Fine papers and fine pens

One of the main reasons why I started this whole custom organizer pages project is that I am very fond of fine pens and fine paper. I suppose this is the result of not only having attended university for a fine arts career, but also having been employed as a purchaser for an artists supply store in my younger days, where I had access to all the finest materials an artist could hope to work.

The problem with most of the available organizer, planner, and notebook products is that they very rarely take into account the needs of fountain pen users, and those that do don’t necessarily make products which are archival in nature.

Over the next few days, I will be rummaging through my stock to find the test sheets that I made of various brands of 100% cotton rag writing paper to rediscover which I found to be most compatible with my colection of fountain pens and inks. I did this testing a couple of years ago, and went through several versions of Crane & Co. papers as well as some of the better Strathmore papers. I’m certain that I liked one of the Crane & Co. papers best, but at this late date I can’t remember exactly which one.

I’ve always liked Strathmore papers, especially their Patent Office Bristol, but their writing grades didn’t fare as well in my testing concerning fountain pen ink feathering. I do know that Crane & Co. offers their Crane’s Crest in A4 size in the US, so that’s a very good possibility, but I have the feeling that the one that came out on top was a paper that isn’t offered in A4. That means redoing the pre-press files for larger sheets when we go to final production.

I have already located my stocks of 100% cotton papers, so as soon as I determine which I liked best, I’ll be running some batches through the Epson Stylus C120 with archival quality inks, and the real testing will begin!

In case you are wondering, my favorite fountain pens are Pelikan Souveräns (I have an M800 and an MC120), but my main pen for non-fountain friendly paper is a Graf von Faber Castell Rhodium Guilloche rollerball loaded with a Schmidt 2010M blue ballpoint refill, because I like the size and cap of the rollerball pen, but I prefer the slight drag of the ballpoint refill. As far as inks are concerned, I absolutely adore Noodler’s bulletproof inks, and also have a soft spot in my heart for J. Herbin inks, especially their Violette Pensée, that old standby of the French school system. Now if only I could learn to write in that French Cursive style…