Week ago, during London Writing Equipment Show, I spotted slightly on the side, at the back of the exhibition room a jewel between all this amazing fountain pens and vendors. There was a stand with a beautiful leather covered notebooks. Because personally, I am a sucker for all types of notebooks, sketchbooks, travelers notebooks (Midori and many others), etc I decided to check this out and have a look. The brand represented by two gentleman is called William Hannah, England who manufacture absolutely gorgeous notebooks (I believe in A5 format) based on quite unique system of rings which allows to quickly without tearing put in or take out separate pages or entire inserts. The leather used for covers is very soft and comes in variety of different colours. They are not cheap. The starting price is from £ 95.0 which seems to be quite a bit, however these notebooks feel very premium, including paper. They offer various different inserts/refills options including plain, lined, dotted, squared pages, diary, to-do-lists, weekly planers and year calendars. Pretty impressive. For more details, impressions and comments about these notebooks please check William Hannah website, but also The Pen Addict review and The Pen & Inkwell video review and the meta review at The United Inkdom.
The product of WIlliam Hannah I am going to review, is different from their flagship notebooks, but actually much closer to my heart. On London's show I had a very nice and interesting chat with two mentioned gents from William Hananh. During entire show I was caring two of my DIY hand made leather travelers notebooks, which for some reasons brought their attention (thank you I was very pleased :). When I was leaving, I have been given a small but very interesting yellow notebook, which perfectly fits to my Fieldnote-size leather cover.
The Filednote-size (3.5 x 5.5 inch) notebooks is not what William Hannah is offering on their website (at least at this moment). The yellow notebook I got is a prototype of the product, which company is planning to launch by the end of the year, and then might expend the offer by A5 size as well as typical for well known Midori's TN (travelers notebook) and passport size notebooks too. They may come as plain, lined, dotted (all in grey ink). The covers will come in various different colors, too. That is the plan so far.
OK, let's talk about mentioned notebook, built, paper quality and fountain pens performance, which I believe will be a crucial factors for potential customers as I am.
As mentioned above the notebook dimensions are 3.5 x 5.5 inch. The cover is made of card (mine is in yellow), with I believe pressed, diamond-like pattern, which is nice to hold and increases the grip. I like this idea. Front side has printed in black spherical company logo, whereas at the back we find written logo and the the company's quote in the middle '#BecauseWritingHelps'.
Last Sunday (October 2nd) I went to London to attend the Writing Equipment Show which was held in Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury. This was my first Pen Show, so I had no experience or expectation as such, which maybe was a good thing. I came from Cambridge relatively late around 11:30 (show was going on since 10:00), so at that time it was rammed to the point that if i wanted to see something on some vendor's desk I had to look through someone's shoulder. Some vendors were very popular during entire show, some a bit less. Initially I did a quick tour around stands to get an ideal and flavour of what was happening and which companies, manufacturers, sellers are present and what interesting that have. I quickly realised, that there is no way I can see everything that day. The show was supposed to be closed at 16:00, which in theory gave me only 4,5 hour time. Not that much as it looks. My first thought was ...damn man, this is so overwhelming and so many cool pens and stationary items around...too many! I felt like a kid left in the toyshop , where whenever you look, you wish to have ultimately! Mission impossible. I took it easy and I tried too look here or there look at this or that and have a bit of chat with numerous interesting people I heard of, or I have been following on social media for instance or collaborate with, but actually never had a chance to meed in flesh. I think this was the most interesting aspect of the London pen show. I managed to finally meet Mishka and BureauDirect, UK team (Jo and Dominic), people from Pure Pens, Ruth from the Pen & Inkwell and many more. Product wise, I spend rather a significant amount of time seeking through all cool inks being displayed on the show. Luckily, this year Konrad and Agnieszka from KWZ Ink were teamed up with BureauDirect, UK and they brought along from Poland tons of their inks to be shown. I truly enjoyed listening both of them talking with great passion about inks they created, the manufacturing process which for me being a chemist and researcher are fascinating. They inked up tens of fountain pens, which anyone could pick and test on the paper, especially colour changing Iron Gall inks they specialise with. The colour palette KWZ offers is spectacular and still grow.
The great news is that BureauDirect,UK teamed up with KWZ Ink an they will have KWZ Inks in the offer available online very soon (possibly next week). Do not miss it! KWZ Inks are super cool and also very unique and are gaining deserved positive feedback and popularity (for more please check short KWZ Inks reviews I did recently. I will be reviewing many many more of their inks within next coming weeks and months).
Moreover, both BureauDirect,UK and PurePens had also samples of possible next 12 shimmering inks by Diamine, which should be introduced and on sale soon. Together with released last year 10 Shimmeristic inks (reviews), it will make a large collection of 22 inks all together, which seems to be a lot compared to equally great and interesting five inks of the 1670 Edition produced by J. Herbin (reviews). Is it a good marketing decision...we will see. Some of them look very nice. PurePens had also wonderful colelction of the Pelikan pens as well as Noodler's inks and Noodler's pens including Ahab, Creeper, Konrad and Neponset. PurePens is the only distributor of Noodler's products in the UK.
A lot of things have happened over the summer in Clumsy Penman's life. I gave up on my University job and got a new one in the Pharmaceutical company. Because I had to move from Southampton to Cambridge, where my new job is located, this required my family to change their life too. Moving out and moving in is always stressful. Unpacking took ages. New commercial environment is completely different from academic. Is challenging which I like, but first few weeks of work made me extremely busy. Hopefully, things are settling now and I will be getting up to speed soon. However, being busy does not necessarily mean that nothing happened on Clumsy Penman site. As many of you probably seen on Twiter or Instagram, I did review of four amazing Sailor Jentle (Four Seasons) inks: Souten, Tokiwa Matsu, Oku Yama and Yama Dori.
The have superb properties and give incredible sheen, which effect is possibly one of the strongest I have seen so far. Absolutely gorgeous! It will give a beautiful 'edge' to your writing.
Meantime, Mishka from BureauDirect, UK kindly shared with me few samples of ink from gaining recently massive and well deserved attention KWZ Ink, which apart of very broad spectra of beautiful standard inks has in an offer also modern Iron Gall Inks which are absolutely fascinating.
I reviewed so far standard inks Honey which is likely to be their best seller and there is a reason why, then Foggy Green, Green Gold and two Iron Gall inks: Turquoise and Orange.
There are many more to come. I have just started working on the series of J. Herbin standard inks and I will be continuing working on KWZ Inks.
There will be reviews of few popular pens I purchased (Lamy 2000, Noodler's Ahab and Neponset (with some changed I did to them) and finally my beloved Visconti Homo Sapiens in Bronze.
Stay tuned and all the best !