Posts Tagged ‘Tomoe River paper’

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Tweaking The Selection of Tools On My Desk

11/05/2021

Does your pen-ink-paper rotation make you happy, really happy? Mine was good but needed a little tweaking in recent weeks. Reviews are in progress for the pens and the paper listed.

  • Four Chinese pens, two fude, one fine and one extra-fine. The latter needed its nib swapped but is good now. The fine is on probation so we shall see about that one.
  • In recent months, either a pen for testing (recently a Waldmann) or a Platinum Century has occupied the last slot in my five pen rotation. Perhaps a stub will be next.
  • Inks are Iroshizuku syo-ro and kon-peki, Herbin Cafe des Iles, Diamine Merlot, Waterman Blue-Black, Sailor Tokiwa Matsu. Six but who’s counting?
  • Tomoe River 52g journal, an inexpensive A5 notebook paper that is very good with FP ink and a planner with MD  paper.
  • Uni Alpha Gel and a Tombow MONOgraph, both shaker mechanical pencils with 0.5mm HB Uni Nano Dia lead.
  • Uni-ball Signo 307 Micro (0.5) when a fountain pen won’t do. It writes on glossy paper and is water resistant. There is one on my desk, one in my handbag and one next to my bed.
  • Muji hard type black plastic eraser that doesn’t leave a pile of dust behind.
  • Other tools include washi tape, an Exacto knife, stylus, clips, candle, watercolor palette, brush, and paper.

It took a few modifications to refine my current choices. In the last six months, I have tried a few brands of paper that were supposed to be FP-friendly but were not good for double-sided writing. Iroshizuku was an infrequent visitor, but is now a staple. Chinese pens were off my list for years but now dominate my current rotation. In mechanical pencils, wide to very wide soft leads have been replaced by 0.5mm HB. A shaker mechanism taxes my hand far less than the traditional clicker so two of those have earned slots.

My desk is more organized with less clutter and instead of spending time deciding what to use, I simply use what is at hand. That means I spend more time working and that is a very good thing.

Links are to products at Amazon. If you purchase there, Inkophile may earn a tiny commission. The Chinese pens might be available through eBay, but the shipping time can be lengthy if from China. Recent orders from two different sellers took a month each to arrive in California.

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A Dozen Distractions From The Pen World And Beyond

06/04/2020

An odd mix of things that provided much-appreciated distraction this past week…

Five years on, I still love this duo.

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A Watercolor Palette Plus A Few Tips and Tricks

04/17/2019

Before fountain pens caught my fancy, watercolors were my favorite distraction. Over the years, a number of brands and kits have come my way. After experimenting with the lot, the Sennelier Aqua Mini set has become my favorite.

The Aqua Mini is very good value for money at about $20 for eight small cakes of artist grade paint. They are cheerful, transparent colors reminiscent of Impressionist paintings and can be mixed to make a satisfying variety of additional colors. Perhaps because they are made with honey, they are sticky and yet creamy at the same time. They moisten readily and put down significant color with no effort. They really are a pleasure to use.

Unfortunately, the box and brush are somewhat less exciting. The brush is tiny though suitable for small details. I prefer a #6 or #8 round travel brush for painting in the wild. When at my desk, anything goes.

The box has very little space to mix colors. This is a design flaw that can be remedied by placing a flat container nearby for mixing purposes. White porcelain is the best at revealing a paint’s true color. It shouldn’t stain and cleans easily so I would recommend it over other materials. However, plastic might be more practical for travel.

Tip: A dessert or sushi plate can make a useful palette. Pans of paint can be attached temporarily to the plate with tape or a removable adhesive or putty. Following a session, allow the paints to dry. Then cover with plastic wrap or store in a resealable bag to prevent dust from accumulating on the paint. When it comes to working at my desk, this is one of my favorite arrangements.

Or you can pry the paints from the original tray, move them into plastic watercolor pans and then to a variety of containers from a mint tin to a proper watercolor box. A different option would be to pry the entire plastic tray out of the original Sennelier box and put it into a mint tin of similar size. One with a flat, metal lid would provide a more useful mixing area. If it’s white, so much the better.

Below is a Simply Gum Mints (not the chewing gum) metal box that will hold six large pans or nine small ones like those from the Aqua Mini set. Mia discovered how well these tins work and I am so glad she passed that along. My family has gone through a large box of the mints leaving me six containers for a variety of color groupings.

