stationery

Stationery, not stationary by 3.1

If you can’t tell the difference between ‘STATIONERY’ and ‘STATIONARY’ you shouldn’t be allowed to own a ballpoint pen, never mind a fountain pen.

Pilot Iroshizuku take-sum ink with ystudio portable fountain pen with medium Schmidt nib.

MUJI loose leaf A4 graph paper. Slightly off-white and very lightweight, but with zero bleed through, even with thinner fountain pen inks and felt-tips and brush pens. At £2.95 for 100 sheets, it’s great quality and value for money.

The paper quality is like-for-like in smoothness with Midori’s MD paper pad, though at £9.95 for 90 sheets, MUJI is definitely the cheaper option.

The satin-smooth surface of both papers means that even with a really scratchy dip pen nib or fine pencil (I normally use a rotring 600 0.35mm Japan spec drafting pencil), the paper fibres do not catch the tips of whatever writing instrument you’re using.

Both papers are great for general writing, but with the 5mm grid size, they’re also great for kanji drills and JLPT revision.

New bureau + ystudio by 3.1

So the day finally arrived for me to receive my new bureau (dubbed “The Bureau of my Millennial Dreams”). I didn’t put it together when it arrived as it shipped in two boxes that weighed over 25kg and 35kg respectively, but Patch came home for a few hours last week (in-between stints of cricket World Cup venues) and he put most of it together (though I chipped in towards the end as it really was a job for two people).

Whilst the bureau weighed a ton/nearly crushed me, inflicted injuries on the pair of us and took no less than 7 hours to put together, I’m really happy I decided to go for a non-IKEA job. All that’s left now is for me to find a suitable perch and a desk lamp. And maybe some more nice stationery, though I’ve always had a pretty hefty supply of Japanese pens and papers over the years.

Speaking of stationery, I’m hoping to expand my current ystudio collection of beautiful writing instruments and at some point I’ll probably end up getting one of their black desk fountain pens, which I think will look great in my new bureau, as I already have one of the black mechanical sketching pencils and two of the portable fountain pens (in the black and the brass).

Here are some pictures of the ystudio portable fountain pen in the black “brassing” finish that I picked up last year (the pictures are from when I unboxed it back then), which I’ve been using mostly for work (with Pilot iroshizuku ‘take-sumi’ fountain pen ink), and I love that it’s getting a unique patina with more and more use.

It’s a beautifully-weighted writing instrument, much like my collection of Rotring mechanical pencils from Japan. There’s something about an item crafted from metal to create a tool with which to scribe with, though it probably helps that my handwriting really is a lot better than those self-styled, self-proclaimed stationery aficionados out there.