Friday, February 17, 2006

product placement, part one 

They're back! My favourite sketchbooks, John Purcell Paper's beautiful hardbound volumes of 300gsm hot pressed watercolour paper (catalogue numbers SK530H, SK430H and SK330H), are available again after a long and painful absence (they spent a long while finding a new binder after the previous one retired). They disappeared from the few shops that stocked them years ago and I'd given up on their ever returning after a couple of years' sporadic correspondence with JPP (once every six months I would email to the effect of "any news?" and they would email back to the effect of "sorry, no"). But during my traumatic teaching experience the other week a couple of students had asked where I got my sketchbooks and, having solemnly informed them that they were no longer made, it occurred to me to wonder if that was indeed still the case. Happily I was wrong.

They are quite ridiculous items for me to use: I rarely, if ever, use any form of paint in my sketchbooks so there's really no need for me to use such an extravagant weight of paper and for day to day work it makes more sense to use loose sheets or a sketchbook with perforated pages. And yet, and yet... I am smitten with them and have just taken delivery of enough of them to last me until about 2014. And this gives me pleasure.

Also of note: how pleasant to deal with a small company; to phone up and talk to a real human being directly and to have exactly what I asked for turn up on the day we agreed (the real human being having thought to make sure that the books would arrive on a day when I would actually be in - not normally an issue with me, of course, but in this instance I was in smelly London yesterday so it was as well she asked). Tip top service.

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