Würzburg


e+m Motus pencil lengthener 7

What to do if your pencil gets too short to use comfortably?

I guess most people lose their pencils before this ever happens, but surely that won’t happen to pencileers, molyvophiles1 and molyvologues2. If my pencils reach the end of their useful length I’ll, more often than I should, put them aside – to be kept for an undetermined purpose in an undetermined future …but I could of course also put them to good use in a pencil extender. My poshest pencil extender, not counting the Perfect Pencil as it is also a sharpener,  is the Motus pencil lengthener olive from e+m, Art.Nr. GS24-53. It comes in a black pencil box with two “pencils XS”, that are surprisingly smooth(!)3 writers.

Properties

With about 15g (~0.5 oz) the pencil extender is fairly heavy. The handle is made of olive wood with, in my opinion, beautiful grain. The collar that holds the pencil in place is a metal screw-style collar. The space to hold the pencil extends into the handle so that my version of the Motus can hold 9.5 cm of pencil length in the pencil extender itself4, which means that even if your pencil hasn’t reached the stub stage of its life yet you can still use the Motus, maybe as a handle if that’s more comfortable for you than just holding a thin pencil.

Holding it

The Motus has similar proportions to other pencil extenders with wooden handles, but the handle gets wider towards the end. It is comfortable to hold near the pencil end of the metal collar or near the collar end of the wooden handle. Holding it in between is not comfortable as the end of the handle is too wide. This might be a problem if you don’t like to hold you pens close or far from the writing end.

It’s a busy road so I wasn’t able to take a photo without a car parked in front of the shop

Papier Pfeiffer

I bought the pen in April 2011 from Papier Pfeiffer in Würzburg, Bavaria, for €16,95 (~$22.05; £14.60). This shop has a fantastic choice of pencils, pens and stationery and I got great and friendly advice from the senior boss, Mrs Bienek-Pfeiffer, who had run the shop since the 1960s5 until she handed it over to her daughter. In all fairness I also have to add that I got less useful and less friendly advice when she wasn’t there and a member of staff was dealing with me. As mentioned before their selection is great, but there is also lots of stock, there are unusual items you won’t usually find, they even have their own, special products, e.g. special Papier Pfeiffer inks from De Atramentis6, and they also sell more expensive brands.

The e+m articles are in the fourth shelf under the Lamy logo. Click to enlarge.

Conclusion

A great pencil extender. If you ware willing to spend that kind of money on an extender you’ll get one that is really good looking. This model is also available in black oak. …and if you’re ever in Würzburg it might be worth having a look at Papier Pfeiffer at Sanderstraße 4a.

 


Price: April 2011

Exchange rates: March 2013

You can find a review of another e+m pencil extender at Lexikaliker (in German).

You can find a blog post about Papier Pfeiffer at re:duziert (in German).

Added after Michael’s comment: Cult Pens now stock a range of these extenders.

  1. Someone passionate about pencils []
  2. A student of pencils []
  3. really! smooth! []
  4. I assume similar e+m extenders can accommodate pencils of a similar length, but I wasn’t able to confirm this. []
  5. The shop was established in 1912. []
  6. I suspect these might not be special colours, but existing colour given special names for Papier Pfeiffer by De Atramentis []

Oxford’s Rhodia-style notepads 6

You might remember my blog post about the Carrefour Bloc-notes. Today I want to talk about another Rhodia-style notepad, the Oxford Bloc1. I bought this notepad for €1.05 (~ $1.39; £0.85) at J. A. Hofmann Nachfolger in Würzburg, Germany. I haven’t seen it in any other brick and mortar shop yet, but I have seen several online shops that sell this notepad.

The company

Despite the British-sounding name Oxford belongs to Groupe Hamelin, a French manufacturer of paper and stationery with roots that go back to 1864 and with plants in nine countries.

Rhodia Oxford Carrefour

Just like the Rhodia and the Carrefour notepads this notepad is made in France and just like the Rhodia and the Carrfour notepad, the Oxford notepad is held together by a staple, too, and features a orange fold-around cover. The notepad is available in the same common formats – the one on the photo is the 74 x 105mm version.

