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  1. feham17_

    Happy New Year Everyone!

    Happy New Year everyone! Let's hope that '22 will be much better than the past two years! 🖋️➡️ Pilot Kakuno 📜➡️ Rhodia Bloc N°16 🔏➡️ Diamine Enchanted Ocean 🌊 Have a great day/night!🏳️‍🌈
  2. This is my first post. I have been dormant for the last 11 years since signing up to fountainpennetwork in 2010. I bought my Sailor Pro Gear Slim 14k MF yesterday which made me write this post. As soon as I got home I wrote a couple of hand written letters to my cousins in Canada, which if I mail them now will reach them in the next 40 days !! I bought this from Sailor retailer in Hong Kong for a bargain price of US $98. I went to the shop to buy Pelikan M200 which retailed around $140 but couldn't resist the deal of owning a sailor for less than $100. Most pens were at a discounted price compared to other shops I visited here. I also bought sailor Souten ink which I love. Had been contemplating between Iroshizuku Asa Gao and Kon Peki and the Souten sits just in the middle without being too rich or too light. Here are few pictures for fellow pen lovers.
  3. Well after 2 years of enjoying the World of Fountain Pens I've finally got my hands on Rhodia Paper, yes I know took too long. There is an explanation for it. You see, the only place I could find Rhodia paper was on Blick, which is an Art Store and the Rhodia notebooks and pads that they have are a little expensive. So every time I've approach the stand where these paper is I've always back away from it. Then I went online, so the ones affordable were very small, I was not interest it, I want it a nice size pad or notebook that I could play with my fountain pens and inks. Finally one day I walk into a Michael's another big Art and Crafts store and boom! There it was, just perfect a nice Rhodia Dot Pad No. 16 - 80 sheets 80g/m2 -21.3lb -High Grade Vellum Paper, not to mentioned that I got it with a 50% Coupon. My hunt was over, went running back home filled up my pens and there...look how beautiful I like the paper, doesn't bleed is very smooth and for the inks I'm using is perfect can't be happier. Now I can write letters to my friends in a nice smooth and elegant paper.
  4. Hello, I was just wondering if it’s just me or do you guys have a specific pen for a specific notebook? This ink color for this pen color only? I use my pilot kakunos (M,F,EF) with colors black, gris nuage, diamine grey, respectively, for my midori notebook journal. My kawecosport (BB) in the shade earl grey for midori everyday journal. 2 Kawecosport (EF) using Vinta in the shade perya and ubi for midori and rhodia notes. Kaweco perkeo (M) using smokey grey for random scribbles and midori travel journal. Am I the only one? Lol
  5. I have recently been testing some of the Rhodia Touch products. Until now, the products tested just couldn’t fully cope with fountain pen ink art with bleed through being an issue... until now! The Rhodia Ink and Wash book is just a delight. See what you think. Ink used is Robert Oster Australian Opal Mauve. Amazing chromatography, no show through, no bleed through and silky smooth for writing! Incredible!
  6. First a disclaimer…I am fairly new to the forums…joining only in March. And perhaps this topic has already been written to death. But I’ve been writing cursive italic for 40 years. Everyone seems to rave about Tomoe paper for writing with fountain pens. But it’s not my favorite writing paper. I know this can vary from person to person, depending on many different things, the pen, the nib, the ink, whether you prefer some “tooth” or not. Today, I was writing a letter on Tomoe 68 gm paper. I often use an italic fountain pen for my writing….and I write in cursive italic. But I seem to find it difficult to write on Tomoe paper with my italic pens. I was wondering if others had as difficult a time writing on Tomoe as I do. The paper is super thin, which doesn’t particularly bother me. But I think it is the extreme smoothness (almost slipperiness) that gives me trouble. It is so slick that it is difficult to form proper italic letter shapes (I’m talking quickly written cursive…NOT formal italic) and I am not able to get the nice thick and thins that I get with a “toothier” paper. So I got out 6 different types of writing paper that I have on hand: 1. Strathmore Series 400 Calligraphy writing paper 75 gm 2. Rhodia High Grade Vellum Paper 90 gm 3. Tomoe 68 gm paper 4. Triomphe Clairefontaine Vellum paper 90 gm 5. Md Midori Loose leaf paper 70 gm 6. Strathmore Premium Writing Paper 25% cotton 90 g I took out several different pens with different nibs…from extra fine to medium regular nibs to italic extra fine to double broad. I wrote the same sentence on all the papers with all the various pens and nibs. I would say both Tomoe and Rhodia paper produced the most “saturated” colors with a higher sheen. Both are very smooth papers. It is difficult for me to control the uniformity of my handwriting as well on these papers. I just don’t have the control of my pens that I would like to have…especially my italic pens. They simply just don’t “feel” as nice to write on as some of the other papers. The ink lines are slightly thicker on both of these papers. The next smoothest paper was the Triomphe Clairefontaine. I felt I had more control over my pens on this paper. It is slightly “toothier” than the Tomoe and Rhodia. My pens grabbed the paper better, so I had more controll over my pens. The italic pens seemed to work much better on this paper also, providing nice thicks and thins. Next for me was the MD Midori paper. Very similar to Triomphone Clairefontaine, but just slightly toothier. Writing on this paper was perhaps the best for both regular fountain pens and my italic pens with italic cursive. The ink flowed very well, it was nice and saturated. Next was the Strathmore Premium Writing Paper 25% cotton. Actually, I really liked writing on this paper also, especially with my regular nibs. The “toothiness” made control of my regular nibs very easy. My italic nibs did not write as well on this paper, since it is rougher than the other papers. Formal italic would work fine but cursive italic handwriting is a little more difficult. My regular fountain pen nibs worked well on this paper. Nice saturated ink and dried quickly. The last paper, Strathmore Series 400 Calligraphy Writing Paper 75 gm is a bonded paper. So there are very small ridges running through it. Regular fountain pens again worked very well on this paper. But italic cursive writing was the most difficult on this paper because of the ridges in the paper. This paper would be OK for formal italic. The paper itself is the prettiest paper of all 6 that I tried. Since ALL of the paper I tried is “writing paper,” I really did not have any major problems with bleeding or feathering. Comparing the ghosting from best (least show through) to worse (most show through): Best: MD Midori Rhodia Strathmore Calligraphy Paper Triomphe Clairefontaine Strathmore Premium Writing Paper 25% Cotton Worst: Tomoe 68 gm paper My conclusions regarding these papers for the way that I write, and the pens that I use: For both regular nib fountain pens and italic nibs, I prefer both the Midori and Clairefonatine. These 2 papers work the best (FOR ME) as all around writing paper. For formal italic, I would normally use specialty papers….but the strathmore calligraphy paper, as well as the Midori and Clairefontain could also be made to work okay for formal italic. If I’m only using regular fountain pen nibs (not italic), then all of them EXCEPT Tomoe and Rhodia. The Tomoe and Rhodia paper are simply to slick for me. I don’t like how my pens feel when I write on these papers, and I am not able to control my pens well. I suppose you could say they are “too buttery” for my taste. Sorry about the pun. I like to be able to have control and “feel” my pens working on the paper. And I do NOT have a heavy hand when I write. I know most people will probably disagree with me, but that’s just my opinion based on my experience with these papers. In time and with more writing experience, this could change. I’d be curious about how others feel; especially in regard to using italic nibs for cursive handwriting. What paper do you prefer? Which nibs on which paper. And why?
  7. linkoiram

