Tuesday, October 28, 2014


We need to sharpen our pencils and there are a lot of ways to get the job done.

Our image of a crank operated wall mounted box is a great memory but in fact I don't like them.

They have grinding burrs in there that grind off a lot of wood and graphite. They make a lot of noise and you don't know when to stop. With softer lead pencils they just crumble them into dust. Not my favorite.

The electric pencil sharpeners are more of the same with the advantage that they don't have to be bolted down to a desk or wall. Not for me.

You can sharpen with a knife or razor. It's a nice contemplative way to get the job done and gives you a sense of pride when done well. That's nice.

My preference though is a simple sharpener like in the photo. Small, inexpensive, easy to carry and effective. They remove a very small amount of wood and shave the graphite to a nice point. Simple and effective. It makes me smile everytime.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Greatest Pencil Ever.

This pencil is a game-changer. The concept is a graphite stick with no wood sheath. Some other companies have done this but not with such wonderful results.

Behold the CRETACLOR MONOLITH 2B. This has a better lead feel than any pencil I use. It creates a dark line like a soft pencil but the graphite isn't soft so it stays sharp and feels sharp. It is heavier than wood pencils and has a very solid hand feel.

It is really great and very recommended. I got mine at Blick Art Supply and they are about $1.47 each. HB - 9B.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Mechanical Question?

I know that those who appreciate the wooden pencil might not like mechanical pencils, but I do. I think they are wonderful to write with and easier to transport. Certainly they lack the magic connection to the Earth that their woody brothers have but they are absolutely useful and efficient with all the feel of graphite to paper that is so sensual.

I like that you can choose the hardness/softness of the lead you want to use and have a pack of replacement erasers on hand. You can go into a Staples and get some B or BB leads for them much more easily than trying to get a #1 Ticonderoga which in fact you have to special order from the website.

Your big choices are the width of the lead. 0.5mm is the thinnest and excellent to write with. 0.7mm is a bit bolder but not messy. 0.9mm starts getting to be a bit much and I don't really recommend them. This is a personal choice or course but I recommend sticking with .5 or .7.

This pencil has been with me for years and I like it a lot.
I do detest disposable mechanical pencils. They just take all the fun out of the game and feel like awful pieces of plastic and, worst of all, they lack character.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mega Artisan Hand-Crafted Pencil Sharpener

Nothing states your attitude about our friend, the common pencil, like your sharpener.
Here is a very gutsy statement for you made by my favorite craftsman Morgan Ross.
I'm biased, he's my brother.
This beauty is for sale for $5.00/pound. We think it weighs about 70 pounds.
Contact him at http://FixerFinderMaker.com

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Meet our Product Tester

Say Hello to Doris, our new product tester.
She says this vintage Dixon product is made of aged California Incense Cedar with a fine Graphite and Clay blend center. Light-bodied with a non-pretentious but ironic flavor. Pairs well with blanched almonds and banana.

Is this my Favorite pencil?

One pencil has to be my favorite and this may be it.
It's made in the U.S.A., it's made of wood, has a round barrel, and was given to me free.
It has a great, dark lead that is not too soft. It keeps its point a long time yet isn't scratchy. Wow!

I've done some research into this desirable beauty and found that it is relatively inexpensive but is not retailed. It is designed to be readily imprinted in quantity.

I'm thinking about what I should have imprinted on mine and what I'm going to do with 5 gross of these when my order arrives.