Review by Tina Koyama
A few years back, Pebble Stationery came out with the Australian company’s first limited Glacier Edition pocket-size notebook. Its latest limited edition has the same icy theme: The Antartica Edition (two notebooks for US $12.99).
I was surprised to see yet another chilly design, but no less delighted. Containing Tomoe River paper, Antartica “features a glistening white cover to represent the light reflected on the continent’s icy surface.” The worst thing about this lovely notebook is trying to photograph its shimmering cover, holographic gilding and spot foil! Please forgive me for not capturing its full beauty, but I grabbed a sunny day on our deck and did my best. It’s one of those notebooks that you have to see with your own eyes in bright light to fully appreciate.
The 3½ -by-5½ inch notebook contains 80 pages of 52 gsm Tomoe River paper printed with a pale gray, 4mm dot grid ruling. The light blue thread that binds the notebook matches the inside covers. Hardest to photograph is the holographic silver ink used on the subtle cover branding, the map of the continent on the back cover (including a tiny penguin and whale), and gilt edges rarely seen in softcover notebooks. Antartica and Glacier are a lovely complementary pair with the same understated elegance and subtle shimmer.
Many readers of the Desk are probably familiar with Tomoe River’s performance with fountain pen ink. Although it is amazingly thin, the paper resists feathering and bleeding, even with the juiciest nibs. When I asked, I was assured that the paper is the original Tomoe River that we know and love. I made a test sketch with my favorite fire hose, the Sailor 1911 with a Naginata Fude de Mannen nib filled with Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-budo ink. I also scribbled with a variety of pens and even pencils.
As expected for such thin, translucent paper, the reverse sides show ghosting but only bare traces of bleeding where ink was applied heavily.
It’s a gorgeous pocket notebook and a welcome addition to the growing but still small selection of small notebooks containing Tomoe River. (I was going to refrain from mentioning this, but I make my bread and butter catching typos: I wish Pebble had paid as much attention to proofreading as they did on all the beautiful details this notebook exhibits.)
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