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[09-20-2012] 2013 CatalogueTHE NEW STIPULA CATALOGUE 2013 IS COMING! DOWNLOAD IT HERE!
[07-07-2012] Tuscany dreamsComing soon the new collection Tuscany Dreams, with hand chiselled details by Florentine artisans...visit us shortly!
[08-24-2010] catalogue 2010-2011Check out the new lines in the Stipula catalogue just released. Download it to your pc.
STIPULA 2011 CATALOGUE DOWNLOAD
Catalogue is optmized for printing and is 200 mb heavy.
[04-03-2007] ARCIMBOLDO - 4 ELEMENTS“At its best, art transfigures the world around us for a brief time, strives to let the radiance of truth, goodness, and beauty flash out for an instant.”
The most recent addition to the Academia Line is the Transfiguration Collection: Arcimboldo – 4 Elements (Air, Fire, Earth and Water). The series is modelled after the Davinci collection but with a special and unique characteristic in the almond shape barrel that allows the artwork of the miniature Florentine painter to engage the most area for her canvas and also allowing the pen barrel to delicately rest in the cradle of your hand.
Each pen is hand-painted by our talented Florentine miniature artist so each is truly your own personal work-of-art.
Giuseppe Arcimboldo was a 16th century painter involved in the Emperor’s court in Prague for many years where he developed the unusual pre-surrealist style. He is known today as the Italian Mannerist painter whose fascinating compositions of fruits, vegetables, animals, books, and other objects were transfigurized to resemble human portraits.
Limited edition of 88 pieces per element; Numbers 1-18 exclusively sold in set of all 4 elements.
[01-11-2007] THE EVOLUTION OF THE PEN: FROM STONE TO FEATHERThe evolution of what we know today as the fountain pen, began thousands of years ago from the writings and or archeological discoveries that we can observe in various forms such as: graffiti, wall paintings, cuneiform writings, and the clay tablets of Sumeria.
The first primitive type of paper were clay tablets that were engraved with the help of a straw, the forerunner of the pen, cut diagonally in such a way to leave a mark on the soft, wet surface of the clay that in a second phase would then be dried so that the lines previously engraved would become imprinted.
Overlooking this interesting part of our past, the true history of the pen begins with the invention of the paper made from papyrus thanks to the skilled Egyptian people. This introduction generated a significant change which was dictated from the intrinsic characteristics of the papyrus paper that demanded ink in order to leave legible marks, and lines. The Egyptian scribes learned to fabricate red and black ink by mixing soot and oxidized iron with water and glue. In order to write with this tenacious, yet elementary ink, the scribe would submerge the point of a reed that by capillary action was able to absorb a small quantity of ink, enough to allow several characters to be written. This action was then repeated numerous times until the scribe completed his work: a task that followed writing through history until the end of the 19th century.
The evolution of the pen was a direct result of the development of the accessories of writing: from utilizing papyrus to parchment, and finally to the paper that we are familiar with today.
The first writing instrument with a point similar to a nib, made from a papyrus stem, was created during the antique Greek civilization. This pen with a nib was constructed by first drying a papyrus stem and then cutting it on one side in such a way that the point (a flute’s mouth) results split in two from one opening so that the pen obtained had a better result in respect to that of the reed used by the Egyptians, even though it’s correct use required much practice with the instrument.
With the introduction of parchment paper, the goose feather pen surpassed that of the reed (straw) given it’s strength and flexibility. From the 16th century, this kind of writing instrument was commonly used thanks also to the introduction of paper. The feather that became individualized as the most suitable for writing was the most external one of the right wing of the bird, that is then naturally turned to embrace the hand of who holds it. The process of making the goose feather pen that was introduced by the Dutch was composed of two phases: during the first phase, the feather was buried for a short time under a layer of fine and very warm sand in order to dry it’s inner and external membrane; and then, it was immersed in a boiling solution of alum or nitric acid to strengthen the feather for future use.
