Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Summer Pencil Shopping

Over the summer I went to the south coast - Rye, East Sussex and Canterbury. In each town I found small stationery shops and intrigued the owners by buying two or three of every different pencil they had for sale.

Here's my summer's total pencil purchases - Twickenham, Rye & Canterbury, summer 2010.  I'll take a closer look at some of these in forthcoming posts, but I thought it would be interesting for any US readers to see the wide variety of colours that are used in European pencils - for it's only in the US, you see, that all pencils are yellow.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Recent Purchases

These are from the same shop in Twickenham that I found the crackle-free Venus: four strange pencils lurking among the ubiquitous Staedtler Traditions


I show them together because they illustrate a pretty standard oddments haul from a UK Stationery shop. I think that independent shops regularly receive samples and previews - and simply sell them off.

The Helix Oxford is an unusual pencil to see on sale loose - the Oxford brand is better known for sets of mathematical instruments to be used at school. This particular pencil doesn't appear on the Helix website, so perhaps it is discontinued (or new?). The wood is a curious red colour, and I will return to this pencil again in the next few posts.

Fox Essentials is (I think) a random 'brand' stamped on some undistinguished Chinese pencil - I have other identical pencils stamped with different names.

Rexel is well known stationery brand - but their website makes no mention of pencils. Considering it is cheap this pencil is actually quite attractive - plain wood well finished and lightly lacquered and a smart navy blue painted cap.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602

I seem to the be the only pencil blogger in the world who hasn't been sent a pre-production version of the new Palomino Blackwing.  :-(,  but the fuss prompted me to have a look and see what old Blackwings I can find.

Just one!  I am certain I have a box of them somewhere, but up in the attic this afternoon I couldn't find it. Here is the only sample I could locate




The colours don't come out well on these picture (taken outside in the shade on a sunny day) but the pencil is grey in colour, with gold lettering.  It's unsharpened so I haven't tested the famous, smooth writing experience that it is famous for.

On thing that surprises me is that the angle of the flattened ferrule doesn't line up with the faces of the hexagonal pencil. That seems a little cheap to me.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

A Venus with no crackle

The Venus pencil is a design classic that all collectors will be familiar with. In my collection I have many versions of the pencil, bearing many manufacturers' brands (an idea of for another post!)

One feature all Venus Pencils have in common is the 'crackle' finish.

Apart from this one of these two - both of which I bought yesterday in Twickenham, UK.


A plain green Venus! Interesting!  Is it a mistake? Are Venus pencils going to lose their crackle? Surely not.

Have you seen any like this where you live ?