Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Clairefontaine Metric & My Favourite Notebook



People who are into writing, notebooks and stationery know all about Clairefontaine. The French paper mill has won itself worldwide fame and admiration among stationers like ourselves and stationery fans like you for having what is basically the world's best notebook paper.

Clairefontaine Metric Hard Covers are great for everyday

It is an all-round stud of a paper stock - happy with any pen, pencil or ink you wish to try on it - and so much so that anybody who asks 'What paper should i try my new fountain pen on?" is invariably directed to Clairefontaine. If your pen does not write well on Clairefontaine, it's not going to write well on anything.


We have recently received a Clairefontaine range dubbed 'Metric' which at first glance is fairly unremarkable - it's everyday stationery, great for work or study but you're not going to keep a journal in it or amass your creative writing for later reflection. But it is from this Metric range that my all time favourite notebook comes.

My favourite paper!

The 4 Colours Index Book - A4 (21x30cm) Grid Paper - Light Blue is the one for me. I must deviate for a moment here to explain why. I've always had a soft spot for King Louis XIV - France's King from the age of 4 to 76. He ruled when things in France were fairly rosy and Paris' obsession with luxury was really consummating itself. And it is this sense of aloof, excessive luxury that I most enjoy about Louis Quatorze and that I see in this notebook. Louis used to take 3 hours and 10 servants to take breakfast, don his frock and leave his chambre. Likewise, the paper in this book is so nice, the quality so far beyond what it needs to be - it's extravagance for its own sake.

Clairefontaine Metric 4 Colours Index Book in 4 Colours

But there is also an outrageous, absurd silliness to King Louis that this notebook has. We'll give him a break - he was King at the same age that I was at Kindergarten - but his aloofness sure found other ways to manifest itself.

Clairefontaine Metric Light Blue Grid Paper

When sad, blue or just not up to it, Louis would stay in bed and no amount of praise, good news or knock knock jokes could console him. It was on these days that Louis's courtiers would pull their trump card, their one trick, at the King's insistence, that is sure to cheer him up. And so would be called into the King's quarters a troupe of dancing pigs, festooned in ribbons and silk pants, and they would dance (I'm not sure how well a pig can pirouette but...) and oink for the King's delight.

Silk Pants & Ribbons

And to me, the bright, camp 4 colours of paper in this notebook is analogous to the silk pants of the King's dancing pigs. The colour as incongruous with my desk as swine doing the shimmy in the Royal court. So now, whenever I take up a pen to write, i can't help but get a sense of regal luxury and quality combined with the image of a confused, dancing piggy inside a Monarch's maison and, like the King, I can't help but smile.

1 comment:

  1. You really are too funny, FN. I wish you'd *out* yourself!

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