A British-made Bark & Rock Handmade Journal is the ideal way to record your thoughts and most precious memories for the pleasure of generations to come.
Writing is art, and before anyone argues it’s not, try telling that to the worlds greatest visual thinkers and scholars of Leonardo Da Vinci and William Shakespeare. As with any art form, time and consideration are necessary, two things that modern technology has unsuccessfully tried to push aside.
When writing with a pen on paper, you need to think; you need to concentrate so that you don’t make a mistake. This is in direct contrast to writing an email or composing something on a computer or mobile phone. With these, speed and simplicity without much thought and effort are the most important factors. And if you make a mistake, you use the delete button without a second thought.
Is this any way to record your most significant memories and record your most profound thoughts? I think not.
To mark something as precious as these, you need to use something to last a lifetime, i.e. a pen and piece of paper. And as what you are recording is so valuable you’ll want to record them in the finest way possible, not something intangible which can be wiped or deleted at the press of a button.
With this in mind, allow us to acquaint you with Bark & Rock, a British company making quite frankly, the most beautiful luxury journals we’ve ever seen.
During the lockdown, many of us have had the opportunity to think more and reflect on life. The Royal Mail, recently reported one-in-five Brits had ordered stationery in a bid to be more creative, and this has been backed up by Bark & Rock themselves who’ve seen no wavering in demand for its high-end notepads and diaries this year.
One of the senior members of our editorial team writes in a journal every day without fail. When asked, she told me it is a reminder of each step of her life and is something that will help to educate future generations about the life she’s experienced and how it shaped her into the person she is.
One of the great things about Bark & Rock is they appreciate the value of the above. This is why they put an enormous amount of thought, skill and effort into each of their journals.
Who are Bark & Rock?
Bark & Rock is a family-run business and was founded in 2018. The company is headed by Mark Gosling, who had an extensive background in the bespoke personalised gift industry before moving into the luxury stationery market. This Surrey-based company only works with the best and most unusual woods and stones, and each of their journals can take up to four days to make.
Yes, you did read that correctly, four days work in the hands of master craftspeople, that’s the type of care and attention you get with their products.
We asked Mark about the lengths the company goes to in creating their bespoke pieces: “Working with these wood veneers is like working on a piece of art. It is challenging because no two pieces are the same.
“After considerable research & development we decided to concentrate our journals and notebooks on the world’s best and unusual woods and stones, which not only increased the material costs but the craftsmanship and time it took to make one.
“We had to engineer our own fittings to integrate the refillable paper notebook together with the cover that can be as thin as 2.8mm. We had to make sure the spine of the books could move easily but be sturdy enough to last a lifetime.
“We now sell luxury bark and stone stationery items such as notebooks, journals, photograph albums and guestbooks. Special editions include silver and 24-Carat gold personalisation and wood inlaying or those with covers that include personal, intricate carvings. There are various sizes available from A6 to A4 and paper refills can be plain, lined, or set out in a diary format.
“Bark & Rock works with over 40 different luxury wood veneers, sourced and handpicked from reputable wood veneer suppliers worldwide.”
Recently the company launched a beautiful new addition to their range which is a journal made with burr walnut. As we write this, we have the distinct pleasure of looking at one, admiring it’s exquisite craftsmanship and enjoying the knowledge it is the only one like it in the world.
This latest addition to their range uses the burr of the Walnut tree, in a growth normally found in the root system, so it contains never seen before wood grain patterns which fully showcase the true beauty of nature.
The walnut veneer used is only extracted once the tree has passed its peak nut harvesting. It’s at this time when the tree is cut down and replaced with a new one. This veneer is not cut from a log but rather sliced into very thin sheets around 0.6mm thick, so it is more sustainable.
Luke Gosling, Bark & Rock Director, told us: “We source the veneer from the UK and make all our books from hand. It takes our craftsman four days to make a book from start to finish.
“This wood is full of holes and knots, originally caused by insects and fungal attack, so it can be a challenge. The final finish is worth it because no two books are the same due to the natural nature of the wood.”
The processes used to make each Bark & Rock Journal
As we mentioned earlier, a huge amount of skilled attention goes into each Bark & Rock Journal. Each is made entirely in the UK at the family-run workshop in Surrey.
To make the journals, Mark gathers his team, and they will look through each bundle of veneer, ensuring they select the best grain pattern. Usually, each bundle has 24 leaves, and the team along with head craftsman Tamás Gál will seek to make twelve books from each bundle. The natural grains in the wood ensures that each journal will be one-of-a-kind.
Sometimes, the wood veneer isn’t flat, so to avoid splitting it is left under pressure for days before being cut to size and bonded together to create a double-sided panel.
Natural holes are filled, and the piece sanded after each process. Following this, the team uses a laser cutter to make a perfect piece out of the larger panel. Each book is sprayed using ecological oils, sanded again. This process can be repeated a further couple of times with the drying process taking a couple of days. Finally, the internal papers, leather and pocket are added using the Bark & Rock engineered fittings.
At the start of this article, we stated how precious and valuable someone’s memories are and recording these needs be done in a way that pays homage to their priceless value. There can be no better way to do this than with a Bark & Rock Journal. This British company works with the utmost care and attention, creating products fit to hold your most precious thoughts.
Bark & Rock Journals – Where and how?
Each made to order Walnut Burr B5 book can come with either journal, plain or lined FSC certified paper, and it lasts a lifetime with the choice to buy refill pages.
Prices for the refillable journal start at £300. For more details, see www.barkandrock.com or call 0208 941 3481.
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