As part of the United Inkdom meta review group, I have been asked to test and review one of the limited edition handcrafted Notorie notebooks. Notorie are a small artisan studio based in Kent, England.
The book sent to me is called Diana. Made from 100gsm high quality paper, it’s pages are slightly creamy coloured, thick and smooth and easy to write on. The signature mustard coloured lines are an elegant touch that tie in nicely with the brass binding. 600gsm board makes for a sturdy cover without the heaviness of a hardback, the design is abstract, modern and bold and finished on the back with the gold Notorie seal of approval. Handmade as a limited edition, the attention to detail in these notebooks does differentiate them from the mass produced.
I always look for a paper that really is fountain pen and ink friendly. Here I have used my own Randall Blue Black which is a saturated ink with a decent sheen. When used purely for writing, the nib moved over the surface easily and the ink flowed smoothly with no feathering. On the reverse there was no bleed through and no show through – so all good!
I then took an automatic pen to create some abstract calligraphy. These dip pens are very juicy so the paper has to cope with a lot of ink. Below you can see the reverse page (on the left) and there is a tiny bit of show through but NO bleed through. Next to it I have used the automatic pen again with Diamine Winter Miracle which is a heavy shimmer sheen. Once again, the surface copes well with the deluge of ink with no feathering! And the shimmer sheen works well on this surface too!
Below, I took the test even further and tried a quick sketch using one of the new Octopus Write & Draw inks called Violet Giraffe. These are pigmented inks which are waterproof and light fast. I sketched with one of the new Kakimori nibs so the paper surface did get some rough treatment and there was a little show through on the reverse where I’d really scratched into the surface there was even a tiny bit of bleed through. But for 100gsm the paper surface did very well indeed!
So, yes, these notebooks are fountain pen friendly and I think they deliver with interest. I’m a great fan of small artisan businesses that support our analogue way of life. These notebooks currently retail at £16.99 each but if you sign up as a member you get a 25% discount. For further info check out their website. Click here.
Many thanks to United Inkdom for inviting me to participate. Do check out the meta review in due course.
AND HEY! If you’re interested to know more about how to use fountain pen inks in more creative ways – whether it’s simply to observe their chromatic behaviours, or, to recreate one of my swatch cards, or, to learn how to use them in watercolour painting, illustration and calligraphy, why not check out my online course ?