Composition Notebooks

I love composition notebooks.
I have several that I’ve filled over the last couple years.
I write in my composition notebook compulsively every day.

Today, for the first time ever, I wondered where that signature black and white speckled pattern on the front of everyone’s composition notebook came from…

The pattern was originally inspired by marbled printing techniques of 10th century China and 12th century Japan

This technique migrated and evolved its way across to 19th century England, where a similar technique was used to create marbled designs for book covers and bindings.

This technique was soon adapted in Germany to be mass produced, creating pseudo-marbling like this.

This pattern clearly looks familiar…

Take a look at this article to read a more in depth history. When you get there, scroll to the bottom to see a fascinating photographic history of the composition notebook in Europe and the United States! They are absolutely beautiful.

I’ve also recently discovered a fascination with seeing others’ notebooks and creative processes. I’m reading the published diary of David Sedaris, Theft by Finding, and it’s fantastic.

Here is an article from the Huffington Post – that I didn’t read thoroughly – that has images showing the journals and diaries of a series of artists. It’s very cool.

I wonder vainly if a complete stranger will want to see inside my composition notebooks years after I die. That’s a hard thing to admit in writing, but it’s true. I hope someone will.

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