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Old 04-01-2012, 06:57 PM
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johndill01 johndill01 is offline
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Re: having a rant

I have a question. Has anyone tried the trick that is used by colored pencil artists of wrapping the pencils in question in a damp paper towel, then microwaving for 10 to 15 seconds and then immediately placing the pencils in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes. This steaming in colored pencils seems to cause the "lead" to rejoin in one solid entity.

Since I almost never use pastel pencils, I have no idea if this will work, but it surely cannot hurt any to try.

John
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:24 PM
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Re: having a rant

Oh, I definitely feel your pain Jackie. I use Carb Othello, Derwent, Conte, and Kooh-i-noor (spelling?). I use different sharpeners for different pencils, crazy , I know. I use this one for Carb Othello and Kooh-i-noor (I like it because it has replaceable blades), and this one for Derwent and Conte. The large one can be used for all four brands, and sometimes I do that as well. The smaller one can only be used for the thinner pencils. No matter what, it is a real pain when they break, I think the entire inside shaft of the pencils is already broken when problems like you're having arise. Carb Othellos seem to be the biggest problem for me, the Kooh-i-noors are turning into a real favorite of mine, no breakage at all yet. I like Conte and Derwent, the Conte don't seem to break, the Derwent do, but not as much as the Carb Othello. But, I like the colors of Carb Othello................, so I just use 'em all and sharpen away! I much prefer the sticks also, but for commission work I do use the pencils in portraits for control. I find I'm not as loose as I am when I paint for myself.

I've heard about the microwave thing John, not sure if it works for pastel pencils, but it sure is worth a try.

I'd also be interested in trying the Dahle 155 you mention Merethe. That may be worth a try also, one cannot have too many pastel pencil sharpeners, especially with this kind of "history".
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:23 PM
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Re: having a rant

John that sounds so funny I man just have to try it for fun. As you said, there is nothing lost for sure.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:59 PM
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Re: having a rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by SherryC
John that sounds so funny I man just have to try it for fun. As you said, there is nothing lost for sure.

I know this works for colored pencils Sherry, I think because of the wax in the pencil. Someone that I know that works in colored pencil has used it and confirmed it. The heat seems to 're-bond' the breaks in the pencil, and I've heard it makes them like new. I'm not sure it will work with pastel, but it sure is worth a try. I've taken broken pastels and added water to both pieces, enough to 'smooch' the pieces together and when they dry it's now one piece. Maybe this would be a similar approach with the steam from the wet towel in the microwave, then quick freezing to set it? Who knows, but it's worth a try.
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:56 PM
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Re: having a rant

I bought a hand crank sharpener at Jerry's Artarama - the Professional Multi-Point Sharpener. I got it so that I could sharpen fat colored pencils like some of my Derwent ones. What I found out after getting it was that it babies my Carb Othello pastel pencils and sharpens them to a much nicer point than even a brand new little sharpener. I would always use the General's All Art ones for pastel pencils because it wouldn't break them if it was new. Really new, the slightest drag on the blade meant I bumped it down to using for graphite.

But this hand crank one is even better. I'm amazed at how gentle it is, and it's self sharpening so I don't have to worry about going through blades that fast. I never had the hand strength to use the knife blade sharpening method so I'm glad I got that sharpener.

I've had internal breakage like that with Carb Othello pastel pencils, my first batch of them, also with Prismacolor colored pencils. Sometimes I'd get a replacement and go back to the store with a one inch stub because the point kept dropping out over and over. Stores usually replace them though. Blick did too when I got a few bad open stock ones that already had internal breakage.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:12 PM
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Re: having a rant

Chris, that makes perfect sense.

Honestly, I have a set of pastel pencils and have never had that happen to me. I did buy a leather case for them because someone (probably on here) warned me that they need to be protected from bangs and dropping. Before I read that I did not know they were fragile.

Heavens, everything about working with pastels is so complicated, but I would not trade this medium for any other despite the dust, and the breakage and the smudging and smearing and dripping.

I hope I don't scare off any newbies.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:56 PM
sketchZ1ol sketchZ1ol is offline
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Re: having a rant

hello
Sherry - me too ! just working thru the details ... ( oy! )

i point up one end of a full Nup stick by shaving as Charlie said ,
and then give it a twirl or two on 800 grit auto ' black ' sandpaper
which can be washed off to recover the grain .

John's idea makes sense , but i'd want to soak the end of the pencil in water overnite
to get moisture to draw up into the body/pigment before nuking it ( on 30% )
several times
to see if it all welds back together .
-> that's a guess , haven't tried it since i don't have any pencils ...

Ed :}
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:55 AM
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Re: having a rant

crikey, what innovative ideas, this soaking and microwaving.

I am impressed, tho not sure I can be bothered...........
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