Hand Tools Archive

Re: Nice!
Response To:
Nice! ()

I admit this ended up being yet another weird rabbit hole haha.

The other thing I've found is that some of the art pencils have more intense color release if they're soaked (https://steemit.com/art/@erangvee/soaking-my-colored-pencils-or-experiment-drawing). I'm not saying that's what your mom's doing but its definitely possible.. There are also apparently "watercolor" pencils (https://www.jetpens.com/blog/how-to-use-watercolor-pencils/pt/972) which actually look pretty cool as well.

I would be mildly surprised if any (or at least many) modern pencils had the more toxic forms of analine dyes used in them nowadays. It's possible.. but imho unlikely. So your mom is likely ok unless she's using pencils from pre early 70's, in which case I'd probably be about as concerned about the probability of lead based paint on the outside.

I'd probably also take that newspaper link assertion as to the pencil getting harder post wetting with a mild grain of salt, it's certainly plausible I guess but without better validation I'm mildly sceptical. I've found the same typescript in scanned articles from at least as far back as 1896 through the early 30's so it was good enough copy to be heavily borrowed anyway.

Current best hypothesis is that it's a carry over from wetting the copy pencils when helped release the dye so they worked better. The couple of reports I've found of people trying that indicate that the old ones were far from delicious which maybe puts a wrench in that theory, perhaps if you were a three pack a day smoker the flavor wouldn't stand out as much. I can't strictly rule out that some earlier pencils had clay binders that released better when wetted and that could have been carried over as well.

There is also the distinct possibility that the fact that a lot of early pencils had lead paint on them might have made them deliciously sweet to the taste as well.. so kids being kids might well have picked up a bad habit unknowingly because of the flavor.

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