Jackman's Journals


Jackman's Journals

Jackman's Journals

About the Journals

On this site you will find completely hand-made journals / notebooks. Even the paper block within the binding has been hand sewn (so that splitting will never occur) with strong linen thread and reinforced with linen tape that gives a flexible, strong and durable journal that will last a lifetime and not split, crack or break.

All journals are finished with either wax or shellac. Shellac is a tree based lacquer, which adds lustre as well as a layer of protection for the journal. A custom built order can be made from a coice of leather and wax or shellac finish.

A Note on Photography

All the pictures on this website have been taken by myself, and unfortunately I am not a professional photographer. While it is very difficult to get the natural colour of the leather across, there is the additional error margin of different monitors displaying the tones at different levels. I must also point out that many of my photographs in an effort to get the natural colour right, have also exaggerated the slightest crease to look like a significant bend in the leather, while to the naked eye they are actually not nearly so pronounced. These creases enhance the overall character of the journal.


I started making journals because the ones I saw were so thick and stiff, making them uncomfortable to use. And also, the journals that I came across were so heavily glued in, that the pages wouldn’t even lie flat and I found I could only use half of the page while holding back the paper. I wanted a journal that was a pleasure to use and not just pretty to look at. I was already interested in bookbinding - so I made my own journal and then for friends.

The Different Leathers

leather collage

The collage above, are some of the leathers I have photographed and used. The leather I look for must be soft and of a high quality. The leather must be thick enough so that it is strong yet thin enough so that it is supple. I look for and use different types of leather and I am open to all suggestions. Distressed leather as well as aged leather can add a different style and character to a notebook as well as leather without these effects. I just use the leather I like, especially the feel of it.

Special Paper is Used

The paper used in my journals took a lot of research and testing to get a paper that was not too heavy and rough which can make writing uncomfortable. Rougher papers are also prone to ‘ink bleed’. I also wanted a paper that wasn’t too glossy where a pen can skid over.

The paper I eventually chose is of archival quality, is acid and chlorine free and will last 100's of years. This paper is of a high standard and has a fine parchment like feel to it without being rough. The paper is ideal for fountain pens as well as ball point and fibre tip pens. It also retains the ink very well without ‘ink bleed’ that is common in rougher papers.

normal magnification of paper

Normal Magnification of Paper

Zoomed In Magnification of Paper

Zoomed In Magnification of Paper

What One Buyer Said

"Truly delighted! Beautiful journal made by a fine craftsman!" ... Susan Harris, Nottingham