Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Forget the disposable culture, value your design tools and enjoy the lifelong companionship of a custom-made mechanical alloy pencil.
Forget the disposable culture, value your design tools and enjoy the lifelong companionship of a custom-made mechanical alloy pencil.
Forget the disposable culture, value your design tools and enjoy the lifelong companionship of a custom-made mechanical alloy pencil.
295 backers pledged £15,597 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

The Handmade Stainless Steel Everlasting Mechanical Pencil. project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

The Handmade Stainless Steel Everlasting Mechanical Pencil.

£15,597

295

Available in Aluminium, Brass & Stainless Steel
Available in Aluminium, Brass & Stainless Steel

Due to high demand...Pledges made after April 11th will have estimated delivery of end of June 2015.

If you like this project but can't back it, then please think about sharing it on Facebook or Twitter if you can to help spread the word. Thank you.

What you get...

I am producing a custom hand-made to order, beautifully simple mechanical pencil with the help of you and kickstarter. I create these to be perfectly balanced out of solid aluminium, brass and stainless steel. They are rugged and hard wearing while elegant and pure aesthetically with a purpose that if you purchase one, it will become your everlasting companion in design. Providing that you feed it lead when it is hungry, don't give it regular baths (it doesn't like baths) it will be as loyal to you as you are to it throughout your design career.

NEW STRETCH GOAL!!

Thank you to everyone so far! 

If we reach £16,000 I will offer a laser engraved initialing service for each pen. Initialing cost is £10, so if you would like your pen personalised, please increase your pledge by £10 per pen ordered. Also message me with the initials you would like to have engraved. 

Please help to make this a reality and share this project with everyone you know. If everyone who views this project shares it on their Facebook page or Twitter account, then we will most definitely hit our goal and we can even think about more stretch goals to offer! Thank you everyone for getting on board.

Hand-made with precision in high grade materials.
Hand-made with precision in high grade materials.

Where it began...

My Grandfather Philip Hemingway was an engineer and draughtsman in his early career. Later he retired to become an Horologist (Clockmaker). Pencils like this one were not around when he was a draughtsman, but neither were pencils seen as disposable, valueless tools.

The disposable culture we live in today encourages a valueless attitude to cheap material things.  It is these cheap products that really cause a lot of the world's pollution. Because of their large scale production they cost next to nothing. This not only makes them attractive to buy to the masses, but also produces a disposable and valueless mindset towards them and so many are thrown away without consideration for their real value and cost to the environment.

I have a box that belonged to my grandfather of all of his tools and some of the pencils inside it have been sharpened all the way down to the rubber, in fact, I have a box of drafting tools from his grandfather William Hemingway too in which lies another almost fully sharpened down pencil which must be well over 100 years old. How often nowadays do you see the design life of a pencil lasting over 1 year? Of course they can last many years, but the point is, do we see a value in the pencil any more?

My great great Grandfather's drafting set.
My great great Grandfather's drafting set.
His drafting set opened up.
His drafting set opened up.
Single pencil option with packaging finalised.
Single pencil option with packaging finalised.
3 pencil set option with packaging finalised.
3 pencil set option with packaging finalised.
Specifications.
Specifications.

 The Choices...

Stainless Steel with Steel nib.
Stainless Steel with Steel nib.
Stainless Steel with Brass nib
Stainless Steel with Brass nib
Brass with Steel nib
Brass with Steel nib
Brass with Brass nib
Brass with Brass nib
Aluminium with Steel nib
Aluminium with Steel nib
Aluminium with Brass nib
Aluminium with Brass nib
Iteration after iteration...
Iteration after iteration...

6 months ago to now...

6 months ago I decided to create one of my favourite writing and designing implements - a mechanical pencil. I wanted a pencil that not only felt great to use, but one that matched the elegance of one of my favourite things in the entire world as a designer - a plain piece of unmarked A4 paper. This may sound strange...but hang on please.

A plain piece of paper has so much potential before you start to sketch out ideas on it, it is a strange love I have for such a simple thing in life. Well, this along with a quote from a distant relation of mine, made me think about the companionship and loyalty to a tool you start to adopt in your trade. “My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.” - Ernest Hemingway.

