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Ditching Clairefontaine...

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94 replies to this topic

#21 jniforat


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Posted 01 June 2011 - 22:32

of course, i'm going to probably get a dot webbie, so i'm not totally complaining :D. I think if the HitList's came in grid and dots, along with double the pages, it would be the perfect notebook. as it stands, i still think HitList is my favorite :) :puddle: :puddle: :puddle:

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#22 KrazyIvan


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Posted 01 June 2011 - 22:33

a single sheet stuffed between a notebook page is too much to carry? Really? :embarrassed_smile:

#23 andru



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Posted 01 June 2011 - 23:01

I've definitely experienced the skipping (90g smooooth) with a number of pens, including semi-flex Namiki Falcon (Waterman FB). If I'm very careful I can write without skipping with most pens, but ... I can't always be so careful. For a person who can't tolerate dry-starts/skipping I could not recommend Clairefontaine.

I've noticed that if I rub the paper first with my palm it helps considerably.

As to the long dry time and smearing, I'd be interested in trying blotting paper, but doesn't this detract from shading when using italic or flex pens? Or leave paler colours? The intense whiteness of the paper could help make up for it.

#24 stevlight


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Posted 01 June 2011 - 23:04

Clairefontaine is too smooth for me also--also takes too long to dry.

I love Strathmore 400 drawing paper.

#25 fourseamer


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Posted 01 June 2011 - 23:24

If anyone wants to donate their Clairefontaine or Rhodia paper, I'll gladly accept. :puddle:

#26 Sandy1



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Posted 01 June 2011 - 23:46


Skipping: None, never. As someone who writes exclusively with flex nibs, and dip pens, I cannot, in good conscience, say that has ever happened.

Smoothness and lack of control: I suppose with certain people, it would be a problem, with myself, it's mandatory. I want absolutely NO feedback from the nib or paper. My arm does the rest.



Please pardon my edit, and added emphasis.

I think that your points are significant as to the suitability of Clairefontaine Triomphe for certain applications.

I do not often write with flex nibs / dip pens, mostly because they require a different manner (mechanics) of penmanship. I write quickly, and find it very frustrating if I slow to 'draw'. That's all on me. (I do practice a bit - though it doesn't show.) I can see that if a person writes more slowly, then the skipping may diminish.

I also prefer feedback from the nib - Is the little devil running on the sweet spot?

And if one goes for blotting paper, why not the pounce pot too?

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Edited by Sandy1, 02 June 2011 - 00:23.

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#27 Ghost Plane

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 00:38

I'm another willing to give a good home to any CF paper you want to get rid of. Drying time isn't a big issue for me and I love the way high saturation inks behave with my OB, BB, and stub nibs. :thumbup:

#28 Enai



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Posted 02 June 2011 - 00:49

Skipping on paper as smooth as Clairefontaine is probably due to a baby's bottom on the nib's tip more than anything else (it's really not the paper's fault). So CF paper is useful if you want to test a nib for baby's bottom.

I find CF/Rhodia paper to be "chalky".
I keep coming back to my Esterbrooks.

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#29 beak



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Posted 02 June 2011 - 01:53

When I took up the FP again last year, I was faced with a broad Pelikan nib and Clairfontaine paper (A4 pad) and I was out of control from the start.

The experience was like trying to drive a tiger tank at speed round an ice rink. Some of the smaller stapled notebooks were better in this regard, but I don't use CF any longer. One thing that I will say for the experience is that the effort required to control the pen on that surface paid off - if you can master that you can deal with anything.
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#30 Thornton



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Posted 02 June 2011 - 06:53

I do enjoy my Rhodia notepads, but I do not like how the paper interacts with some of my drier inks. For example, after half a page of writing, any pen I have filled with Montblanc Midnight Blue starts to skip. This doesn't happen with this ink or other dry inks on Moleskine or Markings paper. It's not the end of the world, but it is irksome.
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#31 Chevalier


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Posted 02 June 2011 - 22:00

I never thought that there were people that aren't using blotting papers, because even the best paper can be ruined by our oily hands. There's usually no way around using blotting paper, when using real ink on the paper. At least if you want to get the best result.

Edited by Chevalier, 02 June 2011 - 22:03.

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#32 blemt



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Posted 02 June 2011 - 22:21

a single sheet stuffed between a notebook page is too much to carry? Really? :embarrassed_smile:

It's not too much to carry. It's not always the most convenient thing to juggle when you are on the go. ;) In note taking mode, I'm writing incredibly quickly. Even an EF nib on CF paper has some dry time to it. Juggling a notebook in my hands while taking notes and then trying to blot requires a level of co-ordination I don't yet have. ;) The experience of using a FP is supposed to be a pleasure. I don't want to stress about my notes and smeared writing.

