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My name’s Ian Hedley, I’ve been teaching since 1993 and I still haven’t got the hang of it. The schools I’ve worked in have tended to be in the parts of nice towns that people don’t live in if they can afford to live in nicer parts of the nice town. Lots of wonderful students, of course. I’ve taught a lot of subjects and some of them I’ve taught well(ish). The less said about my brief stint as a PE teacher the better though. I’m just glad no-one died.
RD: I can see from your Instagram images that your choice of pens, paper, & pencils are important to you when you sketch. Do they have equal value to you as a teacher? Do you do any lesson planning on paper? Any favorite Rhodia/Clairefontaine products for teacher related tasks?
Ian: I’m a headteacher these days and so don’t do as much actual teaching as I used to. I do make sure my students have access to something better than a nameless ballpoint, though, and they do appreciate it. I do plan my lessons on paper, using a printed template I came up with. Although computers are central to my work, I think better on paper.
I use a Rhodia No.16 plain notepad every day, for taking my own notes in meetings. A meeting is made a lot more interesting with a good pen on great paper.
RD: What prompted you to begin sketching? How long have you been doing it, and what advice do you have to others who would like to start?
Ian: I don’t remember when I started sketching, it was something I always did as a child. As a young teenager I used to take myself off to the river and sit and draw. As I got older I drew posters for rock discos and the band I was in but then I stopped for something like twenty years. Then, a couple of years ago, I developed a new interest in pens, pencils and paper (actually, I rekindled an old interest) and began sketching again because I wanted more ways to use them. The tools drove the act to start with but at some point I just became hooked. Now I have to draw every day. If I don’t, I get twitchy. I’m addicted.
That’s the best advice I could give to anyone who wants to draw, too. Draw every day. It doesn’t matter what. I don’t have any special talent, I just love to do it and the more I’ve drawn the better I’ve got. I hope I can keep getting better because I’m a long way from being as good as I’d like to be.
I think when you’re not as good at something as you’d like to be, you can either give up or you can try even harder to get better. If you want to draw, keep trying harder and you will get there. Anyone who can see and can hold a pencil can draw.
RD: Which are your favorite Rhodia/Clairefontaine products and why, and what are your favorite pens/inks/pencils?
Ian: The Rhodia No. 16 notepad is my favourite notepad. The paper is wonderful with fountain pens. The white paper lights up inks and there’s never any feathering or bleeding. Because it tears away easily, I can scan my notes into the computer as I make them. This is important in my work.
I love the GraF it sketchbook. The paper is great with pencils and ink and, again, it tears out easily. All the Clairefontaine sketchbooks I’ve tried have been excellent. A nice fine grain and a bright white colour.
I love J. Herbin inks, too. They do delicate colours so well. Vert Olive and Ambre de Bermanie are beautiful. And I can’t let a discussion of Rhodia products go by without mentioning the Webnotebook. The best notebook is its kind: fantastic paper, great binding, practical cover. (I just wish it was available with pure white paper.)
As far as non-Rhodia/Clairefontaine products are concerned, my favourite sketching pencils are Tombow Mono 100s and for writing I’m enjoying the General’s Cedar Pointe. My favourite inks seem to change every week, I’m very fickle. As for favourite pens, I love demonstrators and brass pens. My current favourites are the Kaweco Liliput, Pilot Custom 74 and Platinum #3776 Sai.
Find Ian on the web via his Twitter account @ian_hedley and on Instagram under user name banana_moon. Ian also blogs at Pens! Paper! Pencils! where he reviews a variety of stationery products, and offers additional images of his amazing art. A few of Ian’s Exaclair related reviews include:
This is Virginia Abbott.
Virginia is a nationally recognized sculptor whose current work addresses a variety of environmental issues. She is a member of the prestigious National Sculpture Society and a fellow resident artist at the Banana Factory in Bethlehem, PA. You may recognize Virginia from a previous post where she’d combined some of our Decopatch papers with some of her cast paper sculptures. (Want to watch Virginia demo the cast paper process at our local PBS station?)
Virginia had stopped by my studio not long ago to show me the results of some sketches that she’d drawn in a Rhodia LeCarre notepad. These pendants of sterling silver, brass and bronze were created using the lost wax casting method, a labor intensive process which begins by her carving the three dimensional design model from a block of wax.
The casting process continues by placing the wax model on a base, which is then covered by a flask. The flask is then filled with a wet plaster, (known as ceramic investment) and placed in a vacuum to remove air bubbles. Once the investment has been allowed to dry, the base and flask are removed and the piece placed in an oven to burn out the wax – hence the name, “lost wax”. It is at this point where molten metal is forced into the investment mold by centrifuge. To remove the cast item, the mold is destroyed and the resulting metal piece is cleaned up by filing and polishing.
If you want to make multiple pieces from a carved model, you have to send the finished metal piece back to the foundry to have a mold made – otherwise, it’s a one of a kind.
These are a few images of the original design sketches.
When I asked Virginia “Why trees?” It was a treat to learn the response.
At this point, it might be helpful to know that deer, trees, and irony happen to be a recurring theme in Virginia’s work. Did I mention that she also happens to be a clown?
Virginia also created the deer pendant shown above, which in its antlers, is holding a taxidermists glass deer eye. (I’m totally not making that up)
Looking at the reverse of the pendant, you can see how Virginia used the cast tree design as a “gallery” which is a decorative element used behind a stone in place of a solid mount. The tree pendants shown in the photos at the top of this post are a smart secondary usage of the original design.
Contest Alert! Enter now for your chance to win 1 of 15 of the appropriately named “No. 80″ Rhodia 80th Anniversary gift sets!
