On February 23, 1940, Woody Guthrie scribbled these words at the bottom of a lyric. Above them was a song he had just written about the inequality he witnessed in his travels across the United States. This Land Is Your Land would go on to become one of the most poignant and iconic folk songs in history.
Woody is often depicted in sepia tones reminiscent of the Dust Bowl, but his artistic palette extended much further. He filled composition notebooks and day planners with sketches, poems and paintings on his countless journeys. His art was playful and vibrant, despite its often gritty content. He described his fusion of old compositions and new ideas as a mashup of “what is” and “what could be.” Woody believed we could be better, and used his creations to inspire people to believe the same.
The Blackwing 223 is a tribute to Woody Guthrie and his immutable optimism. Each pencil features a design inspired by This Land’s “ribbon of highway,” “endless skyway” and “golden valley.” The matte black ferrule and earth-toned eraser are a nod to the many miles Woody traveled. We used our balanced graphite formulation that works well for both writing and sketching so you, too, can fill your pages with what you see.
With roots in the 1930s, the pencil once developed by Eberhard Faber was discontinued in 1998. After many requests from a wide variety of artists' circles, Palomino finally resumed production in 2010.
Note: For economical sharpening with an unusually shallow angle, we recommend the KUM "Long Point" pencil sharpener.
The manufacturer writes
Blackwing pencils were favored by award-winning creators throughout the 20th century. Despite a cult following, they were discontinued in the 1990s. Devotees began paying as much as $40 on eBay for a single pencil.
In the early 2000s, we used our access to the best wood, graphite and artisan makers in the world to introduce a premium pencil line we called Palomino. The buzz surrounding Palomino led Blackwing fans to ask us to try and bring Blackwing pencils back for a new generation. In 2010, we did just that.