Wednesday, January 02, 2013

My Panasonic Auto-Stop Electric Pencil Sharpener

Nothing beats a fine point.  This post is a tribute to my fine friend, the Panasonic Auto-Stop Electric Pencil Sharpener.  I've had it since 1987 when I was attending RISD. It has seen me through my entire career.  It has sharpened every pencil (mainly Prismacolor  Turquoise) that I have used on all my student work, 8 picture books, 5 illustrated novels, 45 book jackets, hundreds of drawings for movies and television, theme parks, advertising, video games...
It has lived in my various studios over the last 25 years; Rhode Island, New York City, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hawaii, Philippines and Belgium. It has been a true companion on my journey as an illustrator.
Now the sad news...It no longer gives me the fine point I need to do my work. I could go out and buy another one, but it just doesn't make sense. I cannot in good conscience put this friend out to pasture. So I have decided that I will continue to use it, and finish off the sharpening with a fine grit of sandpaper. The only drawback is that using the sandpaper leaves a smattering of graphite dust all over my desk that I have to sponge off at least once a week. I guess that is a small price to pay to have my friend at my side as I continue to make books.


Anonymous said...

I had a friend just like yours. I have no idea what happened to him :(

Tom Lichtenheld said...

I had a similar machine which died a few years ago, but then found one of the same vintage at an estate sale. So I put the newer, lousier one in the closet and have my fingers crossed that this one will last forever.