Year: 2011


2011 is the year Faber-Castell celebrates its 250 year anniversary (1761 – 2011). Stephen from penciltalk told me about an anniversary set of 6 Castell 9000 pencils that was for sale on eBay. Faber-Castell gave these away at this year’s Paperworld trade fair. Unlike the centennial tins with 12 and 72 pencils, this tin does not contain the normal Castell 9000 pencils you can buy in shops, but Castell 9000 pencils with 1761 – 2011 * 250 years printed on them. They are not available in shops (yet), but according to comments on Faber-Castell’s facebook page Faber-Castell seems to consider producing them for sale. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

Stabilo celebrates the 40th anniversary of their Boss Highlighters. As part of this anniversary there is a giveaway from Tiger Pens, where you can win Boss mugs, and a game from Stabilo where you can win Boss mugs, USB sticks and other prizes (there are different prizes for different countries).

Stephen Wiltshire, using a Staedtler tradition, on BBC's Top Gear (Image © BBC)

Staedtler‘s  historic pencil construction kit will unfortunately not be available in shops. The good news: you can order these kits directly from Staedtler for € 5 each. You can also get Staedtler’s historic Lumograph tin (100 M12H: € 16.20), the historic Tradition tin (Nr. 110 M12H: € 14.40) and the historic Noris tin (Nr. 120 M12H: €  9.60) directly from Staedtler. All of these special items are only available while stocks last. The historic pencil construction kit is not available yet, but can already be ordered.

Staedtler also managed to get the support of Stephen Wiltshire for their pigment liner. Lexikaliker mentioned him in his report about the Paperworld 2011 and I mentioned him previously in this blog post.

The photo of Stephen Wiltshire using a Staedtler Tradition has been taken from Top Gear Episode 5 of Series 14 and has been used previously in a blog post from March 2010 about the Staedtler tradition. I believe that the use of this image falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


I like bamboo

You might have noticed that new blog posts at Bleistift were mainly announcements, there were no new review-style blog posts with images since last December. The reason behind this is simple: I have been quite busy at work (some colleagues left, but this is only part of the story) and I will be quite busy for some time to come.

Therefore, I am quite happy that I finally managed to put together some photos and a few words about two pencil stands I bought last November. They are from Wedo (Werner Dorsch) [1]Using this type of acronym to create a company name is quite common in Germany. Other company names created using  a similar mechanism are Haribo (Hans Riegel Bonn) or Adidas (Adi Dassler)., a company established 1933 and located just south of Frankfurt. In the first years Wedo’s main business was repairing fountain pens. Later they started manufacturing nibs for fountain pens. These days Wedo’s main business seems to be the distribution of office products, school supplies and gifts.

Before I start talking about these pencil stands I want to emphasise first that I love products made from bamboo and I am quite happy that products made from bamboo have become more and more common. Ten years ago there were not many products made from bamboo available in non-specialist shops in Europe. The only “solid” bamboo products I can remember from that time are tea sets and tools used for tea ceremonies. Even earlier, in the 90s,  only “thin” bamboo products, e.g. bamboo steamers, could be found in shops  …at least as far as I know, but please let me know if this was different where you live or whether there are some products I left out. Luckily today you can get lots of products made from bamboo: chopping boards, trolleys, laundry baskets, pencil sharpeners, … I assume that part of the reason of the increased number of bamboo products must be that the gluing process involved improved dramatically over the last years.

Wedo Desktop Butler

When I saw Wedo’s bamboo products online I could not resist and ordered their desktop butler and pencil pot, the fact that the price is very reasonable did not help resisting either. The desktop butler was € 9.40 ($ 12.85; £ 7.90) and the pencil pot was € 8.50 ($ 11.60; £ 7.15). Both products are extremely well made and look fantastic. I really like them. The strips of bamboo glued together are about 2 cm wide (nearly an inch), must bamboo products seem to be made from much narrower strips of bamboo. The walls of the desktop butler are 5mm thick, the walls of the pencil pot 7mm. This gives both products are very solid feel. My only concern with these pencil stands is the aluminium insert at the top. I fear they might scratch the surface of the pens out inside. This problem is however more perceived than real, at least in my case. I use these pencil stands for everyday pencils and if I store pens with polished surfaces in them I put them in and take them out carefully. The aluminium insert might not make any scratches, but I just don’t want to risk it…

Wedo Pencil Pot

Prices: November 2010


Exchange rates: February 2011

I bought both products in November 2010 from Schule-Uni-Shop.


1 Using this type of acronym to create a company name is quite common in Germany. Other company names created using  a similar mechanism are Haribo (Hans Riegel Bonn) or Adidas (Adi Dassler).

Mahatma Gandhi ink

If you are interested in fountain pens you probably came across Montblanc’s Mahatma Gandhi fountain pen. Keeping  in mind that Gandhi led a simple lifestyle, gave up unnecessary expenditure and promoted Indian-made goods there is a huge discrepancy between what he represented and what Montblanc’s Mahatma Gandhi pen stands for. No wonder this pen made headlines in several newspapers, including USA Today and The Guardian.

More affordable was Montblanc’s saffron coloured Mahatma Gandhi ink, which was released around the same time but sold out very soon. De Atramentis started selling an ink with the same colour and the same name. Even though there is a chance that Montblanc’s Gandhi ink was manufactured by De Atramentis I wouldn’t bet on it. Old Montblanc ink and De Atramentis inks are made in Germany, but as far as I know Montblanc’s old inks were made by Gutenberg [1]previously mentioned in this article – not by De Atramentis. Montblanc’s new inks are made in Austria.

De Atramentis’ Mahatma Gandhi ink is probably a copy of Montblanc’s ink, but it might be worth a try if you were keen on getting Montblanc’s Gandhi ink and missed your chance when it was first released. Unfortunately, De Atramentis’ shipping costs outside Germany are quite steep.


1 previously mentioned in this article

Graf von Faber-Castell Pen of the Year 2011

Sean from the Blackwing Pages just sent me this link with information about Graf von Faber-Castell’s Pen of the Year 2011. Just in time for Faber-Castell’s 250th anniversary the new Pen of the Year has a Faber-Castell theme: it is made from Russian jade and is green like the Castell 9000 …okay, I admit – maybe not exactly the same shade of green. Some other anniversary products this year are green, too – e.g. like Faber-Castell’s anniversary book mentioned at Pencil Talk, while others other not, e.g. Faber-Castell’s 250th Limited Color Pencil Box.

Graf von Faber-Castell’s Pen of the Year so far:

2001: Olive wood (at the time not yet called “Pen of the Year”)
2003: Snakewood
2004: Amber
2005: Galuchet (Stingray leather)
2006: Mammoth Ivory and Ebony
2007: Petrified Wood
2008: Indian Satinwood
2009: The Equus (horsehair fabric)
2010: Hunting Rifle (walnut and case-hardened steel)

I would like to thank Sean for letting me know about this pen.