Archive for Interesting

993/1 is Famous!

journal

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.

Available at Writer’s Bloc; Goulet Pen Company and Classic Office Products.

 

 

 

 

 

Goulet Pens -

Throwback Thursday: Favorite Vintage Pens

Parker 51 Fountain Pen

I love a lot of things vintage for their classic design. Classic, as in that sweet combination of simple, practical and durable.

When I first started writing with fountain pens, I wanted nothing more than to exclusively use vintage, but it never seemed to work out for me. One after another I’d buy a vintage piece (typically  on the cheap) that would work for a while then ultimately, a seal or sac would break, the nib would bend or get scratchy, or the ink would stop flowing properly. I began to see vintage pens as fragile creatures and became reluctant to invest in their restoration. As much as I love vintage, there was a part of me that didn’t like knowing that a favorite tool would be difficult to repair or replace and so I began to favor more modern designs like Lamy’s Safari, Pelikan’s M200 and the Sailor Sapporo – though I can’t tell you how many times I’ve poured over the offerings on sites like Vacumania, longing for a silver celluloid Parker Vacumatic, or a fully functional Parker 51. (Mine has a cracked front section and needs a new seal/sac) 

Do you have a favorite vintage pen? If you take a picture of it and send to to me at stephanie@rhodiadrive.com I’ll include it on our Favorite Pen Fan Photo Page.

 

A Brief History of Writing Implements

Writing Implements

  • 4000 BC: Clay tablets are etched with metal or bone tools
  • 3000 BC: Egyptians use reed pens on papyrus
  • 1300 BC: In Rome metal styluses are used to write on thin sheets of wax
  • 600-1800 AD: Europeans use quill pens
  • 1790: Pencils are invented in both Australia and France
  • 1800-1850: Dip pen nibs are made of steel and tipped with Iridium, Rhodium and Osmium
  • 1884: Waterman invents the fountain pen
  • 1888-1916: Ball point pens are invented
  • 1940: Ball points become popular with the British military during WWII.
  • 1945: Ball point pens are introduced to the US market
  • 1960s: Felt tip pens invented
  • 1980s-90s: Roller ball pens invented
  • 2000s: Fountain pen revival! 

Proposed Paper Comparison Project

clairefontaine

Some during August-September I will be organizing a project to compare the different Clairefontaine, Rhodia, Quo Vadis and G. Lalo paper surfaces and how they interact with different writing instruments and inks.

We will collect the comments of as many people as possible on their experience with an individual product paper–how it feels to the touch, how their pen (pencil or other writing instrument) moves across the surface and interacts with it; basically–what is their experience, and what they like (or don’t like) about it.

The summary of the comments can be a good reference not only for people getting started with journals and notepads, but also for expert practitioners to exchange experiences with each other.

The products I am thinking of including for this comparison are:  classic Clairefontaine notebook paper; Clairefontaine Triomphe pads, R by Rhodia pads, classic Rhodia notepads, Rhodia Ice, Rhodia Webbies, Quo Vadis Habanas, G. Lalo Verge de France pads, and G. Lalo correspondence cards.

People can test each sheet with their favorite writing instruments (fountain pens, rollerballs, pencils, etc.)  and contribute feedback via an online form.  We will publish the results on both Quo Vadis Blog and Rhodia Drive  either in December 2014 or January 2015.

Each person would be limited to three or four different sheets per month (that I can send in a first class letter), but can sign up each month for other papers to sample and add their thoughts.

What do you think?  Are there specific questions we should ask?  Are there any other product papers you would like to try?  Your input at this stage is very much appreciated and welcome.  As always, thank you for your thoughtful suggestions, help and support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Claudia Goes to Pittsburgh

DSC05179

Claudia McGill is one of my favorite contemporary artists because it was her colorful and whimsical art that first inspired me to take risks in my own art. She works with a variety of mixed media; including acrylic paint, collage and clay. Something I didn’t know about Claudia is that she uses Rhodia tablets. When she first learned that I worked for Rhodia, she told me about a zine she had been working on which included a short story about a train ride to Pittsburgh and how the story was based on notes she’d taken in a small Rhodia pad during her trip.

To read the story, click on the first image and then keep clicking to move from one page to the next.