I wanted the simplicity of the paper to match the tool I use to design with. Austere in terms of clean lines and produced in simple high precision tactile materials to enable the pencil to ever-last wherever you go. It's uncomplicated pure form allows way for a neutral point. When faced with a plain piece of paper you are starting at a neutral point. I wanted to design the pencil neutrally too..."in the best and simplest way". 

I know this pencil is not going to save the world, but as the pencil was always the first tool used to sketch out a great idea, I just want to make a small point and romanticize that my first Kickstarter product be a pencil and that from this pencil - that may have once been an acorn tree  - other products of mine may grow (terrible pun?). The pencil is one of the most incredible tools for inventing and designing and where would we be now without it.

Packaging design concept...

My packaging is a minimal design that integrally supports the pencils while at the same time the pencils support the packaging. The pencils act like needles sewing the packaging together to enclose the product within. I particularly like how both the packaging and the product inside depend on each other to create the full packaging structure - displaying them in their full splendour. 

Prototype packaging for set of 3, shown from underneath.
Prototype packaging for set of 3, shown from underneath.
Packaging when open.
Packaging when open.

The images shown here of the 3 set version are not finalised, but it will look very similar to the finalised single pencil pledge option packaging shown in the first image.

Packaging when closed.
Packaging when closed.

When you receive your pencil or pencils, all packaging will be laser etched with my branding for the pencil.

Packaging.
Packaging.
Single pencil option packaging
Single pencil option packaging
Single pencil option packaging
Single pencil option packaging
Single pencil option packaging
Single pencil option packaging
Single pencil option packaging
Single pencil option packaging
Single pencil option packaging
Single pencil option packaging
The final iteration of packaging and labeling.
The final iteration of packaging and labeling.
The final iteration of packaging and labeling for the 3 pencil set.
The final iteration of packaging and labeling for the 3 pencil set.

PLEASE NOTE:

All pencils come in 3 pencil lead thicknesses 0.5mm, 0.7mm & 0.9mm 

Please specify which lead thickness you would like to receive when you pledge, otherwise you will be sent your choice of pencil in a standard 0.5mm lead (that's my favourite).

Writer and Comedian Rowland Rivron relishing his new stainless steel mechanical pencil
Writer and Comedian Rowland Rivron relishing his new stainless steel mechanical pencil
"The best pencil that has ever happened" - Rowland Rivron
"The best pencil that has ever happened" - Rowland Rivron

Risks and challenges

Of course there is a small chance that there may be delays in the process, but I hope to absolutely meet my deadlines and fulfilment agendas once the pledge target is met. Realistically, there are no real obstacles to overcome as I am machining all the units myself and have estimated that I can produce a maximum of 20 pencils per day absolutely all on my own. That's the great thing about a self producing production line, I am not relying on any other companies or manufacturers to meet my demands.
If I get an order for 40 of my precision pencils then I make 40 pencils and distribute them myself with no one else to depend upon. This bespoke made to order service is the way small business used to run before industrialisation. It's a straightforward service much like a tailors. Its a beautifully simple means of production and so I hope not to run into any problems.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.55

    A CONTRIBUTOR THANK YOU.

    Thank you. I greatly appreciate you wanting to help me get this project off the ground.

    Plus it could help me with underestimations of shipping costs. I will mention you on my website contributor's page.

    Thank you.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    6 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £6 or more About $9

    TWITTER FOLLOW & CONTRIBUTOR THANK YOU.

    Your pledge will allow us the honour of your name appearing on our website contributor's page.

    PLUS we will follow you on twitter for a year (Probably for longer, but a minimum of a year) where our musings can be shared.

    Thank you for your support and generosity.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £12 or more About $19

    A LETTER OF THANKS, TWITTER FOLLOW & CONTRIBUTOR THANK YOU.

    You will get all of the above rewards.

    PLUS a letter from me personally thanking you for your generosity and commitment to helping me get this product off the ground.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £18 or more About $28

    A LETTER OF THANKS, TWITTER FOLLOW & CONTRIBUTOR THANK YOU + ADVANCE NOTICE OF OUR FUTURE KICKSTARTER PRODUCTS.

