Tag Archives: Rhodia

Back to School!

The unseasonably cool days in Toronto these past few weeks has brought back some not-so-distant back-to-school feelings! I’m a little sad not to be going back to school with the other teachers and students, but the shop is pretty exciting, too, especially as we gear up for some new products and lines coming in.

Even if you’re not actually heading back to school, the cooler weather and crisp air always brings back memories – childhood’s ingrained memories with the smell of fall. September always seems like a new year, a fresh start.

Here are some ideas to help you keep newly inspired at work or school, or treats for those little guys heading back.

Quo Vadis Agendas available at Wonder Pens

While iPhones and your digital appointment trackers are lovely, for some people, organization needs to come in a paper agenda. You know who you are if you are someone who just needs to write things down and see it across a weekly page. We have a few available in a couple of different formats for the academic year (August 2013-July 2014), and we also have beautiful Rhodia agendas!

Inside of Quo Vadis Equology Agenda

Inside of Quo Vadis Minister Agenda

Delfonics Flat Pen Cases in Khaki, Yellow and Natural White

And for all your pens and erasers and emergency coffee money and notes from class, here are a few of our pencil cases!

We had been running low on stock with these canvas pencil cases by Delfonics, but they’re back in stock! We’re hoping to get some double-fastener ones in any day, too – so check back on the website if you’re looking for a case with more storage.

Clairefontaine 1951 Collection Notebooks - Fountain Pen Friendly Paper

We’ve been loving these Clairefontaine notebooks – many colours and designs, but all kind of vintage looking and with the incomparable Clairefontaine paper. A new notebook is sometimes daunting – what to fill it with! But at these prices, they are perfect for your imagination and doodles and notes, and to throw around in your bag.

Ultra Smooth Palomino Pencils

And finally, the pencils. A brand new box of pencils? Long and smooth and luscious Palomino pencils? Freshly sharpened and bits of wood shavings? What else could inspire, at any time of year.
The matte black Blackwings are the softest lead, and the grey 602s are the hardest, with the new Palomino Pearls right in the middle.

Paper Review: Rhodia 80gsm Paper

Most my ink reviews are done on Rhodia 80gsm paper, in the staple-bound pad. It’s for me to try to be as consistent as possible, it’s a fairly easily accessible paper so many people have experience with it, but it’s also just great paper.

I like this paper because for the quality, it’s not too pricey – I’m talking about the 80gsm in the staplebounds, the 90gsm in the Webnotebooks is more expensive, which also has to do with the hard cover. The paper is very fountain pen friendly, meaning you can use your flex nibs and really wet inks on this paper without a problem.

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Rhodia is one of the most common choices for fountain pen users.

Rhodia is a paper company that dates back to the 1930s as a family business (like us!) from Lyon, France, and named for the Rhone River. Apparently the two trees in the Rhodia Logo represent the two brothers from the original family, drawn by the mother by the kitchen table.

The company was purchased by Clairefontaine in the 1990s, who now makes the Rhodia paper, still in France. The Webnotebook has become a well-recognized, iconic notebook in France and Europe, and the high quality of the paper has made it one of the most common choices for fountain pen users.

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The back cover gives you some information on the quality of the paper.

The “High Grade Vellum Paper” is made from cotton and wood pulp, which makes it more ink resistant. Because it is ink resistant, rather than allowing the ink to soak into the fibres of the paper to dry (feathering), the ink sits on the surface to air dry, making for longer dry times.

Rhodia paper is known for being super smooth, and if you’re going for a smooth, flawless writing experience, this is the paper for you. If you’d like something with a little more texture, try the G. Lalo paper.

The paper is smooth and has its trademark purplish lines on the lined version, but is also available in dot grid. It’s sizes are the A5 and A4, in a black cover (with orange logo) or orange cover (with black logo).

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From F to Flex, this paper has no problem handling ink without feathering or bleeding.

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The back of my writing sample – no bleed through!

The paper is for fountain pens. Above is a sampling of different inks in different pens, but you can also check out my other ink reviews and see a full writing sample of other inks on the Rhodia paper.

There is rarely bleeding or feathering, so you can write on both sides if you need to. The show through here is from the Noodler’s Flex.

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The top cover has fold lines to allow you to fold over the cover easily and cleanly.

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The cover has scored fold lines to be able to fold the cover over your pad cleanly. Because of the perforated lines for your tearing, as you tear out paper, you will still leave the original number of sheets at the very top of the pad, so your fold lines will always be the same, square fold.

The cover is quite durable, and can take folding quite well. If your cover stays open after you’ve been using it for a while and you need it to lay flat, just fold the cover’s fold lines the opposite way, and it should lay flat again.

