Got a notebook from Goulet with dotted Tomoé River paper. I’ve never used that before. Thought perhaps it would be good for practicing/improving my handwriting. After all … that was one of the basic ideas I had when all this fountain pen stuff started. I just wanted to get a decent handwriting for ‘daily use’ — I had [have] no plans on starting Spencerian script.
Tonight I tried my new, dotted notebook for the first time. Wrote a quote I read somewhere long time ago. It probably saved my life at the time.
This is written with my fine nibbed Waterman Hemisphere with Visconti blue ink. Can’t say I liked the experience. The dots are too pronounced for my taste. I think they should have been more sublte.
This, new Waterman pen quickly became a favourite! It’s my best writing exprience after the Sonnet! It’s smooth, not overly wet. It just works — never skips a stroke, and that was right out of the box. Its full name is Waterman Hemisphere, Blue Obsession 🙂
This whole fountain pen business reminds me at times about the DSLR camera: paper, pen, ink … ISO, aperture, shutter speed. You can’t change one without changing the others. Almost.
When I started out, I found out about Clairefontaine paper and thought it was heavenly. After a while a pen pal in Germany sent me a few sheets of Tomoé River paper, and there was no going back. It’s so thin! It’s like the type of paper they use in bibles and such. Still, no bleeding through, minimal ghosting, extremely smooth. It brings out the colours and the shading of the ink in a beautiful way. I got totally hooked on this type of paper. Started buying notebooks from Goulet Pens in Virginia, US and also from Nanami Paper in California. The latter sells a thicker notebook, close to 500 pages, called Seven Seas.
Up until now, they’ve only sold it in A5 format, but the other day I was in there looking for something else when I found this:
A new, smaller format! It’s 176 x 110 millimetres, which supposedly corresponds to the format B6. I bought one right away and it arrived today. This will suit my needs in many ways — the A5 I basically only use for “Morning Pages”. This will be great for daily scribblings and much cheaper in the long run, than the small notebooks I’ve been buying. This was $12 US. Here’s another picture to get a sense of proportions …
The other day I was thinking of how I used to be so totally sold on Clairefontaine in the beginning. Brought out a notebook and tried to write with one of my Pilot Metropolitan pens. They are trusty pens that usually will handle whatever you throw at them. If my memory serves me right, I think it was inked with Waterman. I didn’t find it comfortable at all! Changed to another Metropolitan, but with a different ink — Sailor Jentle Souten. Somewhat better! Then I tried my Pelikan, which was inked with Quink … terrible! Then it struck me; back then, when I was using Clairefontaine the most, I only had Lamy pens … nothing else. So, I grabbed my yellow Lamy and wrote in the little Clairefontaine book. It was every bit as wonderful as it used to be. Hence, the comparison with photography … it all must come together: ink, pen and paper.
For some time I was really into Midori [Traveller’s notebook]. There’s like a whole ‘movement’ around them. People make them themselves and call them ‘fauxdori’, they make their own inserts and all kinds of stuff. I’m not into crafts or art –I didn’t feel at home in that world at all. Besides … I could at the most have used it with three, thin notebooks in it.
After I’d discovered Clairefontaine paper, the Midori didn’t hold the same ‘allure’ to me. Also, I’d found a small, online stationery shop here in Canada, and they actually carried more different Clairefontaine books than I could find in Amazon.
I write Morning Pages. This means three full pages every morning … so you fill up a lot of notebooks. I don’t do A4, but rather A5 so it isn’t as ‘bad’ as it may sound🙂
I’d given up on Midori (I had the passport format), but still wanted a good quality, leather cover for my smaller notebooks. After a great amount of online searching I found an excellent manufacturer out in British Columbia, Canada. I couldn’t go for any American supplier because that means you have to pay lots in duties.
Took my chances that the cover I’d ordered would fit the smaller Clairefontaine book. Originally it was made for FieldNotes, and that’s not my preferred brand. It arrived quicker than I’d expected and it fits beautifully. Wonderful quality leather — it’s one of the best purchases I’ve made! It can hold two notebooks, actually, without problems.
Where I live, there’s no stationery- or pen store at all. The nearest one would be three hours’ drive from here.
After my misfortune with Moleskine, I guess I started browsing for notebooks online. Somewhere, somehow, I came across the brand name Clairefontaine and noticed it kept occurring quite often. I searched in Amazon for that name, and sent for one book. It came here all the way from Japan.
When I opened it, and just touched the paper — hadn’t even started to write — I was in awe! I wasn’t aware of paper like this even existed!
Once I started writing on it, I was hooked forever … both on Clairefontaine and fountain pens. It was such a different experience and delight! Now I was stuck in the world of fountain pens forever.
Since I’d bought my pen in Staples and they had a very limited selection of fountain pens, I realised my choice had been … hasty. My pen felt too slim and delicate … it felt like holding a spaghetti, and the grip was slippery.
Now that I’d come to discover Amazon too — that used to be just a place to buy books for me — I started to look into other [Cross] pens. I was still stuck on that brand. I realised this was my new “hobby” or interest in life, so I thought “why not go for a more high-end one?!” The one I had was one of their cheapest in the line-up. Went for a beautiful Century II black beauty. Apparently, these were the only photo I took of it.
At first, it was heavenly to write with and I loved it. I think I still miss it a little … I feel a little tug on my heart strings when I think of it. After a couple of days, it started skipping up-strokes. Eventually it exacerbated to the pen not writing at all! I performed all the usual things you’re told to do, but the problem kept coming back. I still don’t know whether I got a dud, but I returned it and got refunded. snif
As you can see in this picture, I’d already gone down the rabbit hole of Midori notebooks when this picture was taken🙂 I didn’t stay in that hole too long though …