The writing is on the wall

by Scribble Monboddo

It's easy to think that wallpaper's always been there as an everyday domestic wrapping, but for most of its history it's been a luxury. The paper itself was expensive, for a start. Some of the printed produce even featured arsenic as a preservative, as the V&A are only too happy to inform us. Then there was the process of designing it, which by the nineteenth century was drawing in luminaries like Augustus Pugin and William Morris, hardly famed for affordable accessibility. Go back a few generations, and it was a prized asset. You certainly wouldn't dare to write on it - not if you expected to keep a seat at the lord's table.

But of course, writing on the wall is precisely what we're going to encourage you to do. Not that Nero sells wallpaper, exactly, but if you tape a few sheets of Comme Glom's splendidly bonkers desk jotter together, you can achieve a pleasingly similar result - and then wantonly despoil it in the name of progress. Yes, progress. Alright, a bit of explanation is probably in order. When you're stuck in a rut and struggling with an insoluble problem, it helps to step away from the laptop and do something very different. A brief walk in the great outdoors is a good place to start, but sooner or later there's a point where some writing is required. The semi-random nature of the prompts and questions presented on the jotter sheets is an ideal stimulus, somewhere between Eno's bonkers oblique strategies and the dry rigour of bullet journals. Creativity often springs from having to work within restrictions, you see. Try it - it really works.

Naturally, as a problem-solver of taste and discretion you'll want a wall to write on with a suitably salubrious instrument, and the jotters were built to work with fountain pens so you're safe there too. The samizdat wallpaper above was attacked with Pilot's whopping 6mm Parallel nib and survived the experience, while a wet flexy FA nib tested the desk pad in more traditional guise below.

'Last chance to see, though. Comme Glom wound up operations in 2021 so once these are gone, they're gone. A pity, as what they made was a lot of fun, but let's bow out in a blaze of glorious doodles.