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My father’s pencil, by Finn

Today, we have a special guest contribution from Finn of Copenhagen, Denmark: This Criterium 2613 has a special story. My late father worked as a maker of fine fur coats in a known fur house in Copenhagen as his day time job, and was a dedicated artist in his spare time. Back then you could [...]

The pencils of France

The last two weeks, we’ve looked at a few pencils from France. Or to be more precise, pencils from French companies. Let’s take a look at them together, and see how they compare. I am including these pencils from this month: Conté à Paris Graphite 601 pencil Bic Mentor 2223 pencil Bic Gilbert 33 pencil [...]

A tale of two Contés – the Conté à Paris Graphite 601 pencil

The Conté à Paris Graphite 601 pencil is a great find, as well as a rarity, being possibly the only woodcase pencil currently manufactured in France. I was very pleased to discover that a small local bookstore had tins of these pencils on their modest art supply shelf. The pencils come in a range of [...]

Bic Mentor 2223 pencil

The Bic Mentor seems to be Bic’s budget line. Unlike the Critérium and and Gilbert lines, it is available in a single grade – HB. The pencil is hexagonal with an unfinished end. It has gold lettering on a bright red finish. The lead seems to be somewhat scratchy. I’m not sure if these are [...]

Conté Evolution Triangle pencil

Let’s continue our look at the pencils of France. It was over three years ago that we saw the Bic/Conté Evolution pencil. How time flies! This website has certainly grown quite a bit since then. (As has my pencil accumulation.) The Evolution is apparently a favourite of the author of the remarkable La Vie Graphite. [...]

Bic Gilbert 33 pencil

pencil talk has some very informed readers! Frank, who kindly sent me two of the pencils that are part of this series, yesterday left a great comment which includes assessments of many of the pencils we’ll see this week – and others. Today we see another Bic pencil with a longstanding name – the Gilbert. [...]