Do you ever look back on actions you’ve taken or choices you’ve made in the past that have shaped your “today”? The origins of my Dudek Modern Goods brand came almost by chance. On the contrary, like starting any blog, writing The Clicky Post was a very conscious decision and was one I knew I would be committing to from the start, but the creation of my line of walnut pen holders was something that evolved all on its own.
The start of Dudek Modern Goods was not intentional and began when I was visiting my local specialty lumber yard to purchase material for a home project I was doing. While perusing their aisle of scrap hardwood pieces they sell to hobbyists, I stumbled upon a good sized piece of walnut and thought “I could make something from this”.
As I had already started writing the blog and my collection of pens continued to grow, I knew I needed a place to store them when not in use and didn’t want to settle on a standard pen cup. Not that there isn’t a place for a pen cup, but when you start investing into nicer writing instruments you want a place to keep them that both protects and displays.
I don’t think I would call myself a true “minimalist”, but I do enjoy items that have a sense of simplicity and elegance. Beauty mingled with high functionality. Just because something is simple doesn’t mean it cannot be of high quality. These underlying thoughts are what lead me to create the first of my walnut pen pieces for my own use and to give to a few close friends early on.
I already had a workshop that I would tinker in making various things, so I ventured out and started brainstorming. As I had bought a precut piece of scrap walnut that was about 2.75” tall, 3” deep, and about 20” long (like a big rectangular bar), I had to come up with a design that fit these dimensions. I enjoy symmetry and decided to create my first design in a sort of square or “cube” shape that was 3” x 3” on top. In trying to find the right proportions (again, symmetry) for the hole configuration, I opted for a 9 hole pattern that was evenly spaced from the center. This created a nice aesthetic and balance, but also provided some ample room for the pens to sit comfortably.
There was enough material to make about a half dozen of these “cubes”, so I went to work and created my first finished pen holders that would later turn into the start of my Dudek Modern Goods line. They would later become simply known as The Cube. I documented this project of making the first Cubes on the blog through pictures which prompted readers to reach out to me about possibly purchasing them. Once I started hearing from more people and with motivation from friends like Dan Bishop from Karas Kustoms, I knew it was something I could offer to the community which was exciting and fun.
Little did I know it would branch out into what it is today…
In the past year and a half I’ve added 4 additional products to the line, done two product collaborations (another in progress), and have shipped my handmade pieces to 20 countries around the world. To say I am humbled is an understatement. As a creator, being able to share your work or products is extremely satisfying and the scale of support has been tremendous. I’ll take a minute to say thank you to all that have contributed to the creation and continuation of these products as I couldn’t do it without your help.
I’ve recently released a new product called The Divide which is a piece that holds both pens and pencils with a strategically placed notebook slot as to keep them separate or “divided”. In discussing the guest post on Rhodia Drive (thanks so much for having me), we thought it might be fun to pair up and do a contest/giveaway of The Divide and include some Rhodia notebooks to go along with it!
Enter to win The Divide – a $60 value, this coming Wednesday 11/19 on Rhodia Drive!
As my habits have evolved into primarily fountain pens for my daily writing, I have turned to Rhodia as my go-to paper as it really one of the best products to use with a liquid ink. My desk/bag is filled with Rhodia products of all sizes with the Dotpads (black cover) N16 and N18 being my primary. A small thing, but something I appreciate, is that each page is perforated.
I love the way Rhodia paper interacts with my fountain pens allowing the ink to set upon the page rather than just being soaked in completely.
A big thanks again to Rhodia Drive for allowing me to guest post and good luck to everyone in the giveaway of The Divide!
With Karen’s encouragement, I wanted to share with you several events and exhibitions that I have going on during the month of October:
On First Friday October 3rd I will be a featured artist at The Banana Factory with an exhibition of my work in the 1st floor lobby. First Friday activities throughout the building are from 6-9pm. Be sure to come up and visit me in my studio #250 on the 2nd floor. (My lobby and stairwell exhibitions at the BF will be on view until Nov. 3rd.) Facebook event details can be found here.
On Wednesday October 8th I will be offering a free artist talk entitled “Metamorphosis” at The Banana Factory from 7-8:30pm. I will be discussing influences, artistic processes, and my evolution as an artist. This event is free and open to the public. The event will begin with a slideshow and talk in the Banko Gallery at The Banana Factory and end with a visit to my private studio on the 2nd floor where light refreshments will be served. Facebook event details can be found here,
October 3rd-30th is the 125th Annual N.A.W.A Members Exhibition held at the Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Gallery, 417 Lafayette St in New York City. I became a juried member of – N.A.W.A (National Association of Women Artists) earlier this year and my piece “Orbit” will be part of this historic exhibition.
