Les crayons de la maison Caran d’Ache, Edition No. 2

Caran d’Ache has released the second edition of their pencilmaking masterwork. This edition features pencils made from Guyana Palm, Blue Zebrano, American Cedar, and Lati Grey. (That last pencil is a repeat from the first series. Why the double Lati?)

Les crayons de la maison Caran d’Ache, Edition No. 2

Both editions shown together:

Les crayons de la maison Caran d’Ache, Edition No. 2

Les crayons de la maison Caran d’Ache, Edition No. 2

Les crayons de la maison Caran d’Ache, Edition No. 2

The walnut, blue zebrano, and cedar pencils are the ones that catch my eye.

Les crayons de la maison Caran d’Ache, Edition No. 2

Get them while you can. Caran d’Ache says the series is tremendously successful.

See also: Edition No. 1

Initiating the Initium and Initio

In a marketing surprise, Staedtler and Faber-Castell have launched new product lines with almost identical names – Staedtler the Initium, and Faber-Castell the Initio.

Cult Pens seems to have both lines in stock – here and here.

Staedtler has a brochure further describing their new line. Printing a personal photo on a pen barrel is among their interesting concepts.


Tiny Pencil

Tiny Pencil is a self-described “new all-graphite anthology artzine” launched by Amber Hsu in the UK. In my words, it is a fantastic new art magazine which showcases drawings composed with graphite media.

There is a lot of artistic diversity, with realistic and abstract styles, cartoons and classical studies all getting a place of honour.

As soon as I heard about this venture, I ordered a copy. Posing with some unprocessed graphite and clay:
Tiny Pencil ArtZine

And some photos provided by Tiny Pencil:

By Alex Higlett:
Tiny Pencil ArtZine

By Yoko Tanaka:
Tiny Pencil ArtZine

By Rachel Bray:
Tiny Pencil ArtZine

By Sigrid Rodli:
Tiny Pencil ArtZine

These images are copyright the individual artists, and used with the permission of Tiny Pencil.

When I’m in a public gallery, graphite drawings are often only present when the curator has decided to feature (and has the luxury of sufficient space to do so) the artist’s preparatory work. But when I look at one these haunting drawings by Yoko Tanaka, I don’t think that any finishing is necessary – it is a complete work.

Though it calls itself a “zine”, the volume is professionally bound and printed. If you order a copy, please let them know you heard about it here.

I am really glad to have learned about Tiny Pencil, and thank Amber for contacting the blog.

The case of the wrong WOPEX

North American WOPEX

A very belated clarification…

Staedtler Canada gently let me know that this post featured the wrong WOPEX pencil. The 2010 post reviewed a light blue finished version – but in Canada and the US, a green version (the same colour as the 2H WOPEX sold in Europe, as far as I can tell) is the general offering.

The photo above shows a package of WOPEX pencils as sold in Canada.

Faber-Castell Grip Sparkle pencils

Faber-Castell Grip Sparkle pencils

Leading pencil manufacturer Faber-Castell recently extended their popular Grip pencil line with the “Sparkle”.

While at first glance it might seem easy to dismiss the product as just a novelty, the pencils really do exude charm when seen in person. They come in a variety of colours – only a few are shown here, and the lead is a B grade.

I don’t really know what the small sparkling pieces are made of – perhaps plastic? Using a less expensive sharpener might be a wise precaution.

Faber-Castell Grip Sparkle pencils

Faber-Castell has created an interesting and affordable product – these pencils are not premium priced, and have a remarkably nice finish.

Faber-Castell Grip Sparkle pencils

Does anyone like them?

The blog

A note to readers

Customized pencil and notebook

Early last year, posting at pencil talk started to trail off. There was no plan for a break. It just seemed to be harder and harder to create posts, until there came a point where it became a significant effort.

The interest in pencils and stationery hadn’t diminished, but family challenges and work duties have both called for greater attention. The blog was started in 2005, so there is little surprise that life has changed over these eight years.

A few recent posts have been an attempt to see if the energy and interest remain.