Clairefontaine and Rhodia papers are often cherished by fountain pen users because their water based inks typically do not bleed through or feather on our papers. How does this work? Clairefontaine manufactures the papers in a such a way that it resists more ink rather than it absorbs. (Want to learn more about paper manufacturing processes? Check out Clairefontaine’s Paper Vocabulary here.)
Downsides to this process? For some, depending on the size of the nib, type of ink used, and or relative humidity, ink might take longer to dry on the page. (This is why blotting paper was invented. J. Herbin makes blotting paper)
Is the length of time it takes for ink to dry on the page important to you? Have you ever switched to a different paper because of it? Do you use blotter paper?
We have started The Paper Project as a way to allow 30 people each week to receive paper samples from products across the various Exaclair brands. Every Monday, we will be offering paper samples from 1-4 products to 30 people on a first come, first served basis. The paper will be mailed once we reach 30 participants and recipients will be notified via e-mail.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST – WE HAVE REACHED 30 PARTICIPANTS FOR THIS WEEK. TUNE IN NEXT MONDAY FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF THE PAPER PROJECT
Week 1 samples will include 1 sheet each of these 3 6×8″ Rhodia graph ruled products:
- Rhodia Ice: white/grey/graph
- Rhodia 80th Anniversary ivory/grey/graph
- Rhodia Classic white/blue/graph
If you have been chosen to receive samples in any given week, please come back and leave comments on the corresponding week’s page. We welcome you to blog or share to your favorite social media sites about your experiences. Tag #rhodiapaperproject on Instagram and Pinterest. If you’d like us to see your Paper Project blog posts, post your links in the comment section on corresponding week’s page OR to our Rhodia Drive Facebook page.
What kind of comments are we looking for?
- Tell us what you like/don’t like about the paper.
- How do you like using pencil/pen/fountain pen on it.
- Would you use it to write/draw/doodle/sketch etc.?
- - and anything else you think we should know.
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to test a LOT of different colors/brands of fountain pen inks. (over 100!) Because I am a visual person, the best way for me to compare and contrast was to perform ink swatches and though my method was simple, you can make this process as detailed as you’d like. In the images I’ve attached here, I used cotton swabs to do 1, 2 and 3 swipes of each J. Herbin ink in a white drawing pad.
I also kept two separate journals that I only used for ink testing. One with white paper and one with ivory.
What process do you use to remember what all of your inks look like?
There is no question that we are all busy people with a multitude of things constantly vying for our attention. I know that sometimes we just don’t get the chance to put pen to paper as often as we would like, and so I’d been thinking about simple ways to keep the ink from drying up in our pens so to speak. When I recently came across a three year journal in a bookstore that prompted a single line to be written per day, my thought was, One line per day… that seems like something most people could accomplish if they really put their mind to it. It could also be a way for those who would like to begin writing, but don’t know how to start.
So here’s my creative prompt to you: Use a pen/pencil to always write as least one line per day in your favorite notepad or journal. The line can consist of anything – how you feel, something you’d like to accomplish or have just accomplished, a favorite quote, headline news – anything really. Just so long as you do it every day.
And what if we liked this exercise so much, that we were to put aside a separate notebook just for this prompt? One line per day: 365. A year in the life of (fill in the blank)
What do you think of this idea? Is it something you’d be willing to try? Already do? Have shared with other people?
Exaclair currently offers a limited variety of Rhodia wirebound (spiral) notebooks and we’d like to know if you like them, how you are using them, and whether or not you’d like to see additional options made available in the future. I myself would love to see anything blank or dot- especially a dotReverse.
Current options can be seen here and include products such as the Wirebound Notebooks, 4 Color Book, Elasti Book, Reverse Book, Top Wirebound Pads and two versions of the Meeting books.
I know that many of our fountain pen friends enjoy switching out their inks to mark the changing seasons. Did you have any favorite brands/colors that you used or discovered this summer? Did you make any recent purchases that you are looking forward to using this fall?
Did you discover any new all-time-favorite ink colors at any of the recent pen shows?
The company that imports and distributed Rhodia to the United States is called “Exaclair.” Some of you may wonder who or what exactly is “Exaclair.” I have never written about the company and thought I would do so now, as more and more people seem to be searching for “Exaclair products.”
The name Exaclair is a combination of the company, Exacompta Clairefontaine–our umbrella corporate parent based in France. This conglomerate includes 30 or 40 (I’m not sure of the number) different companies. We import products from 11 of those companies to the U.S. We are the exclusive U.S. importer and distributor of Exacompta Clairefontaine products to the United States. Our corporate website can be found here.
