Julia and I were sitting on the beach on the most beautifully peaceful morning when we saw this lad on a paddle board with his dog.
e+m Workman Long Clutch Pencil, Pink Pig sketchbook.
The Pen Friend is a wooden magnetised pen holder, so you can keep a pen handy on your fridge. It was a little Kickstarter project that delivered on time. They are now for sale on David Jonah Design’s website for £6 (about $9). They’re available in maple, walnut, yew or any of these woods combined with baltic birch. This one is made from yew.
It’s a simple design and a simple idea but aren’t they so often the best? The Pen Friend is a piece of wood with a hole in it and a couple of magnets on the back.
Simple ideas need to be executed well, though, if they are to become great products. The Pen Friend looks wonderful and is very well made. The magnets are strong enough to hold it firmly to the fridge so it won’t move around as you put your pen in or take it out. The hole is large enough for most sensibly-sized pens. I can also see this being useful in a workshop as it could be attached to metal shelving or machinery.
I like this very much. It’s a good idea, it’s very well executed, it’s available in a variety of natural finishes and it’s a sensible price.
Would you like to win one? Well you can! All you need to do is visit the David Jonah Design shop and choose your favourite version of the Pen Friend. Come back here and tell me, in the comments, which one you picked. I will use random.org to pick a winner and that person will win the Pen Friend they picked! Thank you so much to David for donating this great little prize.
This giveaway is open worldwide and will close at 9pm GMT on Friday 31st October.
From around the web: (Special pencil edition!)
The Clicky Post: Palomino “Orange” Graphite Drawing Pencil – B I used these pencils to draw this
Urban Sketchers: Clovis in and around – sketching video (Okay not strictly speaking all pencil.)
A Penchant for Paper: Pencil Review: Tombow MONO Drawing Pencil Set The identical (more expensive but actually available in the UK) MONO 100s are my drawing pencil of choice.
pencilsandotherthings: Pencil Sharpening, East and West
From the site:
The OHTO Auto Sharp Pencil, catchily named the AP-205, is a 0.5mm mechanical pencil. It’s available with black, blue, green or red barrels and costs £1.60 ($2.50ish) from Cult Pens, who sponsored this post.
The Auto Sharp part of the name refers not to a fancy Kuru-Toga style rotating system but to an auto-advance system. The lead advances as you use it but you’ll still need to rotate the pencil to keep a sharp point. The lead does advance at about the correct rate, for me at least, but the name is a little misleading.
This is a well made pencil for the price. There are moulding lines on the black part of the barrel but they’re not intrusive. It would be an issue on a more expensive pencil but I can forgive it here.
The clip is flimsy plastic and feels like it will easily break.
The biggest problem with this pencil is that when you use the button to advance the lead, the tip isn’t firmly in place. It moves in and out a few times before settling to a locked position. This is quite irritating. Once locked, which happens after a few strokes, it’s fine. The tube holds a good number of spare leads.
It’s a comfortable pencil to hold. The triangular barrel is a good chunky size. The eraser is a good size and works, too. It’s an excellent eraser for a mechanical pencil.
The tip isn’t very pointy and does retract to some extent, meaning it’s reasonably pocket-safe.
I like the style of this pencil. It’s a little different and it doesn’t look cheap. If you don’t like chunky triangular barrels then it’s not for you. It’s also not for you if you need a good firm clip or if the temporary squidginess of the tip is likely to drive you mad. (However, the auto-advance mechanism is quite good and the squidginess only occurs when you manually advance the lead.) If you like this kind of barrel and can live with these faults then it’s a very good pencil for the money.