Seen in the wild


The Treasury Tag – A Very British Stationery Item? 16

 

Getting ready

 

It’s May 4th, but if you want to see a Star Wars post at Bleistift today you’ll have to look at an old blog post.

Instead, today’s post will be about an item of stationery I’ve never seen before I came to the UK.

I’ve been working for a university for 16 years now, but even though I usually see this item when I go to the my department’s stationery cupboard I never really found much use for it, except during exam time.

I’m talking1 about the treasury tag.

Well, this morning me and my colleague were invigilating an exam for our first year students and the treasury tag came in very handy indeed. If you haven’t seen one: It’s a piece of string with mini metal (or plastic) bars/rods at the end. You use to to connect different hole punched documents – in this case exam answer books and graph paper or supplementary exam answer books.

Treasury tags are usually much longer than needed, so the connection is quite loose, but the length of the bars mean that the tag won’t fall out unexpectetdly

I’d like to know whether treasury tags are used or known outside the UK. Please let me know whether these are known or maybe even commonly used in your country.

Gott Connect ‘Em All

I also came across a few Staedtler Noris pencils from students and even some Noricas – they tend to be blue in the UK, unlike the American ones which tend to be black.

Before the storm…

  1. actually: writing ;^P []

Repairs & Alterations – All On Liberal Terms 2


The weather was really nice this weekend and since there was something we had to do in Manchester anyway we decided to spend the afternoon in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Fred Aldous, mentioned in the past, is also located in the Northern Quarter.


One of the shops I discovered and I haven’t been to before is the Dedstock General Store. It’s a gem of a store selling a nice choice of wares for it’s size, including stationery, items for shaving (including Mühle blades), enamel items and other things.


The owner was just working on a sewing machine. He said he was mending things, but it looked like a much bigger operation (the word upcycling and hundred year old garments spring to mind).


In terms of stationery there were Dux and Gedess sharpeners, Kaweco and Mindori pens and accessories, the Blackwing remake and Calepino notebooks. Items priced above £50 were stored behind the counter (no photo, sorry).

Repairs & Alterations – All On Liberal Terms

I’m happy I came across this unusual store and will visit again next time I’m in the Northern Quarter.


A bestselling Noris 4

Certainly well deserved: when visiting a WHSmith1 store recently I noticed that their Noris pencils got a little sign, indicating that they are the bestselling pencils.


As you might know I am partial to Staedtler’s Noris, so couldn’t resist adding this to my stream of Noris blog posts. Here’s a small selection of Noris blog posts to pick and choose: A digital NorisA broken Clarks NorisA different kind of Noris in the wildNeil Gaiman’s Noris pencilsNoris & CoShaun the Sheep’s NorisUpcycling with a NorisA Noris at the CricketA Finnish Noris…A French Noris…A Franken NorisA Franconian Noris,
Noris in the wildNoris shavingsNoris of the WoodsUncle Noris, and The Noris, then and now.

By the way, since we are on the topic of Staedtler anyway: they have a nice online Mandala creator on their website. The choice of patterns from different artists is amazing. 

  1. A British high street chain with a big stationery selection. []

Cedar Farm Pencil Book

The Power of the Pencil

Where I live the name the name Cedar is very commonly used for company names – for all sorts of companies, everything from cafés to estate agents.

According to the Woodland Trust in the UK, cedar was planted in nearly every stately home and mansion from the 1740s onwards. I guess this explains the use of this tree name for businesses. Stately homes and mansions – maybe cedar is supposed to make the company name sound posh – well.. it is, of course, the wood used for posh pencils, too.

Why do I mention this? A few weeks ago I went to a place called Cedar Farm, a collection of shops in what used to be a farm and very fitting for the name of that place I found a book about pencils there. It is aimed at artists but does contain fact about pencils presented in a nice way (as usual: open the images in a new tab to see at full size)


You can read more about the use of pencil cedars in Europe here.


Paul Kidby’s pencil 2

This weekend saw the BBC airing their Terry Pratchett documentary Back in Black.

In the documentary Paul Kidby, the artist responsible for most of the fantastic Discworld artwork, can be seen with a rather impressive, hand sharpened pencil point on a Castell 9000. I think it can certainly compete with the longest pencil points I have seen in use. It’s even longer than the one on the James Bond cover.

Paul Kidby’s Castell 9000 (image © BBC Scotland)

In the documentary you can also see Rob Wilkins, Terry Pratchett’s former assistant, signing books with a Lamy Vista filled with green ink. Nice.

Rob Wilkins’ Lamy Vista (image © BBC Scotland)

If you are in the UK you can watch the documentary on BBC iPlayer for another 28 days.