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Bruno Corsini Pen


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#1 Dan Carmell

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 04:01

Earlier this year, I started seeing some of the members of my pen club with pens made by one of our pen club members. I knew Bruno was making pens, but I didn't get really excited about them until I saw that he was now making his pens in hard rubber. Well, I couldn't restrain myself and asked him to make one.

I'm not the most original guy--I pointed to my friend Lex's pen and asked him to make me one just like that. The only difference is that I supplied a different nib. That's the beauty and genius of Bruno's pens, I think--he uses vintage nibs and since the pen is custom made, the section is made to fit the nib you select. I had an oversized Waterman Emblem nib available and that's what is in this pen.

First, here's a peek at the Corsini Studio:
Posted Image
It's a little cramped when both cars are in the garage, but this is where the miracles happen.

I did get to see my pen as a work in progress at our June club meeting:
Posted Image

And a few weeks after the Portland show, Bruno invited me over to see his workshop, pick up the pen, and to have lunch with his wife (who is an artist of another type, a weaver) and himself. How many pens come with a great lunch, huh?

So here it is:
Posted Image

And uncapped:
Posted Image

Before I go on the the detail photos, let me say that this is a big pen, as you can see from this comparison shot with a Tibaldi Modello 60:
Posted Image

Bruno makes these pens with threading on the outside of the blind cap so that the cap can be posted. This is a wise precaution, as a hard rubber cap is vulnerable to splitting from friction posting. But in truth, no one would write with this pen posted, unless perhaps you wanted to conduct a symphony at the same time!

How big is this pen? Well, it's 5 7/8" capped and about 9/16" wide at the cap lip. And it's eight inches long, posted! I'm not a big pen person, especially, so to me this pen is big. It's made in the style of a flat top, although the cap top has a subtle dome to it. The pen barrel is tapered down to the blind cap, as well as toward the section, but more about that in a moment. As I said, the material is hard rubber, a modern mottled hard rubber. This is a very dark material, in a woodgrain pattern, which may be too dark for many but I love the subdued, almost hidden color.

When I was at Bruno's workshop, I saw pens in various states of completeness, including ripple HR pens and a large variety of pens in both bright and subtle acrylics.

The cap is threaded and very simple, a perfect counterpoint to the snake.
Posted Image

Bruno sources the sterling silver snake from a local metal craftsman. Bruno had a snake clip he used on one of the first pens he sold, but he didn't like the design, so Bruno and his wife Deborah and the metal caster sat down a designed a snake from scratch, with the great results you see here:
Posted Image

Here's the section and nib. This OS Waterman nib is, I think, the perfect match for this pen and Bruno must think so as well, since he has recommended this nib to others. One Pentracer bought one from John Mottishaw and had John re-tip it as a BB. John usually prefers to set his own nibs, but I can tell you that Bruno is excellent at getting the right flow for the nib and user.

Posted Image
Notice what I would call the vintage styling of this section, with the lip. This isn't easy to do, but it's a nice example of the subtle details that Bruno builds into his work. I looked a a half dozen of these pens and not one had exactly the same section! Oh, I should mention here that he made one section made with internal threading to fit a Pelikan 800 nib unit, so there's hope here for those of you lacking a spare vintage nib about!

The filling system is a pneumatic system, like that used on early Chilton pens. The rubber sac is a #20 and holds a lot of ink. To fill, the writer unscrews the blind cap, extends the plunger and then depresses it with the nib in the ink bottle. When despressing it, your finger has to be over the vent in the center of blind cap. This creates a vacuum in the barrel and collapses the ink sac. When you take your finger off the hole (with nib still in the bottle), the release of pressure allows the ink sac to fill with ink. It's an interesting feature of this system that, once filled, the plunger can be extended and retracted and--unless you put your finger over the vent hole--it doesn't effect the filled ink sac.
Posted Image

If the pneumatic filler sounds a little too complex, Bruno also makes these pens as button fillers, with a traditonal pressure bar system but with a very nice button rather than those little ones that poke your finger. Bruno was careful to point out to me that he does not glue any part of the pen; everything is threaded (with the exception of the friction fitted nib) and indeed he disassembled my entire pen in front of me!
Posted Image

This is the part of the review that is always most subjective, but in this case, since each of these pens have a unique nib, it is perhaps more important to focus how the pen fits in my hand, how it balances, and so on. But I will say, even though I knew my nib was a wonderful nib, Bruno set it to allow for the perfect ink flow for me and I hope the writing sample shows how nicely it fits my writing style.
Posted Image

The balance, unposted of course, is perfect. While the HR is quite light, the brass tube that makes the plunger adds a bit of weight. I grip a pen fairly low and the tapered section is very comfortable for me, but gripping it higher is possible and I don't find that the threads bite my fingers much at all.

As for carrying the pen, it is not too big for a pocket, since it is about the size of a Dani Trio Densho. The sterling snake clip grips fabric nicely and has just enough play to make it easy to work with, while still feeling secure.