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Perforated sheets make for a clean tear on Rhodia Staplebound Pads.

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If you’re concerned about your cover flapping up, especially if you’re tucking this into your bag or the cover is getting caught on things, bend the cover flap the opposite way, and it should lie flat with no problem.

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PEFC certified – Rhodia paper comes from sustainably managed forests.

Lastly, this paper is PEFC certified (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification). While the amount of paper we may use for our doodles with fountain pens may seem negligible, it’s nice to know that the paper is sustainably sourced.

Our notepads are available here, but should be pretty easy to find in most stationery stores or college bookshops.

Elsewhere to read about this paper:

The Penny Writer
Fountain Pen Network: What’s All the Fuss Over Rhodia?

Ink Review: Noodler’s X-Feather

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Noodler’s X-Feather: fountain pen ink designed to not feather on most types of paper, including cheaper copy paper.

Noodler’s X-Feather Ink is a black ink with a specialty in not feathering.

People generally try to avoid feathering because it just doesn’t look very nice. We want to have nice, clean, crisp lines without any of the fibres around the paper soaking up some of the ink. On certain types of paper, or with extremely small writing or fine details, feathering can sometimes mean your writing is illegible, although these are in extreme circumstances.

The three factors that determine how your ink looks (in feathering as well as everything else) are paper, pen and ink. If you find a certain type of pen or ink or paper that you really like, you can experiment with the other factors to find your just-right combination.

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An example of feathering – usually a result of the combination of paper and ink, especially frequent with really “wet” or broad nibs.

Fountain pen writers are often on the hunt for “fountain pen friendly” paper, although this usually comes with a higher price tag. Good brands include Rhodia, Quo Vadis, Japanese Life Stationery and G. Lalo, along with many others. This paper often has a higher gsm – grams/meter weight, meaning it is a little thicker but also denser. However, thicker paper does not mean it is going to be fountain pen friendly.

The example above is on Hilroy spiral-bound school notebooks – terrible paper. This is the $0.49 notebook you can get at Staples at back-to-school season. The writing was done with a Jinhao 126 and a Fine nib – not a pen that writes a very wet line! Paper that is newsprint or cheaper copy paper is often great for the more oily ink of ball-point pens, but not good for fountain pen ink.

Some good fountain pen paper also has a higher cotton content, or is vellum paper (plasticized cotton), meaning it is more ink-resistant – rather than absorbing the ink, the ink sits wet on the surface of the sheet until it dries.

In my opinion, it is generally the paper that is the biggest factor in how much an ink feathers, though of course, there are certain inks that are terrible with feathering and some inks that do not feather very much or at all.

As well, the wider or wetter your nib, the more ink you lay down. When that happens, the paper fibres around your line will start to absorb the lines, resulting in something that looks a little hairy.

One example of an ink designed especially to avoid feather is Noodler’s X-Feather.

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Writing Sample of Noodler’s X-Feather with Noodler’s Ahab Flex on Rhodia 80gsm paper.

Often calligraphers or writers who like really wet nibs will go to this ink because it allows them to lay down a lot of ink without it feathering.

For this writing sample on Rhodia Paper, I used the Ahab Flex.  Because it’s a flex nib, it will definitely lay down a lot of ink for the wider lines.

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While X-Feather is known for its anti-feathering property, it’s also a dark, saturated black that is a great black on its own.

I do find this ink to be a black ink – a dark, almost creamy, saturated black with very little shading. Even with the flex nib, you can hardly see any shading, at all. While it’s still a liquid ink, it almost seems like a little bit of a thicker ink, leaving a crisp line.

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Writing Sample: Noodler’s X-Feather on Rhodia Paper

Of course, on the Rhodia Paper, which handles most inks very well, has no problem at all with the X-Feather. In fact, you might have a difficult time finding an ink that does feather on Rhodia Paper, although I’m sure it could be done.

It has a slower dry time: feathering often speeds up the dry time by absorbing the ink into more of the paper – since this doesn’t feather it takes a little longer to dry.

The real test is on the lower quality paper. Below, I tried the Ahab Flex with X-Feather on the same Hilroy paper as the example of feathering above. If you look really closely, you can see the paper trying to pull the tiniest particles of ink, but even on this paper, X-Feather does an admirable job.

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Even on lousy spiral bound school notebooks, X-Feather looks great!

IMG_4145  While on the Rhodia paper there was no bleed-through at all, on this paper, there was definitely bleed-through. However, I think you would have time with any sort of ink pen on this paper, as it is thin, fibrous paper.

If you’re someone who works in an office with copy paper or you’re a student looking to take notes without having to purchase high quality paper, this is the ink for you.

You can take a look at more details about the ink here.

You can also see a cool drawing using the ink here at: Leigh Reyes