....follow: "the birth of the fountain pen"
[11-28-2006] 5 TIPS FOR FOUNTAIN PEN GIFT GIVINGFountain pens make great gifts. They're personal, stylish and fun, not to mention very useful in everyday life.
There are so many fine pens to choose from, and you can guarantee personalization by having them engraved. However, because there are a lot of options, choosing the "right" pen for that special person on your gift list can be intimidating. Here are some tips for making it easy and enjoyable instead.
Tip #1: Focus on the other person's preferences, not your own.
If you like the same things, you've got it made. But that's usually not the case. Put yourself in the other person's shoes and you're off to a good start.
Tip #2: What type of writing instrument?
There are four choices: Fountain Pen, Ball Point Pen, Rollerball Pen and Mechanical Pencil. What type is used as an everyday writing instrument? How about for special occasions like signing documents or writing personal correspondence? What is his or her profession? Answering these questions will help you determine the type.
Tip #3: Evaluate a handwriting sample of the person.
This is especially helpful if you're going to pick out a fountain pen. And it's easier than it may sound. For instance, a fine nib is your best bet for smaller writing or writing that has slimmer lines. On the other hand, a medium to broad sized nib works well for writing that's larger and darker. If the sample wasn't written with a fountain pen, it will either confirm or change the decision you made as a result of Tip #2.
Tip #4: Decide how much you want to spend.
This can help you narrow the field and not get too distracted. But give yourself a reasonable range so you'll still have plenty of choices. Sometimes a slightly more expensive writing instrument will make a big difference in quality, performance and appearance.
Tip #5: What's the person's style?
Is he or she traditional, a trendsetter or somewhere in between? Get your clues from personal or business attire, accessories such as watches, jewelry and eyewear, even what the person drives. These answers will help you pick a pen brand, finish, color and more, until you've made your final selection.
[08-03-2006] FOUNTAIN PEN FILLING SYSTEMSWhoever loves writing with a fountain pen knows that the moment of refilling is a compulsory halt in the mileage of writing, sometimes drastically imposed by the sudden drying up of the nib, leaving a word half-written or a sentence interrupted just at the wrong time.
But, overcoming our instinctive horror for the defaulting instrument, our “love” for the pen returns with the gesture of the loading of the ink, that is often called a ritual because of the sequence of precise and repetitive actions and the attention paid in order not to dirty hands, clothes, paper and other equipment with that insidious liquid.
The loading apparatus adopted by various pen manufacturer has been different, from the very simple, to the planning and the patenting of complicated devices, sometimes curious and ingenious.
In the fountain pens that feature this kind of filling system one must keep the body of the pen perpendicular while filling the barrel with a dropper furnished by the manufacturer. Actually, there are two different ways to do the direct loading, depending on the pen: the first is to unscrew the grip or the writing section from the body and insert the ink in its internal cavity; the second is typical of the so-called “safety-pens”, in which you can reach the barrel directly through the nib. In the safety pens in fact, the nib recedes by twisting the knob at the end of the barrel and leaves the space to fill the barrel with ink. When the nib is out, the feeder strikes against the internal surface of the “mouth of the head”, warranting the closing of the superior part of the pen. When the nib is inside (not only for the filling, but also to close the pen), the ink does not come out thanks to a gasket inside the cap.
The first of these two loading systems was certainly easier, but it is the second that was most used by the manufacturers, despite the making of the spiral and the internal covering of the barrel was difficult and the cork gasket wore out rapidly (with loss of ink).
[03-01-2006] The way I see my art (self-introduction of Paolo Cerrini)(Paolo Cerrini is a florentine goldsmith artist and author of some fountain pens of the Academia line masterpieces)...
When I was asked to write something about myself, I found myself very embarrassed, to say the least.
I immediately thought of certain biographies found in art exhibits catalogues.
Many of these supply the reader with information about lives that are if not outright adventurous, at least very interesting, and about studies in prestigious educational institutions, great works, travels, etc.