Which of these books on creativity have you read?

birdbybird

After seeing this post on Buzzfeed: 37 Books Every Creative Person Should Be Reading, I noticed that I’ve already read several and will probably want to eventually read them all. Do you have any favorites from this list? #25 is an all-time favorite for me.

3. Bird by Bird by Annie Lamott: Read this a long time ago. Remember it being sweetly encouraging.
4. Steal Like An Artist, by Austin Kleon: Read recently. Good info, but nothing that was really new to me
7. The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron: This is a classic. Excellent info to be found here. Do the work if you want to experience transformational growth in your life. (It’s not just about art)
15. Just Kids, Patti Smith: This has been sitting patiently in my Kindle for over a year…
19. The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White: Great info. “Omit needless words” is a classic.
21. Art & Fear, by David Bayles & Ted Orland: I’ve never read it cover to cover, but every time I crack it open and read a few pages I find something totally relevant.
22. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards: Just recently bought a copy.
25. The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield: One of the BEST books I’ve ever read. It’s about resistance. You do not have to be an artist to get a lot out of this book. It’s tiny – read it in an afternoon.
29. On Writing, Stephen King: I owned this a very long time ago. Can’t remember if I read all of it. The one thing that sticks with me is his mantra of “Write every day:”

Friday Link Share: June Edition

Rhodia R Pads

The Traveling Muse – Inspiring Pocket Notebooks at European Paper

The Epic Refill Reference Guide: Rollerball, Gel and Ballpoints at The Well-Appointed Desk

7 Letters to Write Before You Turn 70 at The Art of Manliness

48 great examples of doodle art at Creative Bloq

Can You Call Yourself A Writer? at Thought Catalog

Rhodia Ice 80th Anniversary Notepad at Office Supply Geek

Lamy CP1: Quick Look at Ink Nouveau

5 Ways to Develop a Consistent Journaling Habit at Kaizen Journaling

Review: The Monteverde One Touch Stylus Tool Mechanical Pencil at Woodclinched

TWSBI Teases with More Eco Info and Images at FP Geeks

The Stylographic Pen of Edith Wharton at Palimpest

Rhodia Ice at A Penchant for Paper

Uni-ball Signo: A Comprehensive Guide at JetPens Blog

A Hand-Drawn Interview With the Man Behind Adobe’s Pen of the Future at Motherboard

The Illuminated Sketchbook of Stephan Schriber (1494) at The Public Domain Review

Mailbox Goodies: Pen Jewelry at Gourmet Pens

Esterbrook Dollar Pen Review at The Pen Addict

Rhodia Ice Ice Raffle: Enter Now to Win 1 of 15 Notepads!

ice-ice_750

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.

Who Still Uses Parchment Paper?

640px-Permennter-1568
From Wiki: Parchment is a material made from animal skin; often calfskin, sheepskin, or goatskin. Its most common use was as a material for writing on, for documents, notes, or the pages of a book, codex or manuscript. Parchment is limed, scraped and dried under tension. It is not tanned; therefore, it is very reactive to changes in relative humidity and will revert to rawhide if overly wet.

While the term parchment refers to any animal skin, particularly goat, sheep, or cow, that has been scraped or dried under tension, vellum refers exclusively to calfskin.

The heyday of parchment use was during medieval times, but there has been a growing revival of its use among artists since the late 20th century. Although parchment never stopped being used (primarily for governmental documents and diplomas) it had ceased to be a primary choice for artist’s supports by the end of 15th century Renaissance. This was partly due to its expense and partly due to its unusual working properties. Parchment consists mostly of collagen. When the water in paint media touches parchment’s surface, the collagen melts slightly, forming a raised bed for the paint, a quality highly prized by some artists.

Listing our Legacy

Rhodia Stack with Yellow Safari

“We like lists because we don’t want to die.”

In a 2009 Spiegel interview with Umberto Eco, the Italian philosopher and novelist states “The list is the origin of culture.” And what does culture want? “To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order — not always, but often. And how, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through catalogs, through collections in museums and through encyclopedias and dictionaries.”

I’ve kept my own book of lists for over a decade by contributing several lists per year of material either relevant to the time or from memory of things past.

