Pencils: What's the Point?
Why pencils? Here's an answer from PencilRevolution.com, one of the many pencil blogs and websites we uncovered while prepping for this show: "The first and best reason to use pencils is because you like them, and enjoy writing, drawing with them. Because you feel better connected to the paper you're writing on (or the wall, etc.), and the earth, from which the clay, the graphite, and the wood all came. Because they smell good. Because sharpening them can be sort of a meditative process. Because you can chew on them. Or for reasons we can't explain."
Well, technology pushes us one way. There are special tools you can purchase for about $60 that allow you to write on certain tablets. One of them is called "Pencil." It mimics as much as possible the look and feel of the pencil.
Meanwhile, the real pencil is having a moment. We explain on this show.
What do pencils mean to you? Comment below, email Colin@wnpr.org, or tweet @wnprcolin.
- Henry Petroski is a Professor of Civil Engineering and History at Duke University, and the author of many books, including The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance and his latest, The House with Sixteen Handmade Doors: A Tale of Architectural Choice and Craftsmanship
- Kirsten Barrett is a 6th generation pencil maker with General Pencil Company, now working in Sales & Marketing at their San Francisco office
- David Rees is the author of many books, including How to Sharpen Pencils: A Practical and Theoretical Treatise on the Artisanal Craft of Pencil Sharpening, and runs an artisanal pencil sharpening service. He’s currently working on the how-to show, “Going Deep With David Rees”, premiering on National Geographic on July 14