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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.

The Thrifty Pencil

Dixon Ticonderoga ad.

A vintage blotter or advertising card for Dixon Ticonderoga. The Scottish bagpiper (bagpenciler?) character is reminiscent of Canadian Tire money and Sandy McTire.

The Plymouth Building was demolished in 1965 according to Winnipeg Buildings. The six digit phone number might be another guide to dating the ad.

Letter Openers

Nice desk accessories can bring some joy to daily tasks.

Posing with my morning newspaper are two letter openers. One is from Graf von Faber-Castell, and the other from E+M Holzprodukte.

Graf von Faber-Castell and E+M Letter Openers

The GvFC letter opener has a beautiful leather handle and considerable heft.

Graf von Faber-Castell and E+M Letter Openers

The E+M letter opener continues that company’s beautiful Zebrano wood writing implement line.

Graf von Faber-Castell and E+M Letter Openers

The GvFC letter opener has an engraving:

Graf von Faber-Castell and E+M Letter Openers

Also, a possible opportunity for custom engraving on the cap:

Graf von Faber-Castell and E+M Letter Openers

Blackwing pencils at the Hollywood Reporter

There is a great new article Why Is Hollywood Obsessed With This Pencil? by Seth Abramovitch at The Hollywood Reporter.

As well as the great writing and careful review of the Blackwing’s story, the article has the bonus of interviewing Sean from The Blackwing Pages!

Screenshot of the Hollywood Reporter

Les crayons de la maison Caran d’Ache

One of the most referenced posts at this blog was on a pencil series made from multiple species of wood by the former Colleen Pencil Co. One of the regular subjects of direct queries to the blog, the top question is “Where can I buy a set?” Unfortunately, the pencils were never available for retail sale, and Colleen has been out of business for many years.

The appeal of the pencils has led me to some informal discussions with pencil companies about what would be involved in creating a new set. What I’ve heard is that using alternate species would be technically challenging, and possibly damaging to carefully tuned pencil manufacturing equipment. For a niche product, even an investigation might not be worthwhile.

Yet, one major manufacturer seems to have had a renewed interest in testing their ability to make truly beautiful and amazing pencils from exotic wood species. This year, Caran d’Ache unveiled Les crayons de la maison Caran d’Ache, a series of pencils made from Titanium Oak, Macassar Ebony, Lati Gray, and American Walnut.

Les crayons de la maison Caran d'Ache

A note about the photo – I had already used all four pencils before taking photos, so that isn’t the factory sharpening we see.

Les crayons de la maison Caran d'Ache

If you love beautiful pencils, I cannot imagine that you would not find these amazing. My personal favourite is the Walnut pencil. I enjoyed using it to take notes, and felt quite aware that it has a dual identity – an undeniable luxury, yet still, just a woodcase pencil.

A review at Lexikaliker pointed out some technical shortcomings such as off-centred lead. I didn’t observe this in my pencils, and in any case I believe the achievement in creating an Oak or Walnut pencil is such that I’ll forgive small flaws.

L. to R.: Ebony, Lati, Walnut, Oak
Les crayons de la maison Caran d'Ache

Les crayons de la maison Caran d'Ache

Yes, I have sharpened one (so far), the Macassar Ebony, using a handheld M+R:

Les crayons de la maison Caran d'Ache

Highly recommended for all pencil aficionados.