Obsession: PENCILS

The Cup Overfloweth with Joy and Graphite

I've got a little problem.

Well, okay.  Not a problem, per se.  I'm certainly not suffering.

I'm kind of addicted to graphite.

Like I was telling a friend today, I didn't mean to get all into pencils, but I tried one -- a Mitsubishi Hi-star in F (firm) -- that was like a magic pencil.  It's just the right core, just the right diameter, just the right weight.  I swear, everything I tried to draw with that pencil came out perfect.

Hook, lead, and sinker, y'all.

(Not to mention that it actually started even a little further back than that, when I was looking for a Thoreau and Sons pencil because of my fierce transcendentalist love, and found out they were uber-rare and super-expensive, and I gnashed my teeth and lamented, which led me to try the Hi-star to begin with, because tooth-gnashing makes my jaw tired.)

So now there's a bit of a collection.

(understatement.)

I buy pencils to use them.  Even vintage ones.  This is the one hobby I've found where people aren't all stunned and indignant when you want to actually use the things you're collecting.  (Other than fountain pens.  Those, too.  Maybe it's office supply collector people.)

ANYWAY.

I thought I'd make an ongoing list of what I have.  I might review them eventually, I might just add a word or two, I might just list them and forget the list is here.  The three options are equally as likely to happen, for the record.

Generalities:
1.  I like harder cores.  That's because I draw with them with the intent to watercolor over the top, most of the time.  Harder cores generally erase easier, or don't show up as much if I don't erase well enough.

2.  I like vintage.  I like things with history.  I have every intention to hit all the junk sales this year and buy up things like vintage advertising pencils or vintage drawing/drafting pencils or anything that looks old, because I'm new to this and pencils are (typically) cheap.  I regret nothing.

3.  I also like pretty.  I admit it.  In new pencils, I kinda like pretty stuff.  I'm not really a girly-girl and never did get the hang of eyeliner, but I have been known to squeal when I see something pink and/or with a cute pattern.  If the performance of the graphite has a corollary measure with the prettiness of the outside, I'm totally down with buying it/keeping it.  I have no shame.

4.  I do really like lightweight and narrower vs. barrel.  I know some folks really like oversize pencils, or really tiny novelty ones -- I don't.  I like lightweight, normal length, slightly thin diameter (but not extreme, freakishly thin).  Keeps my hands from getting fatigued.  Which is more of an issue the older I get.


That said, here's what I've got.

(so far, as of 3/30/18)

2H
  • Caran d'Ache Natura 3474 (natural finish, FSC)
  • General's Cedar Pointe 333 (natural finish, cool black ferrule and eraser.)
  • Mitsubishi 9000 (green, for general writing)
  • Mitsubishi 9800 (black, for general writing
  • 2x Tajima Carpenter's Pencil (from CWPE, black with gold end-dip and band, japanese text, AWESOME for drawing.)


  • Mistubishi Hi-Uni (fav)
  • Mitsubishi Uni-STAR (brandnamepencils purchase, perfect. Seriously.)

