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