This limited edition gift set includes a 6 x 8 1/4″ (14.8 x 21 cm) notepad featuring 90g ivory paper with our classic grid in a light grey ink. It also includes an 80th anniversary pencil! A copper-colored Rhodia name and logo appears on both sides of the pad, with a special 80th anniversary emblem on the back cover.
This contest is open to US residents only and will be remain open until midnight EST on Tuesday 10/21/14 The winners will be chosen at random and announced on the blog on Thursday 10/23/14. One entry per household please. If you are viewing this post via e-mail or on a mobile device, you may need to visit Rhodia Drive directly to see the entry form.
Please feel free to share this post on your own blog, or on any of your preferred social media outlets.
One of our office mates, Jim Burke, spotted one of our Exacompta cloth bound journals on a promo for the new ABC television show, “Selfie.” Here is a clip of the promo. They show the journal at a distance and close up.
This journal is the cousin of Exacompta sketchbook that has been discontinued, much to the sorrow of its many fans.
The paper is off white, laid finish, 25% cotton and 100 g. The line width is rather wide – 3/8″ inch, so if you have big handwriting or like lots of line room, this book is for you. The journal includes a bookmark, and gold edge pages.
Goulet Pens -
Contest Alert! Rhodia has designed a new notepad for its 80th anniversary year (1934-2014): a white cover with silver logo pad that we are calling Rhodia Ice. The silver and white pad is emblematic of Rhodia’s simplicity and minimalist design. It has beauty and character and a little bit of mystery. It is quite different than anything else—just like Rhodia.
Enter now for your chance to win 1 of 15 No. 13 (4×6″) pads. (Graph or lined ruling, our choice.) This contest is open to US residents only and will be remain open until midnight EST on Tuesday 06/24/14 The winners will be chosen at random and announced on the blog on Thursday 06/26. One entry per household please. If you are viewing this post via e-mail or on a mobile device, you may need to visit Rhodia Drive directly to see the entry form.
Please feel free to share this post.
If you are a retailer or a journalist, please be sure to visit the Exaclair booth # 2347 at the National Stationery Show – held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City May 18th through May 21st.
The is the first time the new white covered Rhodia Ice notepads will be making their debut in the US and from what we’ve been hearing, there seem to be quite a few of you looking forward to buying them! Have a favorite Rhodia Retailer? Send them a note asking them to stock up on Ice for the summer!
This week on our Retailer Spotlight we have the lovely duo from Anderson Pens, Lisa and Brian Anderson! For our readers who do not know about Anderson Pens here’s a bit of background from their website and e-store www.andersonpens.net:
“Established in 2010, AndersonPens.net was developed to combine the efforts of Brian Anderson’s Esterbrook.net, and Lisa Anderson’s ProperPads to bring pens and paper together all in one place.”
They have become big enough to successfully open a brand new retail location in Appleton, WI which if you’re in the area you definitely need to check out! Continue Readering »
Rhodia has designed two new notepads for its 80th anniversary year (1934-2014): a white cover with silver logo pad, and a special 80th anniversary pad, with an interesting orange gold grid pattern on the cover.
We are calling the new “Bloc White” – Rhodia Ice.
Both pads will be featured at the National Stationery Show in New York May 18-21. 2014. They will arrive from France within the next two weeks.
Rhodia Ice will be available in six sizes: No. 11, No. 12, No. 13, No. 16, No. 18 and No. 19. The paper is 80g with muted silver grid or lines.
It is the most striking pad I have ever seen, with an elusive beauty and character. It is quite different from anything else–just like Rhodia.
We are reintroducing the Rhodia Drive Retailer Spotlight!
To start us off in the inaugural spot is the fan favorite JetPens. You will find a large assortment of Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Brause and J. Herbin over at www.JetPens.com. If you’ve never heard of them or you’re a long time customer here’s your chance to get to know JetPens a little better.
Thank you for taking time out of your day to chat with us about JetPens today. The website has really taken off in the past couple of years and your presence is felt throughout the blogging community and pen fans everywhere.
RhodiaDrive: How did JetPens get started?
Life Noted merges calendaring, note-taking, PDF, photography and video apps into one. It brings the freedom of paper expression and the convenience of digital mobility to iPhones or iPads.
From one screen, capture a moment, jot down ideas, notes and reminders; import videos and photos; tag and retrieve memories of events, projects and meetings.
Andrea is doodling on a large blank Webbie. To follow her 2014 daily doodle project, please go to http://biggaydragon.tumblr.com.
Thank you, Andrea!
You can now take a look at the NEW 2014 Exaclair catalog and see all of the goodies coming in the new year – like the large Rhodiarama Webbbies, Landscape Webbies, Mignon Refillable Leather Journals, new colors for the Habana, Graf-It dot pads…
Which products are you most excited about? (You must KNOW that I’m excited for the large purple Webbies!)
David Allen is a productivity consultant who is best known as the creator of the time management method known as “Getting Things Done”.
David comments on the Rhodia Meeting Book: “I love this Rhodia pad. First, the paper stands up to my fountain pen ink without bleeding through. It’s a great size for taking notes at all sorts of meetings; the perf-ing is very functional (important for processing notes through my in-tray!) Great tool.”
and on the Rhodia Reverse Book: “I love the Rhodia Reverse Book. Not only is it great for “lefties” in our workshops, it’s a great size and graphics for creative mapping, note-taking, drawing, etc. And, as usual with your paper, it lets me play with my fountain pen without bleed-through!” Visit the GTD Times Blog.
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