The best way to start this Month of Letters is with the right equipment. That means a trip to Il Papiro...
In a laneway in Melbourne, across from Flinders St Station, you will find a little stationery store called Il Papiro.
Papiro means papyrus. The store is part of an international chain of stationers and is the only store located in Australia. You can also stumble into their shops in Florence and Venice and get swept off your feet by the smell of paper and wood. This particular store supplies me with wax, paper and other decadent creations including books, boxes, seals, stickers, and cards.
I went down for the day with Tegan and Ryan from the Ink and Pen Postal Fellowship. I have been telling them about Il Papiro for a while, and it was a short trip to the city with all of us in the car, talking about how wax seals are effected by the machine that sorts letters when posted.
The first thing we did when we got to the store was swoon over the window displays which included wax seals, and fine paper.
I of course, loved the details at the shop entrance with the logo on the mat and the front door.
As they also service the needs of professional calligraphers, there were a brilliant range of inks available. I was most intrigued by the yellow one, but ended up just buying a black.
The quills and pens on display beneath the inks also grabbed my interest. I was keen to get a full sized glass quill as I find my hand cramps or gets tired with the small one I currently have.
As well as a range of quills that also had a range of nibs which we chatted about with Maria, and discussed the techniques required for using the nibs appropriately.
Maria jumped out of this pictures. She kept saying she didn't look nice and wasn't willing to have a picture of her published (all lies, she looked gorgeous). This is the view from the ink stand of the counter, which is covered in embossing tools, stickers, pens, erasers and all sorts of nick nacks with images of Italy on them.
There were a range of leather bound journals and Italian papers available. All the paper designs were also available in one the covers of the bound books. There were some beautiful classic designs and we overheard Maria tell a few customers the history of the particular designs they were looking at.
After spending a significant amount of money, we went to lunch further up the lane. It was a good chance for us to talk about the writing group, eat some good food and enjoy good company.
Find Il Papiro online at http://www.ilpapirofirenze.com.au/en/