    Diamine Earl Grey Too Light?

    I have diamine earl grey inked up in a jinhao 51a with the unhooded nib as well as a moonman m2 knockoff "hyl" pen, both fine nibs. After some worn on the 51a nib it writes somewhat wetter than it did initially, but I still find the ink to be too light almost to the point of skipping. On hp 24 lb laser paper it is fine, but on rhodia 80gsm dotpad paper the line is dry and looks scratchy and too light. I tried changing converters and cleaning the jinhao but after the hyl had similar problems I think I've found the particular combination of nib size, paper, and possibly pen that doesn't show up well with this ink. Is this just something I have to accept, although I don't really want to because I really like this ink and those pens. Maybe something is to be learned here about light inks, less absorbent paper, and fine nibs.
  8. Recently, I picked up a number of different Japanese-made A7 and B7 sized notepads from Daiso. I have yet to get around to using them, but they reminded me that I also bought a Bloc Rhodia No.11 notepad several months ago (at 50% off) for A$2. It's not that I can think of a good use for a notepad of that size, but in the case of the Rhodia, the purpose was primarily to trigger a special offer for a free hardcover A6 Rhodiarama notebook (with free shipping to boot, for a reason that was not a term of that offer). The Bloc Rhodia No.11 notepad is A7 in size (7.4cm x 10.5cm), and has 80 sheets of 7mm-ruled 80g/m2 white vellum paper that is made in France. The pages are bound by a single staple near the top edge in portrait orientation, and each page is finely perforated across the top about 1.35cm below the top edge of the paper for easy detachment. As with other Bloc Rhodia notepads, that means the available writing area is rather less than the nominal size of the notepad; in this case, approximately 13% of each page is lost to the binding above the perforations. The paper is quite typical of this line of Rhodia products in terms of smoothness and whiteness, and generally speaking it is quite resistant to feathering, ghosting and bleed-through when used with fountain pen inks. I can see shading even when writing on it with very fine nibbed pens. There's a bit of 'woolly' outline when writing on it with Sailor kiwaguro pigment ink using a Stub nib, but the effect is quite inconsistent from one page to the next. (See images (2a) and (2b).) I attribute that to the obviously uneven application of coating to the paper, even on the recto side. Even though I didn't feel more feedback or friction resulting from that, at some random spots on the page the coating is so lacking and/or defective that half a word may cause terrible feathering and bleed-through see images (3a) and (3b) even though the other half of the word doesn't. On the verso side the inconsistency in the coating is more evident; using the same pen and ink on the same spot, to write exactly the same thing with the same handwriting technique, on consecutive pages can give noticeably different line widths and/or levels of ink spread and feathering. (Compare images (4a) and (4b); (5a) and (5b); and (6a) and (6b).) On where the coating is not defective, ink can take relatively long to dry. The marks seen in image (7a) are not the results of bleed-through from the writing on the verso side of sheet #3, but just smearing from touching the verso side of sheet #2. Frankly, this isn't a product I can find any reason to recommend, even though I'm usually a Rhodia fan. It's expensive, the size is impractical unless you have a really small pocket that can nevertheless handle a 1cm-thick notepad, the unavailability of 13% of the already small paper surface for writing is annoying, and the paper quality is poor on account of the inconsistent coating, not that I expect anyone to put such a notepad to use with calligraphic or artistic endeavours.
  9. Several years ago I was really into trying new fountain pens, ink, etc. and then settled into a routine with my favorite pens and black ink (boring). I used them at work to take notes and sign documents. Last year I started bullet journaling and enjoyed using my FP's on a nice quality notebook. My biggest problem is that the ink does not dry fast enough and it transfers to the adjacent page. It is not bleeding through, it is transferring to the page face that it is touching. There is probably a correct term for this...? Last year I was using: The ink is Noodler's Bulletproof Black in Pilot Vanishing Point and Sailor 1911 Realo pens. The nibs are EF/F and the notebook is from Rhodia. For this year, I have changed to a Dingbats* notebook which has the same problem, but not as bad. My problem is that the ink does not dry quickly and transfers to the next page: The red area is when I added items to the calendar page on the left side and closed the book. The green highlighted area is faint, but it is actually the days of the week (one column is numbers and one is the letter) that transfer over time and make the page look dirty. It is not as obvious in the picture, but in real life it is noticeable. To address this, I purchased some heavy stock "blotting paper" and put it between the most recently inked pages when I close the book. It acts as a placeholder and was not a large problem. The blotting paper gets a lot of ink on it. When I started making my bullet journal this year, I changed to a Dingbats* notebook. I like it a little better because the transfer seems to be less. Since there was a noticeable change in performance, I thought I would post here and see if there is a way to eliminate this all together by changing something. Paper and Ink seem like the most likely places to attack, but perhaps there are others, or perhaps this is just the "cost" of using FP's and I need to keep the blotting paper and move on? I would love any suggestions that you may have. I prefer black, waterproof ink, but would be open to something else if it would help. I need to use a notebook in the A5 size range. I like fine nibs and prefer the writing to not be too smooth. I like the scratch "resistance" as I write. Cheers
  10. TheDutchGuy

    Oxford Is Just Great

    About a year ago a colleague turned me on to Oxford notebooks, having used Rhodia and Clairefontaine for a long time before that. I love Rhodia, not just the paper but also the design in that wonderful golden yellow. It took me a while to get hooked on Oxford, but once the hook sank in... Some reasons why I've come to prefer Oxford: -significantly lower price compared to Rhodia and Clairefontaine (for example: three thick, 100-page A4 spiralbound notebooks can be had for 8 euros) -huge range of products -every Oxford notebook has margins (except the ones with blank paper), whereas Rhodia and Clairefontaine often do not have vertical lines (which annoys me greatly) -Oxford usually uses 90 g/m^2 paper whereas Rhodia uses 80 g/m^2 (don't know about Clairefontaine), which translates into "more paper, less coating". This is the main selling point for me. It doesn't feel like writing on plastic at all; Oxford paper is soft, organic and smooth and all of my pens love it, whereas some of my pens really don't like Clairefontaine -in terms of feathering (none), bleedthrough (none) and showthrough (same as other good brands), Oxford is at least on the level of other brands -Rhodia can feel very different on both sides of the same page; the front side of a page is sometimes a bit rough and makes pens look dry, whereas the backside will be smooth and wet. In short, Oxford offers more for less and I honestly cannot find a single quality of Rhoda or Clairefontaine that Oxford doesn't match. I haven't tried Tomoe River yet, but that's probably too expensive for my huge daily turnover at work.
  11. bureaudirect

