Blackwing

Location 

California, USA

Which boxes are they in?

Nellie

Founded by

Charles Berolzheimer

Why we love them? 

Blackwing make a pencil so good Disney Animator, Shamus Culhane, asked to be buried with one.


Half the Pressure, Twice the Speed
were the words pressed into the sides of the first set of Faber Eberhard’s pencils. Blackwing was created with the workplace in mind. With growing workload expectations, shorthand had become king and the office note takers were demanding pencils that were lightening quick.

Every detail of the Blackwing pencil had been cared for. From tip to ferrule, the pencil was completely unique. Crafted from materials considered too good for pencil making, Blackwing cased Japanese graphite in Californian cedar wood to produce the finest office stationery on offer.

The Blackwing was a beautiful pencil, but for some reason it was never embraced by the office workers that its creators had in mind. Instead it grabbed the attention of artists who treasured the pencil’s design and considered it the ultimate creative companions. 

Blackwing pencil shavings were commonplace on the desks of arts legends. John Steinbeck, Disney animator Shamus Culhane, composers including John Williams, Quincy Jones, and Stephen Sondheim were all known for their adoration of Blackwing.

The pencil galvanised a cult following. Artists agreed - good ideas began with a Blackwing. For years, Faber would produce limited quantities of the pencil so that it could be enjoyed by its devoted fans. But in 1998, the one-of-a-kind Blackwing machine packed up. The Blackwing line was discontinued, the last run of pencils were sold and artists from all over the world mourned the loss of the world’s greatest pencil. 

Years passed and the final run of Blackwing pencils were worn down to only their ferrules. Could this really be the end of Blackwing? 

Not quite. 

The dawn of online auction site Ebay gathered stationery fanatics together, each of them on the hunt for the same thing - one more Blackwing.

The market for second hand Blackwings exploded - with single pencils selling for as much as £35.

But, as the secondhand market began to gradually dry up, fans had one last shot at resurrecting their favourite pencil. They decided to lobby pencil giant Palomino, noting that the quality of their pencils compared to that of previous Blackwings.

It just so happened that Palomino’s owner, Charles Berolzheimer is a Blackwing lover himself. Keen to write with one of the pencils once more, he agreed. The Blackwing machine was rebuilt, and once fired up, the first Palomino Blackwings rolled off production.

Artists hailed the re-arrival of their beloved Blackwing, and at half the pressure and twice the speed, they began to write, note, and sketch using the world’s greatest pencil once more.