Sunday, March 24, 2019

Kunisawa Notebooks

I received a shipment from Kunisawa in Japan that contained several notebook samples to try and review. It was a very generous shipment and I did not expect to receive so many but it has been a lot of fun using these. I was also sent a prototype sample that contains some new paper. How are they with fountain pens? Let me show you.

I was blown away by the generosity here. I was sent 5 notebooks, a catalog of all their products and a small desk calendar. 

Here is what was sent.

This is the Find Slim Note with the Midnight Blue cover. It is A5 sized and has 40 pages with a 5mm grid. The cover is stiff but semi-flexible and has a nice tactile feel. 

Here is the Find Note Hard with a Grey colored cover. This is also A5 sized with 192 pages with a 5mm grid. Much like the Slim Note, the cover is stiff but semi-flexible and has a nice tactile feel. 

This is the Find Ring Note with a Grey colored cover. A5 sized notebook with 80 pages and a 5mm grid. The cover is more of a cardstock and is ring bound rather than sewn for the binding.

This is the Find Note Soft with a Grey colored cover. This is measured at 120x210mm, has 192 pages and has a 5mm grid. Definitely a more flexible cover compared to the other notebooks. 

This is the notebook prototype that contains the new paper formulation. 

The Find Note Slim and the Find Note Hard have a copper gilding to the edges, which adds a classy feel to the notebooks.

So What do I think? These notebooks are made quite well. The bindings are sewn, the paper feels nice and the books themselves look professional with a touch of class. I am really enjoying using these. 

The paper is overall fountain pen friendly but there are some caveats. I tried to test the papers with a varied vendor selection of inks and my preferred nib width on pens is broad. Most inks were fine and behaved well. There are some inks that did not behave the best but I have had issues with these on other papers as well. 

There is some ghosting but the bleed through was from Papier Plume ink. I have seen feathering and bleed with Papier Plume in the past with other paper so I am not concerned and I love Papier Plume inks. I also noticed that heavily saturated inks tend to feather a bit as well here. 

Overall, the paper behaves quite well. 

So I tried the new prototype paper with the same inks and there is a noticeable improvement. 

The new paper has a heavier feel and is smoother to the touch. As you can see, there is less ghosting and the bleed is almost nil. The prototype is blank but I would expect that when this paper is fully tested and rolled out, the standard ruling will be used on the paper. 

I have been using these notebooks now for approx 30 days and I love them, I really do. These are well made and the majority of ink that I own behaves quite well in these notebooks. I use them daily for both work and personal use and I will be purchasing this brand of notebooks for years to come.

Give them a try, I doubt you will be disappointed.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Handwriting with Fountain Pens

It is a new year and I need to approach it in that manner. 2018 was very difficult for my family and I will admit that this blog had to take a backseat. January 2019 is nearly over and I need to get back to making regular content.

There is a topic that I hear come up quite often. Does writing with a fountain pen improve your handwriting? Well, does it? I have found that this is not a yes or no answer and it really depends on your perspective and point of view.

I have been using fountain pens for over 5 years now and I have noticed an improvement in my writing but I didn't realize how much it has improved until I found my very first journal written with a fountain pen. Wow! what a difference a few years can make. Was it because of the use of a fountain pen?

Yes and no is my best answer. I used to only hand write things when I felt I needed to as ball point pens were not fun to use. I would hurry and rush whatever I was writing to really get the experience over with and write what needed written. 

Fountain pens, for me, really changed my thought process and right from the beginning. The effortless writing experience was just what I was looking for and it spoke to me. Obviously I was hooked and I fell down the rabbit hole here. My writing looks so much better but was it really because of the pen? Well, it is more the experience of the pen that made me write more often as it was more pleasurable to do. Practice is truly what improved my handwriting but the inspiration was due to the love I had for the writing experience that a fountain pen afforded me. 

It is truly amazing what regular practice can do and what rewards come from the diligence. My handwriting is nothing to write home about but the difference between the two scripts here is staggering and really looks like it is the result of two completely different people. Amazing.

Keep writing, keep practicing and keep enjoying the process that a fountain pen affords you. Handwriting is truly a lost art and is often referred to as a hobby, which is sad in its own right but your practicing will inspire others through your efforts. My script gets complimented from time to time and usually I see those individuals writing more, later on. That is a great inspiration there. Keep writing!