It’s no secret I love Paperblanks notebooks. And not just because they have a Canadian connection. They are beautiful, the paper is great, they are available in lots of different sizes, and they are not too expensive. And I got two more this past Christmas from my father.

ventaglio rosso midi and ananda mini

On the left, Ventaglio Rosso Midi (7″x5″); on the right, Ananda Mini (5.5″x3.5″). So beautiful!

The Ventaglio is from the Baroque Ventaglio collection, which is made up of the Rosso and the Marrone. Their website has this to say about the collection:

Where better to pen a magnum opus than inside this magnificent example of Roman a ventaglio (fan) binding? Our reproduction of gilt-work melting over red Moroccan leather shrouds unadorned pages that make space for chronicling events of the day or recording elaborate fictions.

Our cover displays at its centre a rose window surrounded by a design of slight Eastern influence and in each corner a filigree fan – the window quartered. An intricate ornamentation typical of Italian Baroque, the geometrically compartmentalized design finds its inspiration in the French style à la fanfare, which gained popularity during the first half of the seventeenth century. Characterized by a celebration of ornate detail, Baroque decoration draws interest to deep symbolism couched in opulence.

The Ananda is from the Kirikane collection, which is made up of the Ananda, the Bija, the Dhyana and the Metta.

Literally “cut gold”, Kirikane refers to the meditative practice of decorating Buddhist paintings and statues with gold metal leaf. The precision of the kirikane artist is informed by devotion and mindfulness. The earliest surviving examples of kirikane originate from Baekje (18 BCE–660 CE), one of the three ancient kingdoms of Korea. In Japan, kirikane flourished during the eleventh century until it faded from view three centuries later, all but extinguished by the use of gold paint to replace precious metal.

Our Kirikane series was inspired by the work of contemporary Japanese artist Sayoko Eri (1945-2007). A devoted revivalist of kirikane, she studied the traditional art form and applied it to everyday items such as boxes and screens as well as statues of Buddha. The decorative patterns of Sayoko Eri’s creations –which we have reproduced using our own unique printing processes– put the observer in a contemplative state of mind.

I have started using the Ananda as my Ink Journal; keeping a record of which of my pens have which ink in them. I don’t have a lot of pens to keep track of but the journal is quicker for me when I’ve forgotten which pen has which ink (getting old; memory’s going). I have yet to find a purpose for the Rosso. I thought about using it for my Reading Journal but went with my Silver Filigree instead. I’m sure the purpose will reveal itself to me, in the same vein as the Reading Journal revealed itself to need the Silver Filigree journal.

Both journals have cream paper, lined, with red bookmarks. Paper is definitely fountain pen friendly.

ventaglio open

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ananda open

The Rosso has fantastic edge colouring and a similar clasp to the Silver Filigree journals.

ventaglio side

Finally I leave you with this great blog post on their Endpaper Blog, outlining the benefits of keeping a pocket journal. Happy writing!