When it comes to writing, I admit I’m pretty old school. Not like writing slate in a one-room school house old school, but I do actually prefer to write things down on paper vs typing things on a computer. Notes, lists, lists of lists, lists reminding me to look at the lists…you get the picture. I even leave post-it notes around for me to do things like file bill stubs:

This note to myself was weeks ago telling myself to file shit and not get distracted. Not only did I get distracted, but I’m rebelling against my bossy self and refusing to do it until I feel like it. The struggle is real.

So many things are done electronically these days – case in point, I’m writing this post on a computer right now – but if I could, I’d write it down on paper and snail mail it through the interwebs for you all to see. This is not from some sort of antagonism towards technology. I just like to write things down, and I LOVE office/school supplies.

It’s a sickness, really. Nice clean notebooks, ballpoint pens (yes, ballpoint pens – the indentation of the pen into the paper leaves a sort of “crackle” when you turn the page – for those of you who also are office supplies junkies, you know exactly what I mean), GRAPH paper (Lord help us, I could spend days discussing how cool graph paper is – my wife and I fell in love over graph paper), the smell of scotch tape, and the pinnacle of my office/school supply love: a wonderfully sharpened pencil.

Don’t hand me a mechanical pencil. I want a smooth, sharpened, wooden pencil. Specifically, a Palomino Blackwing pencil or the Palomino Blackwing 602, if you got it. I like pencils in the same way people in the 80s loved their Trapper Keepers and Trans Ams. If you like an awesome pencil, try these out (this, by the way, is not an ad for Palomino Blackwings – I just love them that much).


It comes as no surprise then, that I like to turn office/school related stuff like pen/pencil cups and pens. I make pens, but if there was a way for me to turn a lovely perfect pencil with super smooth lead, that would be even better. This leads me to what I almost find criminal in a destruction of traditional office/school supplies way: the use of colored pencils dipped in resin and then turned on the lathe to make some sort of vessel, usually a bowl.


This is a crime scene in my book.

The resin thing is all the rage right now anyway (which of course makes me not want to do it), and I just don’t get why pencils have to suffer in such a way. If you make this stuff, more power to you, but there should be movements against it, like those ASPCA ads.


Anyway, the pen/pencil cups are what bring me “dance in the woodshop” joy right now. I like to make all kinds, and I figure if you’re going to be awesome enough to display your old school ways of actually writing things down, then you should “own it” and use a pen/pencil cup with some “oomph.” Thanks for stopping by!




My most recent pencil cup, made from eastern red cedar.