Noteworthy: Interview with Ian Hedley, UK Teacher and Blogger from Pens! Paper! Pencils!

mugshot

My name’s Ian Hedley, I’ve been teaching since 1993 and I still haven’t got the hang of it. The schools I’ve worked in have tended to be in the parts of nice towns that people don’t live in if they can afford to live in nicer parts of the nice town. Lots of wonderful students, of course. I’ve taught a lot of subjects and some of them I’ve taught well(ish). The less said about my brief stint as a PE teacher the better though. I’m just glad no-one died.

RD: I can see from your Instagram images that your choice of pens, paper, & pencils are important to you when you sketch. Do they have equal value to you as a teacher? Do you do any lesson planning on paper? Any favorite Rhodia/Clairefontaine products for teacher related tasks?

Ian: I’m a headteacher these days and so don’t do as much actual teaching as I used to. I do make sure my students have access to something better than a nameless ballpoint, though, and they do appreciate it. I do plan my lessons on paper, using a printed template I came up with. Although computers are central to my work, I think better on paper.

I use a Rhodia No.16 plain notepad every day, for taking my own notes in meetings. A meeting is made a lot more interesting with a good pen on great paper.

RD: What prompted you to begin sketching? How long have you been doing it, and what advice do you have to others who would like to start?

Ian: I don’t remember when I started sketching, it was something I always did as a child. As a young teenager I used to take myself off to the river and sit and draw. As I got older I drew posters for rock discos and the band I was in but then I stopped for something like twenty years. Then, a couple of years ago, I developed a new interest in pens, pencils and paper (actually, I rekindled an old interest) and began sketching again because I wanted more ways to use them. The tools drove the act to start with but at some point I just became hooked. Now I have to draw every day. If I don’t, I get twitchy. I’m addicted.

10520374_245631308968682_1198213767_n

That’s the best advice I could give to anyone who wants to draw, too. Draw every day. It doesn’t matter what. I don’t have any special talent, I just love to do it and the more I’ve drawn the better I’ve got. I hope I can keep getting better because I’m a long way from being as good as I’d like to be.

10507866_261243697402160_1081393533_n

I think when you’re not as good at something as you’d like to be, you can either give up or you can try even harder to get better. If you want to draw, keep trying harder and you will get there. Anyone who can see and can hold a pencil can draw.

RD: Which are your favorite Rhodia/Clairefontaine products and why, and what are your favorite pens/inks/pencils?

10706759_1547310205500496_763721249_n

Ian: The Rhodia No. 16 notepad is my favourite notepad. The paper is wonderful with fountain pens. The white paper lights up inks and there’s never any feathering or bleeding. Because it tears away easily, I can scan my notes into the computer as I make them. This is important in my work.

10831725_411351999018268_1876355736_n

I love the GraF it sketchbook. The paper is great with pencils and ink and, again, it tears out easily. All the Clairefontaine sketchbooks I’ve tried have been excellent. A nice fine grain and a bright white colour.

I love J. Herbin inks, too. They do delicate colours so well. Vert Olive and Ambre de Bermanie are beautiful. And I can’t let a discussion of Rhodia products go by without mentioning the Webnotebook. The best notebook is its kind: fantastic paper, great binding, practical cover. (I just wish it was available with pure white paper.)

10547334_465868793547581_1590459932_n

As far as non-Rhodia/Clairefontaine products are concerned, my favourite sketching pencils are Tombow Mono 100s and for writing I’m enjoying the General’s Cedar Pointe. My favourite inks seem to change every week, I’m very fickle. As for favourite pens, I love demonstrators and brass pens. My current favourites are the Kaweco Liliput, Pilot Custom 74 and Platinum #3776 Sai.

10817865_1507848862827695_1022993798_n

Find Ian on the web via his Twitter account @ian_hedley and on Instagram under user name banana_moon. Ian also blogs at Pens! Paper! Pencils! where he reviews a variety of stationery products, and offers additional images of his amazing art. A few of Ian’s Exaclair related reviews include:

Rhodia pencil review

Rhodia Webnotebook (A5, lined) notebook review

Rhodia No. 16 Block Notepad review

Clairefontaine GraF it 90g sketchbook review

Friday Link Share: December Edition

rhodiablack_larger_750

Happy Holidays! Please enjoy this month’s link selections, along with a few holiday inspired art journaling videos, and also this Book of X-Mas Pinterest Board with loads of ideas for holiday related journaling ideas.