Certainly, by the law of opposites it might seem ‘novel’ to have dropped out of school at thirteen and begun working immediately thereafter (my family had no time for idlers), to have taken a job without having first asked myself whether it was really what I wanted but simply because the baker needed a boy. But it wasn’t novel or original at all, because all or almost all the kids my age were subject at the time to the same societal ‘laws’, and many of them went to work even before I did - and no one even dreamed of complaining. It was just the way things went. But when we recount how our generation ‘learned its lessons at the university of life’ we are perpetrating both a historical untruth and an injustice. Certainly, some of us made it, some of us rose to success, but most of my generation, the less fortunate, lost their ways among the folds of a life made of anonymous factories and low-cost housing. I was among the fortunate ones. My work turned into an embellishment of my very existence, my home is a beautiful country house set in green hills, but woe betide me should I forget the others, or my origins, that taught me the discipline that permits me to apply myself day after day in order to guarantee that my work will be able to offer the very best I was able to put into it to whoever turns his attention to that which I have made. At times, interviews with actors, or with ‘artists’ in general, seem to convey the idea that most of them have fun working and good results come easy to them. That’s not the way it is with me: I often fear that I have not succeeded in making something beautiful and only in the final stage, only when I read in my customer’s eyes the joy he will experience when he wears or gives that which before I put my hand to it was only wax and metal, only then do I feel to have contributed to making the world and someone’s life just a little more beautiful.
Were I to turn to any one of the great automobile manufacturers to ask them to build me a car with characteristics different from those of normal series production, I would most probably find myself answered by a courteous smile - but also a firm no. The experience would be identical with the large shoe manufacturers, or in fact industries of any type that base their production on large numbers. The exact opposite happens with us craftspeople.
Try and request an object made almost entirely by hand in more than about ten copies, and you will see the eyes of the able craftsman take on the expression of a man facing the prospect of crossing the Sahara on a tricycle. It’s certainly not my task to explain why both types of production are still essential in our world - the fact is that they both exist and succeed in coexisting and obviously find their raisons d’etre in the various types of demand. It is just as true that crafts - a sector to which I am proud to belong and which I feel I know quite well - will always find space for itself, since it valorizes quality and nimble-minded inventiveness and works for customers with a passionate love for, if not the one-of-a-kind piece, at least the limited series.
This is the underlying, and necessary, philosophy into which the roots of my way of working have sunk.
Sure, it’s great to be able to stroll down the street and see cars we might define as true moving sculptures, fruit of the genius of true artists, which thanks to modern production methods are within the economic reach of almost anyone.
The function of the craftsman, whether we like it nor not, is different. Often, the fact that an object is high quality and produced in a small series make both the object itself and its creator what we might call ‘outsiders’ - and the same can be said of the customer, who is evidently suffering from the same or a similar malady of the imagination. Selecting a unique object that until only a short time before did not exist, and selecting it without support of the warm, reassuring embrace of advertising, is somehow equivalent to having built it. In a world in which approval means security, even apparently normal gestures are challenges, statements of individuality.
I have the pleasure of working for people capable of all that.
When a customer expresses interest in a crafts object, he is certain that he selected it. But that’s not quite true, and not all there is to it. I think what happens is more like an encounter, a reciprocal selection, because since the object in question has original characteristics it could not but have met up with that type of person. This is the spirit with which many craftspeople like myself - and there are some very able workers among us - sit down in the morning at their workbenches with a sports or political newspaper at their side, complaining about everything and everyone, convinced that if the world had been made by someone of their professional class it would have come out better - and therefore embittered about not having been invited - but for all this ready to set their able hands in motion to give form to objects that are at that point still only half an idea.
[11-23-2005] Titanium - a versatile alloyStipula chose Titanium as its precious alloy in some of its "Avanguardia" collections.
Titanium ore was first discovered in 1791 in Cornish beach sands by the Englis clergyman and mineralogist, William Gregor. The new element was not purified until 1910,however, and another 40 years were to pass before it began to be refined and produced in marketable quantities.
In his periodic table of the elements, first published in 1869, Dmitrii Mendeleyev assigned titanium the atomic number 22, which places it in the first main trasition series of elements, metals which are mostly hard,strong and lustruos.