If you just want to play around with paint, the supplied brush and box will do. But don’t be surprised if you get hooked and need a better brush and not long after that, a real watercolor box. Then more paint and brushes and, well, you get the picture. Such things happen even with the best of intentions. Collecting paint is very much like collecting ink. Brushes are comparable to pens. You have been warned.

As for paper, Stillman & Birn make lots of journals for the traveler. Tomoe River paper will take a light wash of color as will a number of other brands. Should painting charm you beyond the occasional doodle, go for 100% cotton watercolor paper. It can be pricey but totally worth it.

My enthusiasm for Sennelier watercolors is what I really wanted to share with you. The container and brush deficiencies are easily overcome so don’t let that be a deterrent. The paint is great and that is what really counts.

Amazon Shopping List:

  1. Sennelier Aqua Mini
  2. Travel Brushes from Escoda, da Vinci, Silver Brush
  3. #8 round brush from Escoda or Silver Brush
  4. Metal Palette with plastic pans from Meeden, Honbay or JCT ECO
  5. Stillman & Birn Zeta Sketchbook smooth enough to accommodate fountain pen nibs or the Beta for a slightly textured surface.
  6. Winsor & Newton Watercolor Journal, Arches, Strathmore, Fabriano (All are 100% cotton with a slightly textured surface.)
  7. Sennelier Watercolor Tube Test Pack (Fewer colors than the Aqua Mini but a larger volume of each color. Will need a palette/container and plastic pans.)
  8. Small (half) pans and large (full) pans
  9. Simply Gum Mints
  10. Sushi plate or appetizer plates or small porcelain palette
  11. Uhu Reusable Adhesive

At Parka Blogs, Teoh reviewed the Sennelier Aqua Mini set with similar conclusions.

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Sunday Reads: Flex Nibs, Ink, And Stifflexible

07/22/2018

Pen links and other goodies…

Four years on, these writing tools remain favorites.

 

Clairefontaine, Stillman & Birn, Platinum #3776 Century Nice and Nice Pur, Conklin Durograph Stub, Iroshizuku, J. Herbin, Noodler’s Ink, Sailor Ink, Tomoe River paper.

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Sunday Reads: Sheen, Tomoe River, And A Cat

05/06/2018

Ink sheen is intriguing, but using a cooperative paper can make even less well-endowed inks show a little dazzle…

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A DIY Journal With Tomoe River Paper

03/02/2018

It is always satisfying to assemble a DIY journal for a new year. For 2018, I discovered a leather passport case that will accommodate two Traveler’s Notebooks. It makes a small and lightweight companion that takes up little space, but looks great and offers enough pages to keep the writer in me creative and content.

The notebooks come in diary, blank, grid and lined editions all with fountain pen friendly paper. I prefer the Traveler’s #005 with Tomoe River paper that Leigh Reyes introduced me to a few years ago. Tomoe takes fountain pen ink like a champ, but also holds up to a light watercolor application which makes it fine for small sketches or to add extra color to written pages.

The Sea Green (more teal than turquoise) cover from Banuce is eye-catching and just the right size for the Traveler’s Notebook. It has lots of slots for credit cards, stickers, and other bits and pieces. Another passport-sized cahier might fit, but the Moleskine does not. I might purchase the coral to house all those lists and task notes that clutter my desk. Two notebooks doesn’t seem excessive when it comes to being organized, does it?

The leather is smooth to the touch, but firm enough to give the journal a solid writing surface. Either a writing board or a piece of blotting paper will protect lower sheets, but Tomoe has rarely bled through in my experience. The cover folds back easily for notes on the go.

The snap clasp will keep everything firmly inside. The corners are slightly round, and the stitching consistent. The black edging offsets the striking color and gives the journal a finished look.

The only drawback is the over-sized stamp of the manufacturer’s name. It would have been more subtle centered on the lower edge of the back cover.

This is not a pricey item and durability is hard to predict, but it should last through the coming year. It arrived attractively packaged should you want to give it as a gift. Add a Traveler’s Notebook and any writer would be happy to fill the pages. For less than $15, the cover and notebook make quite the bargain.

Banuce passport covers here and here. Traveler’s Notebook with Tomoe River paper. J. Herbin Blotter Paper. Taroko Design Pencil Board. All links are to Amazon. When you purchase through my links, I get a tiny commission but every penny helps keep this Inkophile supplied with new items to review.

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Sunday Reads On A Saturday?

04/15/2017

Holiday tomorrow so links are posting a day early.

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