When you love paper and ink, you love letterpresses. It just comes with the territory. I've never had the good fortune to play with one myself, but I've seen a number of them in action, and they never fail to enchant me. And it has (of course) led to a fondness for letterpressed notebooks and stationery. When I saw the Darling Clementine Letterpressed Notebooks pop up at JetPens, and saw they had one that had a feather quill, inkwell, notebook, books, knitting, and tea ALL ON THE SAME COVER, I was pretty much sold. Honestly, the paper inside could have been made out of cocktail napkins and I'd still have wanted it.
The notebooks come in two-packs, and this set features some of the best and coziest things in the world. They are staple-bound with 64 pages of blank, kraft, 40# paper. The price seemed a bit high to me until I read more about the company and printing process, then my geek brain took over and all was well with the world again.
The covers are handprinted with a Heidelberg press (go ahead and take a moment to fall down a YouTube wormhole of letterpress videos; I'll wait). They're a nice, tactile cardstock, and the printing process leaves them with a neat debossed texture. This is the sort of cover that I plan on cutting off the notebook and putting on the wall when it's purpose is served.
The paper is fairly fibrous and absorbs liquids, so I didn't have much luck with fountain pen ink, paints, or markers. Bolder tips caused slight bleed-through, though it wasn't as dire as I'd expected. Very fine, firm-tipped pens tended to snag on the paper fibers. Graphic liners, rollerballs, gel pens, and colored pencils all worked very well.
I think these would make great journals, scrapbooks, commonplace books, or sketchbooks. The A5 size is perfect for travel, and they're thin enough that they could even be used as inserts for an A5 traveler's notebook cover--though then you wouldn't get to see the lovely pressed covers. Overall, I'm pleased, and I'm glad the paper is more useful than I'd worried it might be. I often avoid kraft paper, but this paper seems more resilient than what I've encountered in past experiences. I'm glad the charming cover seduced me, and now I've got my eye on their other products.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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