Monthly Archives: September 2010

Two articles

David O. just posted two comments with links over at pencil talk’s. They are linking to  great [1]great because they are about the pencil industry, I am not sure what to think about the content articles and it would be a shame to miss them because are hidden in the comments, so I thought I post them here.

One article is from the economist, focussing on Faber-Castell and our favourite nobleman.

The other one is from the Wall Street Journal and is looking at the rivalry between Staedtler and Faber-Castell. To be honest I always thought they get along perfectly fine: selling name rights to each other, having joint press statements, …   but the article portraits a much darker image. I am not sure whether they exaggerated a bit to make the article more catchy.

Thank you David O. for posting the links at pencil talk.


1great because they are about the pencil industry, I am not sure what to think about the content

Graphite from the moon

Graphite has already been used 6000 years ago. Back then it was used to paint pottery. Then there was of course the famous deposit of graphite in Cumbria, discovered in the 16th century…

…but did you know that there is graphite on the moon?

Some of the samples brought back from the Apollo 17 mission in 1972 contained graphite!

The Moon festival is just over. Good to know that Chang’e and YuTu, her rabbit, won’t get bored up there. They can build themselves a pencil and doodle.

I found this information while trying to find out more about the Apollo L mechanical pencil.

Sanford Artgum eraser 3

One of the blog posts I plan to do in the next few days (or weeks) is about my favourite eraser. I have no doubt about which eraser is my absolute favourite, but there are a few other erasers that are very nice to use, too. One of these is the Sanford Design Artgum art eraser/cleaner, model number 73030, an eraser I already mentioned in a previous post that could easily be my favourite if it would smear a little bit less and erase a bit better. Although this last statement did not sound very good, the eraser is not as bad as this sounds. I admit that it will smear first when you start to erase, but if you keep erasing the smeared lead will be removed, as will be any traces of the writings or drawings you tried to erase in the first place. Why do I like it? …because it is very soft and crumbly. From all the erasers I know it is the one with the most comfortable feel to it.

This eraser was originally called the Eberhard Faber Design Artgum eraser/cleaner. Its name changed when Faber-Castell bought EF and it changed again when Sanford took over.

The Artgum eraser is available in two sizes and I bought mine, the bigger one, from Granthams, a local shop that is also selling stationery over the Internet. Their current price is £1.22(~$1.92, ~€1.43), which is a good price for Europe. Manufactum sells them for more than three times this price. On the other hand £1.22 is expensive compared to the price you pay in America. I have seen a pack of two fo these erasers from a US web site for 69¢.


Notebook and pencil

If you want to make sure you don’t lose your pen when you walk around with your notebook there are several ways of attaching a pen or pencil to a notebook :

You might already have a notebook. In this case products like Leuchtturm’s PenLoop or this pen holder from Lexikaliker‘s blog  (Google translation of this link) might be the right thing for you.There is also a slightly different version of the metal pen holder (Google translation of this link). For a designer look have a look at the pen clip by Stefan Diez.

You might prefer DIY solutions. Lexikaliker has the right solution, depending on your skills: There’s the easy version (Google translation of this link) and the more complicated version (Google translation of this link).

You could of course buy a notebook with a built-in pen loop, like Brunnen’s Kompagnon, or you could buy SUCK UK’s notebook that can store your pen inside the notebook.


Stabilo EASYgraph offer 4

I don’t want to give the impression that I am a big fan of Tesco’s. When we go shopping we also buy from the other supermarkets (except maybe ASDA) …but I just have to mention this offer as it might be of interest for those of you in the UK (there might also be a similar offer in Ireland).

Tesco is currently selling the right handed version of the Stabilo EASYgraph double pack for 75p (~$1.17, 89c). The normal retail price is £2.70 (~$4.22, ~€3.23).

The EASYgraph is designed for schoolchildren who learn to write. It has a triangular shape, is over-sized and its specialty is its design which includes grip moulds that are supposed to support the fingers in gripping the pencil easily. As the pencil gets shorter through sharpening the next grip moulds can be used until the pencil is used up. There is a clear layer of paint above the wood visible in the moulds to protect the, from dirt. There is also a name tag at the end of the pencil which emphasises that this is a pencil for school children and the wood is PEFC certified.

Stabilo EASYgraph (front) and Lamy plus (back)

Altogether a very nice pencil, but it does feel a bit scratchy. After reading one of Sean’s recent articles I do however think that the sound this pencils makes might be responsible for the scratchy feeling.

As far as I know the EASYgraph pencils are produced in Český Krumlov in Bohemia.

The EASYgraph on a Cherry G80-3000LSC

Stabilo EASYgraph (front) and Lamy plus (back)

In case you wonder about the keyboard in the photo: This is my favourite keyboard. The G80-3000LSC (click tactile) from Wisconsin’s Cherry Corporation. How does it fit into this article? They are both ‘writing instruments’ and they are both made in the Czech Republic.


I would like to thank Lexikaliker for the Lamy plus pencil used in the photos.

Prices and exchange rates: September 2010