Pencil Reviews Photography Reviews

Blackwing Volume 54.

Blackwing Volume 54, the Exquisite Corpse pencil, is here.聽The spring 2018 release from Blackwing screams SPRING, BLOSSOMS, and YES YES YES. This “Rose Pink” pencil is topped with a silver ferrule and blue eraser and is stamped in teal. Perhaps best of all, it contains Blackwing’s Extra Firm (EF) core that we saw in the 24, the 530, and the 1917.

I’ve seen it referred to as an 80s pencil, but anything with teal screams 90s to me (though it could very well just be that I prefer the 90s, with the angst, the coffee, the auburn hair.

The packing material is even teal, to echo the pencil.

[I should probably begin this post by apologizing if the color of this pencil is way off in my photos. To tell the truth, it’s not entirely on point (!) in Blackwing’s photo, either. The exact shade of pink is elusive.]

It feels weird to “review” a Blackwing that’s really just a pencil I already like with a different paint job, but I think we can say a bit about the theme. This is gutsy. Usually the Blackwing tributes lean toward the masculine (go troll these comments if you’re bored), and the aesthetics usually run on the safe/muted side. This pencil is loud, possibly the brightest premium pencil I own. At a distance, it almost looks like a cheap novelty pencil, but the thickness and quality (of all but one) of the lacquer quickly reveal this to be a lovely Japanese pencil.

This pencil is supposed to have been designed by playing the Exquisite Corpse game, and the subscribers’ kit has cardstock guides for this.

Blackwing certainly has no reason to be making this up, and we can just be happy that the results of the parts work so well together and that this is the second year of three that all four releases have represented all four cores.

The pink and teal look fantastic together. A black or gold ferrule would have been….too much; silver is perfect. I want the eraser to be a different color (the royal blue and teal clash for me), but I can’t say which currently available colors I’d rather have. Custom teal or purple would have been incredible, but, I expect, expensive.

The EF core echoes the original Palomino HB enough that, as my Erasable Podcast co-host Tim put it: “If it’s different from the Palomino, it doesn’t need to be.” It’s a great core. I don’t find that it smears less than the Firm core, but one does not use something as soft as Blackwings expecting no smearing or ghosting. I’m Okay with this.

This pencil looks amazing with the silver Blackwing point protector.

I love Volume 54, and my daughter has a box waiting for her 8th birthday later this month. I told her, truthfully, that they sold out. (And Blackwing reports that this is the Volume that has sold out from their own stock the fastest.) I didn’t tell Charlotte that I ordered a set from The Pencil Shop and that it’s waiting for her.

While pink is not my favorite color for pencils, this Volumes release is a winner for me. The looks are seasonal, and the theme is original and also something in which I’ve long been interested. The EF core and thick finish land this pencil in premium territory.

(These were not samples from the manufacturer. I’ve been a paying subscriber since literally day one.)

7 replies on “Blackwing Volume 54.”

Well reviewed. I鈥檝e been calling it the bubblicious pencil but it could be closer to a piece of Bazooka Joe (which has the same texture and flavor of a BW eraser鈥 or so I鈥檓 told).

A very thoughtful review! And, I agree your observations. I am really enjoying this particular volume.

Great review! Agree that blue clashes with teal badly. I think the yellow eraser looks great on it. But I’ll tell you what would be even better: that Lego green in your photo! WOW — I love pinkish purple with lime!

Hi, this is a little random, but I have been looking for people who are into pencils to ask this to. I don鈥檛 know a ton about pencils, but I had an idea to try to sell an inexpensive pencil similar to the one in the patent by Hymen Lipman, with a sharpenable eraser in the back 1/3-1/4 of the pencil. I think this would be really useful for students and anyone who uses pencils to write often, because the eraser could be sharpened and reused, and it would also have a more precise point for specific erases. I am not sure why this is not used for every pencil now. What are your thoughts? Is there a reason this has not been done? Would you buy it? Thank you!

Love these. I am a lover of Blackings and LOVE pink, so these were made for me……Love happy colors and hope for more of them.

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