    Diamine - Steel Blue

    Hi folks, I have decided to finally post a review and not just spy around Diamine Steel Blue is easily one of my favourite Diamine colours, it's that happy-teal-colour family which we cannot get enough of I took couple of notebooks and written a page to demonstrate what the ink looks like on each paper. Please do let me know if there are any other papers you'd like to see...so far we have Leuchtturm, Rhodia White & Ivory and Tomoe River. Enjoy! Mishka (^_~)
  12. Hi, so I've recently started using fountain pens and want to take notes for school. I've decided to buy clairefontaine or Rhodia for my notes, but I can't seem to find it anywhere. Does anyone know where to buy it anymore without importing it? All the threads I've seen aren't updated and thus may be inaccurate. I've checked most stationary stores, department stores but none of them have the notebooks I'm looking for. I've found Rhodia paper in Chung Nam but not the notebooks. One place I know of is called Parentheses which is a French bookstore They stock clairefontaine and Rhodia but they aren't quite 'right' as the Rhodias are in A4 and I prefer the Webnotebooks. The Clairefontaines aren't also quite nice as I've seen the lines seem to too overpowering (as shown below) and I prefer the ones for taking notes that are either dotted grids or single lines. w Does anyone know of places that stock the notebooks of the mentioned brands that aren't wayyy too expensive? Thanks! http://reviews.shopwritersbloc.com//wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Clairefontaine-Side-Staple-French-Ruled-Notebooks.jpg
  13. Hi all, For those of you just tuning in, I just got back into fountain pens after a long layoff. Among other things, I am studying for IT certifications (Security+, RHCE, passed the CCNA two months ago) and it is well-documented in the scientific literature that taking handwritten notes (see, e.g., https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-learning-secret-don-t-take-notes-with-a-laptop) improves retention dramatically. So, I figured if I am going to be writing a lot, why not pick up some tools that make the job nicer and easier? The first "nice" notebook that I got, which I use for my RHCE studies, was a Moleskine. The hard cover and ribbon place markers are both very nice, but I quickly discovered that the paper quality left a lot to be desired. More specifically, I got awful shadowing and bleed-through even when using well-behaved inks that usually do not have those issues. Truth be told, I was very disappointed, especially given that I forked over nearly thirty bucks for the thing. Disappointed as I was with the Moleskine, and after watching numerous ink review videos that mentioned Rhodia and Leuchtturm1917, among others, I decided to take the plunge. Previously, my only experience with "fine" paper was the bond lawyer letterhead/pleading paper that my boss at my last job insisted upon continuing to purchase and use. My first foray into this new world was a Leuchtturm1917 Master A4+ notebook, which I now use for my bullet journal. From the moment I took the plastic off, I knew I had scored something extraordinary. The pages in that thing feel like what you would find in a wedding guest book or something else reserved for similarly formal occasions. It was/is magical, otherworldly, nothing like the bond paper I mentioned, and certainly nothing at all like the reams upon reams of copier paper I had grown accustomed to at my last job. I also could not believe how well the nibs of my pens glided across that paper, as opposed to the constant skipping and feathering I experience with my Moleskine. Also, I love love love dot grid paper as it allows me to keep my outline format notes straight. It's like nothing I have ever experienced before. After my Great Awakening with Leuchtturm1917, I ordered some Rhodia spiral pads, also in dot grid. Admittedly, I was loath to spend close to US$35 on notebooks that I had grown accustomed to getting for 1/10th the price. I used them in class tonight and, well... same thing. Magical. I just... I can't even. I'm hooked. I love the stuff. I can't get enough of it. It is amazing to me how much of a difference a few small luxuries like nice paper, ink, and pens make what would seem like a mundane everyday activity like writing something truly special and extraordinary. I'm not a snob and I loathe conspicuous consumption, hence a distaste for