Archive for User Reviews

Sandra Strait reviews the Clairefontaine Calligraphy pad

The Secret Life of Seeds & Spores

“I can’t wait to try out a glass dip pen on it.  I know the results will be beautiful, but I also anticipate a satisfaction in matching a beautiful paper to a beautiful pen, and capturing a sense of writing in a way as people have written for centuries.  That creates a connection for me.  Even though I’m a computer-fiend, I was a pen-and-paper fiend first, and the computer will never recreate that sense of connection.  Or the feeling that not only am I creating a beautiful thing, but that the act of creating it is beautiful in itself.  The action of making marks, moving pen across the page–these are artful things.”

Life Imitates Doodles blogger and artist Sandra Strait is a favorite of ours for reviewing our products because of her willingness to be so very thorough. As an artist myself, I know how common it can be in the moment to want to use a variety of mixed mediums on a surface that isn’t always intended to accept it. When anyone takes the time to test a wide variety of wet and dry mediums on an individual product, I find it incredibly helpful. In this review, Sandra tests this paper using pen and ink, fountain pen, rollerball, collage with glue and gel medium, acrylic paint, colored pencil, photo transfer, and finally, watercolor paint. You can read her full review which included loads of pictures, here. 


Rhodia Yellow

In need of a writing surface last night, I found myself reaching for the yellow Rhodia tablet that I was sent a while back to compare against the standard Rhodia white paper. Someone had mentioned that the paper seemed different in more than just color, and the general consensus from the few folks who helped us perform a side-by-side comparison, is that the yellow paper is slightly toothier than its white counterpart. This to me, makes writing with a pencil simply sublime.

My only complaint is that the color of this paper is a little harsh for my eyes – which I think is ironic because yellow paper is supposed to be easier on the eyes than white. It seems to lean a little more greenish-yellow than what one may be used to from a standard yellow legal pad.

Fred Pitts Review of the yellow Rhodia paper 

Pencil Revolution review of the yellow Rhodia paper 

Clickthing review of the yellow Rhodia paper 

Ed Jelley’s comparison photos yellow/white Rhodia paper

Frank Bettendorf’s Trip to the Channeled Scablands


81 year old urban sketcher Frank Bettendorf was super excited about the new landscape Webbie notebooks so we sent him one to try out on his recent trip to the Channeled Scablands – a barren, relatively soil-free landscape in Eastern Washington. Click on any image below to view the full gallery. 

I’m back home after seven great days recording my trip to the Channeled Scablands and I’m eager to share some of the experience with you. I shot three rolls of slides, two rolls of black & white, and did 27 sketches. I thought I’d send enough so you’ll at least get some feel for the trip..

Continue Readering »

Kira introduces Duncan to the world of fountain pens.

rhodia 1

This is Kira’s 8 year old son Duncan, who in in January of this year started using a fountain pen to write thank you notes. Below, Kira recounts the story of how she first introduced Duncan to the world of fountain pens. (And Rhodia!)  Continue Readering »

Rhodia on JustDaveyB’s Desk


This is David’s desk. David is also known as JustDaveyB. (<– Check out his blog) Does your desk look like David’s? If yes, Rhodia thanks you.

“Just a few Rhodia pads on the desk” – David

(From left on the desktop)

Rhodia No18 Orange Blank – used to print my writing sample pages
(Under above)
Rhodia No19 Blank Dotpad – used for general writing and dip penning of inks
(at Bottom of pile)
Rhodia No38 Orange 5×5 – my blotter on occasion
Rhodia Webbie Black A5 Blank – my daily journal

(In the red desk tidy)

(front row)
Rhodia No11 Orange 5×5 – for quick scribbles
Rhodia No12 Orange Dotpad – for scribbles that need more space
Rhodia No12 Black R lined – for scribbles that need 90gsm ivory paper

