Thursday, August 11, 2016

Review: Tomoe River A4 Tablets Cream & White @GouletPens

The unicorn of paper? Quite possibly. Thanks to Goulet Pens for sending these pads for review! You can see the difference between the white and cream paper, as I have sampled both!
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Review Tomoe River A4 Tablets Cream & White @GouletPens 5
Cream on left, White on right
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Cream on left, White on right
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Cream
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ABOUT

Size: A4 | 8.00" x 11.50"
Paper Weight: 52 gsm
Color: White | Cream
Ruling: Blank
Sheet Count: 100
Price: $21.95 USD (current sale)
Where to buy: Goulet Pens

PACKAGING

Each notepad arrived in a plastic sleeve, which is likely necessary with such delicate, crinkly paper. It keeps it all in good shape. A reusable sleeve would be neat, instead of plastic - such as the cotton bag The Paper Cuts Notebooks are shipped in. These are just pads though, and not notebooks, but if the pads were available as refills, that might be nifty.

APPEARANCE

These are simple pads, lightly glue bound at the top, with a semi firm backing, and a purple linen-like flip over front cover. The cover is printed with: Tomoe River, Paper Pad, A4, 100 sheets, and Paper Color: WHITE / CREAM. Inside, there is an A4-sized blotting sheet included, as well as a semi firm guide sheet. Both pads look almost the same, except the cream says CREAM and has gold foil in the name, and the white says WHITE and has white foil in the name.
Review Tomoe River A4 Tablets Cream & White @GouletPens 7
The sheets are all unlined, pristine, crisp, delicate, glorious, beautiful, and begging for ink.
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Cream on left, white on right/top
PERFORMANCE & FEEL
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The notepads are sturdy enough to comfortably write on a hard surface and keep your pages flat, but some care should be given to maintaining the corners of the notepads. The front cover flips back and tucks under the pad. You might be thinking, "is 100 sheets enough?" and it probably isn't, because you'll want to use Tomoe River all the time. It doesn't even really look or feel like 100 sheets because they are 52 gsm and very delicate; this is very thin paper. The paper feels smooth and light to the touch, and it weighs practically nothing. This alone can make one's nib quiver in anticipation.
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Guide sheet under White
If you must, you can use pencils, ballpoints, gel pens, rollerballs, marker pens, and markers on this paper. Pencils may not be so fun because the paper is quite smooth, so it can feel slippery. Heavy handed writing will print onto your paper because it's so delicate, but if you really must use such writing instruments on Tomoe River, you can. The glorious writing feeling will not be present with these though.
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White
Review Tomoe River A4 Tablets Cream & White @GouletPens 14
White
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White
Review Tomoe River A4 Tablets Cream & White @GouletPens 16
White
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Cream
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Cream
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Cream
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Cream
If you really want to enjoy this paper, break out your fountain pens - extra-fine to triple broad, stub nibs, calligraphy pens, flex nibs, wet writers - even brush pens, water colors, and all other really fun media! I do not have any water colors to test, but you can find a lot of Hobonichi Art Journalers online and see some spectacular work. I do have a lot of nibs and inks.

Nibs glide on this paper - it almost feel like the paper itself is lubricated. It is a delectable, sensual writing experience. Since the paper is so tolerant to fountain pen inks (and other media), drying times are pretty long, especially for wet writers. You can expect to wait for some of your words to dry! You can also blot your ink with the included blotting sheet, but I think it's worth the wait. Why? Inks pop on this paper - more so on the white paper but still a significant amount of on the cream pages. There is no feathering, there is a lot of shading to be seen, and a heck of a lot of sheen. Because the paper is so thin, show through can be quite high. Placing a dark sheet behind the page when you use  the back  makes it easier to see. Bleed through is minimal and it takes serious ink pooling to bleed.

Particles, shimmer, sheen, shading - all of these lovely qualities of many inks are highly visible, and it's part of what makes this paper so exciting to use.
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White
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White
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Cream
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Cream
Some people dislike this paper because it is too light, too delicate, too crinkly to use and touch. I love these qualities of Tomoe River, and the way it feels is one of the many reasons I love this stuff. It is very fountain pen friendly, and it offers a wonderful, pleasant writing experience that is unmatched by many other papers I have in my stash.
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Cream
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White (just in bad light, sorry.)
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Cream on the left, White on the right
PROS
  • Simple paper pads that are quite light and portable.
  • Pages tear off clean and easy.
  • Comes with a blotting sheet and a guide sheet, both of which you can reuse elsewhere and after the paper is all used up.
  • Available in cream or white paper.
  • Super fountain pen friendly
    • Great for ink shimmer, shading, sheen, and POP!
    • No feathering.
    • Rarely bleeds through.
  • Also works with other writing utensils and media.
  • Offers a wonderful writing experience.
  • Great for writing letters to pen pals!
  • Great for art work!
  • Light and crinkly - for those who like the ASMR of paper.
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Review Tomoe River A4 Tablets Cream & White @GouletPens 12
CONS  
  • So light and delicate that it can bend, wrinkle, and dog ear easily.
  • Long drying times.
  • High sheen inks can stay smudgy and take extra long to dry.
  • High show through.
OVERALL 

Tomoe River paper is a no brainer. It's such a pleasure to use and if you enjoy fountain pens or are artistic, you best try some out. Is paper important? Give this stuff a shot and you'll see. If I had to pick one paper to keep forever, this would be it. Of course, I'm running out.



I received this item/these items free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion.

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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