The Blackwing NotebookNovember 14, 2018
Sometimes I simply can’t help myself when I find lined notebook paper.
A few months ago I was in Wet Paint and they had small notebooks by Blackwing (the company that makes the pencils with the rectangular erasers—I use the soft lead version to do my daily sudoku).
The notebook is about 3.5 x 5.5 inches and has 24 page spread and some end sheets. The signatures are sewn.
The cover which has rounded corners is made of that “faux” leather that is smooth, but feels odd to my touch—but everyone seems to be using it now so, simply sigh.
On the back cover there is a debossed “Blackwing” letter logo.
The notebook is set up in portrait orientation, but when you open it up you’ll find that the lines are running vertically so you actually turn the book into landscape mode if you want to write on the lines.
Look at today’s image and you can see the gutter running horizontally through my sketch. You can see the lines running in the same direction. You will also see that at the center of the page height there is a line that crosses the spread.
After a couple blank pages for use as a title page (if you’re like me), all the pages are like this.
I love it. I love lined paper. I love lined paper with unusual lines. I don’t know what this notebook was originally intended for but I just had to buy one and take it home and test it.
Since I work in watercolor and pen and ink, that’s what I tested. Well the paper floats the watercolor around a little like other smooth papers. If you don’t work the watercolor it’s find and doesn’t bleed through. If you work an area and hit it again, or leave too much water there it will bleed through.
This left me thinking I could use every other spread for painting and write on the other pages.
There is a feeling to the page that makes my fingers feel “dirty” as if something has come off on them. This happens with some papers—my fingers aren’t really dirty, they are just responding to something in how the sizing feels. This wouldn’t become a favorite notebook because of that but it’s still in the running for a specialty journal.
There is also a slight smell to the paper when it gets wet, but is isn’t a strong or unpleasant smell.
I haven’t used the test book since June as I’ve been busy with other things. I don’t remember what I paid for it—a few dollars, it wasn’t expensive.
I’m just mentioning it because it was one of those oddities that caught my eye. I don’t even know if they are going to make them in the future or if it was a specialty item.
All I can tell you are the lines are fun. If the paper had felt and smelt different I would have run out and bought ten to use in a special project. The bleeding can be controlled so that wasn’t an issue for me. (Of course the paper buckles. I love that.)
I looked the book up on the Blackwing site. It’s the Blackwing Clutch. Supposedly it comes in a set of 3 with one having lines, one dots and one blank. Mine was single. The pages are 100 gsm. You can see it here.