(second row)
Rhodia No14 Black lined – for lists
(behind above)
RhodiaNo15 Orange lined – for longer lists
Rhodia No16 Orange Dotpad – for my weekend Ink in use writing samples
(and on the lean)
Rhodia No8 Orange 5×5 – for really,really long lists. :)

Mr Guilt’s Unlimited Zoo Notebook

When I asked Mr Guilt to tell me about his use of his Rhodia Unlimited Zoo Notebook, his response was as follows:

“I take a lot of photos at zoos (they are used, among other places, by the International Society for Endangered Cats). This notebook lives in my camera bag. I take notes of what I shoot. This is useful for species I’m not as familiar with–with the notebook and the zoo’s web page, I can figure out exactly what my picture is of. I also jot down things I find interesting, such as the name of an animal, or some other fact. The first zoo I really used it at, when we went to the San Antonio zoo, it was very effective, as I was able to capture the names of all the numerous species of birds they have there.”

Image courtesy of Mr Guilt – (Charles Barilleaux) Visit Mr Guilt’s Blog and also visit him on Flickr

there are others who know of the amazingness…

Fan letter from Thomas Quicksell –  blogger for Blessed Are The Geeks

“I have to say I have loved Rhodia since 2009. My first notebook being the Reverse Book, classic orange, and I was so impressed with it’s quality as well as it’s ability to induce creativity. It was hard where I lived in the States to get Rhodia items. In Rhode Island the best place I found was at a Hip little pipe tobacconist. But now that I am living in London, England there are so many great places that sell Rhodia. When I found RhodiaDrive I was really excited, I finally felt like there where others who knew of the amazingness. So I figured I would grab my bag, dump it out and join in with the sharing! Continue Readering »

Olaf’s New Habana

Olaf Starorypinski has a studio down the hall from me at the Banana Factory. He’s an international photographer originally from London, England who also happens to be a huge fan of the fountain pen. In fact, Olaf gifted me a bottle of fountain pen ink when I first moved into my studio. Right now, Olaf’s favorite pen is a Pilot Custom 823, with a right handed 0.8mm cursive italic nib customized by Classic Fountain Pens. He uses Sailor’s purple “Jentle” ink, but as he claims that color is becoming very hard to find, he will be switching to J.Herbin or Diamine when his supply runs out. (Hmm… Poussiere de Lune maybe?)

Each time I’d see Olaf at the BF, I noticed him carrying a large journal by a manufacturer other than Exaclair. I asked him how the paper in that journal was holding up against his fountain pen ink and his response was that it could be better. He preferred to use a blank journal with off-white paper in an 8×11″ format and while I couldn’t offer him anything by Rhodia to try, I did get my hands on one of the new large Quo Vadis Habanas which he now *loves.*

Image by Olaf Starorypinski.

Image of Olaf with light graffiti artist Vicki SaSilva outside his Banana Factory studio at the recent opening of the 2012 InVision Photo Festival.

Guest Post: Dave Marler reviews the Rhodia ePure

Like a child on Christmas morning, I excitedly opened the package from Exaclair knowing inside I would find the Rhodia ePure samples sent my way from the home office.

This would be my first experience with Rhodia products and I looked forward to seeing what all the fuss was about. Continue Readering »

“the brand my pens love best”

This image was taken by Gerald Taylor, (aka mycoffepot on Instagram) and his initial comment with the photo was that this was the brand that his pens love best. When asked by another Instagram user what Rhodia was, his reply was that the paper was “Extremely fountain pen friendly” and “If you use fountain pens, you need this notebook.”

Gerald, we appreciate your comments and we couldn’t agree more. The 90g acid free and ph-neutral ivory paper found in the Rhodia WebNotebook (Webbie) is manufactured by Clairefontaine in France (Clairefontaine is the parent company of Rhodia) which allows for consistent paper quality with each notebook. You can find the WebNotebook in two sizes: large 5 ½” x 8 ¼” and pocket 3 ½ x 5 ½”. (A5/A6) They are available in signature orange and black covers in either blank, lined, or dot grid formats.