Now at home and in a controlled space, different rules apply. I've got a bit more time for paper/ink to dry and play nice. At a latter point in time, I may actually revisit this. Who knows? It's part of the fun. :)

#33 pmsalty



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Posted 03 June 2011 - 03:46

I am a left-handed over-writer and I use Clairefontaine Triomphe for almost all of my letter writing. I have never had a pen skip while using it. I've probably used at least a dozen pens and just about as many inks on it and never have had the problems you have stated. Just an observation.
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#34 Garageboy


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Posted 10 June 2011 - 12:10

Skipping is usually with modern pens with baby bottom nibs

I use Diamine ink, so dry times is usually not an issue, with some Noodlers and PR inks, it does take a bit of time (esp Naples Blue/DC SS Blue)

#35 Lennart Wennberg

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 13:01

I'm very satisfied with Clairefontaine Triomphe, BUT I avoid using inks on it with a known long drying time, for instance Noodler's BP Black.

With inks from J.Herbin I have not had any problems with CF paper.

#36 Bookman



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Posted 10 June 2011 - 14:17

I carry a small Clairefontaine or Rhodia notebook in my cargo-pants pocket. I jot something in one every day. If I've experienced skipping or smearing, it didn't bother me because I don't remember.

I love the smell of fountain pen ink in the morning.




#37 ajk13a



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Posted 10 June 2011 - 14:52

It's amazing how a commonsensical solution always seems to work.

I love Clairefontaine paper, I love the 'greasy' aka silky smooth surface and its writing qualities. It doesn't bleed through or feather with most inks that I use - Diamine, R&K, MB, Noodler's and Waterman.

The Clairefontaine products have supported my attempts at Spencerian and flex writing with many pens Pelikan - Binderized and not-, Shaeffer, Waterman, Parker, Wall Eversharp, Swan, Esty and Conway Stewart.

Blotters are the thing and they were when I learned to write with a fountain pen in school 60 years ago. I too have cut blotters to act as book marks ( and to absorb errant ink). I use a rocker blotter when I am writing a lot and need to turn a page quickly. And I use Binder's whimsical "pin up' advert blotters from the past to remind me of what women used to look like..

If your pen skips or won't start, the nib is being held incorrectly or it needs tuning.

Please use Ockams Razor to whittle away all of the world shaking problems described in this blog.

A simple scribe and aging student of the writing arts.

Being a left-handed over writer, I agree with many of the points, but i am not giving up my Rhodia Circa Annotation paper. I write with a sheet of blotting paper under my hand to prevent bleeding. I have found that I have a similar experience with the HP 32# Presentation bond as well. The crispness of the written lines, coupled with the subdued nature of the printed lines keeps me coming back for more. For practicing my penmanship, nothing beats Seyes ruled paper.

#38 handwriter


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Posted 10 June 2011 - 15:45

I am really glad I run into this thread cause I was having a similar problem. But in my case the culprit is not CF or any paper, but the pen. Or, to be more precise, the pens. Most of my pens are old ones, but I have a few moderns, and among them, some Waterman of the Man (or Le Man) series. They're trouble.
I was using paper that was great with my old pens (110 g/m2 printer paper) and I found that really annoying skipping problem. No with just one pen. A Man 100 in plain black finish, a Man 100 Opera and a Man 200. The three of them with that problem. So after a while I diagnosed insufficient flow and sent them to John Sorowka. Got them back yesterday. I have asked John to stub the M nib of the Man 200 and just open a bit the flow of the two Man 100. Well, the 200 came back just glorious, I really love it. It was by far the worst skipper. Never happened after it made it back from Oxford. Its two biggest companions are visibly better after John's tuning, but by no means perfect. One of these days I'll send them back to John again. I thought a lot about it and used these pens for hours, and asked John's opinion. Finally I came to the conclusion that the problem is that the tip of the nib of these pens is quite round-shaped. Too much for most papers. For me the most convincing test was that the skipping almost disappers with more absorbent, more textured paper.
The tip of most of my vintage pens is somewhat flatter. This give them some tooth, and they never skip, even if I use really glossy paper (like Oxford sheets, a pretty common brand over here). Stubbing the M nib cured the problem because it entails making the nib's tip flatter.
So you guys can just pick a different brand of paper, but I think I will have my nibs stubbed, even knowing that I will get little line variation with the F nibs of the two Man pens.
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#39 gregamckinney


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Posted 10 June 2011 - 15:55

The only issue I have with CF paper is that it seems particularly sensitive to oils from my hands, resulting in frequent skipping at the bottom of the page (where there was none at the top.)

I try to have a note card or scrap of paper under the heel of my hand, which helps a lot.

Slow drying inks are an issue too, but I usually don't burn through pages fast enough to have too much trouble.

Regards, greg
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#40 Donald594


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Posted 10 June 2011 - 17:05

I agree. 1) It's not cost effective for me as a high school student. 2) The ink takes forever to dry. Coupled with the fact that I'm a lefty, and it's terrible. 3) The slickness of the paper makes me loose control of my writing. There is more, but I got lazy.

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