    You will get all of the above rewards.

    PLUS advance notice of our future products and Kickstarter campaigns. Thank you so much.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £32 or more About $50

    ALUMINIUM WITH STEEL NIB
    + REWARDS 1,2,3 & 4

    You will receive ONE CUSTOM-MADE MECHANICAL PENCIL IN ALUMINIUM with a STEEL NIB! ...PLEASE NOTE: This comes with a STEEL NIB!

    PLUS... you get the rewards 1,2,3 & 4 above too!

    Pencil will come with 6 X 0.5mm Leads as standard, but is also available in 0.7mm and 0.9mm upon request at time of pledge. (0.5mm is my favourite).

    Thank you for becoming one of the first owners of this everlasting pencil.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    30 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £32 or more About $50

    ALUMINIUM WITH BRASS NIB
    + REWARDS 1,2,3 & 4

    You will receive ONE CUSTOM-MADE MECHANICAL PENCIL IN ALUMINIUM with a BRASS NIB! ...PLEASE NOTE: This comes with a BRASS NIB!

    PLUS... you get the rewards 1,2,3 & 4 above too!

    Pencil will come with 6 X 0.5mm Leads as standard, but is also available in 0.7mm and 0.9mm upon request at time of pledge. (0.5mm is my favourite).

    Thank you for becoming one of the first owners of this everlasting pencil.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    18 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £34 or more About $53

    BRASS WITH STEEL NIB
    + REWARDS 1,2,3 & 4

    You will receive ONE CUSTOM-MADE MECHANICAL PENCIL IN BRASS with a STEEL NIB! ...PLEASE NOTE: STEEL NIB!

    PLUS... you get the rewards 1,2,3 & 4 above too!

    Pencil will come with 6 X 0.5mm Leads as standard, but is also available in 0.7mm and 0.9mm upon request at time of pledge. (0.5mm is my favourite).

    Thank you for becoming one of the first owners of this everlasting pencil. (Please note that brass is a much harder material to work with than aluminium and therefore takes more time to craft).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    25 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £34 or more About $53

    BRASS WITH BRASS NIB
    + REWARDS 1,2,3 & 4

    You will receive ONE CUSTOM-MADE MECHANICAL PENCIL IN BRASS with a BRASS NIB! ...PLEASE NOTE: BRASS NIB!

    PLUS... you get the rewards 1,2,3 & 4 above too!

    Pencil will come with 6 X 0.5mm Leads as standard, but is also available in 0.7mm and 0.9mm upon request at time of pledge. (0.5mm is my favourite).

    Thank you for becoming one of the first owners of this everlasting pencil. (Please note that brass is a much harder material to work with than aluminium and therefore takes more time to craft).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    47 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £36 or more About $56

    STAINLESS STEEL WITH STEEL NIB
    + REWARDS 1,2,3 & 4

    You will receive ONE CUSTOM-MADE MECHANICAL PENCIL IN STAINLESS STEEL with a STEEL NIB! ...PLEASE NOTE: STEEL NIB!

    PLUS... you get the rewards 1,2,3 & 4 above too!

    Pencil will come with 6 X 0.5mm Leads as standard, but is also available in 0.7mm and 0.9mm upon request at time of pledge. (0.5mm is my favourite).

    Thank you for becoming one of the first owners of this everlasting pencil. (Please note that Stainless steel is a much harder material to work with than brass and therefore takes more time to craft).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    72 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £36 or more About $56

    STAINLESS STEEL WITH BRASS NIB
    + REWARDS 1,2,3 & 4

    You will receive ONE CUSTOM-MADE MECHANICAL PENCIL IN STAINLESS STEEL with a BRASS NIB! ...
    PLEASE NOTE: This comes with a BRASS NIB!

    PLUS... you get the rewards 1,2,3 & 4 above too!

    Pencil will come with 6 X 0.5mm Leads as standard, but is also available in 0.7mm and 0.9mm upon request at time of pledge. (0.5mm is my favourite).

