scrawls and sketches
this is the pocket dept. notebook, made by the good folks at arthouse co-op and introduced to me as one of the four (or sometimes five) items in a lost crates subscription box in january. see how pretty? it measures 3.5″ x 5.5″ with blank, 70lb off-white paper, a true warm gray with a very subtle tooth that’s just perfect for sketching. what, you thought i’d take notes? my notes are my sketches, folks.
i am skeptical of anything recycled, only because i’m spoiled and i like having thick paper or sized paper that can handle watercolor. so i left this notebook sitting on my desk for a few weeks before i finally tried it out. the paper, to my surprise and delight, is wonderful. it can easily take brushpens loaded with watercolor and ink:
and of course fountain pens. some nibs, understandably, feathered a bit, but none showed through, or bled. (the fountain pens i’ve got inked are all pretty much the same nib size and relatively similar degrees of wetness/dryness, so there was little point in testing them here.) the thicker paper means longer drying times (EDIT: not always, some thicker paper behave well with fountain pens, and sizing on the paper is a factor too. it just so happens that this paper took longer to dry), and the slight tooth means some of your nibs may push back on you a bit too. so beware, those of you who prefer ultra-smooth surfaces.
pencil runs almost buttery-smooth on it too.
as for watercolor, there was some buckling, as expected, but light washes are not a problem for this paper.
i am very happy with this little notebook. the letter-pressed paper covers are a nice touch but not as sturdy as a proper casebound. it’s meant to be abused, and used, and then put away for your archives or thrown out (but why would you?). the notebook doesn’t open flat — it’s got glue about 1/32″ on its spine and if you crack it enough the pages will pull off. this might be an issue for some of you given that the price for this particular notebook is US$10.00. not cheap at all, folks, but the books are brooklyn-made, and i like supporting local businesses.
as a notebook, the size is convenient and the paper is lovely. there are other sizes available with a small range of different color covers, all the way up to 8.5″. as far as i can tell, the notebooks are all blank. it would be nice to get a range of paper, such as graph, ruled, and dot grid, but hey, can’t have it all (not yet, anyway).