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Homo Sapiens Lava
Penne in pietra lavica dell'etna

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Homo Sapiens Lava


The pen collection made in Mount Etna lava

Inspired by the inventiveness of our prehistoric ancestors who shaped obsidian to create tools for their survival, we decided to go beyond the traditional canons of writing instrument production to create the first pens made from lava stone

At Visconti, we are deeply attached to the natural wonders of our country, and chose to celebrate Sicily’s marvellous natural heritage with Homo Sapiens Lava, a collection made of basalt stone from Mount Etna. Lava stone’s natural properties and the finishing treatments it undergoes give a distinctive feel to the pens in the Lava Color, Lava Dark Age and Lava Bronze collections.

A multi-faceted natural material

Used since ancient times for flooring and decorative objects, lava stone has always been appreciated for its great malleability and resistance to temperature changes. Thanks to its porosity and hygroscopic properties, this natural material is highly resistant to water, humidity, scratches and limescale, and is also easy to clean.

Lava stone’s appearance varies depending on the way it is cut. In ancient times, this process was entirely done by hand with a stonemason’s chisel. Nowadays, modern machinery can regulate the thickness of the slabs. In the past, only the most superficial, and therefore more porous layers of the lava formations were used because they were particularly malleable. It is now possible, thanks to modern equipment, to reach deeper layers where the lava stone is more compact, harder and lighter. Finishing work, however, cannot be done without skilled labour and the use of precision tools.

Lava stone is a true chameleon in the world of materials and is as durable as it is versatile. It combines extremely well with other materials, natural or otherwise, and lends itself well to the creation of decorative accessories and interior design solutions which require contrasting textures. Lava stone combines harmoniously with metal, wood, glass and resin. Our Homo Sapiens Lava pens are made from a unique mixture of basaltic lava and resin.

Pietra lavica dell'Etna

Three declinations of lava stone

In order to highlight lava stone’s multiple facets, we have divided the Homo Sapiens line into various collections: Lava Color, Lava Dark Age and Lava Bronze. Unbreakable and pleasantly velvety to the touch, all the fountain, rollerball and ballpoint pens in these collections are the result of a skilful blend of basaltic material and resin. Barrel colour and metalwork are the main differentiating features between collections. The fountain pens are equipped with our iconic 14kt or 18kt gold nib made entirely in-house. 

Lava Color is available in three different shades that reflect the colours of the earth. The Ash White version is reminiscent of white ash, Terra di Sienna recalls the well-known red mineral pigment of the Sienese landscape and Tuff is inspired by the material resulting from the consolidation of volcanic ash expelled during a volcanic eruption. The finish of the blend is stain-resistant to prevent ink stains on the pen’s body when it is being refilled. The black metalwork has been polished with an electroplating treatment to stand out against the colour of the body.

The monochromatic Lava Dark Age collection was inspired by the intense dark grey colour of lava stone. The Visconti logo engraving on the polished metal clip and the ruthenium-finished gold nib are discreet, refined and elegant.

The Lava Bronze collection, on the other hand, stands out for the contrast between the deep black of the pen’s body, the polished bronze of the metalwork and the rose gold finish of the Visconti nib. The cap is fitted with the bayonet closing system.  The pens closes with a slight twist of the cap and opens by simply pushing it towards the pen barrel and rotating it gently.

Experience the wild power of nature harnessed in Homo Sapiens Lava. This line encapsulates the perfect balance of functionality, practicality and design.


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