A140. The Pencil

A140. The Pencil

A140. Peter and Donna Thomas. The Pencil. Santa Cruz, California: Peter & Donna Thomas, 2010.

21.5 x 14 cm (8 ½” x 5 ½”), trifold, 11 pages, 30 copies.

Binding: Tri-fold case-bound; quarter-bound in red leather and printed handmade paper over boards. Title on label on cover. Text block sewn into left spine. Oblong cedar wood block with perpendicular wooden arm attached to right inside spine. Wooden arm is drilled with six holes, each of which holds a vintage advertising pencil. Inside cover paper cream, printed with the word “Pencil” in various fonts in green, orange, and yellow. Housed in a hinged cedar wood box with pencils attached to the lid as a handle. Paper: Cream, handmade by Peter Thomas. Printing: Digital. Typography: Reproduction of text handwritten by Donna Thomas.

"This book is an artists’ celebration of the pencil. The binding, a unique tri-fold cover, has pencils on display with the text hidden behind an inner cover. Our idea was that the reader’s first impression would be of the six vintage advertising pencils, and the story that they tell. Further exploration would reveal the inner cover and its text, which is a report about the pencil, written in the style of a high school student required to make a report in the days before the typewriter. The illustration and rubrication accompanying the text are diagrams of a pencil’s construction. The pencil holder structure is wood, pencil cedar. Its hand-carved dovetail joint (which took more work than any other aspect of the binding) was used to express how important craftsmanship is to both our work and the quality pencil.

Instead of the typical clamshell box, made with cardboard and book cloth, we made a wooden box, reminiscent of a student’s pencil box. The wood was pencil cedar and we mounted pencils as a handle to grasp to open the box.”