The Mars Pencil
If in 2019 you are goint go reach the Mars, we have something that you cannot
A Tribute to the Mars 2020 Rover Mission and the Boundless Reaches of the Human Imagination.
In 2020, NASA will send a rover to Mars to search for evidence of ancient Martian life while testing technologies for future human expeditions.
While the engineering designs for the rover and its various instruments are finalized in CAD, its revolutionary robotic arm and zoom-enabled cameras – the first of their kind to be sent to another planet – were first conceptualized in drawings by the team at Motiv Space Systems using Blackwing pencils.
Earlier this year, Motiv delivered their assemblies based on these drawings to begin integration onto the rover. In 2020, they will join the Wright brothers’ wrapping paper sketches and Katherine Johnson’s brilliant calculations as examples of the pencil’s ability to help us reach the sky, space and beyond.
The Blackwing 4 is a tribute to Mars and the upcoming rover mission. It features a rust-colored lacquer and sand-textured finish inspired by the surface of the fourth planet. It also features our first ever bronze ferrule, a cream imprint and eraser, and our soft graphite.
You can purchase new limited edition of Blackwing pencils, clicking here.
The Vinyl Pencil
From their introduction in the late 1800s, analog records have withstood the advent of radio, the rise and fall of CDs and MP3s, and the dawn of streaming. Rather than be displaced by these more convenient ways of consuming music, the vinyl record has instead shifted from an object of convenience to one of connection. And it has thrived in the process.
Just as the way we engage with pencils and notebooks is different from the way we interact with keyboards and touch screens, the way we engage with records is different from the way we interact with digital music. From the rich, uncompressed sound to the album art and liner notes, records tell a story both physically and sonically. According to music icon Henry Rollins, of all the ways to listen to music, “vinyl [best] represents what the musicians wanted you to hear.” The vinyl experience not only creates a physical and emotional connection between music and people, it creates a connection between musicians and their fans.
The Blackwing 33 1/3 is a tribute to vinyl records.
The Blackwing 33 1/3 is a tribute to vinyl records.
It features a matte black finish and matte black ferrule to go with its black imprint and black eraser.
The gloss black foil banding near the grip was inspired by the grooves on a record, where the music script is kept.
The number 33 1/3 symbolize the number of turns made by vinyl.
You can purchase Blackwing Vol. 33 1/3. Just click here.
The Puzzle Pencil.
Exercise your mind.
The idea for Blackwing Vol. 10001 was born over a year ago, when a math teacher form New York, and in the same time a huge passionate of Blackwing pencil, wrote an e-mail in which he said that he has a perfect idea for new limited edition. Then, he described Tetsuya Miyamoto’s story, which become a real inspiration for Blackwing’s designers.
“The Art of Teaching without Teaching”
When Tetsuya Miyamoto invented the KenKen® puzzle in his mathematics classroom in 2004, his goal was to improve his students’ problem solving and logic skills. He describes his method as “The Art of Teaching without Teaching,” and his dream is to make the world smarter with his invention.
Today, the KenKen® puzzle is the only puzzle printed daily alongside the New York Times Crossword. Puzzles like these inspire us to apply problem solving and logic in creative ways, letting our minds perform a beautiful dance between their left and right hemispheres.
Blackwing 10001 (壱万壱) pays tribute to Miyamoto Sensei’s puzzles and other creative ways of teaching and learning. 10001 is a numeral palindrome in Kanji as well as in Arabic numerals. It is also tied to one of Miyamoto Sensei’s favorite equations. The pencil features a red stained barrel, firm graphite, gold imprint and unique five-sided “Gōkaku pencil” shape.
Translated literally from Japanese, Gōkaku means “passed,” as in a problem or exam. It is also a near-homophone for the Japanese word “Gokakukei,” meaning pentagon. Gōkaku pencils are given to every student who graduates from the Miyamoto Mathematics class.