Mont Blanc. I am a practical guy and I am loath to spend big bucks on innocuous things like paper. And I constantly hear the voice of my dearly departed grandmother who lived through the Great Depression: "It costs ten times as much, is it ten times as good?" Well, in the case of this paper that is expensive as all get out, yes it is. Moleskine? Pfft. What I really feel now is best not repeated in polite company. Trouble is, I have half of my RHCE notes in it, so pitching it is not an option. Once again, experience is a cruel teacher that gives the test before the lesson. I also find that, when I hand-write study notes, daily plans, thought logs, agendas for meetings, or whatever, it is much easier for me to get into a state of "flow" than when using the computer. Why, I'm not sure, maybe it's because I spend more time putting thoughts to paper than constantly having to fight M$ Word as it does its best to botch up even the simplest of documents. One more thing: I can't help but wonder how much of the cost of these fine papers is import duties and taxes. Are they cheaper in other countries?
  14. Hi, I recently decided to upgrade my paper with Rhodia, but so far I have had only terrible experience with it. I write with Waterman's Harmonious Green, but the ink seems to never fully absorb. It is safe to touch with e.g. paper towel or another page in just about 30 seconds, but even after a week or more all it takes is just to lightly touch the paper with little sweaty hand and the ink smears like it was fresh. When I write on regular Xerox paper or a normal notepad from a supermarket, it is just perfectly fine and no problems there. So, I reckon it must be either me or the ink. Since I never had any problems with my sweat being overly aggressive (watch straps or plating on them last me for years) my bet is on the ink. I think it is just not compatible with Rhodia paper. Can someone here perhaps tell me if you have encountered same problem with Waterman on better papers? Also, if anyone can recommend me some other emerald-green-ish ink that is holding well on Rhodia it will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  15. What are your opinions on the paper quality and writing experience between these three? I've only used Rhodia of the three, and was thinking of trying out one of the other two, but I can't quite decide which one. From what I could gather on Amazon, Dingbats* notebooks have thicker paper (100g/m²), but I'm not a big fan of micro-perforations and they don't come in the B5 format that I've come to appreciate so much. The closest size to B5 they offer is an A5+ format which, while slightly bigger than A5, I fear it may still be a bit too small to my liking. Leuchtturm1917 notebooks, on the other hand, are available in the B5 format, but they only have 60 sheets (120 pages) and thinner paper (80g/m²) than Dingbats". Neither one is cheap so, decisions, decisions... Can anyone weigh in on the difference in writing experience (with a fountain pen) between these three? Should I just stick with Rhodia?
  16. Hello dear friends in FPN-land. I wanted to discuss a topic related to Rhodia pads. I love the paper for everyday use. The thing I do not like about the regular top-staple bound rhoda's is that there's an awful lot of paper being wasted. The way it's constructed, it's virtually impossible to use the reverse side of each page without tearing the page off the pad entirely. And then you have to figure out where to store the loose sheets. I do understand that in this scenario, a top-spiral bound pad would be better suited, but I wanted to put to good use a staple bound regular rhoda pad which I've already been using. So I decided to pull apart a No 12 Rhodia pad ( 3.3" x 4.7" grid ruled, top staple bound ). I noticed that all pages, front flap, all the way to the cardboard backing, is bound together with one sturdy staple at the center. The orange flap in the back is not stapled but it glues over the open ends of the staple pin. So I pulled off the glued portion and used a staple removal tool to get at the staple pin, once that was removed, I extracted the staple pin from the pad. But then I realized that the pages have a second glue-backed binding so they don't all scatter once the staple is removed. This way the binding is more open and I can use the reverse of each page more easily. Anyone tried this? Do you have any other ideas for increasing the utility?
  17. wildblueroan