Today we know that this lightweight, high-strength metal possesses a number of extraordinary properties that make it one of the materials of greatest technological interest in many sectors. Titanium is practically immune to corrosion by saline solutions and shows exceptional resistance to an extremely broad spectrum od acids, alkalis and other aggressive chemicals agents, both synthetic and natural.
Its strength and excellent corrosion resistance make Titanium an ideal candidate for use in manufacturing fountain pen nibs, which are subject to continual contact with one of the most aggressive of all commonly-used substances: ink.
[08-04-2005] Stipula and semiprecious stonesThe new “Franciscus I Medices” represents Stipula’s homage to the world of semi-precious stones.
The birth and development of pittura di pietra, “stone painting,” interlaces with the history of the Medici’s Florence. In fact, they revealed a refined taste in selecting semi-precious stones and artists, often summoned from far-away lands to execute the works of art.
During Cosimo I’s and Francesco I’s reign, the artistic heritage evolved to reach it’s highest splendour; particularly with Francesco I who spent part of his days in the “Casino di San Marco” following the works of the semi-precious stones. At San Marco, Italian and foreign craftsmen moulded vases and chalices in semi-precious stones or rock crystal, commonly mounted with gold accents, gemstones, and inlays of other precious materials – truly works of art—which continues to arouse much admiration and wonder still today. From the glittica, the modelling art of semi-precious stones, which was practiced for centuries, developed into miniatura pittorica, “pictorial miniature.” It was then Ferdinand who in 1588 solemnly founded the Opificio delle Pietre Dure with a grand-ducal decree.
In order to find these semi-precious stones, one had to search along mountain paths and creek beds for the hidden colours while constantly discovering the secret treasures that lie within the seemingly innocent and dull rocks and pebbles once cut by the artist’s hands.
Little by little, the art was enriched by the inclusions present in the ores and rocks, which were used to portray certain effects not obtainable by other ways. For example, the golden lapis lazuli of Persia that was used to represent the sky, contains by nature calcium carbonate that give the unique inclusions in the stone, and thereby rendering the idea of clouds. The new art leaves within itself the technique of mosaic a tessere that is composed of many small pieces of various shades of colour and details of the marble. These details then are used to express the different aspects of nature. The research for detail is truly microscopic and where the veining of the stone is not able to express certain elements, a metallic point intervenes to carve an eye or a wrinkle. These carvings were then filled with a special hard gum that once polished, became smooth and shiny. This detailed work obligated one to create also special utensils for cutting the stone with thin and ultra-resistant wires. In addition, there were many studies executed to build a special support with a centre used with commesso that at the very least could be supported with one’s fingers and find a warm mastic that held the pieces together during the lengthy polishing work.
The subjects during the first period were highly symbolic or of floral decoration that eventually evolved into clothing, drapery, eighteenth-century architecture, landscapes; all rich of the natural vivacity of the stones. The influence of the Neapolitan neoclassicism favoured the production of mythological scenes, and still life of flowers and fruit.
Successively, the Opificio became incredibly well known that Florentine artisans were requested from abroad – it is, in fact, documented that there was a significant influence in the construction of the Taj-Mahal in India. In Naples, there was also established an opificio that although having existed a brief time, is proof to the immense popularity of this art during this period. Testimonies of collections of semi-precious stones, inaugurated by the Medici family, can be found in the numerous European palaces, as well as diffused throughout the world. When in 1743 the Medici dynasty had ended, the Opificio continued their works under the new reign of the Lorena family. Then in 1806, a royal decree instituted an exclusivity on the production of the works in semi-precious stones — a protection from the spread of low quality imitations.
In 1838, a foundry of bronze was established, and successively, a workshop for galvanization which eventually corrupted the original nature and intentions of the opificio.
Today, the institution engages in study and research while also fervently dedicated to the restoration of inlaid work, mosaics, and gemmed goldsmith’s.
Visit the website www.opificio.arti.beniculturali.it