first flowers of spring and momento zero
There’s a crisp, biting air outside, but the sun shines. It is blinding a little, everything is too bright. Smoke rises from the chimneys, dissolving into the wind. An old record plays, people chat under your open window. It’s a slow morning, where nobody is rushing anywhere, even the cars seem to disappear. People walk and chat, kids run around. Life already feels a little better in spring after the long, groggy days of winter.
It is the first week of March and I cannot think about a better way to celebrate the beginning of spring than Leonardo Momento Zero’s and flowers.
I have a lot of plants, but almost none of them flower, except my one Moth Orchid. I only had it about 1.5 years, and it has spent most of that time re-blooming. It was a birthday gift from my parents, hoping that bright purple flowers would cheer me up during a quarantined birthday. They were right! It bloomed once again in September and still has the same flowers on it, and has been branching to put out even more flowers. In honour of this lovely flowers, I have inked Colorverse’s Milky Lavender in a Momento Zero Pietra Marina with a fine nib. I had gotten this pen in a bright spring day just like this one, hoping for a sunny summer. This resin isn’t as complex or colourful as some of their other ones, but in sunlight it sparkles and shines like velvet. To be honest, it reminds me of corduroy velvet, though I appreciate the association with sea stones. One of my favourite summer activities is collecting pebbles and marble pieces on walks at the beach, the waves crashing around your ankles. Once, one of my friends was helping me out by carrying my beach bag and jokingly asked “Dennis why is this so heavy, are you carrying stones or something?” Little did he know that there were pebbles, hidden in my sunscreen bag. After I showed them and the story got out, nobody asks to carry my bags anymore.
The ink Milky Lavender is a little complex, it writes as a warm toned purple and dries to a cooler tone. It’s mesmerising to watch it dry. The colour reminds me of wild lavender, when it’s baked in the sun whole summer it turns a similar colour. I used to fill the pockets of my dresses and skirts with them, and whenever I needed a little cheering up, I’d put my hands in my pockets. They’d come back smelling like dried lavender.
My second currently flowering plant is a Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii. They aren’t generally grown to flower, but mine started putting out some flower stalks. Whatever makes it happy, I guess. Due to the wonderful greenness of this plant, I got the new Leonardo Momento Zero Jade (fine nib again) and Graf von Faber’s Olive Green. This is one of my favourite inks, and the pen very quickly became one of my favourites too. This pen’s colour reminds me of picnics at the lake and mint lemonade much more than jade. The resin has much more depth than the Pietra Marina, with sunshine yellows, breezy greens and almost transparent aqua flecks (it's super hard to photograph). It is hypnotic when you turn it in your hand and watch the sunlight hit all the little flecks.
I have loved every Graf von Faber ink I have tried so far, the colours are perfect to my tastes, but my favourite park is their bottles. They are extremely luxurious, my dream is to have one displayed on my desk with some flowers or cuttings in it. Unfortunately for me, first I have to finish the ink inside. 75 ml turns out to be a lot of ink, at this rate I’ll be done with this bottle in about half a decade.
It has been a lovely spring day looking at flowers and beautiful pens, writing the samples from a Victorian beekeeping book. My only problem with any of these pens is the nib of Leonardo Pietra Marina, it’s an old one with Bock nib unit. It skips often, and you need to prime the nib and then the nib continues to write properly (see the writing sample). With some papers like Rhodia or Clairefontaine, it stops working completely. I took it back to the store I got it from, but in there everything seemed to be in order and nothing wrong. It even wrote consistently. I don’t know what’s wrong with it, but it’s a shame that such a pretty pen spends a lot of time in the drawer because of the writing experience. I even tried to take a video of the nib not writing, but it only worked when the camera was on. I put on the camera as well while writing the rest of the sample…
Thank you for reading!