On Friday October 10th I will presenting an all-new workshop entitled “Tapping the Source” with Dr. Kell Morton – an expert in the field of transformational healing and personal growth. This experiential workshop is designed to help you awaken, access and nurture your full creative self. See the attached flyer for full details or visit the Facebook event page here.
Fredric Pitts: Review of two Rhodia No. 19 pads of lined paper – one white and one yellow.
“When I sat down to write with these two papers I will admit that I had preconceived ideas about how the experience would go… and I was wrong. I thought that the white paper would be great for fountain pens and, thus, my favorite. The yellow, reported to be toothier, would be great for pencil but not fountain pens and I rarely use anything but fountain pens. On both pads the lines are nicely spaced for my hand and the page has lots of real estate to write upon which is great for the desk top, not really my favorite size for travel. Continue Readering »
We are searching for two things: New blogs for our blogroll and your overall favorite blogs to read.
If you have a personal blog you believe to offer content relevant to Rhodia Drive, enter the link into the comment box below along with the Blogroll category you think it would best fit and a note that indicates that it’s your own personal blog. The links will be reviewed and added to our Blogroll at our discretion.
To share your favorite blogs, (let’s limit 3 per person) comment “My favorite blogs” and then add the links. These I will review and consider for future link share posts.
Earlier in the year, I’d written a post about New Pens for the New Year and Jane Herman took the time to write about her wanting to try a new pen and then discovering an opportunity to test it in person. Be sure to visit Jane’s blog, Jane the Writer.
“For some time, I’ve been eying these Papermate Flair pens, but was reluctant to buy the whole set without the opportunity to try one first. My chance came yesterday, when my sister and I stumbled upon University Stationery just two doors down from the movie theater where we’d spent the afternoon. The bins of individual brightly colored pens waiting to be tested and the piles of Rhodia notebooks and pads caught my eye immediately in this high-end, but cramped independent stationery store in the neighborhood of NYU. It didn’t take much to convince my sister we should pop in, and like a kid in a candy store, I tested pen after pen after pen, even though I knew all along that the blue ultra fine Flair above would leave the store with me.
The pen, a gift from me to me, got its test run in the office today and passed with flying colors. The ink is smooth, the color vibrant, the line fine and sharp, and, best of all, it doesn’t bleed through the pages in my brand new planner! If this experience is a sign of things to come, 2014 is off to a great start!”
What new pens have you purchased this year so far?
In November of 2008 I left my day job to pursue the life of a full-time creative. As this month marks the 5th Anniversary of my writing for Rhodia Drive, I just wanted to say Thank You to everyone that follows the blog and supports Rhodia by purchasing and using our products. An extra big THANK YOU to Karen Doherty, the VP of Marketing for Exaclair and one of the best people (ever!) to work with.
Stay tuned – in celebration of my anniversary, I’m going to give away a pile of Rhodiarama Webbies next week.
Stephanie Smith (aka: “Biffybeans”)
Dreaming Always of & In Paris by Wayne H.W Wolfson
2 A.M, off in the distance lay The Sacre Coeur now reduced to the shadow of a leviathan around which is a slopping hilled base that someone has scattered a smattering of stars around that continue to wink despite having been pulled down from the sky. It was my first night back in Paris and the next day I would be moving back into my familiar sublet.
First was the dying swan of pen ink from the borrowed pen which caused the waiter to give me an annoyed look
as he knew that there was now a finite number of times left that the pen could softly declaim; Continue Readering »
Here on Rhodia Drive, we maintain a blogroll consisting of sites dedicated to paper, pens, pencils, ink, art, art journaling, and writing. It’s about that time of year when I check to make sure all of the current links are still functional and also when I start looking for cool new links.
If you have or know of an awesome blog you think we should consider adding to our blogroll, leave the link down in the comment section and I will be happy to take a look. I can’t guarantee we will be able to use each and every submission, but please know that we are always looking for relevant sites with quality content. Reciprocal linkage is always appreciated.
Oh, and please let me know if you regularly peruse our existing blogroll links.
Exaclair is the U.S. distributor of Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Quo Vadis, Exacompta, and J. Herbin. While these brands are household names in their native France, here in America we work each day to get the word out about our fine stationery products and we really couldn’t do it without you.
Sharing your Rhodia love on blogs, Facebook pages, FPN, Flickr, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram etc., is so incredibly helpful in spreading the word about what we have to offer, we can’t thank you enough!
