Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Personal Art

My Rotring 600 Mechanical Pencil
I have an hour to kill and rather than doodle with my pencil, I thought it would be more productive to talk about one of my favourite items, namely, the pencil I doodle with, the Rotring 600 mechanical pencil. So I picked up a book and placed the pencil on a drawing, to photograph it. On seeing the drawing for the first time in over a year, I then decided to tell you about the wonderful artist who created the drawing above. But one thing at a time, let me tell you about the pencil and I'll cover the artist later this week.

The Rotring 600 is my piece of personal art. I carry it in a pocket when I'm out and it sits on my desk when I'm in. It is both beautiful and functional. It's machined out of solid brass, it's heavier than most, but not all mechanical pencils, yet feels substantial rather than heavy. It has the same diameter as a traditional pencil making it very comfortable to use for long periods, the knurled grip is a bonus.

I don't how many parts, pistons and springs are in the pencil, but it's mildly complicated. As far as I can see, all parts must be handmade, everything fits and slides together with ease and precision. In fact one of the pleasures of owning this pen is the satisfaction I get from dismantling the top and loading new leads, it's all very satisfying.

The pencil has other, less obvious uses. As a person who has no use, or need for the ubiquitous mobile phone, the pen also comes in handy if I want to avoid eye contact. If I enter a public place, cafe, or tube train on my own, rather than stare at telephone screen, I take out my pencil and perform a little maintenence, one-upmanship guaranteed!

The Rotring 600 design is also available as a fountain pen. I used to own one in black chrome but I didn't find it as useful as the pencil.

My hour is up, I have to get back to work.

1 comment:

  1. A carnal description! Craving a pencil! It is indeed a satisfying pleasure to feel the workings of something beautifully engineered and well weighted.



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