About Bruno Corsini Pens


Bruno Corsini Pens started in 2003.

I've been a fountain pen user since buying my first pen as a 21st birthday present to myself. Over the next 20 years, I'd picked up a couple more nice pens, but it wasn't until I was in my 40s when I became a true collector. Once I got past that "accumulate anything" phase, I found myself focusing on pens of the early 20th century (pre-1935). Early Parker Duofolds, Watermans, Sheaffer flattops, Conklins, etc., started filling my cabinet. When it came to modern pens, I found myself gravitating towards those that were modeled after those earlier pens (e.g. Parker Duofolds, Bexley Originals).

My first professional career was in software development. I spent 30 years in that career, but at the end I found there was little to show for it. Software goes obsolete quickly. Its beauty is most elusive to those outside the field. So as the software industry matured, I found myself losing the excitement it offered in its earlier days.

With a growing appreciation for fountain pens, as both writing instruments and objects of functional beauty, I decided to try my hand at making them. In early 2003 I picked up a lathe and began to study machining.

I figured my first pen would take six months to do — it took longer. My self education was on two fronts. First, I was learning how to be a machinist, studying the lathe, mills, and the various other machines and tools I would need. Simultaneously, I was working on a pen design that would accomplish what I was striving for. I was determined that the pen I produced would be something that could be expected from a quality pen maker of the early decades of the 20th century.

What I discovered during this time was that the making of the pen — the machining and tool use —was becoming as important as the final pen. If the pen itself was to be styled from the early 20th century, I also wanted the process of making the pen to be more reminiscent of that era. I don't think of the pen making as a production. Rather, I approach each pen as an individual, unique instrument. Perhaps also stemming from my long history with computer work, and my desire to go another direction, I've stayed away from CNC machining. The lathe and mill work is all done by hand. I don't use taps and dies — all threads are cut individually and to fit. I go through many manual stages of sanding and polishing.

Mathematics plays a large part in my pen making. I also work as a math tutor, and I also have found that I'm using far more math in machining pens than I ever did in developing software. My machining is very precise; I generally work to tolerances of one thousandth of an inch. I calculate my thread depths to provide the right fits. Tapers are calculated and turned to achieve just the right diameters. Any radius can be cut precisely using calculated tool movements, all then executed by hand.

The precision and attention to detail mean that my pens aren't produced in a day.