In New York’s Hudson River Valley, craftsman and author David Rees still practices the age-old art of manual pencil sharpening.
According to his web site, the artisanal service is perfect for artists, writers, and standardized test takers. Shipped with their shavings and a “certificate of sharpening,” these extra-sharp pencils make wonderful gifts.
Sure, it sounds like a Portlandia skit, but it’s not. Rees actually sharpens pencils for $20 per order.
“America has an amazing, storied history in the pencil,” Rees says. His brand of choice? American-made General’s Semi-Hex.
“They’re so ubiquitous we almost never think about them anymore. But I always make this point: If you consider the pencil as an engineered device–an engineered communication tool–in terms of efficiency, simplicity, and elegance, it like, smokes the iPad.”