Friday, April 9, 2010

Pencil It In!

Coloured Pencils...ahhhhh.
I have been smitten with my boxed set of 72 Derwents for many years. It was the first gift my beloved ever gave me.( A good enough reason to stick with him I reckon!)
Coloured pencils were like currency when I was at primary school. And Derwents were the Rolls Royces of the pencil world!
You can imagine then how taken I am with these colourful creations by three jewellers who fashion off-beat pieces from the humble coloured pencil.

Italian designer Maria Cristina Belluci has a background in theatre and costume design. Her bold,sculptural jewellery is almost organic in form. I am totally enamoured with her creations.
I would almost be willing to donate some of my beloved Derwents just to own a piece!Another talented sculptor/jeweller who also uses pencils in her work is Jennifer Maestro from Massechusettes. She produces a range of pendants, earrings and brooches which also contain smooth and sanded pencil pieces, some even retaining the brand lettering.

But she is most well know for her pieces that utilizes the pointy end of the coloured pencil. Brooches and larger works reminiscent of sea urchins and anemones, similtaneously appearing sharp and dangerous, but also beautiful and eye catchingly fluid.
Jennifer writes "Hullo pencil fans! All these pencil items are handmade by me, Jen, and I have the fingernails (or lack thereof) to prove it!
I am a sculptor with a particular fascination for pencils. I find them extremely inspiring, probably because I have a million of them in my studio. The big joke in my studio- I can never find anything to write with."
According to Jennifer March 30th was Pencil Day!! Drats I missed it.A divine shot of Jennifers workbench with zillions of colour coded pencils on hand. Bliss.
At her Etsy shop Jennifer introduces us to another pencil crafter, Stacey Dawn from Texas.
Stacey 's bracelets, pendants and necklaces are sweet and simple. Delicate transformed pieces of sawed up pencils create bead like components. The colour combinations are wonderful and appeal to my rainbow hued sense of design.

Stacey uses pre-loved pencils in her jewelery still retaining the marks and bumps of their previous life.She says "I make them from real pencils so they aren't perfect but that's one of the things that I happen to like best about them."


  1. I love stationary - and pencils are no exception.

  2. Unlike you Liz, I'm no longer with the fellow who gave me a box of 72 Derwents. Anyhooo.

    Before the ill-fated relationship that yielded the pencil prize, I coveted Derwents. In childhood I reckon I was lucky to get pretty close, with Kirin pencils. Anybody remember that brand?

    Learning all those colour names was a joy, wasn't it?

  3. oh, carried away with pencil nostalgia, I forgot to say that I would love to buy one of these smooth pendants one day. And the sculptures are brilliant.

  4. oh, these are beautiful.
    I never had the set of 72. 24 was the most I had, but did I love them!
    Still kicking around, being used by my kids now. :)

  5. molly is using my derwents from the 80's also!
    thanks for the great links chick

  6. These are truly amazing... loving the things you find Liz.

  7. ooh, I have bought from jen on etsy and her stuff is amazing !!!

  8. On another subject, I thought you might be interested in this beacuse of the lino. I am not sure if you are close or if you even want it or if you have seen this, but you might be able to scavenge it? post.

  9. Thanks Nick,
    Alas, Stawell is a wee bit far for me to travel.I might put the word out on lino forest for anyone who lives close by.
    A little part of me died when i knew the lino would be destined for the tip.

  10. Wow, love a colour spectrum. can the world be divided by those who must have their coloured pencils in order and those that don't? not that we need division of course. hmmmm. ponder. a bit like fold or scrunch.

  11. I'm usually a messy scrunchin' kinda person, but there is nothing nicer than a neat box of Derwents in their precice colour order...go figure!

  12. OMG...really I cannot imagine this use of stationary. Brilliant ideas you have made.