    Rhodia Paper Change?

    Last week I purchased a new large Rhodia Dotpad. I've used and loved Rhodia for many years so was utterly shocked to find that the paper does not support fountain pens well-even using dry writers I've had bleed-through and lots of shadowing/see through...although some pages are ok. The paper feels thinner also. Did I miss news about this? Is it a well-known change?
  18. I'm looking for an affordable source for 21.0 cm square Rhodia Reverse dot grid pads (#193638 or #193639), which are apparently uncommon. Classic Office Products (are they any good?) shows it, but I've never ordered from them. Any other suggestions?
  19. Hi. I'm using A4-size Rhodia pads (No.18 size) including Rhodia dotpad, which is indeed a bit longer than standard A4, in my workplace. And I think I need a leather cover to hold the pad and my pen. I've googled a bit, but most of them are for the notebooks, not pads, or for A5 size. I think it would be perfect if the backcover of the Rhodia pad can be put into the cover and there is at least one pen holder. Do you know any product in market that fits my needs? Thank you in advance.
  20. sodiumnitrate

    Best A5-Sized Notebook?

    Hi all, I've been sneakily reading the posts on this site for a while, but it's the first time I actually write a post (except for the FB page). I've been looking for the best notebook for journaling and such for some years now, and I figured I would share my experiences and disappointments, and hear about others' thoughts on this. I started using Moleskines (classic, large notebook, hardcover, black) way before I was using fountain pens. I had to switch to something else when I started using FPs due to heavy feathering and bleeding. (And in the case of MB toffee brown, discoloration.) But in terms of design and binding, my favorite ever will be the softcover large notebooks. I also like how they are a little thinner than A5. I then switched to Leuchtturm1917. I like that their pages are numbered, and they hold the ink well and the paper is not excessively smooth (like Rhodias or Clairefontaines). I prefer soft covers, so I'm a little disappointed that they are way thinner than Moleskines. They need to be at least 1.5x thicker. Also, I've found that the paper is not that consistent. Leuchtturm1917 notebooks that I've purchased at different times had papers that react differently to the same pen/ink combination. I've had one that feathers more than it should, and another that had the ink kind of spread on it evenly without feathering -- in addition to a few perfect ones, of course. I tried a bunch of A5 Clairefontaines, too. For me, their paper is superior to both Leuchtturm1917 and Rhodia -- that is if you don't particularly dislike smooth paper. But their binding is just horrible. Forget about laying a staple-bound notebook flat on your desk. I tried "my essential" which has sewn-binding, which does a lot better than the others, but still falls short of both Moleskine and Leuchtturm1917. Their covers are a lot more modest too. I would have loved to see that paper in leather or Moleskine-style cover instead of just craft paper. And then there's Goulet's new Tomoe river notebooks. Everytime I write on Tomoe river paper, I'm amazed by how much ink a paper so thin can hold. I like my pens really really wet, so it'll always be my favorite paper. Goulet's notebooks are staple-bound, and very thin, so I'm not a huge fan of their binding either. I'm also a little disappointed that they only come with the white TR paper and not cream. They are also a bit on the expensive side, with $9 for 48 sheets (96 pages), which is fair I guess, considering 100 sheets come for ~$14. With all these notebooks considered, I think I'll continue using a combination of Leuchtturm1917 and Goulet notebooks. My dream would be TR (or similar quality paper) in Moleskine binding. Perhaps I should learn bookbinding and make my own notebooks using TR paper... What are your thoughts? Have you had similar experiences?
  21. I recently bought a Rhodia Rhodiarama (?) book. It's the coloured cover type with the rainbow zebra on the inside, cream, unlined paper. I bought it as a book for ink logging and have two fully used up Rhodia of exactly the same type that I have also used for ink logs. I've plenty of the same for other things and never had a problem. The paper quality has always pleased me. This one does not please me though. Not only is the paper quite absorbent, but numerous inks are bleeding like crazy through the paper to the extent that I can't write on the other side of the page. I noticed that something wasn't quite right when Monteverde's Red Velvet starting going very brown very quickly (it tend only to do this on very absorbent papers). Then