Sean Malone

Sean Malone and Eberhard Faber IV
Sean Malone interviewing Eberhard Faber IV
Absinthetongue, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sean Malone, known in pencil circles as the creator of both Blackwing Pages and Contrapuntalism, has passed away.

There are tributes to Sean at Guitar World and many music websites.

Sean had so many accomplishments. He was a consistently witty, kind, creative, generous and intelligent person. He was also highly successful as a musician. As a member of the band Cynic, he was a performing musician and recording artist with fans around the world.

His passion and accomplishments in music were deeply rooted, with Sean studying and teaching music at several universities. He wrote music books including “Music Theory for Bassists”.

He was also a Glenn Gould scholar and the author of Glenn Gould and the Art of the Fugue and a speaker at Gould conferences.

That Sean took an interest in pencils is our fortune. He took the exploration of pencils to previously unimagined heights, travelling around the US and Germany to get interviews with both Count Anton von Faber-Castell and Eberhard Faber IV, the scions of two branches of the Faber pencil family. If NPR had a funded Pencil Reporter, they could not have done better. But Sean did this out of his own pocket, out of love and intellectual curiosity.

Sean is also the leading historian of the Eberhard Faber Blackwing pencil. His many articles, typically featuring painstaking original research and fueled by his incredible curiosity, are the foundation of the modern interest in this iconic pencil.

Sean had an incredible energy, wit, kindness, character, and good spirit. I enjoyed talking with him about family, travel, culture, and life. He will be deeply missed.


Other mentions of Sean from the pencil community:

Orange Crate Art




Non-music film and print publications by Sean or that interview/cite Sean:

Abramovitch, S. (2013) Why Is Hollywood Obsessed With This Pencil? The Hollywood Reporter. [online] Available at [Accessed 28 Dec. 2020]

Eby, M. (2013) An ode to the Blackwing 602, Vladimir Nabokov’s favorite pencil. New York Daily News. [online] Available at [Accessed 28 Dec. 2020]

Faber-Castell. (2013) The Fan: The pencil blogger. Faber-Castell Topics [online] Available at 2013:1, p.8. [Accessed 27 Dec. 2020]

Faber-Castell. (2015) Sean Malone visits Eberhard Faber. Faber-Castell: Our Company [online] Available at 2015:2, p.8. [Accessed 27 Dec. 2020]

Komurki, M. (2016) Stationery Fever: From Paper Clips to Pencils and Everything in Between. [Berlin] Prestel.

Malone, S. (2010-2020) Blackwing Pages. [online] Available at [Accessed 27 Dec. 2020]

Malone, S. (2010-2020) Contrapuntalism. [online] Available at [Accessed 27 Dec. 2020]

Malone, S. (2010) Sean Malone: Clairfontaine Music Pad. The Goulet Pen Company. [online] Available at [Accessed 28 Dec. 2020]

Moist, K., Banash, D. (2013) Contemporary Collecting. [Lanham, Maryland] Scarecrow Press.

No. 2: Story of the Pencil (2016). [online]. Directed by William Allen. USA: Abverbia Films [Viewed 10 November 2016]. Available from Amazon Prime, Apple iTunes, Google Play, Vimeo On Demand, YouTube Movies.

Stein, S. (2013) Secret Erotica, Jane Austen, and Other News. The Paris Review. [online] Available at [Accessed 28 Dec. 2020]

Ward, J. (2014). Adventures in Stationery: A Journey Through Your Pencil Case. [London] Profile Books.

Weaver, C. (2017) The Pencil Perfect: The Untold Story of a Cultural Icon. [Berlin] Gestalten.

4 Replies to “Sean Malone”

  1. Thank you for sharing, I am still in shock from it. First time I met Sean in person, he gifted me an original Blackwing, knowing full well that I had no direct interest in stationery myself (though I fully appreciated seeing Sean’s and others interest in it). It’s still one of my most prized possesions. My condolences to you and the rest of the pencil community for this loss.

  2. This has come as such sad news. I had dealings with Sean as a pencil collector dating back almost 20 years. He was always gracious, knowledgeable, and a pleasure to work with. His contributions to this field of collecting and history are legendary and he will be sorely missed.
    Drop us a pencil-written letter when you can, Sean. We’ll do our best to reply!
    David (pencilwhipper/iq168)

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