Palomino Blackwing pencils are perhaps the most famous among wooden pencil users. Blackwing has four main lines of pencils: the Blackwing in black finish (soft graphite), the Pearl (balanced graphite), the 602 (firm graphite), and Natural (extra firm graphite). Every quarter, they also release a highly-coveted limited edition box of 12 pencils. I’ve yet to see a pen sell as fast as some of these! This quarter the limited edition is the Blackwing Volume 10 Pencils: Tribute to Nellie Bly.
Nellie Bly was an unknown journalist (at the time). She investigated the insane asylum on New York’s Blackwell’s Island. The Blackwing Volume 10 Pencils: tribute to Nellie Bly – is a tribute to her and investigative journalists like her. They keep citizens informed, and give them a voice. She called the series “Ten Days in a Madhouse“. It’s one of the earliest and most iconic examples of unbiased investigative journalism. Her work uncovered the brutal conditions in which patients were forced to live. It also shined a spotlight on the misconceptions surrounding mental illness.
It features a matte grey newsprint finish, dark grey imprint, silver ferrule, dark grey eraser, and extra-firm graphite. That last part about the extra-firm graphite is disappointing to me (I prefer balanced graphite or softer)! But I realize that many people who use extra-firm graphite will be very pleased with this pencil.
Looking at my own Blackwing collection, I have one box each on my desk right now of the Pearl, the Soft Black, the Volumes 344 (Dorothea Lange), Volumes 16.2 (Ada Lovelace), Volumes 33 1/3 (Vinyl), Volume 1 (Guy Clark), and Volume 4 (Mars). Everything about these pencils is awesome. From the replaceable erasers (with different color options), to the different finishes on the ferrule. From the imprint and finish on the body of the pencil itself, to the high-quality Japanese graphite. And lastly, the genuine California incense-cedar. It’s the complete package that makes these pencils fun to use and sharpen.
Buy your Blackwing Volume 10 Pencils: Tribute to Nellie Bly here.