Friday, May 27th, 2016

Fan Profile: Steve Derricott at Gfeller Casemakers


Today we are talking with Steve Derricott at Gfeller Casemakers.

Steve Derricott

RD: Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

SD: My name is Steve Derricott.  My wife, Lori, and I purchased Gfeller Casemakers in 1985.  The original product line featured products for geologists and field engineers.  Over the years, we have diversified the product line, adding personal items.  Notebook covers have become an important part of our business.  We build covers and other items of natural calfskin (kip) tanned in the UK by traditional methods.  Rhodia and Exaclair notebooks are used by a significant portion of our customers.  We sometimes find it difficult to maintain stock on these popular notebook covers.  Over the years I have used a variety of notebooks, but always note which items seem to move quicker.  Our customers are pretty good at indicating quality notebooks, reflected by orders for leather covers.  Our website is:

RD: How and when did you first discover Rhodia products?

SD: I have used Rhodia Top Staple, Gridded Pads for years.  I like the light blue grid and find it helpful in technical drawing for product and tooling designs.  The smooth finish on the paper is a real treat to use.

RD: Which are your favorite Rhodia products?

SD: My first Rhodia pad was the No. 18, A4 size. The high quality vellum paper handled my rough treatment with ease.  I liked this product so much we designed a specific Gfeller folio to use the A4 size pads.

RD: Do you always use the same product(s) or do you change periodically?

SD: I carry a small notebook in my shirt pocket all the time.  This notebook is my “go-to” for jotting down thoughts, needed items and ideas for new products.  The new Rhodia 7.5 x 12 cm notebook has grabbed my attention and will soon be riding in my personal leather notebook cover.

Clairfontaine 4

RD: Do you use them in any way that is specific to your work?

SD: It seems leather- working is in my blood.  At Gfeller Casemakers, we build a pretty wide variety of leather products.  My other avocation is braiding horse tack items of rawhide.  From self-producing the rawhide to designing and building each item, a record of the process is maintained.

Clairfontaine 3

When I recently obtained a sample of the Clairfontaine My.essential, paginated notebook, it became an instant favorite.  I just returned from a weekend workshop where I took the My.essential for a test drive.  The Contents registry will help me keep track of entries and the Clairfontaine paper is a delight to take notes on.

Clairfontaine 2

I use a roller ball or ballpoint pen and found that I could use both sides of the pages with no shadowing or bleed through, beautiful.  The construction of this volume allows easy use of the first pages.  The pages lay flat when opened.  As a left hander I appreciate the ease of use this volume offers.  The My.essential is well on its way to becoming just that.

Clairfontaine 1

RD: Does using Rhodia products make your job easier in any way? (Do quality tools make the job easier?)

SD: I appreciate the heft and quality of the paper in Rhodia and Clairfontaine products.  I find the grid helpful in producing technical drawings.

Clairfontaine 6

RD: Pencil, pen, or other? Favorites?

SD: I use 4F pencils for technical drafting and roller-ball or ballpoint pens for note-taking.  My Cap-o-Matic, flat black Space Pen is a favorite.  I like the quick action and the ink dries quickly.

Clairfontaine 5

RD: Where do you regularly purchase Rhodia products?

SD: Art supply and book stores cover many of my needs for Rhodia notebooks.  I keep in touch with Karen at Exaclair to stay on the front end of new product introduction.

RD: Is there any way we could improve on your favorite product?

SD: I really like the A5 size My.essential Clairfontaine notebook with contents registry, pagination, construction that allows easy page turning for note-taking/journaling, the functional elastic closure and rear storage pocket.  This quality little notebook is quickly becoming my most favorite.  It has all the features I like.  Keep up the good work.

**Surprise giveaway!!

We have TWO Gfeller leather covers to give away! Each leather cover comes with a Clairefontaine My.essential paginated notebook.



Update June 3, 2016:

This giveaway is now closed. The winners are: Sandra S. and Elizabeth P.! Many thanks to everyone who participated in this giveaway!


4 thoughts on “Fan Profile: Steve Derricott at Gfeller Casemakers

  1. Steve made me a custom cell phone case that is just a functional piece of art. The webnotebook cover is on my list. Thanks for the profile. His rawhide bosal braiding is impressive too.

  2. Gfellers is a small operation. Your order may take a while to be completed. That’s because every step of the construction is performed by skilled hands. Every stitch and cut are carefully scrutinized. Steve knows only one way to work. Your order will be worth the wait (and the cost). Your grandchildren will be using your notebook cover.

  3. Steve do you know of a source for veg tanned calfskin? Used to use it for pockets, but can’t seem to find it anymore. Great article!

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