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.

11 comments:

Calandreya said...

US pencils are not all yellow. The ones made for the school market are, but they're cheap and nasty pencils, anyway. Some of them aren't even wood barrels anymore, but plastic. None of those will even sharpen well because they twist so easily and break the lead inside the pencil. But, we have an array of other choices. One example is the American natural, which is unpainted wood. Some of our better brands of cedar pencils are black or green. Do you have many American pencils in your collection?

My favorite pencils, though, are special orders from a school supply company. They have slightly thicker barrels and write darker than any I can buy from a store - except maybe an art store.

memm said...

The Caran d'Ache pencil in your photo looks really good!

JAbbott said...

Thanks for the photo. I have 5 or 6 of them. Reminds me I need to pull out my box of Rhodia pencils. They look awesome but I can't recall how they perform. I didn't know the Grip 2001s came in other colors.

Black Sal said...

Hi Calandreya - yes you are right, I was exagerating. It's true that there are plenty of non-yellow US pencils, but i think it's also true that only in the US do you get the 'why are pencils yellow?' question. In other countries people say 'but they aren't'

JAbbot - I like the Rhodia as well, but it's their notebooks that seem to get the most attention, and I can't be prized from my Moleskines.

Memm - yes. I wasn't sure whether I would class that as a writing pencil or a novelty pencil..

Calandreya said...

Yeah, I could see that. Most of our pencils are yellow. There was a lot more variety when I was a kid, even. I can remember going to the principal's office to buy one and being given an array of red, blue, green, and black, with not a yellow one in the bunch.

Anyway, the reason I asked about your collection is that, if you don't have many American pencils and if you want more, I could send you some. I don't meet a lot of pencil enthusiasts. In fact, my friends all tease me about it. They don't mind getting the free good-quality pencils but, to them, it's just pencils.

My grandpa collected, too. I wish I'd been given that part of what he left for posterity.

Pencil Revolution said...

Geez, some of these have my jealously dreaming of a European trip just to go pencil shopping. :)

(Seriously.)

Botogol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Black Sal said...

Calendreya - thank you I would love to swap BUT BUT I just know by bitter experience I'll never get round to it... sorting out the dups... bubble wrap.. queuing at post office... sigh. One day I'll get organised.

Pencil Revolution - I dream of India. I understand there are are many pencils made there for home market that are never exported.

Calandreya said...

If you're just trying to tell me no in a nice way, be blunt. I'm not always able to tell in written form. But, I wasn't really asking for a swap. It was an offer, for free, a gift.

Now, if you don't want me to know your mailing address, that's cool. If you don't really want/like/collect American pencils, no problem. And, if you just want to say no, I'll shut up after this next negative - no matter what reason you give.

Black Sal said...

aah (blush) well lovely :-)
email me ! blacksal@collectingpencils.com

Fernan Carrière said...

Oh great! Now I'll have to go back to Europe, in England this time, to pick up another batch of pencils...

While you were visiting stationery stores in England, I was doing the same in France in September and October. Picked up quite a assortment that I wouldn't find in Québec or Canada.

See here : http://www.flickr.com/photos/fernanc/5054684862/in/set-72157621972922197/.