Do you keep a book of lists? If not, would you ever consider it?

 

Multimedia Enhanced “ME” Journal – Giveaway

ME journal small group set 500

 

The Ultimate Personalized Journal
www.exaclair.com

 

Line up

 

What is it?
Continue Readering »

How to Take Notes: Guest Post from the UK’s Ryman Stationery

Rhodia Notebooks - Ryman Store

Writing Notes

Everyone, at some point, will need to write down a note to themselves. Whether it’s a shopping list or lecture notes, we all have to write things down to help jog our memories later on.

If your notes are usually two or three words scribbled in a dying pen, then you’ll know full well that bad notes are tricky business. Here are some tips on making notes for yourself, so that your ideas are as clear and inviting as the gorgeous Rhodia notebook that they’re written in. Continue Readering »

What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades

brain

A very interesting article was featured in the 6/3/14 edition of the New York Times, ScienceTimes section, “What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades.”

According to some educational policy makers–not very much. Teaching “legible” handwriting is now required in most states only in kindergarten and first grade.  By second grade emphasis shifts to keyboard proficiency.

Not everyone agrees that eliminating handwriting from elementary school curriculum is the right thing to do.

In a study that followed children in grades two through five, Dr. Virginia Berninger, a psychologist at the University of Washington, demonstrated that printing, cursive writing, and typing on a keyboard are all associated with distinct and separate brain functions.

“When children composed by hand,” the article reports, “they not only consistently produced more words more quickly than they did on a keyboard, but expressed more ideas.”

Not every expert is convinced about the long-term benefits of handwriting. “With handwriting, the very act of putting it down forces you to focus on what’s important,” said Paul Bloom, a Yale psychologist.  “Maybe it helps you to think better.”

What’s your experience? Do you “think better” when you write it down vs. type it on a keyboard?

 

Montreal Calligraphy Exhibition May 21st-June 1st at Galerie Mile-End

Calmars2014

TRACES FRAGILES… INDÉLÉBILES is the the 6th exhibition for the group, Les Calmars.

This calligraphy exhibition combines gestural marks, flowing ink, rhythm and movement as explored by the eight calligraphers of Les Calmars. Lorna Mulligan’s piece shown below, (part of a collective work) is done with brush and inks (sumi and J. Herbin) and represents an open book in which we see the dialogue between a page of text and a page of landscape imagery. The text says  ’Je suis le calm entre deux sons” (I am the rest between two notes) – Rilke.

Lorna-Open-Book--Landscape

Lorna Mulligan is an artist and calligrapher. She received her degree in Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia and also studied at the Banff Centre. She teaches in Montreal at the Visual Arts Centre and at Dawson College in the Continuing Education Department. She also does Culture in the Schools workshops through the Quebec Ministry of Education. Lorna Mulligan has exhibited her mixed media artworks across Canada and in Europe. Visit Lorna on the web at: www.lornamulligan.com

Kamei pen

The text on Lorna’s open book piece was created with her favorite pen: the Kamei brush pen.

Tracing Paper

Tracing Paper

Tracing paper is a product that hadn’t been on my radar until I needed to purchase some for a workshop I attended last fall. It’s purpose is simple yet multifaceted. It can be used to “test” potential changes to a drawing without altering the original. It can be used to isolate individual elements from a series of sketches and also allow you to play around with composition. With a little effort, tracing paper can also be used to transfer a drawing onto another surface. Watch the video below to see how this is done:

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Rhodia Customization Module

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David Allen of GTD on Rhodia

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... Read on »

Chef Hosea Rosenberg on Rhodia

Season 5 (Bravo Network) Top Chef Hosea Rosenberg, originally from Taos, New Mexico, was always good at math. After graduating 3rd in his class at Taos High School, he moved to Boulder, CO to study at the University of Colorado. His dream... Read on »

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About

Rhodia Drive is a blog about Rhodia notebooks and the people who use them. It’s a place where devotees of this “French orange notebook” contribute ideas, experiences and links on the latest tools, events and general notebook-related news.

Rhodia Drive attracts creative people passionate about their Rhodia. Designers and artists, writers and pen collectors, thinkers and free spirits—anyone who loves notebooks—come together on Rhodia Drive.