(Click on photo above if you want to see it in a bigger size)
Italics adds something very special to the writing process. Something tactile and sensuous as well as enhancing the legibility and “beauty” of the handwriting. For speedy, efficient writing I choose fine and extra fine nibs. They can also produce a beautiful writing, but the sensation of the writing is different. Even if some italics make it possible to write speedily there is something about them that slows down the writing process a bit. I often read and write too fast and find a special pleasure in writing slower when I’m journalling or writing letters or just write for the sheer joy of it.
This is my Aurora Talentum with its luscious and very writing-friendly 14 k gold italic nib. It is not stubbish – it offers good line variation – but is really smooth to write with. Loaded with red ink it is a real eye catcher. I find my self watching this nib while writing. There is something very special with the appearance of these fat, luscious italics. It is similar to enjoy a nice wine or a smokey single malt to write with it.
Here is the Stipula (Tiger) Ventidue showing off its broad (1.1 mm) italic in steel. With the right ink and when it is in the right mood (or I am about to write something that the Tiger appreciates) it lays down a wet, italic line. If it doesn’t approve it skips, which sometimes drives me mad, but I have heard that it can stop this childish skipping over time. In which case – I really like it. A factory made italic sitting on a piston filler is…simply great. I’ve said it before, but I really believe that the big penmakers (read Montblanc, Pelikan and Waterman amongst others) would profit from offering a broader range of nibs instead of the meagre F-M-B range. The nib thing is the thing about writing with a fountain pen. Maybe they should need more writers in their boards (yes -I’m available as a consultant, innovator and trickster) who could explain something about writing culture. I am currently very happy that the Italian pen makers generally offer factory made italics and stubs for (some of) their pens. Thank you for letting me buy these lovely nibs without having to send them to be regrinded…very good of you. I know that there are a bunch of non-Italian pen makers (Bexley and Conway Stewart and Sailor and Pilot if one counts zoom and music nibs – just to mention a few) that manufactures italics/stubs. But, it seems to me that it is something in the Italian pen culture that makes factory made italics/stubs usual. Whatever it is I am grateful for it!