    Thank you for becoming one of the first owners of this everlasting pencil. (Please note that Stainless steel is a much harder material to work with than brass and therefore takes more time to craft).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    18 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge £89 or more About $138

    3 PIECE SET WITH STEEL NIBS
    + REWARDS 1,2,3 & 4

    You will receive ALL 3 CUSTOM-MADE MECHANICAL PENCILS AS A GIFT SET IN STAINLESS STEEL, BRASS AND ALUMINIUM all with STEEL NIBS! ...PLEASE NOTE: These come with STEEL NIBS!

    So you can keep your favourite and give the other two pencils away as great gifts to loved ones!

    PLUS... you get the rewards 1,2,3 & 4 above too!

    Pencil will come with 6 X 0.5mm Leads as standard, but is also available in 0.7mm and 0.9mm upon request at time of pledge. (0.5mm is my favourite).

    Thank you for becoming one of the first owners of this everlasting pencil.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    49 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge £89 or more About $138

    3 PIECE SET WITH BRASS NIBS
    + REWARDS 1,2,3 & 4

    You will receive ALL 3 CUSTOM-MADE MECHANICAL PENCILS AS A GIFT SET IN STAINLESS STEEL, BRASS AND ALUMINIUM all with BRASS NIBS! ...PLEASE NOTE: These come with BRASS NIBS!

    So you can keep your favourite and give the other two pencils away as great gifts to loved ones!

    PLUS... you get the rewards 1,2,3 & 4 above too!

    Pencil will come with 6 X 0.5mm Leads as standard, but is also available in 0.7mm and 0.9mm upon request at time of pledge. (0.5mm is my favourite).

    Thank you for becoming one of the first owners of this everlasting pencil.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    23 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge £220 or more About $342

    LIMITED EDITION SOLID & SIGNED .925 STAMPED STERLING SILVER PENCIL WITH STEEL NIB (LIMITED EDITION OF ONLY 15 - EVER!)
    + REWARDS 1,2,3 & 4

    You will receive ONE CUSTOM-MADE LIMITED EDITION SIGNED MECHANICAL PENCIL IN SOLID .925 STAMPED STERLING SILVER, with a STEEL NIB! ...PLEASE NOTE: This comes with a STEEL NIB!

    PENCIL WILL BE SIGNED - 'Hemingway' in cursive hand script near the top of the pencil.

    PLUS... you get the rewards 1,2,3 & 4 above too!

    PLUS PLUS...I will keep all the excess sterling silver from the milling process and bag it up so you can have all the silver that was used to make your pencil...Thought it would be cool to be able to package up everything the pencil was honed from and send it neatly packed to you. Think of it as the placenta of the pencil.

    Pencil will come with 6 X 0.5mm Leads as standard, but is also available in 0.7mm and 0.9mm upon request at time of pledge. (0.5mm is my favourite). *Message me your preference.

    Thank you for becoming one of the first owners of this everlasting pencil.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge £220 or more About $342

    LIMITED EDITION SOLID & SIGNED .925 STAMPED STERLING SILVER PENCIL WITH BRASS NIB (LIMITED EDITION OF ONLY 15 - EVER!)
    + REWARDS 1,2,3 & 4

    You will receive ONE CUSTOM-MADE LIMITED EDITION SIGNED MECHANICAL PENCIL IN SOLID .925 STAMPED STERLING SILVER, with a BRASS NIB! ...PLEASE NOTE: This comes with a BRASS NIB!

    PENCIL WILL BE SIGNED - 'Hemingway' in cursive hand script near the top of the pencil.

    PLUS... you get the rewards 1,2,3 & 4 above too!

    PLUS PLUS...I will keep all the excess sterling silver from the milling process and bag it up so you can have all the silver that was used to make your pencil...Thought it would be cool to be able to package up everything the pencil was honed from and send it neatly packed to you. Think of it as the placenta of the pencil.

    Pencil will come with 6 X 0.5mm Leads as standard, but is also available in 0.7mm and 0.9mm upon request at time of pledge. (0.5mm is my favourite). *Message me your preference.

    Thank you for becoming one of the first owners of this everlasting pencil.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (60 days)