September 2010 Pencil Wallpaper.

September is here already!  While you’re (hopefully) enjoying the smell of cedar during a restful long weekend (especially our comrades in the United States, where Monday is Labor Day) we thought you might enjoy a desktop wallpaper for the month, featuring an image of a Palomino from the original review.

Happy Labor Day to America’s working men and women!  And to all workers the world over!

Download the full-sized image here, or click the image above.

Short break.

Comrades, Pencil Revolution will take a short break this week, until later this week.  I am doing some travelling until late Wednesday.  So please excuse lateness in returning messages and in moderating comments until at least that time.  Have an excellent week!

Sanford tour.

Doug at the Grand Pooba of pencil sites, The Pencil Pages, posted a great story a few months ago retelling a tour he took of Sanford’s pencil factory in Lewisburg, Tennessee (United States), and I set it to post in the future, but after the Blogger-to-Wordpress switch, the post disappeared. Many apologies for the long delay, but Doug’s pages are well worth the wait.

Please check out the great photos and details of pencil manufacturing from Doug here.

[Photos, D.M. Used very extra kind permission.]

Nava pencils.

Comrade Stephen has a nice post over at Paper and Pencil about some very beautifly Italian pencils made by Nava Design:

Sometimes writing instruments present us with choices between form and function: something that writes well, but doesn’t meet our aesthetic standards. I don’t think this is a major issue for pen users – high price points can be realized for fountain, rollerball, and ballpoint pens, which means that pen manufacturers are able to attract significant design resources and talent. But for the woodcase pencil, who apart from Faber-Castell seriously invests in design?

The answer is Nava. They are an Italian brand known for leather journals and briefcases. I recently discovered that they make pencils – and what pencils they are!

Read on.

[Images and text, S.L. Used with kind permission.]

Pencil certification.

Woodchuck recently wrote about pencil certification on Timberlines, and it would be very good to get some feedback on that post on the topic of pencil certification:

Later this week I’m attending the Annual Meeting of the U.S. Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA). Participants include finished product manufacturers and marketers with operations in the US as well as component suppliers. I used to look forward to this event each year as an important chance to get together with key customers, other businesses and friends in the pencil and writing instrument industry. Coming from a family business background I can remember attending one of the former Pencil Makers Association meetings with my parents when I was still in High School and later after college before I had joined the family business…

….In the meantime I remain interested in consumer feedback on this particular issue. Do you place any more value on such third party certification programs, industry sponsored or not? Do you view a PMA, EN71 (European standard) or ACMI certified product as safer than one without one of these certifications? Does it bear any relevance in your purchase decision at all?”

Please check out the rest of Woodchuck’s post, and please leave a comment or two there about what pencil certification means to you: “Do Industry Associations Matter Anymore?”