"Modern classic" is an over-used term, but one that fits this Bruno Corsini model. Bruno is a vintage pen lover and those influences are very clear in this pen's design. By the way, I don't think it has a model name, which could get tricky, since Bruno had previous made a few pens and now has a Tuckaway pen with its own base (I've ordered one!). Maybe it will get a name retrospectively. Actually, let me propose one: the Big B!

To wrap up an overlong review, the fit and finish of this custom pen is outstanding. It offers several great advantages: a choice of two time-tested filling systems, a classic sterling clip that accents an elegantly simple pen, and nib options that are almost unlimited. And let's not forget a wide array of choices for the pen material itself, from modern acrylics to hard rubber and who knows what else Bruno has in stock. This is a great pen and a heirloom that I will be using until they pry my hands off it!

Thanks for looking, Dan

[Edited 08/10/06 to clarify clip design.]

Edited by dcarmell, 10 August 2006 - 16:41.


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#2 Ann Finley

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 04:40

Looks like you got a real treasure, Dan. Congrats on your custom pen!!!

Best, Ann

#3 Maja

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 05:13

Thank you so much for the superb review, Dan!

I love the colour of the material....*very* nice...and the craftsmanship is marvelous. I had the opportunity to handle an early Bruno Corsini pen (a prototype??) at the 2004 Portland Pen Show and was suitably impressed. It is a large pen though, so even I (She-Who-Posts-Almost-All-Pens :lol: ) would not need to post it....but it's nice to see that Bruno has come up with an elegant solution to those wishing to post his pens.

May you have many, many happy years with your Bruno Corsini pen! :D
Vancouver (B.C) Pen Club (our website)

#4 grasshopper

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 16:41

Wow, that's an excellent review, Dan! B) That pneumatic filler sounds very interesting indeed. And the only pen of its kind in the world too? Now that's special indeed (definitely an heirloom item!).

Thanks for sharing, Dan.


Cheers,
raf.

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#5 Titivillus

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 01:41

Dan,

Do you have a contact information for Bruno?

thanks,

Kurt

Edited by Tytyvyllus, 18 March 2007 - 01:44.


#6 Dan Carmell

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 02:08

I do and I've sent it to you. I'd be happy to put any who asks in touch with Bruno--just email me!

Dan

#7 Phthalo

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 03:04

Now this pen is lovely! Very, very nice. biggrin.gif
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#8 Jeff Boschert

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 07:37

I think Bruno Corsini Pens is one of the best kept secrets of the pen world.

The thing that impresses me the most about Bruno's pens is the fit and finish. I consider them Rolls Royce quality. Everything fits precisely so. His threads are so perfect and so smooth. I especially like that he usually uses 4 start threads for the cap so one does not need to turn and turn and turn to get the cap off and on.

I really suggest to everyone who sees a Bruno Corsini pen to ask the owner of the pen to let you take a very close look and feel of it. Words can not do his pens justice, you must feel for yourself.

Another very nice thing about a BC pen is you can always use your favorite vintage nib.

Bruno also makes a very cool long-short.

smile.gif
Jeff Boschert

Edited by Jeff Boschert, 18 March 2007 - 19:46.


#9 Ged

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 08:17

Beautifully done, the color of the body is quite delicous! Congrats on a wonderful pen.

#10 SMG

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 18:43

If I ever get into making pens (there is a pretty good chance that I might) I will try and stock up on that material. It is stunning. I love Red Hard Rubber and really love Mottled RHR.

Very nice pen, the clip is wonderful.

Congrats,
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#11 PaulLeMay

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 20:48

I love Bruno's idea of using a vintage nib. I am not a big fan of modern (stiff) nibs and there are just a ton of great flexible vintage nibs like Waterman. Heck, I have a dozen pens with cracked caps etc. Bruno's amazing pens are a great idea. I have seen them in person and want one too.

#12 Blue Butterfly

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 23:52

Hi Dan, I admire your pen. Tried to find some link to Bruno on the net - failed. Would be grateful if you could help me to trace him, I`d like to order a pen from him. Many thanks and kind regards Simon








QUOTE(Dan Carmell @ Aug 10 2006, 05:01 AM) View Post
Earlier this year, I started seeing some of the members of my pen club with pens made by one of our pen club members. I knew Bruno was making pens, but I didn't get really excited about them until I saw that he was now making his pens in hard rubber. Well, I couldn't restrain myself and asked him to make one.

I'm not the most original guy--I pointed to my friend Lex's pen and asked him to make me one just like that. The only difference is that I supplied a different nib. That's the beauty and genius of Bruno's pens, I think--he uses vintage nibs and since the pen is custom made, the section is made to fit the nib you select. I had an oversized Waterman Emblem nib available and that's what is in this pen.

First, here's a peek at the Corsini Studio:

It's a little cramped when both cars are in the garage, but this is where the miracles happen.

I did get to see my pen as a work in progress at our June club meeting:


And a few weeks after the Portland show, Bruno invited me over to see his workshop, pick up the pen, and to have lunch with his wife (who is an artist of another type, a weaver) and himself. How many pens come with a great lunch, huh?

