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For many of us, our appreciation of fountain pens goes hand-in-hand with our affection for journals, notebooks and sketchbooks. No newsflash there.

 

Quick back-story (well, not-so-quick...): Last autumn, when I posted a query, seeking a really fine replacement for a functional but damaged Junior Legal Pad Portfolio, fellow FPN member Octo very kindly directed me to Oberon Design -- a source for bench-crafted leather goods. I landed on the handsome Tree of Life pattern, and placed an order. For anyone wondering, I can attest, it's an exemplary bit of craftsmanship, tooled with a keen eye to meticulous detailing, and well constructed from heavyweight materials. As a reporter, any time I haul it out during an interview it draws enthusiastic comments from others.

 

I own one of their journals, in the handsome Bold Celtic design. Except it's a bit small for my writing style, which involves a lot of side notes and digressions. After some research I decided on Oberon's Sketchbook (9-1/8 x 11-5/8).

 

Except unlike the Portfolio models, Oberon's Journals and Sketchbooks (both of which include a leather cord-and-pewter button closure) haven't been equipped with a pen loop. But after inquiring whether such an option could be made available, I heard from Amy of the Santa Rosa, California-based company's customer service department. Such an add-on was in the works.

 

Now, Oberon is offering that option. For an additional $5, the made-to-order Journals and Sketchbooks can be fitted with a sewn-in pen loop. Having researched add-on loops such as the peel-and-stick Leuchtturm pen loops or the very appealing Quiver pen holders -- both of which I admire -- I'd say that Oberon's optional add-on is a functional and moderately priced supplement to an admittedly pricey piece of leather goods, An investment I happily endorse, with no prompting other than as a satisfied paying customer.

 

(PS: My son, a budding artist, took one look at my Celtic pattern Journal and fell in love with it. He's inheriting it next month, for his 21st birthday. It's nice to be able to bestow -- and share word of -- heirloom-quality goods that are still made in America.)

 

 

Failure seldom stops you; what stops you is fear of failure.

-- Jack Lemmon

 

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I have to echo the praise for Oberon. I have one of the tree of life journal covers and it's incredibly beautiful. I've also ordered some of the pewter bookmarks for my staff for Christmas and a few other odds and ends over the last few years. Everything has always been extremely well made and I've always received wonderful customer service.

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Ditto here. I've ordered 3 different versions of Kindle covers all different patterns and two different colors. All wonderful hand crafted products, great CS. My only wish is for them to make leather pen cases. I know they would be expensive, but how great they would be!

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I should add, postscript, that the Oberon rep noted that it will take awhile for the company's web masters to enhance their order form to include the pen loop option. Anyone interested in making a purchase with that option can call the company's toll-free number to arrange.

 

Warblerick, agreed: would love to own one of those (thus far only imagined) pen cases. Curious to wonder what they would conjure.

 

AFountain, quite true: Oberon's metal crafting in pewter is handsomely detailed. Your staff are fortunate to work with a thoughtful employer with a keen eye for quality.

 

Cheers! /// Joe

Failure seldom stops you; what stops you is fear of failure.

-- Jack Lemmon

 

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I stumbled across Oberon in a web search recently and I really lie the designs - far better than anything I have seen up to now in the tooled leather market. However, I would like to know if the paper they provide with the journals etc is fountain pen friendly. I know that it is interchangeable with another hard backed journal of your choice, but was wondering if the paper they provide is suitable for use. they don't seem to have any reference in their FAQ's page that answers the question (but maybe I missed it).

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I stumbled across Oberon in a web search recently and I really lie the designs - far better than anything I have seen up to now in the tooled leather market. However, I would like to know if the paper they provide with the journals etc is fountain pen friendly. I know that it is interchangeable with another hard backed journal of your choice, but was wondering if the paper they provide is suitable for use. they don't seem to have any reference in their FAQ's page that answers the question (but maybe I missed it).

Try to contact them. They are very quick to respond.

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I stumbled across Oberon in a web search recently and I really lie the designs - far better than anything I have seen up to now in the tooled leather market. However, I would like to know if the paper they provide with the journals etc is fountain pen friendly. I know that it is interchangeable with another hard backed journal of your choice, but was wondering if the paper they provide is suitable for use. they don't seem to have any reference in their FAQ's page that answers the question (but maybe I missed it).

No the journal paper is not fp friendly.** Really too bad. I had purchased one from their site and left a review mentioning that (still a 5-star review). But when they redesigned the website all of the older reviews were removed. I recall that there were one or two other reviews that had similar experiences with fps and the oberon journals. They are now gone too as they were older reviews than mine.

 

I may give the composition sized notebook cover a go one day, but I've two of the large 6x9 covers now. I like the stamped designs and the leather is a good quality. But, I can't get GFeller notebook covers out of my head. They are much more appealing with clean, minimalist designs in kip leather where a nice patina and scarring occur due to age giving each cover its own unique character.

