Blackwing Volumes Limited Edition Pencils 24
The Writer's Pencil
Tribute to John Steinbeck
Black from top to bottom
New extra-firm graphite
The fourth Blackwing Volumes Limited Edition is The Writer's Pencil. Black from top to bottom, the Blackwing 24 is a tribute to John Steinbeck, author of The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men. Blackwing teamed up with Thomas Steinbeck, John's son and a successful author in his own right, to create what would have been his father's ideal pencil.
“My father despised yellow pencils,” Thom said. “It would be black. The whole thing. Top to bottom.” Thom went on to describe the ideal graphite as having the hardest point you can find that still maintains some darkness. “My father’s pencils had a firm, sharp point,” noted Thom. “They were surgically sharp. You could dissect a mouse [with his pencils].”
John Steinbeck saw sharpening as a pointless distraction so every day, before he started writing, he would sharpen 24 pencils and place them point up in the first of two identical wood boxes. Each pencil lasted just long enough to dull its point – usually four or five lines – before being placed in the second box, point down. After all 24 pencils had progressed from one box to the other, John would re-sharpen each pencil, and begin the process anew. According to Thom, some days he would use over 100 pencils. But every day started with 24 pencils and the sound of the pencil sharpener.
The Blackwing 24 features a new graphite that's even firmer than the one found in Blackwing 602. It also features a distraction-free black barrel, black imprint, black ferrule and black eraser.