Alright, I know it says that this is a fountain pen only site and then we sneak things in here like some other pens and now, even pencils. But just hear me out here and I think you'll understand why, at least when it comes to the pencils.
First, I want to tell a story about my early obsession with pens and how it's lead us here. I'm not exactly sure where the obsession originated. I'm sure with a little time with a psycho-analyst they could come up with a good solution, but as far back as I can remember, I have been overly enthusiastic about pens. Anytime I would visit a new office supply store, I could be found spending an inordinate amount of time pouring over the pen selection and nearly always buying something. And I made a point of visiting office supply stores as often as possible. Not only were office supply stores fair game for my quirky enthusiasm, but I soon found art supply stores also held untold treasures of writing supplies.
I would have called myself a connoisseur of gel and rollerball pens back then if you would have asked. I could identify and tell you the merits of almost everything available at our local big box office supply store. I always had many times more pens than I would ever need, but I was always buying more, searching for that perfect combination. This was and would have continued to be a somewhat costly endeavor, but not long into my career, I was given the responsibility of buying office supplies for our family business. This is when things changed dramatically.
For the first time, I wasn't spending my own money! Not long after outfitting the entire company with way too many pens for them to use in a lifetime, I made a monumental realization - there was an entire niche of writing supplies that I had never ventured into - the "nice" pens! With my newfound realization and of course the company credit card, I bought my very first fountain pen. As you might be imagining, and perhaps may have happened to you too in the past, that first fountain pen blew me away with its smoothness, ease of writing, vintage look & feel, quality, and everything else. I was hooked and my paradigm was shifted in one fell swoop! What had I been missing all these years and what more was available out there? Soon my yearning of course lead me to the interwebs and it was over from there.
That paradigm shift and realization that I could actually find a pen that fulfilled all of my check boxes and was fun to write with at the same time, is the root of why we sell pencils too.
Years into my obsession with pens, I had heard about people who were equally as infatuated with wood-cased pencils. Originally I actually made fun of these folks thinking how utterly odd that was. I mean, a pencil is a pencil, right? In my experience they were all the same - cheap, never sharpened well (you would lose half the pencil trying to get a nice point), once sharpened the point would nearly immediately crumble or break off, erasers that didn't work and ran out before the pencil did, etc. I just wasn't a fan of pencils at all. But for some reason, perhaps our mutual obsession with weird things drew me, I did try to understand their idiosyncrasy and made a visit to a blog post or two. This is when I first heard the name Blackwing and saw the coolest looking pencil I had ever seen. I read about the history of the company, how they had briefly stopped production of the pencils and that had driven the secondary market price up to $40 a pencil! Then I read the many, many great things people had to say about them and I was convinced that I should at least give it a try.
I navigated to the first e-retailer I could find that had them and was intent on picking up a couple to try when I noticed that these pencils were crazy expensive! For someone like me, used to paying $2 a dozen for pencils, I just couldn't bring myself to spend $25 on a dozen (I know, it seems ridiculous now considering how much money I've spent on individual pens, but try to remember where my head was at the time about pencils in general). I figured that was the end of my search for Blackwings and I wasn't too disappointed, it just left more money for pens after all! That was until a e-retailer I had become very fond of ran a special which included a FREE Blackwing pencil.
This opportunity I couldn't pass up, so I placed the required order and soon had my first Blackwing in hand - the legendary Blackwing 602. It's funny that I couldn't possibly remember what it was that I had to order to get the pencil, but I can definitely remember that pencil! I could tell that the quality was different from the very first moment I had it in my hand. Then I sharpened it and wrote with it and once again, as had happened with my first fountain pen, my mind was blown, paradigm shifted, and I suddenly realized why people were so crazy about these things, it was unlike any pencil I had ever held in all the right ways. It sharpened to a beautiful point and actually held that point for much longer than I thought possible. The smoothness of the experience was shocking and even without much pressure, it left behind a beautiful, dark line. This is what obsessions are made of and I realized another bug had just bitten me. I now knew that not all pencils are created equal and I embarked on a quest to share my newfound obsession with others. This is when I began collecting wood-cased pencils personally and not long afterwards, began selling Blackwing in our stores.
This is all well and good, but still doesn't explain why I have them here on this website. For that I must turn to one of my earliest yearnings and a belief I have about everyone in the fountain pen community. I believe each of us is ultimately collecting these pens for any number of reasons, but all of us are looking for a quality writing instrument. This is what Blackwing pencils are (and our other offerings). To me, they are one of the few that I would label as the epitome of a "quality writing instrument." This is ultimately why these pencils are found here on a fountain pen site and in our stores. We want to share this beautiful experience with you.