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Archive for June 11th, 2013

Unruly Fruit?

Posted by Dirck on 11 June, 2013

A few weeks back, in lieu of doing an actual entry, I just put up a couple of links to potentially free stuff.  Since greed is not entirely foreign to my make-up, suppressed as it is, I also entered, and the one that didn’t rely on random change to produce a result paid off in the form of an envelope with thick plastic sides bearing a bunch of Korean postage.  I got a sample of the Banditapple carnet (and I’m sure there’s a story behind the company name).  Since I’m not in a position to order a hundred gross of them to repay the investment in postage, I’ll bang out a poorly illustrated review instead.

The more interesting side of the test page.

The more interesting side of the test page (click for bigness).

The poor illustration comes down to me and my extremely porous memory.  The two images you see here are the result of a last-minute cry of “Oh, crap!  That needs doing!” and I assure you that remembering even this much pushed a couple of other things aside that I really should have seen to before leaving the house this morning.  I’m sure the fires remained small….

On with the review, though.  When looking at this sort of product, my primary interest is the paper.  As I note on the page itself, it’s not the nigh-slick stuff one finds in many Rhodia products, but it lacks any serious texture or tooth, so there’s no disruption of the lines of one’s writing from lumps in the paper.  It is, apparently, Heritage Paper™ but what precisely that means is nowhere made clear.  It probably refers to it being long-lived acid free stuff rather than recycled, although it is slightly grey in tone so I won’t discount the possibility of recycled content.

The less interesting side, although the lack of interest is in itself interesting.

The less interesting side, although the lack of interest is in itself interesting.

The one negative I have to report on the paper front is a very small inclination to feathering, or perhaps it’s better expressed as a willingness to give somewhat into the inks’ inclinations in that direction.  Of the various inks I had on the go, the only two that didn’t produce a slightly fuzzy line were old-formula Lamy blue-black and Diamine Prussian Blue.  If you look at the enlarged sample, though, you’ll see that nothing was running rampant, and Bleu Nuit is nothing if not a willing featherer.  When I say “very small inclination”, that’s exactly what I mean, and I think the trade-off relative to Rhodia is much faster drying.

Feathering’s counterpart is bleed-through, and on this front the Banditapple paper is essentially innocent.  With the exception of my studied effort, there is no bleed-through whatever, and even the very vague show-through that appears is something of an artifact of my scanner– to the human eye, it is less evident.  The studied effort at bleed-through was accomplished by making four passes over the same patch– horizontal, vertical, and both diagonals– without any pause for drying between the passed.  This was done with the Parker 75, since the Frontier is a pen I discover my wife occasionally uses and thus my awareness of its fullness is a little off.  Since just about any other paper except Rhodia would be passing the point of the pen as well as the ink through after such a treatment, I think a nice round of civil applause is in order; those few penetrations would not have happened on three passes, and the abortive attempt with the Frontier is almost invisible.

The construction of the book is similarly sturdy.  The stitching is as close as I think it could be without making it too easy to tear out the pages, and the cover is a little heavier stock than that found on Rhodia pads or Apica notebooks.  I mention the latter because there is one other small drawback, or really potential drawback, to this book– it’s a funny size.  At 90X140 mm, it’s a fine size to stick in the inside pocket of a jacket, and for those who routinely carry a bag or purse it will work well enough, but in a shirt or even trouser pocket (cargo pants and fatigues excepted), it just doesn’t go.  For me, that means it won’t quite work as a daily aide-mémoire since there are some days over the course of the summer I forgo a jacket, but that doesn’t really count as an objective handicap.  The Field Notes books have a similar impediment from my point of view, and paper that’s downright hostile to fountain pens into the bargain.

I notice that Banditapple still has the site to request a sample open, so you need not take my word for any of this.  I also see that Goulet Pens has a couple of different sizes available, this and a larger more standard note-book format, so if you are convinced it’s worth a grab there’s at least one outlet for them.  I may wave the sample link in front of the owners of a local stationery, too….

Today’s pen: Franklin-Christoph 27 Collegia
Today’s ink: Pelikan 4001 violet

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