Ink is the cosmetic that ideas will wear when they go out in public. Graphite is their dirty truth.
Good afternoon and happy Monday. Over the last few years, I've rediscovered a love for wooden pencils, yet I am not new to pencils. When I taught at two different Midwestern universities over the course of 10 years, I evaluated student project in pencil. When grading, I used either a Rotring 500 0.5mm mechanical pencil or Faber-Castell Grip 2001 wooden pencil. I preferred mechanical pencils because they were always ready to writing and I didn't need to remember a sharpener.
When I first became an instructor of record, I made the conscious choice to grade in pencil. I actually loved grading my evaluating student projects—particularly printed, paper essay. I liked holding my students' ideas in my hands. I liked responding as a reader in my marginal comments and writing a quick note as instructor to each student on the back of their last page—all in pencil. I liked the pretense of impermanence pencils offer. Their erasability quiet connoting that writing is a process, requiring continual revision, further development of ideas, reminding students that nothing is fixed permanently in place.
Then a few summers ago, my local stationery store (at the time), Wonder Fair in Lawrence, KS, began carrying a variety of wooden pencils for writing and drawing. I picked up a fistful of pencils to explore--Leuchtturm 1917 HB, Absolute Apsara, DOMS Zoom, and Staedtler Mars Lumograph—and a new Möbius + Ruppert brass bullet sharpener. I laid in my hammock and sharpened each pencil while my dog, Diego, napped between my legs. As I sharpened each pencil I began to remember the smell and experience of writing with wooden pencils in elementary, dropping a quarter into the pencil machine for fancy pencils. I next bought a dozen Palomino Blackwing Matte (or MMX as The Erasable Podcast guys call them). I became hooked. Though, to be honest, I prefer the gray Blackwing 602 with a pink eraser. This graphite is perfect for my small, neat cursive. In future posts, I plan to use the 602 as my control when testing new wooden pencils.
My goals for this blog are
I am on this adventure and would love to connect with fellow analog travelers. If y'all have any questions, comments, or suggestions, I am always open to feedback and tips. Please reach out, especially as we are all social distancing due to COVID-19. I wish you all health, safety, and food security.
Thank you very much for your time, patience, and consideration,
Happy + healthy Monday,