 

** I feel somewhat compelled to explain my comment further since there seems to be wide ranging views of what is acceptable as "fp friendly". Again, I base my standards on paper that was manufactured up until about 10 years ago: no bleeding not even a dot, no show through, no feathering, no line spreading--zero, zip, nada. Anything else is a compromise, we know, we accept it. So "fp friendly" standard has been lowered to include papers that may have some show through, some dots due to bleeding, some feathering, some spreading. How much? It depends on the reviewer what is acceptable. For me, it is no bleeding, no feathering, some spreading, but the pen line shouldn't stray too far from the nib size--a Japanese fine shouldn't look like a Western medium, some show through for light-weight papers. Paper that is "not fp friendly" blatanly bleeds through, feathers as if a bird, and treats my EF/F nibs like they are broads.

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I wrote in mine with a few pens and inks. It's not as bad as some paper but there is some feathering. The photo was taken with my iPhone, so not the best.

 

 

 

 

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I have a Kindle Cover (see http://www.mobilebibliothek.de/blog/2011/04/26/rezension-kindle-huelle-von-oberon-design/ for my review - it's German but there are some pictures that show it pretty well) and a little card holder (which I actually use as a notebook cover) that I'm pretty happy with. Overall, I think their stuff is a bit pricy (after all the designs aren't handtooled) but the quality is decent. I'm not a fan of their customer service. (They might handle things differently now but back when I bought my cover they were were pretty condescending, sometimes downright rude, to customers on facebook or on the kindle boards.)

 

That said, I've been toying with the idea of getting one of their portfolios. Sometimes the Traveler's Notebook is a little too small and I'd prefer to use A4 paper. I'll have to check with my favorite leather worker - it might be cheaper to actually get my own design than buy an Oberon, especially considering the shipping cost/customs fees.

<p>Blog: <a data-ipb='nomediaparse' href='http://buecherkram.com'>buecherkram.com</a><br />Instagram: <a data-ipb='nomediaparse' href='http://instagram.com/buecherkram'>buecherkram</a>

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I contacted Oberon Designs about a week ago and was also told pen loops were coming to the journal covers. I ordered a large "Avenue of Trees" in saddle. Can't wait to get it.

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I really like this discussion! I have purchased several products from Oberon Design. A couple of journal covers, a kindle cover, a checkbook cover, and a moleskine journal cover as a gift for a friend.

 

I agree with a previous poster that the CS on the FB page is not really the best. However, in the past, I have contacted Oberon directly via email, and the communication is a little better. A little friendlier, perhaps.

 

Regarding the product quality: love it. Although, I wish there was more room for customization with respect to color. If you love a design, but want it in a different color than what you see on the website and then have the gall to actually ask that question on the FB page, be forewarned: prepare for a face shooting. I exaggerate, but nevertheless, it's a losing battle. Just save yourself the misery and don't ask. Whatever is featured on the website are the only colors available for that design. period.

 

Personally, I dislike that they "discontinue" certain designs and they are never seen again, even for custom orders a/k/a "special requests". This company does not do custom at all, for any reason, period. Even with respect to the type of "closure" to the cover. For example: in the past, customers have requested that they offer an option between the journal tie wrap, and the "bungee"-like closure found on the kindle covers. The company has been reluctant to accommodate this, as well. Another face shooting opportunity. My only other complaint regarding customer service, is in this respect. That's just me.

 

I love that they are bringing in a pen loop to their journals. I wish that they had done this a few years ago when I bought mine. To answer the previous question regarding paper quality of the journal insert: not compatible with FPs unless you have dry writers. Lots of feathering. I purchased my journal covers to go with my Leuchtturm1917 journals which fit their cover specs. I use Leuctturm on a regular basis, so there was no issue for me. I didn't buy for the Oberon paper. In fact, I think I tossed their insert. Don't tell anyone.

 

As far as product quality: it's top notch. Really good workmanship, and made in the USA, so that's always a plus for me. I do try to purchase from Americans who still know how to make things, even if it costs more. In this case, I think the price point for their products is likely competitive with other companies making leather goods.

 

To the previous posters who purchased Tree of Life, Avenue of Trees, or Bold Celtic Knot: NICE CHOICE. I own none of the above. I have the daffodils journal (discontinued), and the Medici kindle cover, and the celtic hounds checkbook cover. I love them all, and it was a hard decision each time. I keep thinking there is a Bold Celtic Knot journal in the saddle or walnut color in my future, though. Perhaps I'll buy one that has a built-in pen loop. =)

 

For those who desire more customization, perhaps try contacting Renaissance Art. I think they might be more accommodating, although, I have never purchased from them before. I do know that you can send them your journal size requirements, and they will custom craft one for you. Does it include a pen loop? I have no idea, but I bet if you asked nicely, they might give you a nice answer.

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

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A few months ago, Oberon Design began offering customization of colors, buttons, etc. and will do so for an upcharge. Perhaps they'd heard other comments like yours. I have a cover for composition notebooks, which came with a pen loop.

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Octo, thank you for making me aware of the new opportunity to customize the Oberon Design journals. I purchased my products a few years ago, and have kept up with the company here and there, but I confess that I stopped following them as closely given the company's reluctance to incorporate customer feedback. After reading your post, I went to their website and did see the mention regarding the ability to customize. I am very happy to hear this and, after waiting 3 years, I may just order from them again. Thank you.

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

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