glenn's Pens

Stipula Calamo

Calamo Ink

Stipula Calamo fountain pen ink offers an authentic writing experience. Italian ink, direct from Italy. It comes in a beautiful brown 70 ml bottle. The bottle is of treated glass that protects the ink from light exposure and the deterioration that light causes with ink.

The glass bottles comes in a light weight cardboard box. Personally, I would prefer a box with more strength. To protect the bottle, is sits within a piece of Styrofoam at the top and the bottom of the box to hold the bottle in place. The bottle has a large plastic cap, and when you unscrew the cap you will see a tight fitting plastic insert in the top of the bottle. This nicely protects the ink from any leakage in shipping.

I see the Stipula Calamo ink is a must-have addition to your fountain pen ink collection. The ink is available in a range of colours. Unique to Calamo inks, there is a dab of the actual ink on the label. My experience is that the colour you see on the exterior is not necessarily true to the colour with actual writing.

The inks come in fourteen colours:

  • Bright Green
  • Dark Blue
  • Dark Gray (Grigio Lava) - my ink for this colour is on order and I am waiting for ink to arrive. From the samples I have seen I have high exceptions. It appears to be a great dark grey ink. I think it will be part black, part grey with a little undertone of purple. Reports are the inks dries quickly on the page.
  • Dark Red
  • Deep Blue - described as having a tinge of purple or periwinkle blue looks and somewhat close Edelstein Sapphire. I think from the samples I have seen is is a bit on the lighter blue side.
  • Ebony Black
  • Fading Gray
  • Florentine Red - a beautiful bright red. See the review and sample that follows.
  • Light Blue - not one of the inks that I think I will acquire as it is a very light blue, almost a light turquoise.
  • Musk Green - one of my favorite greens. This has been the colour I use the most. See review that follows.
  • Purple
  • Sapphron is just what you think by the name, a beautiful warm yellow/orange ink. Writing, from the samples I have seen, come out on the lighter side. With that, for those who like shadows, there is some shadowing taking place.
  • Sepia - this is a darker brown in than some may things. There are lighter red-brown tones to the ink, but not the warmer brown tones normally associated with the title - Sepia. A wetter ink that seems to take well over 10 seconds to dry.
  • Sweet Pink.

Stipula Calamo Musk Green

Calamo Musk Green

Musk Green - Verde Muschiato

I really like this ink, and I am not alone. It is said to be one of the most popular colours in the line. I know when I am in Italy, I always ask for a bottle of this colour and rarely find a bottle. What is musk? Think of kaki green. If you have a pen that writes with a very wet broad nib, then the ink is extra dark in colour.

I find the ink to have very good writing qualities. It dries in about five or so seconds. Its flow is solid. There is no feathering and ink is not one that I worry about bleeding. If you prefer shading, this ink has not produced significant shading in my use. A fairly solid colour is left across a page of writing. What I also like about this line of ink is how it ends up on the paper. A good flat finish, no shine to it, no stickiness to the ink.

Calamo Musk Green

 

Calamo Florentine Red

Stipula Calamo Florentine Red

Stipula Calamo Florentine Red

This ink was a total surprise. Upto now I have mainly tried to pick up a bottle of Calamo Green Musk. That was, I thought the best of the Calamo colours. But I ordered some of the red thinking it was time for a change. What a surprise. Rather than a light colour red it is bold and bright. It is a beautiful red. I have enjoyed using it for various writing tasks. Even a full page of writing looks good.

Good performance, dries in a somewhat reasonable time it takes between 20 and 30 seconds to fully dry - depending on the paper that you use. At the longer end when the paper is hard and more of the ink just sits on the paper, quicker when the paper is more porus. It holds a fairly consistent colour from medium to stub nibs. What would the soundbite on this ink be: great red, bright, good performance.

Calamo ink is available from a limited number of retailers. Next to impossible to get here in Vancouver. But the good news is that the bottle is a full 70 ml so you are getting more ink for your money.

 

Calamo Dark Grey

Stipula Dark Grey

Calamo Dark Grey

Stipula Calamo Dark Grey

Stipula Calamo Dark Grey (Grigio Lava)

As I work through various brands of ink on my search for the perfect grey, I finally got a chance to try out Stipula Calamo Dark Grey. When the box finally arrived, it did not take me too long to clean a pen, load it up and try writing with the ink.

I like the ink. It comes across as a solid grey not a weak black. I have tried it in a variety of pens and nib widths. Everything from a medium to a Stub 1.5 - there is a lot of consistency in the colour. With some inks, there is a marked colour difference between narrow and broader nibs.

Stipula says their ink is formulated to prevent deterioration from exposure to light. On that point, I will have to check back with what I have written in a number of months. I do not use swabs to test colour, but when I have seen samples, the ink has definite dark and light tones, and perhaps just a little bit of mauve. With a medium nib, the ink dries very quickly on paper, about 5 seconds. The time extends as you use wider and wider nibs, and of course the paper plays a big part.

In writing with a variety of papers there has been no bleeding. I also did not find feathering taking place. With cheap office copy paper, there is an front and back side and when writing on the bank side the line has a little more character.

So what is not to like about this ink. Reasonable price, large bottle (70 ml), a bottle that is taller than its width so good for filling a pen.