Lightning in a Bottle: J. Herbin 1670 Stormy Grey is Back at Ink Nouveau

A Day in the Life: Artists’ Diaries from the Archives of American Art

Macro Nib Shots – Photo Post at Ed Jelley

How to Better Retain Information from Books, Articles, and More at Lifehacker

The Red Corvette of Tape Dispensers at Blog – Rad and Hungry

Christmas 2014 at Fountain Pen Restoration

Vincent Van Gogh’s Notebooks at Making a Mark

A 22-Year-Old’s Diary Entries From Late January, 1974 at Thought Catalog

Review: Leather On The High Street 3 Pen Case at Gourmet Pens

Why no one should multitask — and how I finally stopped at Mashable

8 Smart Things Super-Productive People Do Each Morning at Inc.

Overthinking Pen Travel at The Pen Addict

Quick Look: Retro 51 Tornado Popper Montana Rollerball at FPQuest

J Herbin Ambre de Bermanie ink review at Pens! Paper! Pencils!

Top 10 of 2014 at A Penchant for Paper

More Stuff Around The Desk at My Supply Room

Happy Inkmas at Palimpsest

Link Love: Another Time-Sucking Rabbit Hole at The Well-Appointed Desk

Bubble Words from Daisy Yellow on Vimeo.

Favorite Ink Colors: Summer of 2014

Herbin Inks

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?

New 1670 Herbin Ink Coming Soon: “Gris Orage” or Stormy Grey

Herbin 1670 Inks

A new ink is being added to the J. Herbin 1670 line. Joining Rouge Hematite and Bleu Ocean is Gris Orage or “Stormy Grey”. Gris Orage is a grey ink with gold particulate which makes the ink appear silvery. It will be available in France towards the end of July. Samples have been requested to display at the New York Gift Show in mid August, and should be available in the US early this fall.

Is this an ink you will be looking forward to trying?

Just for Today

Bleu Ocean

Whenever I come across a saying or quote that I wish to integrate into my daily thought process, I will often use it as an excuse to pull out some art and or writing supplies. In this case, I’m using the Japanese phrase “Kyo Dake Wa” which pretty much translates as, “Just for today” which I think is a nice reminder to live more in the moment.

By doodling with a dip pen, J. Herbin’s Bleu Ocean Anniversary ink, and a few colored pencils in this loose and playful manner, what may have been limited to quickly scrawled words on a post-it note, has engaged me for an hour or so of playful art-making with the added benefit of being able to actively focus on the message itself.

Do you have a favorite saying that you might consider turning into a simple piece of art like this?

Have you tried the J. Herbin Refillable Rollerball Pen?

herbin_21500t_750

Have you tried one of the J. Herbin Rollerball Pens yet? 

Highly functional, this small and compact rollerball pen is refillable with J. Herbin ink cartridges. With a minimalist look, this elegant pen is the perfect writing tool for all correspondence and daily notes. It offers smooth writing with a medium line and the transparent body lets you monitor the ink level.

DSC01053

The Herbin rollerball offers an alternative for writing with your favorite J. Herbin inks. The pens are small and lightweight, have a firmly closing cap, and use the Herbin international cartridges that are easy to load. When I tested it, the nib felt like a “Fine.”

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.

J. Herbin scented fountain pen inks: Your Thoughts?

Herbin Scented Ink

Did you know that J. Herbin offers several different scented fountain pen inks? Whether or not you’ve ever tried a scented ink, we’d love to hear your thoughts about them.

J. Herbin scented inks are made from floral water (hydrosols) of rose, orange, lavender, apple and violets. The hydrosols used by J. Herbin come from Grasse, France, a Provencal town long associated with the perfume industry, and famous for its floral scents.

Fashioned with great care, scented inks are inspired by a tradition that began in Italy in the 19th century. J. Herbin and other manufacturers used to collect different scents from the perfume industry and add them to their inks.

