rose Gold finishing, burin-engraved with a Florence Cathedral Theme on the ring
Filling system: High Vacuum Power Filler
Presentation: Visconti case with glass inkwell and travelling inkwell
Brunelleschi set is limited to 388 set