Blackwing's special editions are prized by collectors. These pencils are being sold individually.
Vol. 1 - September 2017
The 1970s outlaw country movement had many influences, but perhaps none were more important than legendary raconteur Guy Clark. He and his wife Susanna opened their Nashville home to generations of groundbreaking artists over the years, giving them a space to create songs that broke down the walls built by mainstream country music.
Guy’s debut album Old No. 1 is regarded as one of the most influential ever made. Ripe with poetic mastery and extraordinary characters, it introduced people to a new quality of songwriting fueled by authenticity and substance. Guy rejected a proven formul-a for airplay and stardom in favor of writing his mind and recording with acoustic instruments that allowed the stories to take center stage.
The Blackwing 1 is a nod to Guy Clark and his perfectly imperfect style. Blackwing’s first round pencil features a matte grey washcoat finish that lets the wood grain show through, a “blue collar” eraser that pays tribute to Guy’s favorite blue shirt, and balanced graphite perfect for songwriting.
Vol. 54 - March 2018
Surrealist artists used an exercise known as Exquisite Corpse to create collaborative poems and works of art composed of pieced-together words and images. We used that same exercise to design a pencil.
First, we separated the pencil into five components (graphite, lacquer, imprint, ferrule, eraser). Then, we blindly selected the design for each component and assembled the results. The finished pencil features a rose barrel, teal imprint, silver ferrule, blue eraser and our extra-firm graphite.
The Blackwing Volume 54 pays tribute to surrealism and creative exercises that force us to look beyond our narrow personal perspective. The number 54 is a nod to 54 rue due Chateau in Paris, the birthplace of Exquisite Corpse.
Vol. 6 - November 2020
In 1912, French engineer Georges Claude installed the world’s first neon sign above a barbershop in Paris. His vibrant, tubular lights soon adorned the storefronts of small businesses around the world and symbolized the entrepreneurial drive that formed the backbone of their communities. Today, the spirit of “Main Street” is more resilient than ever. It can be found in urban cities and rural towns, bookstores and coffee shops, boutiques, and restaurants. It’s one of the many things that make our homes feel special. And it’s worth preserving.
The Blackwing 6 celebrates independent businesses and their entrepreneurial spirit. Each set comes with six neon red and six neon blue pencils inspired by the iconic neon “Open” sign. Each pencil features a black ferrule, black imprint, and our soft graphite. The number 6 is a nod to the six Noble Gases which give neon lights their distinct colors. This release supports the Small Business Relief Fund as they work to help small businesses keep their lights on.
Vol. 651 - September 2021
Despite his image as an international movie star and acclaimed martial artist, Bruce Lee was a philosopher at his core. His pocketbooks contained everything from dance routines, to uplifting self-affirmations and deep life-shaping wisdoms. While his oeuvre is filled with classic films, his crowning achievement may have been his art known as Jeet Kune Do.
In a note to his students, Bruce Lee wrote “the art of Jeet Kune Do is simply to simplify.” He believed in honesty in all actions and championed a freedom of expression that had never been seen in the world of martial arts. Jeet Kune Do was designed for combat, but its tenets can be applied to the challenges of everyday life; “using no way as way; having no limitation as limitation.”
The Blackwing 651 is a tribute to the legendary Bruce Lee. Both simple and direct, each pencil features a black and yellow striped design that takes its cues from the philosophies of Jeet Kune Do. The number 651 is derived from 651 S. Weller Street in Seattle, where Bruce Lee opened his first formal school. The extra-firm graphite is ideal for writing notes, including those to your future self, whenever inspiration strikes.
Vol. 93 - December 2021
Corita Kent was an educator, artist, and social justice advocate who believed that art could be a tool for dialogue, reflection, and change.
While chair of the Art Department at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, Corita asked her students to engage in “slow looking” exercises. Using a paper viewfinder tool that simulated the experience of using a camera, her students were able to select, isolate, and examine the details of the world around them. This resulted in piles of drawings that taught the students how to slow down and see the world with a fresh perspective.
This message of being present and curious permeated through every chapter of Corita’s life and work. From the 1950’s until her death in 1986 her art progressed from modernist interpretations of traditional religious subjects to pop-infused political statements and introspective examinations.
The Blackwing 93 is a tribute to Corita and her message to slow down and find gratitude in the everyday. Each pencil features one of the six colorful brushstrokes that make up Corita’s iconic rainbow swash. Commissioned in 1971, the rainbow swash adorns a 140-foot-tall natural gas storage tank along Interstate 93 in Dorchester, Massachusetts. The pencils contain our soft graphite and each set includes two of each color design.