Monday, February 2, 2015

Review Day 1 - A5 Rhodia Landscape Webnotebook #Rhodia #Exaclair #Zentangle

Ah, the simplest things can be a cause for excitement.

When I saw that the Rhodia Webnotebook (Webbie) was coming out in a landscape orientation my heart went pitty-pat, and I was thrilled when I received one from Exaclair, Inc.  (Thank you, Exaclair, Inc.!).  Exaclair, Inc. is also letting me host a giveaway-now closed.


Specs
Cover: Italian leatherette with Round corners – orange (also comes in black)
Paper: Clairefontaine brushed Vellum, 90 g (24 bl) ivory paper, acid-free & pH neutral
Size: A5 - 21.0 cm x 14.5 - 8 ¼" x 5 ½"
No. Sheets: 96 sheets
Format: blank (also comes in ruled)
Binding: Sewn
Extras: Matching bookmark and elastic closure

So what exactly is actual difference between the landscape and the portrait webbies?

  • The logo is debossed for landscape reading
  • the elastic band and matching ribbon bookmark are sized for width not length
  •  If you wish to draw in portrait, the opposing page will be at the top, like a notepad 
  • The bound edge is shorter than the length of the pages. I'll talk about this a bit later.

Look & Feel
Although the paper is labeled as ivory, it seems more of an off-white to me.  It is smooth, but not slick to the touch.  It is very thin and flexible.

The pages lie flat.  In the middle of the book, there is a bit of slope, but it flattens with very little pressure so you can draw or color right to the seam with no problem, and two-page spreads can be created.


The Rhodia Tree Logo is the only marking on the cover.  The frontispiece and backpiece pages are in matching orange.  On the very first blank ivory page, there is some light gray writing in French at the bottom, 'Papier Velin Veloute 90 g/m2 fabrique en France par Clairefontaine'.  It's very light, and was easily covered when I painted on the page.


The book is put together with & *signatures and sewn binding, making it sturdy and very flexible.

(*one method of bookbinding is to fold several sheets of paper in half, stack them inside one another, and sew them together through the fold.  These are called signatures. Traditionally, you would stack 8 sheets together, and sew them for 16 page signatures, though nowadays that number can vary considerably.  To create the book, you sew or glue several signatures together and then sew or glue them to a cover)


You can fold the covers, of the Webbie, all the way back if you intend to use it while traveling.  The Italian leatherette covers do pick up creases when you do this, though you can usually get away with folding it a few times before it does (I base this on past experiences with Rhodia Webbies).


The book has rounded corners, and the cover extends past the paper.  All of the corners are tucked and sewn in neatly, except for one bulge (shown in the photo below).  With my other webbies, the folds have always been neat and flat, and since only one corner had a bulge, I'm suspecting it's a one-off.  I don't know that for sure, however.  


I noticed that the signatures aren't aligned as evenly with each other as they are with my other Webbies, and this is where that shorter binding, that I mentioned above, comes in.

With the binding along the shorter edge, there is more paper weight per stitch. The signatures have a little more give, and might lie a bit differently each time you close the book.  This is an issue with every landscape oriented book I've encountered, unless the pages are made of heavier weight paper. It's never been an issue for me, but I suspect it would bother some.

Performance
In order to keep this post from being too long, I'm going to show you one example today, and then each day this week, I'll share another one done with different medium(s).

Fountain Pen



My goal with this example was to see how fountain pen friendly this paper is.  I already knew, pretty much, from past experience but you never know when manufacturing might change, so I test as thoroughly as I can.

I used a variety of fountain pens with varying sized nibs, from extra fine to broad.  Most of my inks are J. Herbin, but they differ in their texture, some being very 'wet' such as the Vert Olive, and others dryer.

There was no feathering, or skipping.  Drying times were fairly standard for fountain pen friendly paper--in other words, slower than they would be on papers that soak up the ink so it bleeds through to the back.

There was very little show-through and then only where I saturated the page.

The metal nibs of the fountain pen can cause debossed lines or divots in the paper.  Even though, I worked heavily in many spots, I had no debossing.

You can see the pinpoint nature of the bleed-through on the back.  These occurred in the areas where I added more ink to ink that was still wet.  Doing that with metal nibs will weaken any paper a bit.  It isn't something you normally do with writing, so I would expect little to no bleed-through if you write, unless you pause with the pen pressed to the paper for a while.


And now for the giveaway info!

Giveaway Now Closed


Disclaimer
I received this A5 Rhodia Landscape Webnotebook from Exaclair, Inc. for the purposes of reviewing and hosting this giveaway.  I received no other compensation.  All opinions expressed are my own and are as honest as I can make them.

Good luck, everyone!

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