Sara Ogilvie’s Staedtler Tradition

My son has accumulated quite a few picture books over the years. They are mainly used as good night stories. When it comes to the beauty of the drawings there is one firm favourite for me: The Detective Dog.

(Image © Macmillan Children’s Books)

In the past I tried to find out more about the artist behind this book’s drawings, but wasn’t very successful – so you can imagine my surprise when not only was she being mentioned on TV, you could even see her using a Staedtler Tradition for her drawings.

Sara Ogilvie drawing with a Staedtler Tradition (Image © The Documentary Unit Scotland / BBC Studios)

She’s certainly not the first British artist using the Staedtler Tradition that is being mentioned in this blog and I am quite sure she won’t be the last.

Sara Ogilvie sharpening her Staedtler Tradition (Image © The Documentary Unit Scotland / BBC Studios)

Some of the drawings characteristics made me think the book’s drawings were produced on a computer, so seeing they were made with pencil and paper ..and a with Staedtler made this Staedtler fanboy very happy.

The screenshots of Sara Ogilvie using a Staedtler Tradition have been taken from the documentary ‘The Magical World of Julia Donaldson’. I believe that the use of these images falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

The Underrated and Humble Pencil 1

George, a reader of Dave’s Mechanical Pencil blog and of Bleistift, has contacted me this morning and told me about an article Tim Harford wrote about the pencil. Not much later my wife contacted me about the same article. The article is part of the “50 Things That Made the Modern Economy” series.

In 2017 I was hoping that the pencil gets voted to be the “51st thing”. My blog post Vote for Pencil! might have added a few to the pencil, but in the end “credit cards” won.

An image of a humble pencil from an old blog post – to make this one less boring

Luckily Tim Harford, who made several ‘appearances’ on this blog in the past, has finally had a closer look at the pencil.

You can read his article Have we all underrated the humble pencil? on the BBC web site.

Just a few weeks ago I finished his book “Messy” (around $9 or in the UK around £7). Fascinating reading, like his other works.

His podcast More or Less: Behind the Stats is available for free.

Chung Hwa in the News 1

Today’s edition of China Daily has a few very nice photos taken in Shanghai’s Chung Hwa factory.

Image © IC / China Daily

You can see all of the photos at

You might also like the following blog posts about Chung Hwa

2012: Chung Hwa 6151
2012: Chung Hwa 6903
2019: Ordering Food? There’s a Pencil for that…

The image in this blog post has been taken from the China Daily web site. I believe that the use of the images shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

Ordering Food? There’s a Pencil for that… 1

The Chung Hwa Drawing Pencil 101 is still the pencil of choice in Shanghainese Dim Sum Restaurants.

In the nicer dim sum places, like here in a branch of Sue Hsiao Liu, they are of course also nicely sharpened.

If you wonder where they come from or how many a restaurant would keep: here’s this branch’s ‘secret’ stash of sharpened Chung Hwas, ready for the customers.

If you want to read more about Chung Hwa pencils – here’s a selection of related blog posts form around the web.

The 101:

Other Chung Hwa Pencils: