“ Brand: Boldmere / Type: Craft Supplies „
~~*~~*~~ Boldmere Clutch Pencil Set ~~*~~*~~
Bless my mother - she seems to think I have a talent that at 31 needs nurturing. I'm definitely no artist - I have no talent but I do quite enjoy drawing, dunno why, maybe it just takes me away from the mundane routine of dog-related tasks or possibly because it requires very little strenuous movement. Either way, for Chrimbo I was very thoughtfully given the Boldmere Clutch Pencil Set. At first, I was sceptical - could this pencil really be any different to the mini blue ones we've stolen from the crazy golf course each time we've been? Actually, it is.
~~ What's in the set? ~~
For your hard earned pennies you'll receive a lovely clutch pencil (more about what the hell a clutch pencil is later), 3 graphite leads and a kneadable putty rubber all contained within a pencil tin. Now, to be fair, I'd no idea what a putty rubber was or why you'd need some extra leads - what's wrong with an ordinary pencil with the chewed rubber bit on the top? First of all, the clutch pencil is an engineering masterpiece in itself - by pushing down on the top of the chunky metal thing, the bottom clutch part of it is opened up so that you can insert your first graphite lead. As you wear down the pencil by using it extensively to draw objects that look nothing like the original object, you can then release more of the lead (kind of like those rubbish propelling pencils you had at school which had the thinnest of leads and used to snap as soon as they met with a bit of resistance). Twist the top of the clutch pencil and magically it comes off in your hand (I thought I'd broken it but then again I'm simple) to reveal an integral sharpener - how very exciting I thought as I had wondered what kind of enormous pencil sharpener would be required or indeed whether you were supposed to sharpen these things or just wear them down on one side to create a sharp edge - as I said previously, I'm no artist. The kneadable putty rubber is something altogether not from this world - it's the weirdest creation ever. It's a bit like chewing gum - I'm not really sure how you're supposed to use it but I tear off a little bit and roll it into a ball for easy use and then rub it gently across the area to erase or to blend bits.
~~What's the cost of this lovely item? ~~
It'll destroy my mother to know that I've since found out the price but for any of you interested in purchasing your offspring a thoughtful pressie then it's around about £7 which is indeed a bargain. Apparently she got it from The Works (have they gone into receivership cos the local one's now boarded up?) but you can find them on ebay (is there anything not to be found on ebay), amazon and craft-crazy.co.uk for varying prices.
~~ Is it worth it? ~~
Having a designated set for drawing has definitely encouraged me to do some random sketching because all the stuff I need is kept together with my lovely Boldmere sketch pad which is equally brilliant. I don't have to search for a pencil and then a sharpener (because the dog chewed the end off the pencil) and then a rubber (one that doesn't leave a biro smear behind because I previously used it to try and erase the wrong date on a cheque (didn't work by the way)), so if anything it's certainly a time-saving device. As for its uses; the pencil has a very nice feel to it once you get used to its chunkyness and the fact that it's fairly heavy. It does tend to make a bit of a mess when you sharpen it as it kind of grinds the end into a point and then the dust ends up on your boyfriend's beige carpet and you casually smear it into the carpet not realising that 4 months down the line there would still be a stain that you hope he'll never see (but the dog will definitely take the rap for that one). The rubber's a lot more efficient than a normal eraser even if I'm not using it properly. It all comes in a rather attractive blue tin which is inoffensive on the eye and would combine with most school uniforms. I would say, Yes, it's an absolutely lovely present (thank you mummy) and a very nice starter set - I can't comment on its ability for more advanced artists because I'm fairly rubbish.
~~ Vaguely Interesting Things That Don't Fit Under Any Other Heading ~~
There's some bloke on YouTube who puts my childish scribblings to shame - Nathan Wyburn is quite simply amazing.
The first ever drawings were done during the Superior Palaeolithic Era, over 35,000 years ago when cave surfaces were used as the sketching pad and there were no clutch pencils to be found - every day's a school day.
Instead of using my dirty fingers for the lovely smudgey effects, I should have used a tortillon which prevents grease on the paper and mistakes are then easier to remove (isn't that invaluable information I've discovered whilst writing this? Ah well, too late).
Blue-tack also makes a great eraser if you're ever low on kneadable putty.
Finally, there's a lovely piece all about graphite pencils at http://drawsketch.about.com/cs/suppliesbooks/bb/bybgraphpencils.htm which has tons of interesting info to peruse before you choose your drawing tool.
Caroline & Doughnut Jan 09.
Both wondering when Himindoors will spot the dirty carpet.