Categories
Hero History Mailbox Paper Reviews Photography Reviews

Write 4th of July.

One of my favorite things about Write Notepads & Co is that they can just drop a small batch of limited editions when inspiration strikes, since everything is actually made by them, in house, in Baltimore. This is not to minimize the work that goes into bringing these editions out. The last “just because” edition was the Keats, and it was a thing of beauty. This edition is no less well-planned or well-executed. I love it.

The latest is the 4th of July edition, dedicated to that day in 1776, when we, ahem, told George that we did not wish to play with him anymore. Or, if you will, when we flipped the British the bird. Being from Baltimore, where we fought off the British at Fort McHenry, feelings run a little…strong. (I’ve become an Anglophile as I hit middle age, and not just for the tea and the good TV, but I don’t advertise this around town.)

From Write:

For this pocket notebook edition, we reprint parts of the 1823 facsimile of the engrossed copy of the Declaration of Independence on three notebooks. Each book was then hand sewn with red thread and trimmed and collated by us. Therefore, each book is identical yet slightly different in its unique way 鈥 a kind of perfect imperfection.An interesting fact to note: The second printer commissioned by Congress in 1777, was Mary Katherine Goddard, a publisher and postmaster in Baltimore, MD. Her reprints called the Goddard Broadside was the first to include the names of the signatories. 

What’s really different this time around is the sewn binding. These are put together by hand right here in Charm City, in red thread. The result is gorgeous notebooks, with lovely belly-bands to boot.

Jon and Chris and Co. kept this run to a small 243 packs, and they went fast. Make sure you’re on Write’s mailing list for the next surprise edition. And, remember, their summer release is yet to come. (More images below, with matching Blackwings (Volumes 73 and 16.2 and the TWA collaboration).

[Disclaimer: While I bought these books with my own money (and they were even delayed because they fell out of Chris鈥檚 car on the way to the PO), I have been writing for Write鈥檚 blog and am, in some small capacity, on their payroll. This does not influence my reviews; I鈥檓 not sure that Chris and Jon read this blog. But I thought I鈥檇 put it out there. (See my first two pieces here and here.)]

Categories
Paper Reviews Photography Reviews

Write Notepads The Deep.

The 15th limited edition (counting the Thoreau and Keats books) pocket notebook set from Write Notepads & Co is here. The Deep is, frankly, another example of the carefully-made notebooks that Write puts out.

The covers are a textured dark blue, ahem, a deep blue stock, with a silver octopus letter-pressed onto the cover. Hell, this is so pretty that I’d be interested in buying a sheet of this to frame. It’s creepy and lovely at the same time. It’s shame that a notebook requires a binding and that staples had to invade this image.

Notable here is the complete lack of branding on the notebooks. The bellybands (very cool, though I think a white background would have been a little more…marine looking — but that could be because the first look I got was a PDF of the band that had a white background) have the usual branding, but that’s it. It’s pretty gutsy to put notebooks into the world without branding them at all, in my view.

The paper is the usual Write paper. It’s close to perfect for pencil. We’ve talked about this before. There are no lines this go around. I don’t mind. This is the first time that Write has released a pocket notebook with saddle-stitching and blank paper. The available canvas feels huge, as is the case with their slightly-wider and wide-open books. Still, the blank paper enhances this feeling to some extent.

I did not write this review until I’d carried a book in my pocket for most of a week, and it held up well to my butt and chairs and lots of walking. These are books that are every bit as well-made and well-designed as the previous fourteen editions. It’s a great start to Volume IV, and you can still get some now. (Stay tuned tomorrow, as we share the real story behind this edition, if we can escape legal or mortal peril in so doing.)

[Disclaimer: While I bought these books with my own money (and they were even delayed because they fell out of Chris’s car on the way to the PO), I have been writing for Write’s blog and am, in some small capacity, on their payroll. This does not influence my reviews; I’m not sure that Chris and Jon read this blog. But I thought I’d put it out there. (See my first two pieces here and here.)]

Categories
Photography

Review of Write Notepads Pencil Pouch.

I have never reviewed a piece of Pencil Storage Gear before. I have a few metal and wood boxes, cups, jars, Longaberger baskets, Ikea carts, and pencil cases storing pencils I keep in the rotation. These do not include The Archive.聽It’s daunting and a testament to my lack of self-control.

Last time I visited Write Notepads & Co. (about a month ago), Chris handed me one of these blue beauties, and I’ve been using it ever since: The Pencil Pouch.聽There’s not a lot of information about this item on the Write Notepads website, but this is what they say:

We’ve looked long and hard for a zipper pouch that keeps our pencils and utensils in one neat and tidy closure. In the Write vein, we’ve convinced America’s oldest (originator) producer of secure bank bags to produce a water-resistant pencil pouch for us.

-Made 100% in the USA

-5″ x 10″

-Duck cotton with a polymer liner for water-resistance.

-Navy Blue with White screen-printing.

I have been beating this up for a month, and I don’t think you can tell. This pouch is beefy, large, minimalist, and useful all all get-out. I love it.

The Pencil Pouch is made by A. Rifkin Co. in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania — a town with strong pencil connections. The material is much stiffer than the pencilcase I picked up for Charlotte’s back-to-school mountain of supplies this past weekend, but it isn’t much thicker. The tight weave and the interior coating give the sides of the case a nice body.

So while the construction feels really tough, it’s not a bulky case at all. And the coated interior will make cleaning up graphite residue much easier.

The zipper is heavy, glossy, and black. I usually have a little giraffe zipper-pull on mine, and it hasn’t taken off the paint yet. I haven’t gotten the zipper stuck yet, and the stiffness of the material of which the case is made holds the zipper teeth at such an angle that I doubt there will every be an issue with misalignment resulting in a Seize-Up.

This case holds it all. Comrades can fit an entire Blackwing Volumes set in there, subscriber tube and all. It can more than an unsharpened Blackwing, which is not something all pencil cases can boast.

Here it is with a set of Walden/Thoreau books and a crab mallet. You could easily fit 2-3 crabs in there with it this stuff. But make sure to zip it closed very quickly.

I like pencilcases that will also hold whatever notebook I am using — not to mention any Pencil Paraphernalia I might need or want or just have in there. I prefer not to carry a bag on the rare occasions that I get out of the house without a single kid in tow, and I like to just grab everything inside of one case for a quiet jaunt to the coffeeshop or park or just Place Without Yelling. To wit, this is what was contained in my case this weekend, though I most emphatically did not get out with this (it would have been on Instagram!).

The two Blackwings, WNP pencil, stub of General’s Cartooning pencil, pocketknife, notebook, and tiny eraser all fit inside, with room to spare.

However, extra room does not mean that the items were not well-protected. The stiffness of the case does not permit it flop around when it’s only half-full. I’ve taken this out with only two pencils, a sign pen, and a Field Notes (!) in it in the recent past, and it was fine.

This case hits the right notes for me. It’s attractive, durable, easy to clean, roomy (but also works 1/2 empty), made in the USA, and blue. The $15 price-tag is a steal in my book. I just paid 1/3 for a kitty pencilcase for my daughter that won’t last a 1/5 as long as this case.聽Go get one. After you place your order, be sure to check out Leadfast’s photo-shoot with the Pencil Pouch and Fred’s patch post.

[This pouch was provided as a gift for free, but we chose to impartially review it. All opinions are the author’s.]

Categories
Paper Reviews Photography Reviews

The Telegraphic Edition from Write Notepads & Co.

We’ll take a closer look in the coming days. But hurry and order yours while they’re still available. Word is that the pencils are especially in danger of disappearing soon.