“Baskets, maps, literature, paintings, photographs, technology, architecture, environmental science…human beings have been entering this region, responding to its grandeur, recording what they saw, establishing human settlements, and struggling to express a subliminal power of place”
– Historian Kevin Starr in Tahoe: A Visual History
You cannot fully understand a place or the people living in it without understanding the paintings, writings and songs created on its soil. Our local natural wonder of Lake Tahoe is a perfect example. The landscape paintings of Albert Bierstadt, the photographs of Ansel Adams and the intricate baskets of Dat-So-La-Lee all make up the tapestry of Lake Tahoe’s cultural identity. These works and the works of countless other artists tell of a place of both breathtaking natural beauty and perilous unpredictability; a place that stands at the front line of the age-old conflict between the natural world and the encroachment of civilization.
As a result of human ambition, the lake’s signature blue color began to disappear in the 1960s, and its Secchi depth (a unit used to measure clarity) plummeted to 66.6 feet by 1997. The lake’s striking beauty, which had been a source of inspiration pulled straight from the 19th century Romantics, was fading. Fortunately, through aggressive conservation efforts, the lake has begun to regain its remarkable clarity.
Blackwing 73 celebrates Lake Tahoe and other landmarks that have had a comparable impact on arts and society. Each pencil features a Tahoe blue finish and raised texture that mimics the lake’s topography. The number 73 references Lake Tahoe’s last measured Secchi depth of 73 feet. Each pencil features a silver ferrule, white eraser, white imprint and our soft graphite formulation.
In 1848, while working at a sawmill in Coloma, California, James W. Marshall discovered gold flakes in the American River. This discovery sparked what would come to be known as the California Gold Rush, causing hundreds of thousands of business owners, artists, lawyers and people of all trades to leave their lives behind and flock to Northern California in pursuit of fortune and opportunity.
The Gold Rush was California’s defining moment, a moment immortalized by the state’s motto “Eureka! I have found it!” What California found, however, went beyond gold. The state found its identity as a melting pot of people, cultures and ideas that persists to this day. This moment of self-discovery was California’s true “eureka moment.”
There’s a similar moment in the creative process when the rest of the world fades and the project’s singular objective becomes clear. Whether it’s a songwriter finding the perfect melody for a lyric or a painter being struck by inspiration after weeks of aimless brushing, these moments help define both the artist and their work. The Blackwing 530 celebrates these eureka moments of the creative process. Its gold barrel and striped gold ferrule symbolize the feeling of “striking gold” when that moment hits. The model number 530 is a tribute to Sutter’s Mill, California Historical Site No. 530, where gold was first discovered.
The Blackwing 530 features the same extra-firm graphite found in the Blackwing 24.
With sucha a pencil, everything what we create will change into gold 🙂
In 138 BCE, Chinese explorer Zhang Qian set out on an expedition west. The journey lasted more than 13 years and laid the foundation for the Silk Road, a trade route that was instrumental in opening up communication between Asia and Europe. From around 120 BCE to the 1450’s CE, explorers like Zheng He, Marco Polo and Jorge Alvarez used the Silk Road to trade goods, share ideas, and spread artistic influences throughout a myriad of different cultures.
One of the most prominent goods traded along the Silk Road was jade. Besides its natural beauty, jade was believed to protect its owner in their travels, encourage creativity and stimulate mental agility. The trade of jade introduced people to cultures they were unfamiliar with, an experience that can challenge the mind and inspire the soul.
Each Blackwing 205 set contains six green jade pencils and six white jade pencils. The number 205 references the molecular weight of jadeite, the most sought after form of jade. Each pencil features a gold ferrule, black eraser, gold imprint and our firm graphite formulation.
As impatiently as for new pencils, we are waiting for the story that is associated with them. We try to guess what will be an inspiration to them and what they want to tell the world. We can say that for us Blackiwng pencils are no longer just a writing instrument, but a story behind with some moral.
What morale does Blackwing 205 have?
Be brave, experience and discover. Search for inspiration at every step. Make every day a new thing for you. The world is now open to everyone, and it is up to you to decide how you will use this opportunity.