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  1. I'm in the process of working out how I want to conduct ink reviews, and I think I've just identified a reasonably economical source of one type of paper I want to use. Officeworks, which is a national chain of stationery stores in Australia that (as far as I'm aware) is not franchised, sells a variety of ‘Tradie Notebooks’ in different sizes and formats, that use stone paper and is marketed as being waterproof – and therefore must be non-absorbent. These notebooks are not otherwise branded; Officeworks' name, nor J.Burrows and Keji (both of Officeworks' house brands, I believe), is anywhere to be seen on the product. In Officeworks' online catalogue, it seems have the brand ‘nu:’, but that does not appear on the SKUs I saw. I picked up one of the reporter-style notebooks (i.e. in portrait format, with metal wire binding on the top narrower edge) in the range for A$4.49. This notebook has extremely think and stiff covers, and it contains eighty 8mm-ruled sheets that measure 124x188mm when detached at the perforations. ‘Tradie’ is slang for tradesmen, referring to the likes of plumbers, carpenters, bricklayers, etc. and generally have connotations of blue-collar working-class folk with decidedly unrefined tastes and lack culture and sophistication; the presentation of the product reflects that ‘aesthetic’. The sheets are floppy and easily creased, and the ruled lines are anything but light or subtle. Writing on it without a hard backing sheet immediately beneath the page, or without detaching the page first to lay it on a desk or table, with even a minimal amount of pressure puts sharp indentations in the page that are visible on the reverse side. Inks take a hell of a long time to dry on this paper, and are quite apt to smear even after (supposedly) dry. Natural variation in how much ink the nib has deposited on the page for a particular glyph, or even a particular point alone a pen stroke, makes a hell of a difference. It also make all my EF and F nibs produce lines that are noticeably broader than what I consider Medium. It is absolutely horrible to write on, in my opinion. It's also such a treat as an extreme example of impractical papers to use in order to best elicit and show off sheens from inks, in terms of reviewing the inks' potential and characteristics, as opposed to telling a reader how an ink will behave the particular use case he/she has in mind (which may include the use of a specific pen or nib). Even the writing from a stock-standard Lamy ballpoint refill sheens on it: It is my answer to anyone who ‘requests’ or demands to see how any ink would sheen on non-absorbent paper such as Tomoe River.





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