In late 2014, I wandered into a tiny stationery shop on a side street in Rome. It was a marvelous little place that I soon learned was a vintage pen shop. Tables and built-in shelves were bursting with tiny boxes of pencils, inky handled pens worn with use...
I stumbled upon a gold box filled with the prettiest blue pencils. I bought them because they were pretty, never even knowing if I would use them. But I did use them and to my shock they were not just a basic pencil.
At first, the stroke I created looked like a normal pencil mark. It wasn't until I began adding watercolor to the page that this pencil's magic was revealed. My simple pencil marks turned into the most delicious indigo inky watercolor imaginable.
I felt like I'd discovered some secret in that shop in Rome.
WHAT IS A COPYING PENCIL?
What I discovered was a little something called a "copying pencil". These were used by architects largely in the 1800's to transfer images from one paper to another.
Vintage copying pencils aren't terribly rare but these specific models indeed are. Most copying pencils on the market are basically watercolor pencils. These are, however, very specific, unique and extremely difficult to find.
HOW TO USE YOUR COPYING PENCIL?
I've chased these pencils for years, bartered with collectors, had them shipped from a pencil aficionado in Cypress. I'm very serious about tracking down these vintage gems.
I use my copying pencils to sketch a pattern first. I then add touches of watercolor and watch the sketched lines bleed into the moisture in the most beautifully unpredictable ways.
WHAT YOU GET:
- One Vintage Lyra Copying Pencil
*Faber Casteel Copying Pencils are currently sold out.