Archive for Editorial
If you told me that you keep a small Rhodia pad in your back pocket, you certainly wouldn’t be the first. What I’d like to know, is what you use it for. General note taking throughout the course of a busy day? Poetic inspiration? Recording your latest rare bird sighting? Thomas Mann, a well-known jewelry designer has been quoted as saying; “I keep a little Rhodia pad in my back pocket that is where every idea in the form of a drawing or thought goes down as a reference to jump-start the creative back in the studio.”
Image courtesy of masaru85- on Instagram
I don’t like when things get so busy that I neglect putting pen to paper. Why? Because I know that this is a place where I have been able to work things out. I can talk about an idea to 100 people in person or on the web, but there is something about writing it down that really seems to solidify this idea or new way of thinking in my mind. Perhaps this has something to do with the physical task of moving the writing implement across the paper- recalling the muscle memory that knows this language as well as our minds…
Image courtesy of maximumtheyuta on Instagram
Karen Doherty, (Exaclair’s VP of Marketing) visits with me at least once a year and is always open to anywhere I suggest for lunch. (Last time it was my favorite Indian buffet) This time we went to a very special local sandwich shop called Cafe The Lodge. The food is fresh, tasty and reasonably priced, the space warm and inviting.
The Lodge provides housing, a supportive community and vocational opportunities for adults with mental health challenges. According to individual preferences, the members live independently in scattered rental properties in the neighborhood. The Lodge offers flexible jobs at the Café the Lodge and daily educational and recreational programs. The program is largely consumer-run. The Lodge supports its members to establish a wholesome lifestyle and affirms their self-determination and inherent ability to create productive and meaningful lives.
Like Faber-Castell, Rhodia has kept manufacturing at home for the same reasons: the Made in Germany or Made in France still mean something; and to keep the style and manufacturing know-how unique to themselves.
There is also a shared belief that writing will never disappear, and that people are willing to pay a premium for good quality products.
Our friend Tony Thomas has recently brought Hidebound Custom Leather to our attention. They seem to offer a variety of options (Initials, pen loops, metal corners…) and styles, (check out the Quarter Bound!) for several sizes of Rhodia pads which can be found here.
Have you ever considered a custom cover for your favorite Rhodia notepad?
Image courtesy of Hidebound Leather.
Earlier this year, Palomino introduced a third member to their Blackwing family. For those who aren’t familiar with these pencils, Blackwing was a pencil first introduced by Eberhard Faber in the 1930′s. The pencil was manufactured until 1998 when it was discontinued but not forgotten. Original Blackwing 602 pencils were selling for upwards of $40 apiece until Cal Cedar worked to reintroduce a modified version of the original Blackwing in 2010. The retro “602″ was then introduced in 2011 to be closer to original design and now the Pearl makes three and is said to be somewhere in between the Blackwing and the 602.
I have tried the first two but have not yet had the opportunity to try the Pearl. I like the softer smudgier dark lead of the Blackwing for sketching and the slightly firmer lead of the 602 for writing.
What do you think about these pencils?
The day following Thanksgiving is often considered to be one of the busiest shopping days of the year- will you be making any purchases on this day? Is your inbox as flooded as mine is with special holiday sales and discounts for both online retailers and brick and mortar stores? I’m unlikely to venture far from my local shopping district at least for today, though I’m sure to poke around to see what deals I might find online.
Wishing you and yours a day filled with love and gratitude.
Yep. Me too. Unfortunately, they don’t exist… yet. To expedite the process, my suggestion is to leave a comment below on how much you’d love one and that you’d promise to buy three dozen each year to give away as gifts to all your dearest friends.
Seriously though, I know I’m not the only person clamoring for a spiral Rhodia notepad with the dot grid.
This is an image from Gentian Osman, our friend from the blog Drawing with a Squirrel. I personally love looking at all the images of her grand calligraphy and also her watercolor paintings – and even when she’s just trying out a new color combination or testing new art supplies, it’s all really interesting. Even this image of torn up calligraphy in a dozen inky colors is fun to look at.
Do you keep your ink test sheets? I had two different notebooks that I used for a long time to try different inks. I still have them but I don’t really use them any more.
Did you know that the U.S., Canada and Mexico use a different system of paper sizes compared to the rest of the world? Exaclair products predominantly originate in France which utilizes the widespread international ISO 216 standard. A4 sizes were standardized in 1975 by the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) – the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards. The ISO story began in 1946 when delegates from 25 countries met at the Institute of Civil Engineers in London and decided to create a new international organization ‘to facilitate the international coordination and unification of industrial standards’.
Per Wiki: The international paper size standard, ISO 216, is based on the German DIN 476 standard for paper sizes. ISO paper sizes are all based on a single aspect ratio of square root of 2, or approximately 1:1.4142. The base A0 size of paper is defined to have an area of 1 m2. Rounded to millimetres, the A0 paper size is 841 by 1,189 millimetres (33.1 × 46.8 in).
Successive paper sizes in the series A1, A2, A3, and so forth, are defined by halving the preceding paper size across the larger dimension. The most frequently used paper size is A4 measuring 210 by 297 millimetres (8.3 × 11.7 in).
The image above was taken at the Haberdash Roosevelt Collection store in Chicago and is courtesy of bow tie_guy on Instagram.
What are the absolute bare necessities that you always carry with you when you leave the house? Keys, wallet, cell phone and what else? I have a beat-up aluminum water bottle that seems to always be traveling with me, along with some kind of sling bag or small backpack. There is always at least one pen or pencil and something to write on. Beyond a small tube of lip gloss, everything else varies by day.
(EDC stands for Every Day Carry)
Image courtesy of dnatheshop on Instagram
Since many Rhodia fans have a bottle of J. Herbin ink, I thought I would pass along this good news on Rhodia Drive.
In 2014 J. Herbin will be introducing a new ink, and also making some other changes. I expect to make the announcement sometime in February, when the products are on the way from France to the US and other plans are farther along.
I will also make sure members of the Rhodia Drive community get first crack at the new inks with Rhodia Drive sponsored giveaway.
More news as soon as I have it.
Tropen is (or maybe was?) a German pen company which started in the mid-20s and was manufacturing a variety of pen types up and through the late 80s and maybe longer – but there doesn’t seem to be much information on the web about them.
Image courtesy of linckchau on Instagram
Unsure of how other creative people (artists, writers, etc.) work, I seem to be at my best and most productive when I able to work when inspired. I had a friend that encouraged me to simply keep “showing up” as in, sit at the typewriter every day or in front of the easel every day, and creativity will eventually flow. I’m not sure I agree with that because it seems (for me) to generate a lot of wasted time and a lot of sub-par work.
As frustrating as the “showing up” felt to me, I’d feel an equal amount of fear if I didn’t do it because if I allowed myself to become distracted, I might never be able to tap back into that creative stream again. Ironically, I’ve since discovered that as soon as I have that thought and am able to push it away, I find myself right back in the creative flow. I guess for me, it’s all about having faith that the creative source is always there and is just waiting to be tapped. (Maybe if you look too hard for it, it just vanishes- like something from a Douglas Adams book.)
Image courtesy of cvg22 on Instagram