Exaclair was founded in 1984 — 30 years ago — by Christine Nusse, a fifth generation family member of Clairefontaine. Her father, Charles Nusse, also founded Exacompta, which originally started out making accounting ledgers and now makes a variety of office supply products sold throughout Europe and North America.
Christine Nusse literally started out with a suitcase of Clairefontaine and G. Lalo samples, showing them to (then) the many stationery stores on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side of Manhattan and Midtown. From there, Exaclair products have expanded to stores throughout the country where fine writing and paper products are sold.
In my 15 years at Exaclair, I have seen major changes in the stationery industry. Chief among them were the rise of email, smart phones and big box stores. The 9/11 disaster also eliminated many small stationery and office supply stores in Lower Manhattan, and much of the local printing industry.
I would estimate that 80% of Exaclair’s retail customers on the books on May 1, 1999 — my start date with the company — have subsequently gone out of business or been taken over. At that time, Palm Pilots were starting to impact sales of address books, and email was just getting popular. These changes dealt a cruel blow to social stationery.
When I started with Exaclair, G. Lalo and Clairefontaine were the most popular brands. It is now Rhodia, Clairefontaine and J. Herbin.
We are very proud of our products and stand behind them. If we get questions on any products, we follow up immediately with the parent company in France and the consumer. We are all very appreciative of the loyalty and support of consumers and local retailers.
We are very optimistic about the future. Our sales are growing, and we believe it’s because of the quality of our paper and the company’s good environmental record. As people return to paper to create, relax, express themselves or just slow down, we are confident that they will find our brands, and enjoy the pleasure of writing the way all of us do.
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 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
The text on Lorna’s open book piece was created with her favorite pen: the Kamei brush pen.
There were several new products on display in the Exaclair booth at the National Stationery Show that I had the opportunity to drool over today, including the new “pictures can’t do them justice” Rhodia Ice. They look AMAZING in person. Continue Readering »
Gratitude Journaling (by Kathy Paper Pumpkin) at Art Journaling
Monami Handy Highlighter at A Penchant for Paper
More about Pencil Tourism at The Well-Appointed Desk
Pilot Kaküno Fountain Pen Review at Write to Me Often
A Ferrule to Arms: Erasable #2 at Pencil Revolution
Weekly Loadout Submission – Alia L. at Ed Jelley
20 Creative Writing Careers at Writing Forward
The Handwritten Note at Daily Writing Tips
New Habana Notebook Cover Colors at Quo Vadis Blog
Journaling As Healing Process at Create Write Now with Mari
Guide to Choosing a Pair of Scissors at JetPens Blog
Journaling Exercise: Question of Faith at Kaizen Journaling
Office Size Clam Paper clipper at My Supply Room
Faber Castell 9000 HB pencils vintage matchboxes spotlight at Lung Sketching Scrolls
Montblanc Meisterstuck : The Masterpiece at Pen Boutique Blog
Featured Pen – Kaweco AL Sport – Stonewashed Black at Pens Paper Ink… Whatever!
Smooth As A Baby’s Bottom – Or Not at The Pen Addict
Image courtesy of my_name_pesca on Instagram.
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
Stationery stores, art stores and book stores are a few of the more popular types of brick and mortar stores where you may discover a selection of Rhodia products available for purchase.
Click here to find a local retailer in your state or here for retailers with multiple locations. Product availability may vary and if you are looking for a specific Rhodia or Exaclair product, it might be best to call ahead.
The image above was taken at a D&R Music and Book Store in Turkey. Where do you buy your Rhodia?
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
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
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 Clairefontaine 1951 collection has been expanded! Options now include:
- Staplebound Notebooks in 3.5 x 5.5″ and 5.75 x 8.25″ 48 sheets, lined, in two sizes and seven colors
- Clothbound 5.75 x 8.25″ Notebooks: 96 sheets, lined, available in 6 different colors
- Top Wirebound (Reporter Style) Notepads: 3 x 5.25″ 64 sheets, lined, available in 7 colors.
- SquareBack Notebooks 3.5 x 5.25″ 64 sheets, lined, available in 7 colors.
All of the Clairefontaine “1951″ Collection include the Authentic Heritage design and contain the following:
- 90 g pH neutral, acid-free and fountain pen friendly paper
- Smooth satin finish, white paper
- Grained paper cover with front label
- Vintage look and feel
J. Herbin currently has 30 colors available in the La Perle des Encres (“Jewel of Inks”) line which can be viewed here. If you are a fan of these inks, please tell us which are your favorites, and what colors you’s like to see added to expand the line.
My own personal favorites include Violette Pensee, Perle Noire, and Orange Indien. I’d love to see a brighter and slightly more saturated red than the Rouge Caroubier. (though not as dark or saturated as the Rouge Hematite from the 1670 Anniversary line.) Please feel free to share this post.