So here it is:


And uncapped:


Before I go on the the detail photos, let me say that this is a big pen, as you can see from this comparison shot with a Tibaldi Modello 60:


Bruno makes these pens with threading on the outside of the blind cap so that the cap can be posted. This is a wise precaution, as a hard rubber cap is vulnerable to splitting from friction posting. But in truth, no one would write with this pen posted, unless perhaps you wanted to conduct a symphony at the same time!

How big is this pen? Well, it's 5 7/8" capped and about 9/16" wide at the cap lip. And it's eight inches long, posted! I'm not a big pen person, especially, so to me this pen is big. It's made in the style of a flat top, although the cap top has a subtle dome to it. The pen barrel is tapered down to the blind cap, as well as toward the section, but more about that in a moment. As I said, the material is hard rubber, a modern mottled hard rubber. This is a very dark material, in a woodgrain pattern, which may be too dark for many but I love the subdued, almost hidden color.

When I was at Bruno's workshop, I saw pens in various states of completeness, including ripple HR pens and a large variety of pens in both bright and subtle acrylics.

The cap is threaded and very simple, a perfect counterpoint to the snake.


Bruno sources the sterling silver snake from a local metal craftsman. Bruno had a snake clip he used on one of the first pens he sold, but he didn't like the design, so Bruno and his wife Deborah and the metal caster sat down a designed a snake from scratch, with the great results you see here:


Here's the section and nib. This OS Waterman nib is, I think, the perfect match for this pen and Bruno must think so as well, since he has recommended this nib to others. One Pentracer bought one from John Mottishaw and had John re-tip it as a BB. John usually prefers to set his own nibs, but I can tell you that Bruno is excellent at getting the right flow for the nib and user.


Notice what I would call the vintage styling of this section, with the lip. This isn't easy to do, but it's a nice example of the subtle details that Bruno builds into his work. I looked a a half dozen of these pens and not one had exactly the same section! Oh, I should mention here that he made one section made with internal threading to fit a Pelikan 800 nib unit, so there's hope here for those of you lacking a spare vintage nib about!

The filling system is a pneumatic system, like that used on early Chilton pens. The rubber sac is a #20 and holds a lot of ink. To fill, the writer unscrews the blind cap, extends the plunger and then depresses it with the nib in the ink bottle. When despressing it, your finger has to be over the vent in the center of blind cap. This creates a vacuum in the barrel and collapses the ink sac. When you take your finger off the hole (with nib still in the bottle), the release of pressure allows the ink sac to fill with ink. It's an interesting feature of this system that, once filled, the plunger can be extended and retracted and--unless you put your finger over the vent hole--it doesn't effect the filled ink sac.


If the pneumatic filler sounds a little too complex, Bruno also makes these pens as button fillers, with a traditonal pressure bar system but with a very nice button rather than those little ones that poke your finger. Bruno was careful to point out to me that he does not glue any part of the pen; everything is threaded (with the exception of the friction fitted nib) and indeed he disassembled my entire pen in front of me!


This is the part of the review that is always most subjective, but in this case, since each of these pens have a unique nib, it is perhaps more important to focus how the pen fits in my hand, how it balances, and so on. But I will say, even though I knew my nib was a wonderful nib, Bruno set it to allow for the perfect ink flow for me and I hope the writing sample shows how nicely it fits my writing style.


The balance, unposted of course, is perfect. While the HR is quite light, the brass tube that makes the plunger adds a bit of weight. I grip a pen fairly low and the tapered section is very comfortable for me, but gripping it higher is possible and I don't find that the threads bite my fingers much at all.

As for carrying the pen, it is not too big for a pocket, since it is about the size of a Dani Trio Densho. The sterling snake clip grips fabric nicely and has just enough play to make it easy to work with, while still feeling secure.

"Modern classic" is an over-used term, but one that fits this Bruno Corsini model. Bruno is a vintage pen lover and those influences are very clear in this pen's design. By the way, I don't think it has a model name, which could get tricky, since Bruno had previous made a few pens and now has a Tuckaway pen with its own base (I've ordered one!). Maybe it will get a name retrospectively. Actually, let me propose one: the Big B!

To wrap up an overlong review, the fit and finish of this custom pen is outstanding. It offers several great advantages: a choice of two time-tested filling systems, a classic sterling clip that accents an elegantly simple pen, and nib options that are almost unlimited. And let's not forget a wide array of choices for the pen material itself, from modern acrylics to hard rubber and who knows what else Bruno has in stock. This is a great pen and a heirloom that I will be using until they pry my hands off it!

Thanks for looking, Dan

[Edited 08/10/06 to clarify clip design.]



#13 Bruno

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 16:31

QUOTE(Blue Butterfly @ Aug 10 2007, 04:52 PM) View Post
Hi Dan, I admire your pen. Tried to find some link to Bruno on the net - failed. Would be grateful if you could help me to trace him, I`d like to order a pen from him. Many thanks and kind regards Simon


I have no web site, but can easily be reached by email... bruno-corsini at pacbell.net

-Bruno






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