I'm new to the Tom Bihn phenomenon, but am having a blast being a part of it. My first piece in my “to-be-curated” collection is the Field Journal. My wife purchased it for me a couple of months back after I talked on-and-on about it.
We recently took a trip to Lake Tahoe where I was able to put the Journal to the test. It was amazing. I use the Journal to collect the various bits of media I like to create. I do a bit of watercolor, photography, journaling, and general collecting of interesting detritus. I really love putting these collections together to create a story. The Field Journal is a wonderful platform that provides stability and flexibility.
Here you can see the extent of my equipment that traveled in the Journal:
I enjoy working in the field to produce final pieces, the Field Journal provides lots of possibilities. I like the way it lets me sit or stand while working, the shoulder strap is nice and simple but effective. I like being able to customize the equipment I'm packing in the field. I have been experimenting with a number of accessories over the last few months. I have found an efficient collection of implements that fit into the various pockets and slots offered by the Field Journal. I have added tab dividers to organize pages and use clear dividers to carry small bits of paper. The front pocket is bigger than it appears which is handy to soak up bulkier items.
Recently I have been experimenting with a Polaroid Pogo printer to print on the spot images with my camera. I get a kick out of the “flaky-ness” of this printer, it really reminds me of the chemical based polaroid process I have spent too much money on in recent history. It runs on battery power and fits easily in the front pocket.
Watercolor “water brushes” are a nice way to work in the field and don’t require hauling a tub of water along. On my recent trip to Lake Tahoe I would even refill the brush from the lake. I like the idea of my paintings containing water from the lake :)
An Acme pen is a luxury to write with and fits nicely in the pen pocket inside.
I found a nice watercolor spiral notebook that matches the 5.5 x 8.5 paper size of the Field Journal, this one is a Canson brand. I played around with both keeping the pages in the spiral notebook during painting and painting on blank pages in the 3 ring binder. Don’t know if I have a preference yet... Its easy to 3 hole punch the pages and add them as I work. In fact I got into 3 hole punching all sorts of things and adding them to the binder. The chipboard backing page that comes with the paper makes for a nice template for punching.
Winsor & Newton make a great little half pan water color set that fits in the large pocket on the inside of the journal.
I like the included Tom Bihn ruler. I am looking for a cleaver hole punch that will take up less space. The little blue widget is a corner rounder which you can see on the small “Artist Trading Card” sized card, rounds off square corners. Added a double stick tape dispenser and the rig is pretty complete.
All in all its a great set up and I have just begun to tinker with it. I can’t wait to add another Tom Bihn to my severely abbreviated collection. I have my eye on a Brain Bag for an up coming round-the-world trip (London, New Delhi, Bangkok, Manila, Hong Kong, Guangzhou). I have a collection of camera gear, sound gear, computer gear and general traveling necessities to keep track of, so we shall see...
Thanks Tom, its nice to find a product that has an appropriate amount of thought behind it these days.