I started ink logging other inks and currently have about twenty ink logs in there; from Diamine to Montblanc, to Monteverde to Noodler's, to various Sailor inks etc. Almost all of them are bleeding through to some degree (the very small number done with EF nibs have strong ghosting but no bleed); many are bleeding through to a horrible degree. The strange thing is that I'm not seeing a great deal of feathering, which is something I would normal expect to see on normally poor quality papers that you would get bleed through on. So, I'm wondering if Rhodia have changed their paper lately? If so, I'm afraid I can't justify the price for bad paper quality. On the other hand I'm hoping that I just got a wayward one that slipped through the net of the quality control. Has anyone else noticed any problems like this lately?
  22. introduction For the past two years, I’ve used Rhodia’s dotpad for taking notes, writing letters, and testing fountain pens and inks. I had never heard of Fabriano or Ecoqua until I stumbled across their version of the dotpad in a brick and mortar store in Long Beach, CA. I’ve used them both quite a lot since then, and enjoy them both. Here’s a comparison of these two great pads. http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac209/jasonchickerson/paper%20comparison%2006.jpg http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac209/jasonchickerson/paper%20comparison%2007.jpg Used for this comparison: 1. Lamy 2000 (stubbish XF/F) + J. Herbin Cacao du Brésil 2. Lamy ABC (1.1 Joy nib) + Iroshizuku Ina-ho 3. Conklin Crescent-Filler #25 with Toledo #2 nib (3XF-3B) + Sailor Tokiwa Matsu 4. Tachikawa G nib dip pen + J. Herbin Rouge Hematite part one: Fabriano Ecoqua Dot Gluebound Notebook, A5 (made by Fabriano) the company The city of Fabriano in Italy boasts a distinguished heritage of paper-making. Fabriano’s mills have been producing paper as far back as 1264; they were the premier Italian paper makers throughout the Renaissance. The company claims historically to have been a favorite of Michelangelo and to have invented both the watermark and the process of gelatin glue-binding. The Fabriano company today continues to make highest grade arts papers and writing papers, and supplies paper for Euro banknotes. The company claims their paper is ecologically produced, and indeed they have a slate of ecological certifications to back up their claim. http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac209/jasonchickerson/paper%20comparison%2008.jpg the paper Fabriano’s version of the dotpad is a moderately warm, side glue-bound notebook available in a wide range of cover colors. The paper is of very high quality, on par with or better than the Rhodia. It is archival-quality, pH-neutral and chlorine free. The feel of the paper is very different, however. There is much more texture to the Fabriano, and the dot spacing is noticeably smaller. Because the paper is only available in ivory, you may feel limited to cooler color choices in ink as browns and reds lose vitality on this paper. The Fabriano has more texture than the Rhodia, which gives a more visceral feel in writing. But it is by no means “toothy.” http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac209/jasonchickerson/paper%20comparison%2001.jpg Fabriano Ecoqua Dot Gluebound Notebook performance The Fabriano held up very well to my testing. I tested bleed-through by repeatedly making downward strokes with a wet pen/ink combination to determine how many strokes were necessary before bleed-through occurred. The Fabriano came out on top here, both in bleed-through (+2 strokes) and dry time (-4 sec). http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac209/jasonchickerson/paper%20comparison%2004.jpg Fabriano Ecoqua Dot Gluebound Notebook price and availability Fabriano Ecoqua in this format is available at this time for $4.55 from Dick Blick online (that’s $0.050 per sheet). This is as close as makes no difference to the Rhodia. However, for that price, you get slightly more useable paper as the glue-bound sheets are slightly larger than Rhodia’s perforated sheets. Fabriano availability is a mixed bag. It can be found readily enough online at Dick Blick, Utrecht, and Amazon (not recommended) online, as well as many brick and mortar art supply and stationary shops. I have not been able to locate a single source that carries all variations of the paper listed on Fabriano’s website. However, and the even the complete list of offerings is puzzling. They only offer certain formats (staple-bound, glue-bound) in certain sizes. Most perplexingly, in A5 size, the dot paper is only available glue-bound, while blank pages are staple-bound (38 sheets) and grid paper is spiral-bound (70 sheets). You cannot get