Totally Random Pen Stuff

by TonyB on October 24, 2011

• PC World magazine is reporting that Wacom has introduced the first digital pen designed specifically for artists.

The Inkling uses a receiver that clips onto the top of the page and records the signal from the pressure-sensitive pen. Then, the receiver connects by USB to your computer, where the images can be turned into bitmap images for tweaking.

From PC World:

Unlike digital pens made for note takers, the Wacom Inkling ($199) works with any kind of paper. Digital pens such as the old LogiTech IO and the more current LiveScribe Pulse smartpen, need special paper to capture a scribblers’ scratchings.

The magazine described the pen itself as a ballpoint that is a “little on the gawky side,” but usable.

• October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Sharpie is raising funds throughout the month with a unique campaign of collecting autographs.

Sharpie is a popular pen with celebrities signing autographs, so Sharpie has agreed to donate $1 to City of Hope, a breast cancer research and treatment center, for every pink autograph collected and submitted to the company’s website.

So far, the “Ink it Pink” campaign has received signatures from 80s rocker Huey Lewis, pro golfer Michelle Wie, and America’s Got Talent judge Sharon Osbourne. However, the autographs can come from any person – they don’t have to be celebs – so all Sharpie users are encouraged to send one in.

Sharpie is also donating 10 cents from the sale of every Pink Ribbon Pen to City of Hope during October.

• Great profile in Australia’s Bayside Bulletin about a man who makes his own hand-turned fountain pens from exotic woods.

The process starts with a piece of wood that “speaks”. It is drilled, lathed and shaped, then polished and finished. Pens are made of timber, acrylic, gold and man-made ivory. While his favourite timber is jarra, he also works with olive, red gum, wattle, Queensland walnut, grevillia, camphor laurel and blood wood, much of it sourced from his back yard or through other islanders.

But while Roger loves creating the pens, he is even more enamoured with the magic the pens can create. His favourite spot is his antique writing desk, where he regularly crafts letters on delicate Japanese writing paper, most often to his brothers at home in Namibia. Of comfort is the fact that one of the brothers writes back to Roger with an identical pen, made by Roger from 150-year-old timber.

Interestingly, he’s only been making pens for a couple of years.

Definitely worth a read.

• A note from his son’s school recommending implements for the new school year recently had Blake Eskin waxing nostalgic about old Blackwing pencils in the New Yorker.

Apparently, they were the pencil of choice for the magazine’s fact-checkers back in the ’90s before Eberhard-Faber stopped producing them.

…I grew fond of the Blackwing 602 pencil. It wore down more quickly than others, but it would glide across the page, and somehow would make the hours glide along, too. It also had a seductive slogan, in golden lettering: “Half the Pressure, Twice the Speed.”

The pencils have since been resurrected as the slightly altered Palomino Blackwing, and Eskin ordered a box to put them to the test. The consensus: close to the quality of the original, and a velvety smooth writer.

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