Of Pencils, Pads and the Road.

At Home Kit
This essay is from Wayne H. W. Wolfson. It is a detailed musing on writing and drawing kits that will surely facilitate the formulation of Kits for Comrades everywhere. I, for one, am rethinking the use and contents of my vintage (it was my Dad’s) US Army Map Case…

I groped for the idea from last night which I planned on using for a story. Like a fisherman who spots something just below the surface of the water, its shape making it seem worthwhile to go after while still not revealing exactly what it is. Usually I have my trusty pad next to me in which I could have quickly jotted it down. But having gotten in late last night and somewhat whammied by jetlag, I had not unpacked my book bag. It would come back to me, its temporary absence spurring me on to unpack.

To varying degrees all artists are pagans in that we all seem to create little rituals which superstitions then attach themselves to. If I feel a story percolating but not quite there yet or I am unsure of what I want to draw next — If I then go out without a (sketch/note) pad then I know inspiration will hit or I will encounter subject matter whose presence is fleeting and cannot necessarily be returned to the next day, when better equipped. As inconvenient as this may sound, it can actually be worked to one’s advantage too, knowing the cause and effect, choosing to go out unequipped, so as to bring things to the surface.

For the most part though, I always have some manner of pad and pencil on me. What I am equipped with depends upon where I am. Continue reading “Of Pencils, Pads and the Road.”

Review of Pentel EnerGize X.

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Shoplet, one of the largest online purveyor of office supplies, and Pentel recently sent a package over with a lot of goodies from Pentel, including the EnerGize X mechanical pencil, a graphite companion to the EnerGel pens. I’ve started (Blasphemy?!) a pen blog to review the inky samples we receive. It’s called Fundamental Emanating Pen-itude (with a nod to Plotinus.) Check out the review of the gel pens that go with this pencil.
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There is no retractable metal sleeve to protect the lead at the point. One less moving part is not a bad thing; the extended plastic at the point certainly holds the lead — much more than I thought it would. But since it isn’t retractable, it is a little sharp in one’s pocket. The grip is one of my favorite things about this pencil. It is slightly tacky, with a subtle wave pattern. The “frequency” of the ridges and valleys and the material combine for a nice, soft, grippy grip. It’s about as wide as a beginner’s pencil at the grip, and it’s very comfortable.
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The click mechanism is solid, and I can’t say much more than that. The eraser sleeps under a plastic cap. In addition to keeping the eraser clean, the cap blends into the style of the pencil. The eraser performed surprisingly well, though I wish it was a little longer and/or that it was extendible, like that on the P-207.
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If I have gripes, it’s the unattractive printing on the clip and the fact that they only only ship the pencil with two leads. But this are easily ignored and remedied.
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The clip holds paper might more tightly than it looks like it will. It holds well, though it leaves slight marks on, say, the cover of a notebook to which it’s clipped. But I’d rather it actually work than cuddle my field books.

This is a surprisingly pleasant pencil to use, with an excellent grip, and it might replace the Pilot G2 as my favorite very cheap mechanical pencil. While I’m certainly no heavy user of mechanical pencils, I have kept this one in my pencil cup, where there are very few Mechanical Warriors.