lined paper smaller than A4 size. I do not recommend Amazon for purchasing this paper as many reviews noted that the wrong format or binding were received. part two: Rhodia Dotpad #16, A5 (Clairfontaine) the company Rhodia started life in 1932 as the Verilhac Brothers in Lyon, France, becoming Rhodia just two years later when the brothers moved to Grenoble. Originally a side offering, the Rhodia pad soon became the face of Rhodia. In 1997, french paper makers Clairfontaine (c. 1858) purchased the Rhodia brand, ending production in Grenoble. Today, all Rhodia pads contain Clairfontaine paper. Unlike Fabriano, Clairfontaine does not produce its own paper pulp but sources it internationally. Like Fabriano, Clairfontaine paper is produced from wood pulp from sustainably managed forests. http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac209/jasonchickerson/paper%20comparison%2005.jpg Rhodia left, Fabriano right the paper Rhodia’s dotpads (number 16 in particular) are famous in the fountain pen world, and for good reason. They are incredibly smooth, immediately improving the feel of a scratchy nib. The paper is very high quality and quite white. It is archival quality and pH-neutral. All colors of ink fare well on Rhodia’s paper, making it the better all-rounder. Because the paper is not very absorbent, dry times are long but sheening is high. Those who like no feedback with love the feel of Rhodia paper and a wet ink. The dots are spaced at larger intervals than the Fabriano, and they contrast with the white of the paper more, making them more conspicuous. http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac209/jasonchickerson/paper%20comparison%2002.jpg Rhodia Dotpad #16 performance Rhodia is well-known for being a bullet-proof paper, so it’s no surprise that it fared well here. I was slightly surprised that it did not handily best the Fabriano. Perhaps the 5 g/m2 difference in weight makes the Fabriano more robust, but it clearly exhibited less bleed-through, showing none even on the heavily flexed dip nib. I’ve met very few inks that feather on Rhodia and none that I tested here did. http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac209/jasonchickerson/paper%20comparison%2003.jpg Rhodia Dotpad #16 One area where the Rhodia trounced the Fabriano was sheening ability. Rouge Hematite, of course, was made to sheen. While it does sheen on the Fabriano, it literally sparkles on the Rhodia. Tokiwa-matsu is a strongly, though more traditionally, sheening ink as well. It too, seems more alive on the Rhodia paper, though the color mates better with the ivory Fabriano. Before you conclude that a less absorbent paper will always sheen more, consider that Original Crown Mill Laid Paper (also excellent) is very absorbent and sheens more heavily even than the Rhodia. The Rhodia also exhibited slightly less show-through, despite the thicker paper of the Fabriano. http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac209/jasonchickerson/paper%20comparison%2010.jpg Fabriano Ecoqua Dot Gluebound Notebook http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac209/jasonchickerson/paper%20comparison%2009.jpg Rhodia Dotpad #16 price and availability Rhodia’s dotpad can be found for just slightly more (one half cent more per page) than Fabriano’s pad and is readily available online and offline retailers. The pads are available with dots, lined, grid, and blank in all sizes. Though I’ve never seen it, the pads are supposedly available in yellow paper as well as the white. Cover colors are limited to the historic Rhodia orange and black. conclusion and my personal choice Both of these are great, top quality pads, and which you will prefer is a very subjective question. I will say that for my purposes, the Fabriano is technically the better paper. It bleeds less and dries faster. I also personally prefer the smaller dots and the slightly longer page. However, I continue to spend my money on Rhodia’s dotpad. For me, the staple-bound format is a much better option than the side glue-bound Fabriano, which suffers in a backpack. I’ve never had a page detach prematurely with the Rhodia, while the Fabriano’s pages peel away at their whim. When I remove a page from the Rhodia that I want to keep, I simply tuck into the back of the pad. When I tried this with the Fabriano, the glue binding pulled away from the cover and the whole thing practically fell apart. And while I like the color of the Fabriano paper and less obtrusive dots, I do feel restricted in my ink colors using the ivory paper. It’s nice, but I’d like a white option, too. So, in conclusion: I award a win for best paper to Fabriano’s Ecoqua Dot Gluebound Pad. But the win for best pad to Rhodia’s reigning champ, #16.
  23. bureaudirect

