While shopping in Paris I discovered that Clairefontaine has partnered with Kawaiko to create a line of cute notebooks and more that combine Japanese and French fashion. The result is a flowery, funky mix featuring four very different but very fashionable girls who are students in a school of design – Kima, Miio, Elea and Lina.
I brought home a large notebook with Clairefontaine graph paper and a picture of Lina wearing a Kimono on the front cover. You can even purchase matching Kawaiko/Clairefontaine computer bags, makeup bags, backpacks, tote bags, pencil sharpeners, waste paper baskets, agendas, notepads and more. Wouldn’t it be nice to see some of these things in the USA!
If you’re wondering what Harajuku inspired French fashion looks like take a look at the Kawaiko store website.
Even though most of us can only drool over the enormous variety of Clairefontaine products in France, in the USA we can still enjoy a wide selection of Clairefontaine products with the famous super smooth paper writers love.
It seems Clairefontaine is now printing notebooks with a new cover design that reminds me of computer graphics in the movie The Matrix. After picking up these notebooks in Paris and wondering whether or not this was an preview of what was to come in the USA, Writer’s Bloc noticed a handful of one size of Clairefontaine notebooks coming in with similar cover designs. Perhaps the future line of laminated Clairefontaine covers will incorporate this style of design. We’ll have to wait and see…
Clairefontaine Paris also sells notepads with colorful and durable translucent plastic covers. I grabbed a few of these notebooks in the 6 3/4" x 8 3/4" size with French ruled paper. These covers seem like they would be especially durable and resistant to creasing, great for a notebook with contents that you plan to save. In the future perhaps we’ll see this line of Clairefontaine notebooks in the USA too. We’ll be watching for them!
Exaclair gives us some insight into famous fans of Clairefontaine paper. There’s quite a list, and we know this isn’t all inclusive:
Carla Bruni, Carrie Bradshaw, John Berendt, David Mamet, Claire Messud, Paul Auster, Christina Baldwin, Lillian Ross, Lyn Harris, Karine Moline, Kim France, Anne Stuart, J. Sperling Reich, Carol L. Skolnick, Susan Wiggs, Karen Traviss and Hawksley Workman all regularly use Clairefontaine paper.
In case you don’t know who some of these people are, you can read about them on Exaclair’s website. Many of them are well-known authors and writers who would know a quality notebook when they used one!
One of our favorite excerpts from Exaclair is the information about Susan Wiggs:
"Best selling author Susan Wiggs, in her recent novel, Passing through Paradise, devised a heroine who uses Clairefontaine tablets and peacock-blue ink. This is no surprise, since the author herself always writes her first drafts with a special fountain pen, peacock-blue ink, and, yes, Clairefontaine notebooks."
Even not-so-famous writers like ourselves have caught on to why Clairefontaine is simply the best paper in the world for writing!
Ever since I heard about Staedtler’s Ergosoft Aquarell Coloured Pencils I have been wanting to give them a try. These pencils have watercolor lead for dry and wet blending, providing a wide range of creative possibilities when coloring, drawing or watercoloring with water and brush. I’m not an artist, but this sounded like fun! Even though Clairefontaine makes watercolor pads, I decided to pair the pencils up with a Clairefontaine Sketch Pad because the paper has a smoother finish. For my first experiment I doodled a picture of my cat, Mulder. Here is what the picture looked like before using a wet paintbrush:
Here is what the picture looked like after using a wet paintbrush:
This was created simply by making a pencil sketch first, and then applying a small wet paintbrush. As soon as the colors got wet they seemed to "melt" and became brighter and more intense. Different color shades could easily be blended. The paper did wrinkle a bit, so the heavier weight watercolor paper might have been better, but I felt the smoother sketch pad paper might be easier for making fine pencil lines. This was a fun project and I’m looking forward to trying some different techniques. Which picture looks better? I’ll let you decide….
If any of you have artwork created by Staedtler Aquarell pencils you would like to share, please email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll share our favorites in a future blog post!