Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cheap thrills

The swirly lower case "g" caught my eye years ago. Carved from wood, that oddly graceful little font without a name seemed like something I absolutely had to have. 

"I'm in love," I whispered. "I NEED this type."

And so began my love affair with letters of wood and lead. It continues to this day. 

There's Playbill, the font that reminds me of a circus. One glance and I have visions of prancing ponies, flying trapezes and everything else that smacks of the Big Top.

Greeting Monotone, Engraver's Bold, Centaur, Marble Heart. Even the names are intriguing. Admittedly, vintage type is a rather (ahem) pricey vice.

But today it was a cheaper object that caused me to suck in my breath and laugh with pure unadulterated glee. 

A pencil.

A brand new glossy black pencil.

Number 6H, to be specific. 

I could wax poetic about the thin ribs of an ordinary pencil, the way the hard lead lays such a smooth gray line on paper, the simple happiness of a common pencil sliding into the sharpener and coming out with a satisfyingly sharp point.

These may be hard economic times but for less than $1.50 anyone can still buy hours of enjoyment and amusement when you purchase a brand new pencil. You can draw anything you can imagine. 

Woohoo for cheap thrills!


Anonymous said...

oh I LOVE G's too!!! I was Leslie Gillis for 23 years!

And I LOVE pencils! Great post mz Sharyn.

Sharyn Sowell said...

From my friend Sharon A:

I remember the satisfaction of working with those fonts. They are lovely. J I also like a good pencil. 6H is good. But my fav runs in the B category…I guess I like smuggings…gives my mind a chance to catch up!

To Les- perhaps I need to letterpress print your name for a sign or a biz card or something. Would it be fun for you to have??? Something with a darling "g" for sure...

Sharyn Sowell said...

From Lisa:

I love your thoughts! Thank you! This week, for me, it's digging in the hard clay we have --- it's at that perfect (but rare) moment that's it's friable -- diggable, crumbles, damp -- perfect for planting --- just wet enough, not solid masses of yuck, but not brick hard. Heaven in my fingers.

Amy Biggers said...

I have a friend who insists that the lowercase "g" is the most perfect letterform, and has a large print of one on his wall...

As for pencils, I'm a 2B girl myself, but I could go for a nice 6H if I was in the mood for a little light sketching!