    Diamine - Majestic Blue

    Hi folks, Diamine Majestic Blue is one of those inks that sheens like a champion Why did no one tell me about this ink earlier? The colour is a true blue, it flows very nicely even with the finest nibs. Sheen does take over and often covers the entire letter. Tomoe River is the best paper to display sheen, but this ink does show on other papers too. Majestic Blue is not waterproof; it does not wash away completely, so I would happily use it to address envelopes. It would make a perfect every day ink. Strange coming from teal/green/orange person but I really do like this one. What do you think? Enjoy, Mishka (^_~)
  24. Hi, I am seeking a definitive answer to what I thought was a simple question. I would like to know what the distance is between the ruled lines on the pages of an A5-sized Rhodia Webnotebook with lined paper. I am confused, because the Goulets in the US say one thing in answer to this question, but The Writing Desk here in the UK say another... The Goulets say that it is 7mm. The Writing Desk say that it is 6mm. FWIW, the line separation on the two Rhodia *pads* that I have is 7mm, but then those are not Webnotebooks, so looking at the paper in them can not be said to answer my question either. Now, I would be surprised if Rhodia were making one paper for US consumption and another for European/UK consumption, but then I was surprised to find out last year that LAMY would sell bottled Dark Lilac ink in the US but not in Europe, so what do I know? Anyway, in order that I may find out which retailer's information is correct (for 'Webbies' sold in the UK), I would now be very grateful if any of you out there in FPN-land who have a UK-bought A5 'Webbie' with lined paper, would measure across ten lines in it, and then tell me whether that distance is 70mm, or whether it is 60mm. My thanks to you in advance for your answers Cheers, M.
  25. This is an ongoing bleed-through comparison test between ten different commercially available notebooks. This test will continue as long as there is interest in it and pages remaining in the current set of test notebooks. Method This is a simple test, and will involve three steps: 1. Every time I fill a pen with ink I will write the names of the pen, nib size, and ink in ten different notebooks. 2. I will assign each entry a score indicating the severity of bleeding based upon predetermined thresholds. Absence of bleed-though is scored with a checkmark. Bonus points will be given for each additional page side where ink is present. A plus sign indicates that the ink has bled onto the subsequent sheet and the number following it indicates the number of sides bled onto. e.g. an ink that bleeds ink onto the next sheet will get a +1, an ink that bleeds through that same second sheet will get a +2. 3. Points will be tallied at the end of each round to a cumulative total, and the leaderboard will be updated. Lower numbers equate to higher bleed-through resistance. Objectives 1. To determine what notebook paper, of those tested, has the best resistance to bleeding. 2. To see how the same ink appears and behaves on different paper. 3. To see what inks do well on otherwise bleed-prone paper. Qualification Notebooks must meet the following qualifications: 1. They must have at least 30 ruled lines to accommodate ten sets of two written lines with one blank space in between each entry. 2. They must have side wire binding with perforated pages. Ten notebooks take up a lot of workspace and wire binding is ideal as it allows notebooks to fold back on themselves into single stacks of paper. Having detachable pages is only important for ease of scanning. Two exceptions were made, as noted below, because these examples were deemed too important to be excluded due to format. 3. The cost of notebooks must not exceed $12.00 CAD including shipping if applicable. This includes instances of sale prices and promotions. In cases where notebooks were obtained free of cost the price would reflect the lowest price found online. The Contenders Scoring Notes 1. I have debated whether to post a scan of the back of each page but have decided against it. We all know what bleed-through looks like. It would be twice the work in scanning and uploading, and in many cases there would be very little or nothing at all to show on the opposite side of the page. Also this is a comparison between notebook paper and not a focused review of one particular product, and so the empirical aspect takes precedence over individual peculiarities. Refer to the scoring examples for an approximation of bleed-through severity. 2. The white sticker at the top of each page is to provide a standard white balance to each example. 3. The Maruman Mnemosyne notebook is the only B5-size notebook, chosen because there are thirty lines per page, and a larger A4 notebook would have many more lines than needed 4. The Clairefontaine and Black n' Red Casebound notebooks are the only ones without perforated pages. Additionally, the Black n' Red Casebound notebook is the only one without wire binding. This is because neither was locally obtainable in a perforated wirebound format. 5. Two Black n' Red notebooks were chosen because, examined side-by-side, it's very obvious that they have different paper. The paper made in Poland is significantly smoother by touch. 6. The show-through on Staples Sustainable Earth is strong enough that what bleed there is may not be noticed without close inspection. However hidden or understated, bleed will still be counted and scored in full. 7. The Polish Black n’ Red notebooks bleed mostly at the printed lines. Line bleeding is not omitted or counted partially in the overall score and no separate score will be given discounting it. ROUND I Scorecard Standings: 1. Clairefontaine - 0.0 2. Cambridge - 0.5 T3. Rhodia 80gsm - 1.0 T3. Staples Sustainable Earth - 1.0 T5. Black n' Red (Germany) - 2.0 T5. Maruman Mnemosyne - 2.0 T7. Five Star Heavyweight - 7.0 T7. Hilroy - 7.0 9. Black n' Red (Poland) - 9.5 10. Staples Notes - 16.0 Cumulative Bleed-Through Score By Sample: Sample 1 - 0.5 Sample 2 - 8.0 Sample 3 - 1.5 Sample 4 - 8.5 Sample 5 - 8.0 Sample 6 - 1.0 Sample 7 - 8.0 Sample 8 - 6.0 Sample 9 - 1.0 Sample 10 - 3.0





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