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Ink Review: STIPULA CALAMO SAPPHRON I have wanted to try several of the Stipula Calamo inks for some time after hearing about them. The inks are handmade in Italy and come in this great 70mL bottle. The Review above was scanned, and the color is "washed out". The ink color is closest on the writing sample on Tomoe River. I wrote the Review portion several days after receiving the ink sample. At first, I wasn't sure if I would like it. Since that time I have used this ink for a couple of weeks in several pens and it behaves wonderfully in all of them. I have been pleasantly surprised that this ink feathers very little even on cheap papers with minimal showthrough and minimal bleedthrough. The color is a warm yellow-orange that is just soft enough to be pleasant. It lays down light but darkens as it dries. Sold in 70mL light resistant glass bottle for $17.10 to $19.00 depending upon dealer. PROS: Well behaved on all papers Shading is wonderful Color is nicely saturated IMO Dries fairly quickly CONS: For some it may be undersaturated Not water resistant Not a versatile color (I doubt many would use this in a business office) May be too light in an EF/F nib Caution: While I only bought a sample of Sapphron, I did buy several bottles of other colors of Stipula ink. When first opening the ink, there is a plastic stopper in the neck of the bottle. I would recommend when loosening the stopper to place a large paper towel over the bottle and gently and slowly loosen the stopper out in order to equalize air pressure (think opening a bottle of champagne). The first bottle I opened I started to loosen the stopper and it popped out along with drops of blue ink everywhere. Thankfully I did over the bathroom sink and was able to clean all the ink up. The second bottle I opened I put a paper towel over the bottle as I gently and slowly loosened the stopper. It again popped out, but this time with less mess. Overall Score: 8+ Conclusion: This is a very nice ink. It is very well behaved in every pen I have used it in. It can be a bit light in EF/F nibs, but even in a fine nib this ink shades beautifully. The color is fairly light, much lighter than Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-Yake. Even though it is not an ink I would use everyday, I will be purchasing a full bottle.
For some reason that I cannot understand, I never wished to try Stipula inks. That was a terrible mistake. The next two inks that I'm going to review (Notturno Giannutri and Ferro dell'Elba) are two gorgeous inks, very classy and work appropriate. The ink I'm going to review now is Ferro dell'Elba (Elba's Island Iron). This ink is one of the most brilliant ink I had the pleasure to try. This inks name recalls iron rusted near the sea, and the colour of the iron rusted by the sea you get. Ferro dell'Elba is a grey ink with lovely warm rust brown undertones, that seems thinked to be absolutely work appropriate, without losing interesting details. If I've to define this ink with a single word, it would be "clever": good for the eyes of the passionate, good for the everyday use. On cheap copy paper, Ferro dell'Elba behaves just fine, a bit of feathering and bleedthrough, not particular shading, nice flow and fast drying times. The colour looks quite dark, a mix between a dark gray and sepia. On schizza e strappa this ink really begins to show it's full potential. No feathering nor bleedthrough, gorgeous shading with nice lighter grey lines that ends in darker grey brown inkpools, especially on broader nib. Inkpools and swabs look and reflects like velvet. Drying times are a little longer. On tracing paper this ink behaves just as on schizza and strappa, with a little more shading and longer drying times. Unfortunately, this ink as no water resistance. As you may notice from my soaking test, the ink simply vanishes in the water, so it's no waterproof at all (but also really easy to clean from fountain pens). Is this ink worth it? I always wanted an ink which could substitute black ink at work and after a few letters written with Ferro dell'Elba I realized that my search was over. I know it's subjective but in my opinion if you like grey inks, you should give this ink a try. For around 16€ you get a nice big 70ml bottle, and for me is worth every cent. Highly recommended! COPY PAPER SCHIZZA & STRAPPA PAPER TRACING PAPER SOAKING TEST CROMATOGRAPHY INKDROP