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Old 05-11-2011, 11:21 PM
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JTMB JTMB is offline
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Re: John's May Journal - Pen and Wash

Hi folks,

Here's another installment for this month, but with a twist. It is a different sketchbook (I can hear the gasps of surprise that I bought another one - ) than the Venezia. I stopped into a very nice stationer store this morning that I hadn't been in, figuring I'd look at their fountain pens (in a shocking development, I didn't buy another pen - ). However, on the never-ending quest for the perfect journal, I spied a display of sketchbooks which of course I had to look at. And what I found had to be tried.

This sketch of an Evening Grosbeak, was done with pen (Noodler's Violet) and then the wash was done on Faber Castell watercolor pencil. The paper is about 6 inches high x 5 inches wide, the cover of the book of course somewhat bigger. The paper and book is very nice. I bought it because it is handmade with archival paper and looked really nice. The covers are individually made as well, with a wide variety of design papers of various types. The books are actually individually signed on the last page by one of the owners. Another factor was that the little company that makes these is in the Pacific Northwest (Port Townsend, WA) and had been in business since 1973. The stationers that I bought the book from have been in business since 1977 and have done business with the bookmakers for 30 years.

Being handmade, the books are spendy - this size is $22 for 44 sheets (if I counted correctly). But they lay flat because of the hand binding and the quality of the paper, cover and workmanship seems excellent. I decided to use this book for recording goings-on in our back yard and be selective about using it since it is expensive.

The website for the company that makes the books is - http://www.thewatermarkbindery.com/index.htm. It's not a particularly sophisticated website and doesn't have images that do the appearance of the books justice, but it does talk about the bookmaking process for those of you who know about those things. They do sell directly, but also have a number of stores which carry their books. They also sell on Etsy with a variety of blank and lined books with a variety of cover styles. None of the cover styles on their site or Etsy look like the ones I bought, so I suspect they make those uniquely for the store I went to, which is one of their top retailers according to their website.

So below is the Evening Grosbeak quick sketch, and a shot of the full sketchbook, both open and closed. Oh yes, since the paper is hand cut, the edges of the book are deckled.








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