If you’ve been keeping an eye on our Just In section, you may have noticed a few new things from Rhodia and Clairefontaine coming in. When I first saw the samples for these new Clairefontaine and Rhodia products, I thought they were gorgeous, and I couldn’t wait to bring them in, especially because I love ivory or cream coloured paper.
I always prefer to announce new lines once we get the whole thing in, but unfortunately it looks like it’s going to be trickling in from the distributor, as it has been over the last few months.
With us receiving than 10% of our ordered stock for some items, and others items getting a decent amount, and some being back-ordered for unknown periods of time, but all of them coming in small batches here and there and likely to sell out in the shop before I can get the whole line together at once for a family photo, I thought I would share a little bit about what we have and what you can expect from the new lines.
We have the new Rhodia Heritage line and the Clairefontaine Flying Spirit line. Rhodia and Clairefontaine products are made by the same folks, so there are a lot of similarities between the two, but these are both great lines – I love the sort of more natural and vintage style to them.
Along with the new covers, the biggest difference is that these notepads and notebooks feature ivory paper (rather than white) and it’s 90gsm (rather than 80gsm) compared to the standard line of notebooks and notepads.
There are also some new binding options, rather than the standard staplebound, spiral or clothbound notebooks.
From the new Rhodia Heritage line, there are top staplebound notepads – the photo below shows two of the new covers. We’re expecting more cover designs, including some black versions of them. These will have the 90gsm Ivory paper, and are only available in grid (orange!), but are otherwise the same dimensions and details as the standard notepads – perforated pages, a cover that bends back and over, etc.
There are also a few varieties of notebooks coming in for the Heritage line. These are some of the cover designs we already have, and we’ll be getting more quantity and different cover designs as well. They’re all orange and black and grey, and sort of have a vintage look to them, sometimes with additional orange or grey distress marks on them.
There’s a sewn binding notebook with fewer pages (64) and a flap from the back cover that can be used as a bookmark – the one on the right in the picture is one that we have in stock now. We are expecting more and different cover designs eventually.
My favourite from the new line, though, is the raw book binding notebook. I like thicker notebooks that feel like they have some heft, but also the coptic binding makes it so the notebook lies flat very well, and I really like it when notebooks lie flat without you having to crease and bend them repeatedly.
There are also a few nice details on this book binding notebook, like page numbers and a table of contents, as well as a box at the top corner of each page for dates or titles or categories. Of course the paper is lovely for fountain pen ink.
From Clairefontaine, we have the new Flying Spirit line of notebooks and sketchbooks. There are all different sizes, from tiny pocket notebooks to regular size A5, either lined or in a slightly textured sketchbook paper.
These come in a classic kraft paper cover, with different designs on the back cover. The standard notebooks are lined with smooth, ivory paper, 90gsm, and also have a flap that can be used as a book mark. This line also comes in a black cover with gold lettering – those have all sold out from the shop, but we are expecting more soon.
There’s also a sketchbook paper version that is slightly ivory, with some texture, and that also takes fountain pen ink very well.
More and more of these will be added online as we get them, including a few we have in the shop now that we’re going to put online so you can at least see the details, so stay tuned.
I’m really enjoying having this line in, despite it coming in little trickles, and it’s always nice to see people enjoying new paper in the shop.
I guess what I really like is that these are relatively inexpensive notebooks with fabulous paper inside – because I use inky fountain pens, paper quality is probably the most important factor for how much I’m going to enjoy using the notebook.
I’m sometimes a bit more free with notebooks like this, when I don’t have to be too precious with them since they’re not the more expensive hardbound notebooks – I can use a random page here and there just for doodling or testing out pens without feeling like I’m marking up a keepsake journal with random words from the script of Forrest Gump.
You don’t have to feel as much pressure to commit a certain project right away, although I think I’m going to use mine for morning pages or unplanned brainstorming – just sort of a catch-all brain dump, but something I’m going to recycle when I’m done.
I do really like the idea of a filled notebooks and the wavy, inky pages, and imagining them on my shelf – I also like how they look when they’re a bit beaten up – but I’m working on releasing things that are really not useful to me anymore. It’s a bit cathartic to have a place to get things out of your mind so you can focus on what you need to, and then actually getting the pages physically out of your space.