On top of working to be world-class purveyors of superior graphite, we aim to deliver the best, most interesting pencils from all around the world. For this reason, our store is packed with diverse and unique writing utensils, each with their own story and special characteristics.
Often, customers scan the vast array of graphite in the store and ask "What’s your most unique pencil?” Well, that certainly depends on what you’d define as “unique,” but we definitely carry an array of really fascinating pencils with singular qualities. Here’s a few of our favorites that are currently in production:
Caran d’Ache Swiss Wood: This pencil is a quality find! Made from dark Swiss beech wood from the Jura forest, as opposed to traditional cedar, the Swiss Wood pencil is both denser and thicker than most pencils. Possibly its most unusual characteristic is the scent – it has this rich, sort of cigar-like fragrance, which totally stands out against typical cedar pencils. Couple that with very smooth HB graphite and a beautifully contrasting red tip with a white Swiss cross, and it’s easy to see why this is a favorite of pencil connoisseurs.
Mitsu-bishi Triangular Penmanship Pencil - 4B: It only takes one stroke across paper to see why this pencil is so special. Formatted with super silky, dark graphite, this Mitsu-bishi pencil is a dream to write with. The triangular shape and extra-thick core are actually designed to aid penmanship and calligraphy, and some have even compared it to (*gasp*) ink! This pencil is a current obsession of ours.
General’s Copying Pencil: Copying pencils have a totally fascinating history (which I think we’ll blog about more in the future). Developed in the 1870’s as an alternative for fountain pens, copying pencils were designed to permanently sign documents, as well as make copies by pressing a damp sheet with writing to a blank sheet. Because of the dyes used to make them permanent, the graphite in copying pencils was quite toxic. The pencil fell out of fashion with the invention of ballpoint pens, but General’s still produces this one, conveniently reformulated to remove the toxicity. While it isn’t as rich in quality as its predecessors, this pencil is a piece of living history!
Caran d’Ache Technalo Water-soluble Pencil: It really doesn’t get more versatile than this. This HB pencil is both smooth and dark (I think it’s much darker and smudgier than most HBs), and great for line drawing. It also acts like water color when a wet brush is applied, making it easy to blend or create washes! Bonus: we also carry Swisscolor colored pencils, which are also water-soluble and a total art-nerd dream.
Viarco Scented Pencils: Created in Portugal’s oldest pencil factory, these pencils are scented with “Quintais e Jardins de Portugal” – the backyards and gardens of Portugal. The fragrances of these pencils are delicate, created using actual flowers and plants. The result is a delightfully lush scent, perfect for day dreaming about escaping to a Portuguese villa. Or, if you’re like me, dreaming about the orange tree that grew in the backyard of your childhood home.
Rainbow Paper Pencil: We loved this pencil so much, it was our first-ever pencil of the month! It’s sort of rare to see new, innovative pencils, yet Duncan Shotten has created an amazing one. Created from layers of colored recycled paper, this pencil creates a rainbow as you sharpen it. Gorgeous and fun, just right for brightening a dull day.
Caran d’Ache Jass Chalk Pencil: It’s not every day you see a pencil with a chalk core, let alone one designed for such a specific purpose. This chalk pencil was created for scorekeeping in the Swiss card game Jass (thus the name)! This pencil is perfect for slate, which Jass scores are traditionally kept on, but is also great for chalkboards and black paper.
Viarco Art Graf Soft Carbon Pencil: This pencil is kind of confusing and definitely one of the most polarizing pencils in the store! Because of it's bizarrely sticky and waxy qualities, some people find the way it drags across the paper a little off-putting – or, like me, they become obsessed with this totally strange writing utensil's qualities. It's described as smooth online, but I find that it's anything but – it's wonderfully dark, and the ultra thick core allows to make long, thick strokes, but it definitely sticks and squeaks a bit when you write with it. You definitely have to try it for yourself!
Goody Rainbow Pencil: When we got these by accident with an order of Japanese notebooks, we knew we had something special. This is my colored pencil soulmate: it writes in six – SIX – colors! Color me obsessed. Each stroke of this pencil produces a rainbow of creative possibilities.
Caitlin, Deputy Pencil Lady