The paper

The paper feels less yellow and more purple than the Rhodia paper and less grey than the Carrefour paper. The grid printed on the paper is similar to the one on Rhodia paper, much less blurry than the Carrefour grid. The paper feels very smooth – no wonder the name of the paper has satiné in it.

It is a fantastic paper for fountain pens and ink, the inks I tried don’t show through on the reverse side at all, even though one of the nibs was rather wet.  For pencils it is a different matter though. The paper is so smooth that the graphite from the point of the pencil doesn’t seem to want to stick to it as much as on most other paper. As a result the line from the pencil feels slightly lighter than on other paper. Lines also feel lighter than on the previously discussed Oxford Black n’ Red polynote notepad. Both Oxford products use Optik Paper, but the Black n’ Red’s paper has a density of 90 g/m², compared to the orange notepad’s 80 g/m². Just as with the Black n’ Red it is also easy to erase graphite from the Rhodia-style notepad’s paper, but there is a chance that you will still be able to see the indentation where the pencil line used to be.

 


Price and exchange rates: April 2012

As mentioned in the Black n’ Red blog post Hamelin / Oxford doesn’t react to query sent through their web site’s “Contact Us” form, therefore I’m unable to provide more information about the Optik Paper used.

  1. I’m not sure what the official name is. There is a similar products, the Bloc Idéa, which seems to have the same format and the same 80g satiné extra blanc Optik Paper, but the cover of the Bloc Idéa is different []

OHTO Super Clip 9

Last time I was in Germany I discovered a second hand book shop in Würzburg that also displayed stationery in the shop windows. The stationery on display seemed to be a mix of items I have seen in Lexikaliker’s blog and in Manufactum’s catalogue, but there were also a few items I have not seen anywhere else.

Zerkall & Artesanos del Papel paper

Items I saw there for the first time included paper and envelopes from Zerkall Ingres, mouldmade in a paper mill dating to the 16th century, and cotton/linen paper from Artesanos del Papel in Alicante.

One of the items I bought in this book shop is a paper clip from OHTO, a paper clip looking a bit like a picture frame hanger. The informal name seems to be Japan-Clip. It can hold 20 sheets of 80g paper. The standard clip is nickel-plated, selling for 20c each (25¢, 16p), the posh version for 50c (63¢, 41p ) is 18K gold-plated.

Japan-Clips with Faber-Castell eraser on Banditapple carnet

The nice thing about these clips is that they still look good even if they hold many sheets of paper, while ordinary paper clips usually look unsightly if you squeeze too many sheets of paper in. On the other hand ordinary paper clips can hold more sheets of paper and seem to be softer to the paper. When you try to squeeze too many sheets of paper (> 25) into the Super Clip it can damage the paper slightly when you remove the paper clip again.

...compared to ordinary paper clips

 

After using OHTO’s Super Clips for a while I came to appreciate them as re-usable, temporary clips that hold paper together much better and tighter than ordinary paper clips. The fact that I have two different colours helps to distinguish similarly documents I am working with, e.g. two sets of statistics from different years.

Links:

I found this company selling Zerkall Ingres paper in the USA.

JetPens and Cult Pens do not seem this paper clip and I could not find an American or British online shop selling the Japanese paper clip. RSVP and Modulor are two German online shops that have the paper clip in stock and ship to most countries.

Prices and exchange rates: August 2010

I would like to thank Kent and Arnie for the Banditapple carnets used in the photos.


Pencils with a cloth tag

If you have visited the Fountain Pen Network in the past, you might have read about Kaufhof in the Pelikan section. Kaufhof is a German department store chain that – sometimes – has good offers when it comes to Pelikan pens, especially Pelikan fountain pens. Except these special offers their prices and choice of stationery is pretty standard. You can, however, also find more unusual stationery there if you are lucky.  On a recent trip to Kaufhof in Würzburg I saw these Esprit pencils. Their selling point is the cloth tag at the end of each pencil. These pencils loos quite nice, but I could not convince myself to buy one of these pencils …so I cannot comment on the quality of the lead or the wood used. The pencils are made in China and have an official retail price of £ 0.85 / $ 1.20 / € 0.95 each.