Inky Fingers

ragemore
What fountain pen user hasn’t at one time or another experienced inky fingers? For me, it’s every time I refill a pen. It happens either by accidentally touching the rim of the bottle or when using a paper towel to wipe the nib section clean.

Other ways I’ve gotten inky? If a pen is running a little dry, I will sometimes twist the convertor to push more ink into the feed; if it’s a bit too much, spillage may occur. Dip pens/nibs come with their own type of inky hazards simply from having to repeatedly dip the nib into an ink bottle.

Under what circumstances have you experienced the inky finger syndrome? Anyone ever experience ink problems on an airplane?

Image courtesy of Ragemore on Instagram

 

Waiting to get your paws on a landscape Webbie?

hotdogsandwiches

The landscape version of our beloved Webbie (Webnotebook) will soon be available in the US and we are hoping that you are as excited about it as we are. Will you share with us how this format may work more efficiently for your needs?

• Size A5: 5 1⁄2” x 8 1⁄4”
• 90 g ivory paper, acid-free, pH neutral, 96 sheets
• Embossed Rhodia logo
• Elastic closure matching color cover (orange and black)
• Round corners
• Individually shrink-wrapped
• Lined or blank
• Inner pocket in back cover

Image courtesy of hotdogsandwiches on Instagram

 

Similar Fountain Pen Ink Colors

pelikanop

Have you ever discovered two similar ink colors? How did you determine your favorite between them? Price? Smell? Flow? Looking for something similar to an ink you can’t find? Take a look at this article on Pendemonium: A Few Thoughts on Fountain Pen Inks which includes helpful notes on similar ink colors.

Image courtesy of pelikanop on Instagram

 

Sketching on Rhodia Paper: What you need to know.

cednocon

In regards to Rhodia products imported into the USA, white and yellow Rhodia papers are typically 80g and ivory Rhodia paper is 90g. All of these papers are fountain pen friendly, acid free and PH neutral. For the reasons that these papers are fountain pen friendly, it also means that you may notice a slight delay with how long it takes the ink to dry. The size of the pen’s nib in combination with the type of ink may also play a factor in drying time. (Some inks dry faster than others. Humidity is also to be considered.)

When we say “fountain pen friendly” we mean that water based fountain pen inks will not feather or bleed through to the other side of the page, Note that there may be exceptions to this rule if you are using a very broad wet nib.

The 90g papers are reported to be the smoothest of the bunch with the 80g right on its heels. The yellow paper is a little different than the rest and has a slightly toothier surface.

Speaking as an artist, pens, pencils and markers all pretty much glide across the smooth white and ivory Rhodia papers. It will be a matter of personal preference whether or not this is a desirable attribute while sketching. (For what it’s worth, I’ve doodled quite extensively in my Webbies using a variety of fountain pen inks. I also enjoy using drawing pens such as Faber Castell Pitt Pens and a variety of Japanese calligraphy pens,) 

Paper colors and availability:

80g White Rhodia paper is available in the widest variety of sizes and formats: head stapled pads, (aka “Bloc Rhodia Pads”) side stapled padsspiral pads… View more on RhodiaPads.com. 

90g Ivory Rhodia paper: is available in a head stapled tablet known as the “R” Premium Pad. It is also available in the following hard covered books: Webnotebook, (Webbie), Landscape Webnotebook, Webnotepad, and the Rhodiarama

80g Yellow Rhodia paper is only available (in the US) in one 8 1/4 x 12 1/2″  head stapled tablet.

90g White Rhodia paper is only available in one product in the USA: The Rhodia Meeting Book 90. 

Image courtesy of cednocon on Instagram

 

Permission to Doodle

butch_gordon

Are you a doodler?

By allowing yourself to be creative in a way that is not dependent on any particular outcome, you can focus on the process itself and simply appreciate your hand moving the pen across the surface of the paper.

The next time you find yourself waiting at the doctor’s office, the DMV, or when picking up your children after school, I’d like challenge you to reach for a paper and pencil and allow yourself to doodle. If this is something you don’t normally do, I think you might be surprised at how calming and meditative the process may be.

Image courtesy of butch_gordon on Instagram

 

The Silence of Smooth

_leisurely_

As a writer slash artist, I have a lot of different kinds of paper on hand for writing, drawing, sketching, painting, etc. The major differences (IMHO) between these papers is the surface. (Weight also plays a big factor) Drawing and sketching papers typically have some degree of “tooth” which helps to enhance the appearance of dry media like pencils, charcoal, or pastel.

When working on paper that isn’t smooth, there is an audible sound as the writing/drawing implement is moved across the paper. I don’t mind this when I’m making art but sometimes find it distracting when I’m writing – especially when using an extra fine nibbed pen on a toothy paper.

Have you taken notice of the sound your pen/pencil makes on paper? Do you choose specific pen/pencil and paper combinations to enhance or avoid the sound?

Image courtesy of _leisurely_ on Instagram

 

Rhodia Flip Animation Book

Tiny Rhodia and Pencils

Little Rhodia pads are perfect for flip animation, don’t you think? The N° 10 is 2×3″ and  the Nº 11 is 3×4″. The graph ruling helps the artist guide the drawing from one page to the next. 

The first flip book appeared in September, 1868, when it was patented by John Barnes Linnett under the name kineograph (“moving picture”). A flip book is a book with a series of pictures that vary gradually from one page to the next, so that when the pages are turned rapidly, the pictures appear to animate by simulating motion or some other change. (Per Wiki)

Want to make your own flip book? Instructions can be found on Wired how-to. 

This video above is courtesy of Rob MacKay. Visit Rob’s blog here, or find him on Instagram via roberthfx5000. (If you are unable to see the embedded video, click here to watch it: Flip Animation)

 

Reviving Old Writing Habits

_sookyung

Therapy can be costly, and our friends aren’t always available or capable of holding space for us- while our notebooks and journals stand ever ready to serve. I first started journaling in 2005 and can now look back and see how valuable writing was to my growth process.

In the book “The Artists Way“, author Julia Cameron describes a practice she calls “Morning Pages” in which you regularly dump the junk out of  your mind and into your journal – effectively freeing up space for clearer thinking.

In “Dark Side of the Light Chasers” Debbie Ford says, “Journaling is a good tool to help process your emotions. It encourages whatever comes into your mind to flow out onto the paper. It allows the emotional toxicity in our bodies and minds to express itself freely. Once we can grant this toxicity being and allow it to exist without judgment it will be released.”

I wrote with great consistency from 2008-2011, yet very little in 2012. Things picked up in 2013 but not as much as I would like. Lately, I’ve been thinking more and more about writing and am ready to once again make regular time for it.

Do you have a regular writing habit? Do you make time to “dump the junk?” Is this a process that has proved valuable for you?

Image courtesy of sookyung on Instagram

 

Link Share Friday: February Edition

laurazigman

Rhodia Meeting Book at Office Supply Geek

J. Herbin Encre Rouge Ink Review at The Pen Addict

Preventing Hand Fatigue During Long Writing Sessions at Pentorium

More on Finishing Notebooks at Notebook Stories

Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen – White Body, Black M Nib at No Pen Intened

Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Permanent Marker at A Penchant for Paper

Quo Vadis Exatime 17 (personal size Filofax compatible) 2014 week + notes diary insert at Plannerisms

Review of the Clairefontaine Calligraphy Pad at Life Imitates Doodles

15 Quick and Dirty Writing Tips at Writing Forward

Faber-Castell brings two new colors to the affordable Loom lineup at Fountain Pen Geeks

Margaret Atwood’s 10 Rules of Writing at Brain Pickings

Review: Rhodia No. 18 Uni-Blank Pad at The Well Appointed Desk

Sketchbook Exercises at Nordljus

Responsive ‘Hexi’ Wall Ripples and Wobbles Based on Nearby Motion at Colossal

Family Connection — Another Reason To Write Our Memories at Writing Through Life

Faber-Castell Loom Fountain Pen at Write to Me Often

Intro to the Monteverde Impressa Fountain Pen at Ink Nouveau

Rotring 800 0.5mm Pencil Review at Ed Jelley

Image courtesy of laurazigman on Instagram

 

The Sharpened Pencil

jdee

While I probably own at least half a dozen manual pencil sharpeners, I am always misplacing them. When I do find one, it’s usually the one that consistently chews the point off my pencil requiring me to re-sharpen them again and again leaving me with half the pencil I started with. I have a really awesome electric sharpener in my studio but I always seem to forget my pencils at home. I also have an older battery-operated unit which doesn’t seem to have the gusto (chewing power) that it once had which probably should be retired.

Do you have a favorite tried and true pencil sharpener? What brand? I may be looking for a new one… (I keep eyeballing those retro glass sharpeners by Alvin- especially the red one.)

Image courtesy of jdee on Instagram

More Plain Paper?

puww

We’ve received several requests for plain paged notebooks. Most recently, this message from a Turkish university student and self-proclaimed “stationery nerd”:

“We university students love and buy and use plain paged notebooks, buy most companies do not have paper as qualified as yours. We want to use Rhodia’s quality papered notebooks, and we want them to be plain paged please.”

We’ve also heard specific requests for spiral bound plain paged books – which is one product I’d swipe up in a heartbeat.

Are you a fan of unruled paper? Do you use it primarily for writing, sketching, or a combination of both?

Image courtesy of puww on Instagram.

 

The Humble Eraser

Pencil eraser

Did you know that different kinds of erasers exist for different purposes? Or that one might work better than another?

From Pencil Talk: Erasers: The Pink Pearl, the Staedtler Mars plastic, and others

From A Penchant for Paper: The Great Eraser Review: Pentel Hi-Polymer, Staedtler Mars Plastic, and Staples Brand Erasers

From Toad Hollow Studio: The Best Erasers for Graphite Pencil Drawing

From Lung Sketching Scrolls: The Pencil Eraser Comparison Review that never Was

From About.Com Chemistry: How Do Pencil Erasers Work?

 

Bent Pencils?

Bent pencils

At first I thought I was seeing things, but the two pencils on the left are indeed bent. I’d never seen that before, have you? The colored pencil 2nd from the left had been bent for a while and I’d figured it was simply an anomaly but when I found the second one which was a regular graphite pencil of a different brand, I quickly looked through all the rest of the pencils sitting out in my studio to see if any others were affected. (They weren’t). As each of these two were fairly inexpensive pencils, I wondered if the reason they bent had to do with the kind of wood used to make them. (For what it’s worth, the air in my studio is very dry.) 

What ink properties are most important to you?

Rose Cyclamen

In Tuesday’s blog post, I asked what colors you would most like to see added to J Herbin’s “Jewel of Inks” line. Several of you, (me included) suggested more saturated versions of existing colors which made me wonder… If J. Herbin offered highly pigmented inks, (somewhere between this line and the 1670 Anniversary inks) what particular characteristics do you think would need to remain the same for them to still be uniquely Herbin inks?

What is it specifically about J. Herbin inks that you like? The flow? The shading? The smell?

My Name is Andrea and I doodle

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!

tumblr_mzcjq23L711rof762o1_500

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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.