My Grandfather use to work at a loan office housed in a building that was once the national bank. Any opportunity I had to go with him to the office I took. The place had a heavy feeling to it that made me feel secure. The building was heavy and established and seemed indestructible. The doors were so heavy I could never make them move when I leaned up against them, the furniture was heavy. The tank desks were grey, a color that made them seem even heavier.

I love pencils. I love how they feel on paper and how that feeling inspires me to write one more sentence, add one more thing to my list or become distracted and create a doodle. Graphite!
When I need to erase I even like to brush or blow off the eraser crumbs. Sharpening pencils is fun too, something so satisfying in achieving the perfect point. Not so thin it breaks but thin enough to create the finest of dark grey lines. A long, thin, strong tip that will last several pages, several days. Electric sharpeners leave squiggly and wormy looking  pencil remains, the hand held sharpeners can create wing shaped slices of wood or if you were a great pencil sharpener you could get a curled sliver of wood substantial enough to dip in paint or glue to a piece of paper.

I use pencils at work and have the last remaining electric pencil sharpener in the office on my desk. I still need them, there just isn't a great need for them in my office. At home I have hand held sharpeners. Never been a fan of the manual, crank types that were screwed to walls. I thought they looked great but I never found one that worked. I would salways get a short, stubby rounded tip from those sharpeners.

The Rolls Royce of pencils is the Blackwing, gorgeous things. They were the only pencil I saw used in offices in the 70's. The nuns at my school all had Blackwings and the supply cabinet always had one box full of them. I wanted so much to grab one but never did. We supplied our own pencils, Eagle Academics No. 2, boring, yellow pencils.  I am going to treat myself to a box of Blackwings.


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