Known as “Les Subtiles” (The Subtle), each ink matches fragrance and color: bleu/parfum lavande; vert/parfum pomme; amber/parfum orange; rouge/parfum rose; and violet/parfum violette.

 

What color would you most like to see in a new J. Herbin Anniversary ink?

Rouge Hematite and Bleu Ocean

Do you have any suggestions or requests for a new J. Herbin Anniversary ink to be added to the existing 1670 duo of our highly saturated inks? A rich silvery black? A deep forest green with a coppery sheen? What about aubergine with minuscule flecks of mica?

View this previous post about J. Herbin’s Bleu Ocean ink.

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?

Friends don’t let friends let the ink dry up in their fountain pens

Cleaning Fountain Pens

The other day I spent an epic amount of time flushing the dried up ink from my fountain pens. How can you avoid havingthishappen to you? Here’s a few suggestions:

1. USE THEM! 2013 was my year of the pencil which is why my fountain pens were neglected.

2. Have 1 pen that requires minimal maintenance.If you aren’t using your pens as often, try using just one.The ink in my Sailor 1911 seems to never dry out. The pen itself and its convertor are easy to clean.

3. If you are not using your pens, take the time clean them out and store them. Thankfully, this time only half of my pens required cleaning. Perhaps a calendar reminder is in order?

4. Get to know your inks. Some inks require greater effort to flush.

5. Find someone to maintain your pens for you. Has anyone started a service to flush pens yet? Someone should. (I could have asked my studio assistant to do this for me ::smacks head:: D’oh!)

NEW 2014 Exaclair Catalog is available to view!

Screen Shot 2013-12-27 at 12.42.34 PM

You can now take a look at the NEW 2014 Exaclair catalog and see all of the goodies coming in the new year – like the large Rhodiarama Webbbies, Landscape Webbies, Mignon Refillable Leather Journals, new colors for the Habana, Graf-It dot pads…

Which products are you most excited about? (You must KNOW that I’m excited for the large purple Webbies!)

In Marina’s Bag

Marina's bag

Marina is from Italy but is now living in the USA. She recently sent us this photo for our “In Your Bag” Photo Page.

From Marina: ” I love my 6X9 Weekly Notebook, it has great paper that allows me to use fountain pens (my favorite). I dressed it up with a FABRICA Bookband so I always have my writing instruments available. My 3 Lamy Safari fountain pens are, of course, in the colors of the Italian flag, The white one holds J. Herbin scented violet ink (violet in color and scent :-): when I write with it it’s scent-sational!!!! And, finally, the 80g paper notepad with purple grid.”

Care and Maintenance of Your Fountain Pens

cednocon

If you are a fountain pen user or are looking to become one, it is helpful to know how best to clean and maintain your pen(s). Assembled below are a series of links which can help get you started: Continue Readering »

Stormtrooper Guards the Goods

aleks111

I like seeing what kinds of desk decorations people keep within their workspace. Back when I worked in an office I had lots of crystals surrounding the computer in my cubicle and many pictures of my friends on the walls.

What kinds of things make you feel happy or comfortable within your work space? Do you have items that keep you more focused and serious, or things that are more fun and playful? What is the most unique item on your desk?

Image courtesy of aleks111 on Instagram

Subscribe to Rhodia Drive

Enter your email address:

  

Delivered by FeedBurner

Rhodia Drive on Facebook

Search Rhodia Drive

Find Rhodia to Buy

rhodiapads.com

Local retailers and full Rhodia product lines available in the US can be found at rhodiapads.com

Check out the Rhodia Journal Swap

Rhodia Journal Swap

Visit the Rhodia Journal Swap on Tumblr

In Your Bag

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

Rhodia Customization Module

Visit our customization module at Exaclair.com

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: stephanie@rhodiadrive.com 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 »

Download the Life Noted App

Life Noted App

Visit the App Store on your iOS 7 device to download Life Noted

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 »

Journaling Blogs

Archives

Exaclair Themed Videos

Rhodia Anniversary Video

Rhodia Classic Pad Showcase

PanPastel and Rhodia

Rhodia Fashion Show

Tom Bihn loves Rhodia

Clairefontaine Basics - Life. Unplugged

InkNouveau.com Clairefontaine vs. Rhodia

Alberto Lung reviews the Rhodia Pencil

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.


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.