H (No. 3)
  • Blackfeet Indian Pencil #3 (natural finish, lightweight, v. scratchy.)
  • Mitsubishi Hi-Uni (good for drawing)
  • Viarco Desenho 250 (red finish, v. lightweight)
  • Tombow homo-graph MONO100 (black, white thin stripe on end, for precision drafting)
HB (No. 2)
  • Bugle 1816 (Musgrave, natural finish/white lettering, round)
  • Bugle 1816 SPECIAL CWPE EDIT. (half black, half natural.)
  • Calepino Matte Black (with white eraser, gold ferrule)
  • Camel CA-PE5 (from CWPE: Designed by Eiichi Kato for Camel Pencil Company, the uniquely minimalist, ferrule-less eraser on this specimen is something extra special)
  • 2x Caran d'Ache Swiss Wood 348 (natural/red end cap, FSC, smells like brown sugar.  No, really. The sharpened end smells like brown sugar.)
  • Caran d'Ache Grafwood 775 (gray, v. soft.  Not my fav.)
  • Caran d'Ache Natura 347-2 (FSC, natural finish)
  • Caran d'Ache Technograph 777 (FSC, three fish, yellow finish)
  • Caran d'Ache Technalo WATER SOLUBLE 779 (FSC, really cool for drawing.)
  • Caran d'Ache AND CWPE joint venture matte black (branded with CWPE in silver, black wood, black finish, silver dip endcap, great core)
  • Colleen Super Drawing 3132 (vintage.  Pink with lt. pink dipped end. VERY nice.)
  • Field Notes bonded lead (natural finish, cedar, recyclable aluminum ferrule, enviro-green degradable eraser, non-toxic imprint inks)
  • Field Notes  Neon Ice Pop (black ferrule, colormatch eraser, very green.)
  • General's Carbo-Weld Scribe 375 (green, silver text.)
  • Mitsubishi Hi-Uni (maroon, pretty)
  • Mitsubishi 9000 (green, general writing)
  • Moon Products, Futura (pink, pink ferule, soft)
  • Nataraj Marble (coral-red/yellow) *good for drawing
  • Palomino ForestChoice (natural finish, green ferrule)
  • Papier Tiger HB (pink with blue-dipped end)
  • Shahsons Goldfish Bluebird 2.5 (blue with goldfish orange band, black end dip)
  • Shahsons Goldfish Vista 2.5 5006  (red, white band)
  • Staedtler  Wopex (green, silver ferrule, white eraser, weirdly plastic/non-wood.  I don't hate it.  But it's weird.)
  • Tombow Mono30 (special japanese-only edition, cream with pink dipped end, very nice.)
  • Viking Metallic (gray, black dyed wood) *a little soft
  • Viking Metallic (rose gold, same)


B
  • Mitsubishi UNI-star (my fav series, second favorite core)
  • Mitsubishi HI-uni  (newer, still unsure of the difference, still magic)
  • Tombow MONO-R (for high precision drafting) shiny black, B on end, no line like the 100)


2B
  • Nataraj POP in purple and yellow
  • Nataraj POP in teal and fuschia
  • Nataraj PLATINUM, extra dark (silver and black)
  • 12x FIHFIO 9060 Natural (painted, not natural. Three designs with Engrish slogans.  From Amazon.  Remarkably decent for drawing.)

8B
  • Pentalic Graphite 8911 (woodless, remarkably not as smudgy, considering.)

VINTAGE
  • 9x Eagle Turquoise Chemi-Sealed H (From eBay, box.)
  • 6x Staedtler Lumograph H (in original box, printed 2818 Frederick Post Company, blue, black end dip.)
  • 1x Staedtler Lumograph 4H (in same box as above, printed same)  
  • Venus VELVET (American Pencil Co) 3557 No 2/3 (gift from Jill!)
  • Venus VELVET (American Pencil Co) 3557 No 2/3 (same but unsharpened)
  • Venus 3830 No 2 (APC, unsharpened, oversized ferrule/eraser, gift from Jill!)
  • 2x Venus 3822, unknown (Jill gift, sharpened on both sides, vintage point cap)
  • Task Force carpenter's pencil (picked up for $.10 @ Habitat for Humanity, came with a nice mansplaining about how to use a pencil.)
  • Blaisdell Bowl-A-Score 111 (dark barrel, no ferrule, dark core.)

UNKNOWN/OTHER
  • Blackwing Volumes #1 (balanced, greywash with gray.  Love the look.)
  • Blackwing Volumes #54 ("extra firm", but still soft.  Hyperpink. Not my thang.)
  • General's COLOR-TEX 1824 (Non-Photo Blue) *prefer this one
  • Harvest Thick Red/Blue Combo 725
  • Milan 338 split graphite (HB) and highlight (yellow fluo)
  • Prismacolor Verithin 761 1/2 (Non-Photo Blue)
  • Vermillion & Prussian Blue editing pencil 9667 (prefer this one)
  • Viarco's Violetta 272D copying pencil (violet body, violet "lead", doesn't really copy with water, despite what they say.)
  • Viarco ArtGraf Soft Carbon (WATER SOLUBLE.  And *dark*.  And my favorite non-graphite of the collection.  Worth every penny.)

© G O * E X P L O R I N G Maira Gall.