I often search through these various sites for references to Rhodia and it always makes me so happy to see a carefully edited photograph or a lengthy review discussing the benefits of utilizing a dotWebbie or testing an Herbin ink in your favorite pen.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post where I will be giving away 20 Rhodia Academic Weekly planners!
We’ve received a lot of feedback from our readers about how much you enjoy our Friday Link Shares and I appreciate knowing that you like reading these as much as I do discovering it. I typically search for content for these posts amongst my 150+ blog subscriptions but will also scour Twitter and Facebook for interesting articles to further enhance the list.
As I am always looking for new content, I would love for you to tell me your favorite blogs so I can check them out. My personal favorites include a plethora of stationery/pen/ink reviewers, tip sites such as Mashable and Lifehacker, and funny sites such as The Oatmeal.
If you have a personal site you’d like me to review for possible addition to our Rhodia Drive Blogroll, please feel free to list that as well.
“Reminders may come to us as inherited discoveries. Through time, we become recipients of the gifts of those around us. Their recollections can become ours, too. We all receive keepsakes in varying forms, and that surely includes stories. In this way, we are also discovering gems that land in our paths. Although significance may have been ascribed by predecessors, we can add our own appreciation. In sharing reminders, we can assure one another of the great purpose to our steps.”
I, much like the author of this post on “La Vie Graphite” will occasionally pick up a pretty stone or pebble to remind me of a moment in time – these of which in actuality turn into giant stepping stones as I look back down the mountain of my life.
Want a great start to your week? Take a look back to see how far you’ve come, take a deep breath, then smile and keep going.
PS – Read the inspirational post “reminders” at La Vie Graphite. Photo also courtesy of La Vie Graphite.
Wow, has it really been two whole years? Indeed! Much thanks to YOU dear readers for riding shotgun! I really enjoy what I do here, and judging by the continued increase of your comments, contest participation, and photo submissions, I can only guess that you enjoy it here as well.
My anniversary giveaway will be coming up later in the month and I’m still keeping the prizes a secret… a little hint? I’m giving you one item (of 3) that many of you asked for. :o)
Here’s to another year!
Stephanie Smith – Your Rhodia Driver
PS: Thanks to Oni for the image of the big dotPad!
My r-Pad at Consider the Lilies
Beyond the Pen: Fountain Pen Ink as Watercolor Wash at Ink Nouveau
Sketchbooks at Drawing with a Squirrel
Simple Woman’s Daybook at Harvest Moon by Hand
A Magic Dinosaur at Feed Your Soul Art
Rhodia Dot Grid Webnotebook at Blinkidoo
Rock Paper Scissors at La Vie Graphite
Writing is…Escapism at Icy’s Blunt Pencil
Rhodia Pad Holder No 16 with Pen Hook at Pocket Blonde
Jardin Flambeau on Flickr Blog
All Azure: The Monochromatic City of Chefchaoen, Morocco on Web Urbanist
Chive Blossom Vinegar at Cooking with Anne
Bloc No 11 Graph Paper Pad at Pens ‘n’ Paper
The Chagalls, Joined in a sketchbook at The Jewish Daily Forward
Sketchnotes Channel at Core 77 at Notebook Stories
Product review: Rhodia Dot Webbie at Planet Webbie
Art above by Gentian Osman
Yesterday while perusing my favorite blogs, I came across a post by Leigh Reyes at My Life As a Verb entitled, “Change the paper, change the ink.” It discussed two different kinds of Noodler’s fountain pen inks and how they interacted with 3 different kinds of paper. Fans of my Bean blog are probably pretty familiar with how I tried a kazillion different kinds of paper looking to see which responded best to water based fountain pen inks. I like how Leigh’s post shows in a big way the good and not so good ways in which these inks can react with paper. Most fountain pen inks need a paper that actually resists the ink long enough to prevent feathering and bleedthrough- but not so long that it takes an eon to dry.
Rhodia, Clairefontaine and G Lalo papers (G Lalo is in the Exacompta Journal/Sketchbook) work very well in this department and pretty much put an end to my quest- but I STILL want a journal with a purple cover. (Karen, hint hint!)
I have been discovering new bloggers who have been reviewing/discussing Rhodia products. Take a look!
…take note of this on Candia Style
Rhodia dotPad Reverse Book on Pocket Blonde
Rhodia Pads on Office-lib.com
Rhodia dotPads and pencils on Surfbits
Bloc Pad No 11 review at Pens ‘n’ Paper
dotPad review on Office Supply Geek
Notepad Review: dotPad on Rants of the Archer
Bloggers looking to review Rhodia (or other Exaclair products) read this!