Monday, March 16, 2009

Harbor Journals

For my Lenten discipline I went out and bought a new leather journal.

Yes, I know what that sounds like for a guy who can never get enough of using pen and paper - sounds like the opposite of discipline and more like the complete absence of self-control! Well, maybe you are right but it seemed like a good way to keep track of my prayers and devotions through Lent. Many years ago before I re-discovered fountain pens, I started using Moleskin journals for note taking. And since I am a phlegmatic who easily gets comfortable with one way of doing things, I kept buying Moleskin journals even though they have a tendency to repel and feather ink from fountain pens. I love the size, shape and construction of Moleskin journals with a ribbon, pocket and band but they frustrate the use of most of my fountain pens.

This became really obvious after buying my journal recently for Lent. I found a dark brown leather journal from Harbor/Gallery Leather of Trenton, Maine. The fact it is American made (printed in Korea and bound in the US) was almost reason enough to buy it. Writing in it was what really made me take notice. I didn't start with even the remotest thought of writing a review. However, while writing I was struck by how smooth my pen felt (True Writer Med pt) and how rich and deep the color was. The strokes had clean edges. Then I recalled the number of reviews of ink, paper and journals in Inkophile, and realized why she focuses as much time on ink and paper as she does pens. In fact, not to covet my neighbor's blog, but she has some outstanding reviews of ink and journals posted now.

Since True Writers write well on most paper, I tried some of the pens that I have had more trouble with, such as Libelle, and they wrote nicely in the Harbor Journal also. So, I think that I am done with Moleskin journals and I am going to start paying much closer attention to paper. At any rate, I highly recommend the Harbor Journals. The Harbor journal has narrow ruling, a ribbon, sewn bound in genuine leather, which smells great.

Another leather bound journal that I have been pleased with - the paper looks, feels and responds much like the Harbor journals - is a black bonded leather journal from "Colorbok" of Dexter, Michigan. That journal was made in Korea. It has a sewn binding and a ribbon. However, I received the Colorbok journal a couple of years ago and I don't see any leather journals on their website now. Both journals lay flat fairly well.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the kind words. Finding the best combination of pen, ink, and paper is mostly luck but so worth it. Why invest in a fabulous fountain pen only to put it away in frustration when it feathers and bleeds on a poor quality paper. Better to switch to a compatible paper and truly enjoy writing. Anything Rhodia and Staples Eco-Friendly are my two current favs. Your True Writers will write beautifully on both. Mine certainly do. :)

Veemack said...

You are absolutely right. I knew that when I used to work as a free lance artist - I would take great care selecting the best substrate to correspond to the media I was working in. I don't know why I had to re-learn that when I returned to using fountain pens.

Veemack said...

UPDATE - Having used the Harbor journal for a few weeks, my opinion of it has changed somewhat: feathering and bleed through is worse on some pages than others. The paper quality seems inconsistent. Even so, it is a beautiful journal.