I like writing in large, unlined journals, and for some reason have had a hard time finding the combination of ingredients. Maybe I'm too finicky. Basically, looking for the following.
(1) Large (U.S. letter or A4) UNLINED pages;
(2) Fountain pen friendly paper that will allow writing on both sides;
(3) Must lie flat (I don't care if there aren't too many pages in a volume); and
(4) Must not require me to write into or out of a "hump" or into a wire binding;
I've been using Exacompta Basics Sketchbooks that use smaller paper, but a very gorgeous laid paper. How do they compare?
Here's a shot of the Tar-Calion journal on top, and the Exacompta behind:
That's a Pelikan M605 in the shot to put the size in perspective. I notice I didn't take any photos of the journal covers etc. Tar-Calion lets you customize the covers by choosing the colors for the cover, spine, and ribbon. The not leather covers are very nice -- well made with a hand crafted look. The paper is sewn in 4 groups (signatures?) of 8 sheets each (folded over) to give 64 sheets, or 128 pages. That's a good length -- it lets the journal lie flat and you'll never have to write into the "hump."
As far as paper, I knew what I was getting since it is the very smooth, non-feathering, non-bleeding, HP Premium. But I do notice HP broadens the line somewhat. The ink absorbs into the paper, where the (off white) Exacompta laid paper would let the ink kind of stay on top of the paper. Here are some close ups:
Here's the HP used in the Tar-Calion journal:
Compared to a similar size writing with the same pen and ink in the Exacompta:
The minuscules are about 2mm high in both cases.
I really like the Tar-Calion journals and will probably see if he can make me more. Ideally, I'd like them made with different paper. Something like Zerkall Book Smooth creme (110 gsm) stuff that I've seen. I'm going to see if I can get some of that and have it made into a Tar-Calion journal. Wow are some of us finicky!
But all in all, a wonderful journal!
P.S. When I have some time I'll add some shots of the covers.
Edited by HDoug, 09 March 2008 - 00:41.