Monthly Archives: May 2010


More East Asian stationery 4

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Eco Bridge Paper Pencils. I want to mention a few other things that are being sold in the same shop sell. The items are not exactly cheap, so it is unlikely that I will buy them. This means I cannot write a proper review, but it would be a shame to leave these items unmentioned, as they are unusual and, for lack of a better word, interesting.

If I had to describe the shop I would say it is a shop full of random quirky things aimed at arty, Apple using yuppies. Things are not cheap, but it will be difficult to find them somewhere else. It is a kind of hip and cool version of Manufactum.

Continuing from the Eco Bridge Paper Pencils, along the Korean stationery theme, they also sell Korean ‘notebooks’ (actually what I would call exercise books). They look nice and are labelled in French. Unfortunately importing them from Korea made them cost five to ten times the price of a similar (plain looking) notebook from Europe. If you want a really nice, thin notebook this might be it.

Another product imported from East Asia is a set of 36 squary, coloured pencils from Japan. It retails for £60 and is part of the Düller range. The Düller range also includes a pen designed by Dietrich Lubs, who is featured in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The coloured pencil set is designed by Naori Miyazaki. Unfortunately I was not able to find out more about her1, except that she is not featured in the Museum of Modern Art. The MoMA online shop does however sell a clock designed by her. Back to the pencil set. There is some rather strange text in German written on this pencil box about combining German taste and Japanese handiness, which looks instantly East Asian because of the character spacing. In different online stores in the UK and Australia the price of this pencil set can vary dramatically. I thought I saw it in an American online store for $96, but I was not able to find it any more to confirm this price.

Also for sale are fairly big animal shaped erasers and Penguin pencils.

You can find more information about the Penguin pencils at penciltalk.

The Lamy 2000 and other products by its designer can also be found in the Museum of Modern Art.

  1. I assume it is a female name []

Staedtler Wopex 2B and 2H 11

I have been looking forward to receiving Staedtler’s Wopex in 2B and in 2H since I started using the Wopex HB a few weeks ago. Even though writing with this pencil is somehow strange, it is also quite nice at the same time. If the Wopex is not over-sharpened and if you write on the right kind of surface it will perform really well. Another thing I should mention is that the Wopex does not smudge, something I find quite important (others might not care).

Back to the main topic: I received the Wopex in 2B and in 2H and after trying the new pencils for a few seconds I was quite disappointed. Not because they do not perform well (they are nice writers), but because I really struggle to find a difference between the 2B, the HB and the 2H. They lay down a line of the same intensity, they ‘shade’ paper the same way, erasing them is virtually the same and they all do not smudge either.

Is selling the same pencil under different grades some sort of marketing trick?

Did I get a bad bunch?

…or does the production process mean that the different grades of lead are the same at the ‘start’ of the pencil and the real lead will appear after more sharpening?

I would be very interested to hear whether other Wopex users have the same problem.

Comparison Staedtler Wopex / Mars Lumograph

You can find a review of the Staedtler Wopex HB at pencil talk.

Lexikaliker has a review (in German) of the Staedtler Wopex HB (Google Translation of the article into English) and of the Staedtler Wopex 2B (Google Translation of the article into English).

The Staedtler Wopex was recently mentioned in the Battle of the eco pencils post.

My mother bought the Staedtler Wopex 2B and 2H from Bürobedarf Jäcklein in Volkach and sent them to me. At about €1 each they were rather dear, but you can find them cheaper online.