Best laid plans and all that. The Miquelrius journal has been a disappointment. The paper bleeds worse than the paper in my copier so I’m looking for something better. Kp offered to send a few journals from her stash and I will post the results in time. If all else fails, a Stillman & Birn Epsilon or Zeta may have to heed the call although I prefer them for other duties than my day to day musings. A lined or grid format is really essential to keep my writing on the straight and narrow, but decorating pages with watercolor is necessary, too. The search continues…
Archive for the ‘Paper’ Category
Now that the year is over, a brief recap is in order. I had hoped to adopt a canine companion, but finding a rescue that wouldn’t trigger allergies proved illusive. However, my collection of tools expanded with some new favorites.
- Platinum #3776 Century Nice and Nice Pur since they are clearly brilliant.
- Conklin Duragraph Stub for a well-priced wide nib with character.
- Noodler’s General of the Armies because I love blue-green ink.
- Iroshizuku kon-peki for an all-purpose blue.
- J. Herbin Orange Indien since I’m a sucker for orange.
- Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu when only evergreen will do.
- Tomoe River Paper for fountain pens and even a dab of watercolor.
- Clairefontaine for it’s variety of formats and fountain pen friendly paper.
- Stillman & Birn for watercolor and art journals.
A big thank you to Exaclair, Stillman & Birn, Luxury Brands USA, Jet Pens, and Paper for Fountain Pens for sending so many wonderful products to enjoy and review. Without your generosity, Inkophile couldn’t exist.
After following Mia’s work in a Hobonichi this past year, is it any wonder this journal topped my list for 2015? The Tomoe River paper is delightful and the layout and covers are attractive and well-made. The largest version is in the right range for my wide nibs and would still leave enough room for doodles and ink swatches. Unfortunately, the Hobonichi is not in my budget.
There are stores that sell Tomoe River paper in journals, but not in the grid format with which I want to experiment this next year. Paper For Fountain Pens, Nanami Seven Seas and Jet Pens have lined and blank paper if that might work for you. Jet Pens sent some blank sheets that I might put together for an ink journal once my Clairefontaine is full.
Uncertain what to use for a daily journal, I put aside the decision for another day and decided to look for a Noodler’s ink to write holiday notes. It was rather dark in my office so I used a flashlight to see the back of the bottom shelf and look what I found.
Two Miquelrius grid notebooks! They lack the cachet of Tomoe River, but they have a ton of pages and are very fountain pen friendly. These journals are too heavy to carry around so that is one drawback. Otherwise, they will do. And the budget nanny is pleased indeed.
Monologue offers a variety of notebooks and was kind enough to send several for review. Their generosity provided ample opportunity to test two grades of natural white paper, the 80 gsm ruled and the 140 gsm blank version. There are pluses and minuses to each.
The form is very well executed for all of Monologue’s notebooks. Details are available elsewhere and there was nothing disappointing in my use of their products. Okami covers the subject very well so head over there for info on those attributes.
Notebooks in this line include elastic closures, ribbon bookmarks, pen loops, and inner pockets. Some have paper with gilded edges for those who like a little bling. The handsome bronze covered notebook above is pictured with a Platinum #3776 Century Nice fountain pen, an eye-catching couple to be sure. All of the notebooks have unadorned covers with the Monologue imprint placed low on the back cover. My favorite is the green Contrast Ruled Notebook with its orange elastic closure that is perfect with orange ink and an orange fountain pen. (Don’t mind me. It’s a seasonal affliction.)
My experience with the paper is slightly different from Julie’s. My acid-free, 80 gsm Platinum notebook showed less bleed-through and show-through though performance was inconsistent. Finer nibs produced the best results and Noodler’s Black with a Lamy EF was perfect. Other inks and pens were almost as good displaying faint marks on the reverse. Diamine Royal Blue, Violet and Aqua Blue as well as Sailor Nioi-sumire are worth recommending. Unfortunately, there was mild feathering with a few inks from wide or free-flowing nibs.
All other writing instruments tested had no issues though they did produce very faint show-through at a level that would not interfere with writing on the reverse. I wouldn’t call it even a whisper and for writing purposes it would be insufficient to bother me.
Monologue Basics paper is great for fountain pen ink as well as art tools including light washes of watercolor. The acid-free, 140 gsm Italian paper is heavy enough to tolerate a decent amount of abuse. The texture claims to be rough but I found it quite smooth. The binding is sewn and the book will lay flat, an important feature for the artist. The paper did buckle with paint from a traditional brush, though it did not buckle when using a waterbrush. It really gets down to how much water is applied to the paper. Dry media like charcoal and graphite won’t trigger that effect. Even crayons will do nicely. Journals are made for having fun, no?
A notable difference between Monologue Basics sketchbooks and most other brands, is that the paper is perforated. Detach a sheet and it won’t affect other pages. That makes it easy to remove a drawing that turns out especially well or to hand a sketch or notes to a companion. So much better than a napkin or the back of an envelope and the paper has no issues with fountain pen ink.
Both grades of paper have lots of applications. The variety of sizes and forms is another plus. Monologue should appeal to both those who journal as well as those who make a journal an art form.