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Derwent creates a pencil fit for The Queen!

03/05/2012

Derwent creates a pencil fit for The Queen!

To commemorate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Derwent has crafted a very special Diamond Jubilee Pencil. Only two of these dazzling pencils have been made; one will be presented to Her Majesty The Queen and the other will go on display at the Cumberland Pencil Museum in Keswick for all to see.

To commemorate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Derwent has crafted a very special Diamond Jubilee Pencil. Only two of these dazzling pencils have been made; one will be presented to Her Majesty The Queen and the other will go on display at the Cumberland Pencil Museum in Keswick for all to see.

The body of the pencils have been handmade by Clive Farrar, Derwent’s Production Services Manager, using archived Cumberland Graphite originally taken from the Seathwaite Mine in Borrowdale where graphite was first discovered in the reign of Elizabeth I. To make the pencils Clive had to revive the traditional pencil making skills used by craftsmen prior to 1832 when the first pencil factory was opened in Keswick. ‘The biggest challenge’ said Clive ‘was to achieve an even thickness of graphite, just 2.6mm, from a single lump of material using a band saw!’ Once the time consuming job of fitting the graphite into the slats of incense cedar was complete Clive rigged up a small lathe to ‘turn’ the pencil barrels into perfect cylinders which were then sanded down by hand with very fine wire wool ready for painting with a black water-based paint.

The barrels were then embellished with elegant hand written calligraphy by master scribe Paul Antonio using the first new nib for dip pens designed and manufactured in 100 years, the Hiro Leonardt EF Principal by the Manuscript Pen Company. Speaking about the process Paul said ‘I used a script developed in England in the 17th century called English Roundhand, today it is known as Copperplate Script. It is one of the most difficult hands to master and was made doubly difficult as the surface of the pencil is curved!’

Finally, the hand crafted pencils received their crowning glory, a sparkling white gold and diamond crown designed by jewellery designer Daniela Paladi and handmade by Mario Pietroluongo, a Master Goldsmith from Pforzheim, Germany’s gold city. The dazzling pencil crown is shaped like a diamond and holds 60 encrusted diamonds that sparkle in the light and are supported by white gold lilies to symbolise royalty.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pencil will be presented on a cushion of deep red velvet in a wooden casket crafted from sturdy English Oak by Robert Fairweather, a carpenter who is inspired by the natural beauty of the Lake District. David Sharrock, General Manager of the Cumberland Pencil Company, speaking about the Diamond Jubilee Pencil said ‘we were honoured when Her Majesty The Queen consented to officially open our new state of the art factory and Head Office in June 2008 and are delighted to be able to present her with this magnificent hand crafted Diamond Jubilee Pencil to mark her 60 glorious years on the throne.’