David Rees, Artisanal Pencil SharpenerFlotsam and Jetsam

The lost art of sharpening pencils has been rekindled, more so set afire, by David Rees—who traded his political clip-art-cartoon career to become a pencil-sharpening craftsman. His business, appropriately named Artisanal Pencil Sharpening, offers no. 2 pencils that are shaved down and encased in plastic tubing by Rees himself (each pencil is $15). Rees also showcases his craft for parties, festivals, and even cruise lines. Yes, cruise lines.

How did Rees get into this rare profession? Check out the video below from Paper magazine. It’ll make you want to become best friends with him.


Rees’s quotes to note:

“Once I got into no. 2 wooden pencils again, it really made me kinda despise mechanical pencils and the people who use mechanical pencils, and the people who brag about how their mechanical pencil never needs sharpening. I mean, fuck you. Fuck you.”

“I thought it would be cool to use the Internet to send people pencils in the mail. Because pencils are really kind of the opposite of the Internet, anyways. So I thought it was cool to combine those two technologies, like a really old method of communication, the pencil, and a really new method of communication—social networking and the Internet.” It’s like he gets us.

We’ve always been ardent supporters of the no. 2 pencil. You may have even seen this logo on our products:

Rees also just penned a book about his craft, How to Sharpen Pencils, and is wrapping up his book tour. Sadly, he just came through Los Angeles and we missed him. If you have or do get to see him in action, lucky you!




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