Curious about the new Rhodiarama Webbies?

Sandra Strait Reviews the Clairefontaine Graf-It Pads

We recently sent our friend Sandra Strait a Clairefontaine Graf-it pad to try out. She put this paper to the test by drawing in it with a multitude of different products including: pencil, colored pencil, alcohol markers, watercolors, drawing pens and more. Continue Readering »

Rhodia Four Color Book

“I used the four colored notebook when I was I was studying. …I like all my scribbles in the same place. So it’s nice to use the 4 colors to separate things. I spilled coke on this notebook and nearly cried! Dried it and ironed it out.”

Ever try one of our Four Color books? How do you use them?

  • 4 distinct parts for easy identification of different projects!
  • Frame and margin along the top: space for subject titles and better note organizing
  • Micro-perforated sheets: for easy tear off
  • Sheet size is 8 ¼ x 11 ¾ “
  • Orange or black covers
Image and feedback courtesy of rehanu on Instagram.

Sandra Strait, Clairefontaine, and Rubber Stamp Madness!

From our good friend Sandra Strait (aka Molossus) of the blog Life Imitates Doodles.

“This is a picture I did in my Clairefontaine Carnet de Voyage travel album for a Design Team blog hop with Viva Las Vegastamps! They decided to use it as an advertisement for the fall issue of Rubber Stamp Madness! Yay, Clairefontaine! Your excellent paper made it possible!”

Congratulations! Sandra is well known for creating her amazing art with Zentangle inspired designs and patterns. You can actually read about the entire process that Sandra used to create this image in this post.

Sandra’s original review of the Clairefontaine Carnet de Voyage travel album can be found here.

Image above © Sandra Kay Strait.

Rhodia in your bag? Show us!

Ever since I discovered the Flickr photo group “What’s in your bag?” I’ve loved seeing what kinds of stuff people carry around with them. I do believe it’s how I came to buy a Lamy Safari as my 1st fountain pen – everyone seemed to own one so I had to get one too. This image was submitted by Ann Elkington for our photo page: “In Your Bag” where Rhodia fans can show off their goods. (Psst…. send me yours!)

Julie’s Favorite: Webbie and a B2P

Our friend Julie sent us this image to be shared on our “Favorite Pens” photo page and speaking of which,  have you sent me a photo of your favorite pen yet?

“Right now my favorite pen is the Pilot B2P (Bottle 2 Pen). I’ve been using it with my journals now for about three months. I came across them by chance one day when buying supplies. They are made from recycled water bottles, and are refillable, so, I feel a little more earth friendly & minimalist when using them. They also write pretty smoothly. The B2P’s don’t have the sleek look of the metal or aluminum, but they have their own unique look. The cool thing is, no one else carries them at my job, so if i misplace my pen, it always finds its way back to me. Same with my notebook, because no one at my job rocks Rhodia Webnotebooks, either!”

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In Your Bag

Will you show us yours? Send us a photo of Rhodia in your bag to: stephanie at so I can add it to the page.  ... Read on »

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Grab Your Camera and Show us Where You Buy Your Rhodia!

Target? Dick Blick? Borders? Art Brown? We want you to show us where you buy your Rhodia... The next time you are out and about,  snap us a picture of where you buy your Rhodia products so we can assemble an online gallery of local retailers. To... Read on »

Favorite Pens

Will you show us yours? Send us a photo of your favorite pen: so I can add it to the page. ... Read on »

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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Would you like to be a guest blogger on Rhodia Drive?

If so, contact me via e-mail at stephanie at rhodiadrive dot com with your proposed subject matter. We are looking for posts ranging in length from 100-500 words. Photos to accompany the article are a welcome bonus. If you have been reading... Read on »

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Testing a vintage Mabie Swan fountain pen with a lot of flex - on a Rhodia Pad

Click here to read the story behind this video.


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.