The Pencil

A pencil at workThere are many ‘tools of the trade’ and I guess the first to consider would be the pencil. It is with this tool that most sketches are started and concepts made a reality.

The first pencil utilizing a wooden holder was said to be created by an Italian couple for marking their carpentry. Two centuries later an Austrian named Joseph Hardmuth founded the Koh-i-Noor company and discovered a method to combine powdered graphite with clay to create the modern artificial pencil lead. By varying the ratio of graphite to clay, the hardness of the graphite lead could also be varied.

As a draftsman I have used a mechanical and the varied lead weight mechanical pencils to create basic drawings and as a woodworker I use the flat carpenter pencil. When I was a young and aspiring artist I used to go down to the art store and for 25 cents purchase the ‘Paradise Pencils’ in all their colored glory. I still use charcoal pencils and the Berol Draughtsman 314 for sketches and such. As a sign painter I use the Stabillo 8014 for layout.