We’ve had the curious pleasure of sharpening over 1,000 pencils this month in preparation for our annual holiday mailing, an Elixir tradition dating back to 1996. This year’s inspiration was a favorite quote, “Luck favors the prepared,” which has been attributed to Louis Pasteur. We had the quote foil-stamped on custom-made boxes—to house a single Blackwing pencil and the shavings we made while sharpening it. We are outfitting everyone on our list with a sharp pencil and a compassionate eraser as we all head into the new year and whatever it holds in store.
The serendipitous backstory: Jen has a distinct childhood memory of a seemingly magic pencil with replaceable rectangular eraser that was used by a successful and industrious grandfather figure. Having searched for them over the years, Jen was delighted to learn that the pencil had just been brought back into production this Fall by CalCedar. (The original Eberhard-Faber Blackwing 602 was made for over 60 years, from about 1933 until 1998, when it was discontinued.) Many pencil enthusiasts will tell you it’s arguably the best pencil ever made.