Olga Aloy has created this PORTOLAN fountain pen, whose «gold leaf lacquer» decoration she created and fashioned based on a traditional technique. The name it bears is that given in the latter years of the Middle Ages to nautical books or charts showing all the information needed by sailors: seamarks, sailing lights, currents, shallows and so forth. It was later extended to include atlases or collections of nautical charts. Some of them, drawn up for display in archives or dedicated to well-known personalities, were adorned with illuminated script and accompanied by planispheres, world maps, etc.
One has to let the dreamlike power of these materials take over, watch the lacquer trace out fjords in the gold leaf, fashion estuaries in it ... over flying the continent dreamt of by the surveyors of the seas, imagining having before our eyes a portolan showing the location of the Eldorado of our dreams, of our own personal Atlantis.
It took several months of work to make this pen. First of all, several layers of lacquer were applied, each of them dried in the «furo» (the traditional cupboard with a humidity level of 80% and a temperature of 23º), and then painstakingly sanded before application of the next layer. The gold leaves were then laid and coated over with several successive layers of a honey-hued lacquer. No fewer than fifteen layers were required in order to integrate the decorative work into the materials and ensure that the whole had the silky sensuality characteristic of natural craft lacquers.
At the ends of the pen, and set for Olga by a creative jeweller, are uncut gems of Peridot (chrysolite or olivine). Known as the «knights’ stone» because it was brought to Europe by the Crusaders, this precious stone whose oldest deposits exploited after more than 3500 years are to be found on an island in the Red Sea, were among the jewels used by the pharaohs. Finally we have the clip, silver gilt, gripping on tight around the summit before gliding down along the hood, combining mineral and plant. The sheath of the capillary tube is likewise lacquered, for sensuality to the touch and to ensure a good grip, while the nib is made of solid gold and rhodium-plated gold (750/1000, 18 carat) for writing comfort.