The Chicago pen show was a great show in 2019 (not that it isn’t every year!) due to hard work from the organizers, fun people, and new vendors. I always love to see new vendors at shows; they prove that the pen community is growing. Plus they bring new stuff to check out!
One of the newest vendors at the Chicago show was Wild Pages. My table happened to be next to the Wild Pages table so I was able to see the amount of traffic that was drawn in by the brightly colored notebooks.
In order to demonstrate their paper, Wild Pages had pieces of their journal paper and various pens available. A smart way to introduce a new type of paper to the fountain pen crowd.
Wild Pages brought four types of notebooks. I couldn’t resist grabbing both a large and a medium to take home. It was a bit tough to choose the color – all of the colors were beautifully distracting! Prices were clearly labeled on their sign.
Finally, I did choose a large purple notebook (9.7 x 6.5 inches) and a medium (6.5 x 4.9 inches) in a light coral. The covers are made of a medium weight cardstock.
Inside, each notebook is made of two signatures (a group of pages that are folded together) of white paper for a total of 48 sheets (96 pages). Each signature is sewn into a fold in the center of the cover and includes an elastic band.
This band is looped around the folded ends of the cover, so it is easy to remove if you would prefer to go band-less.
The only mark on the entire notebook is a printed logo on the bottom of the last page.
Here’s a closeup of the logo so you don’t need to squint!
Now for the paper. The owners of Wild Pages understandably didn’t want to give too much information about the origin of the paper in their notebooks, although we were told it is made in the US. The surface is just a bit shiny and smooth to the touch, but there is some tooth to it when writing.
First came tests of various inks and gelatos in the larger notebook. I wanted to see how the pages could stand up to various mediums.
There was no bleed through with these inks, although there is a tiny spot where I laid down quite a bit of Taccia Midori ink. I did notice the tiniest bit of feathering with heavier inks, however, I could only see it when the page was two inches from my eyeball. There is a good amount of ghosting (being able to see the writing on the back side of the page), but if this bothers anyone, a dark sheet of paper behind the page masks the writing.
Then it was time to throw a wide variety of pens and inks at the notebook – I love this part since I get out all of the fun pens! I also conducted this testing on the medium notebook so I could make sure the quality was the same.
If you look closely, the Sharpie did feather a bit. Oh, Sharpie. However, the Sharpie didn’t fully bleed through; there was no ink on the next page. The metallic Gelly Roll pen and the Pentel Sparkle Pop had small spots where they nearly bled through. But not nearly as much as I was expecting; these are two pens that are usually second only to a Sharpie in bleeding through paper.
So I decided to increase the challenge. I purchased a folded nib at the Chicago show that hadn’t been used yet. It paired perfectly with a bottle of J. Herbin Rouge Hematite! Dry time on this page was faster than Tomoe River paper, slower than watercolor paper.
All that ink and no bleeding through! I was shocked.
One thing I noticed with this super sheeny ink was specifically the quality of the sheen. I’ve included a photo of the same ink on Tomoe River 52gsm paper below to demonstrate. The color of the sheen is the same on both papers, however, the sheen on the Wild Pages paper appears matte rather than metallic.
I love the difference between the two.
To make sure it wasn’t an effect that was confined to one ink, I also grabbed some Bungubox First Love Sapphire. Please excuse the slight smearing of the ink. My cats decided to investigate before the ink was completely dry. It is no fault of the paper!
Again, the color of the sheen shows as usual, but the surface is matte rather than metallic.
Still no bleed through!
I am enjoying these notebooks from Wild Pages thoroughly. The price per page ($0.15 for the medium and $0.23 for the large) does put the notebooks among the more highly priced available, but for the new type of paper, a new company and hand-sewn bindings, I believe they are worth the cost.
The last thing that should be noted: these covers are absolutely perfect for the stickers you have been saving up!
DISCLAIMER: Some of the items included in this review were provided free of charge for the purpose of review. Others were purchased by me. Please see the About page for more details.