Recently, I had become completely infatuated with stationary – more specifically antique, unique and reliable stationary. After doing hours of research into ‘pen and pencil reviews’ (as sad as it sounds), I came across Blackwing, which are touted as the best pencils ever made. Having a huge cult following of award-winning creators of the 20th century; such as John Steinbeck and John Williams. It was clear to me, that this was no ordinary pencil. This was a pencil that defined much of the late 20th Century, even being behind many of Walt Disney Studios animations. Even to this day, Blackwing pencils make their way into Hollywood as props in shows such as Mad Men due to their status.
However, the company who owned Blackwing pencils, Eberhard Faber and later Faber-Castell discontinued them due to a low production volume. Initially selling for 50 cents each, the price sharply rose up to over $40 for a single pencil. Rarer ones could sell for up to $100. In 2012, Blackwing Pencils and their unique formula were bought and started to be manufactured by Palomino owned by California Cedar Products, in packs of 12 for around $25. A proportion of all revenue from sales goes to the support of music and art education in schools, which is even further a benefit of purchasing them.
After reading how amazing these pencils were, at around 2 AM in the morning, I ordered a pack of Blackwing Matte – as any sane human would definitely do. (For £28 due to import taxes.)
I can tell you now, the slogan ‘Half the pressure, twice the speed’ still rings true to this day. I have been completely entranced by these pencils, they write with little pressure and the lead is soft, and have a unique rubber design which is replaceable and stops the pencil from rolling when put down. They write flawlessly, and due to my preference being with writing in pencil anyway, they have become my new go-to. They also draw excellently, allowing me to do my sketches with ease, and not having to worry about putting the wrong amount of pressure on the pencil for what I want is a massive weight lifted off my shoulders. It truly feels like writing with a cloud once you’ve gotten used to it, as it takes a little bit to set in.
The experience is truly unmatched. This pencil has become my pencil equivalent of my daily driver; and I don’t think I’ll ever find anything better. In fact – if I could I’ll be completely awestruck.