Sunday, November 16, 2014

Clairefontaine Paper Tests

by Tony Thomas

I participated in the Rhodia Paper Project (Week 2) at

First of all, what a delightful assortment of papers from Clairefontaine!

I inked up some of my favorite fountain pens and also pulled out a pencil for this test.  Pens/pencil used were: Pilot Metropolitan Fine w/Noodler's Black, TWSBI Vac 700 (.8 Nemosine Stub nib) w/Waterman Serenity Blue, Lamy Studio EF w/diluted PR Chocolat, Lamy Vista (1.1 stub) w/Noodler's Black and a Pentel Kerry Mechanical Pencil with .7 HB lead.

Here are the tests:

G. Lalo Verge de France (100g): This is a great slightly off-white laid-finish paper that would be great for formal correspondence.  As a result, it has a bit of texture that is only slightly uncomfortable when writing with an EF or fine nib. It accepts ink beautifully and drying time was acceptable.  No feathering observed.  The paper also performed well when I used my pencil, producing a solid, dark line.   A really great paper.

Clairefontaine GraF it (90g):   This was my least favorite paper of the three that I tested.  As it is a sketchpad paper, it has quite a bit of tooth (like most sketchpad papers).  That said, it performed quite well with fountain pens with no feathering.  It was really uncomfortable when using the EF and and fine nibs.  As expected, the pencil worked well with this paper.

Clairefontaine Triomphe (90g):  This  was my favorite of the three.  This is very expensive stationary paper and performs like it.  Very smooth texture with great performance with both fountain pens and pencil.  Beautiful, crisp, lines with no feathering and acceptable drying time.   Pure joy to write on with a fountain pen or pencil.

In summary, I think Clairefontaine makes some of the finest papers in the world!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Distressing News!

By Tony Thomas

I wanted to breathe some new life into my custom Hidebound Leather planner cover, so I decided to distress it.  Distress it?  Yep!

What does distressing entail?  Basically, you remove all of the contents of the cover and then wring it like a paper towel.   And then you do it again and again in various directions. 

If you have the right kind of leather, it will change its color and show an incredible texture change!

The top picture is of the cover shortly after I received it.  The picture below it was taken after distressing the leather.  Dramatic, indeed!

I decided to also distress the cover I bought for my Clairefontaine notebooks.  It is on the left (below) and my planner is on the right.