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Old 10-18-2009, 03:44 PM
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Nicoclaus Nicoclaus is offline
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Best pastel pencil sharpener?

Hi, when I try to sharpen my cretacolor pastel pencils, they break alot, anyone know of a good sharpener? Thanks
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Old 10-18-2009, 03:59 PM
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Re: Best pastel pencil sharpener?

I have been using a $10 or $12 battery operated sharpener for over a year and I get very sharp points on my pastel pencils. It is Staples brand. If a point breaks off in the mechanism, I take a needle or sharp instrument to break it up, freeing the blades. I'm very satisfied.
Sometimes, if a pastel pencil continues to break, it is because it has been dropped.
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Old 10-18-2009, 04:21 PM
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Re: Best pastel pencil sharpener?

A sturdy brake-off blade of the bigger size, one where the blade doesn't 'wobble'. Some of these are called Stanley knifes, but different countries use different names. Shave off the wood, and you can gently scrape a very shap point on the 'lead'. Thing with most pencil sharpeners is that they make the 'lead' turn within the wood, breaking it off.
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Old 10-18-2009, 05:54 PM
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Re: Best pastel pencil sharpener?

I dont use pastel pencils often, but when I do and need them really sharp I use my belt sander. Carefully turn the sander upside down or on its side and slowly roll the pencil as the sander is running. Watch your fingers! But its quick and no broken lead.

Or a sharp utility knife, as Charlie stated.
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:37 PM
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Re: Best pastel pencil sharpener?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorix
A sturdy brake-off blade of the bigger size, one where the blade doesn't 'wobble'.
Is this it? --> X-Acto Snap-Off Blade Utility Knife

Jan
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:06 AM
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Re: Best pastel pencil sharpener?

Jan, that one looks good, and this one too http://www.dickblick.com/products/ol...utility-knife/

They both lock the blade in position, so it doesn't slide when cutting, and they both have metal 'guiding rails', to prevent sideways wobbling. What you want is control. They work really well for cutting foam-core and matboard, too (the outer edges).

Look at the Pastel Guild of Europe's newsletter to se how Dorte (dbjs) uses knifes to sharpen pastel pencils here. You probably have to scroll down a bit.

Then F+W media has a great tutorial in the free preview of a video/dvd in the Artists network tv section, but I cannot find it. Maybe they show different snippets of previews. They're here. I thought I saw it in one of Trudy Friend's previews... memory isn't what it was. I distincly remember thinking: this isn't a preview of the technique it should be about, but it sure is an excellent tutorial on how to sharpen a pencil with a knife.

Anyway, those previews are worth a look anyhow.

Charlie
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:33 AM
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Re: Best pastel pencil sharpener?

Conté pencils sharpened with a knife:
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:50 AM
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Smile Re: Best pastel pencil sharpener?



I use an "Exacto" type craft knife and shave off the wood and then scrape the pastel. Any sharpener I've tried to use just tends to break the pastel.
Also, in use, I grab a sandpaper paddle to shape up the point.
I don't use the pencils for very much except fine lines and details.
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:58 PM
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Re: Best pastel pencil sharpener?

Nicoclaus,

I have the full set of Cretacolor pastels and find the ALL-ART hand held sharpener from general (the little red one) the best for these. I replace the blades in these with the El-Cheapo blades from the dime a dozen department store blades. I use a grinding stone in my roto tool to shape them to fit.

Having said that though, some of the colors are very difficult to sharpen without breaking. I have not had much success with the 472 19, sepia light even with a blade.

I've had pretty good luck with the sickle shaped blade from Xacto.
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:08 PM
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Re: Best pastel pencil sharpener?

Hi guys, thanks for the great tips, guess I have to buy a x-acto knife
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Old 10-21-2009, 01:04 AM
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Re: Best pastel pencil sharpener?

I have spent a fair amount of time over the last couple of years thinking about his subject and have formed a few opinions. Firstly I believe we initially shy away from sharpening due to perceived wastage and the monetary cost associated with that. Secondly we are used to quickly creating a clutter of pastel sticks and pencils around our work which doesn't allow a space for a piece of sandpaper to zip up an edge as we need it. With this in mind I have developed a pastel sharpening tool which is in the machine shop just now with a bunch of guys working out how to make it work for us. It will give us a series of different width edges as well as points and chisels, A big bonus will be the ability for the first time to have combed edges for fur and foliage..... after all why should brush painters have all the fun, right? Part of the fun of my design is that we get to collect all of the dust we make and can then roll that back into new sticks. Also by having a custom made shaper/sharpener as part of our tool kit then we make space for it and use it as a painter would use a palette especially with it being around the same sort of size.
I am expecting delivery of the first prototype this coming week and hopefully if my calculations are right I will get some more made asap and make them available to try out.
Gary
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Old 10-21-2009, 01:58 AM
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Re: Best pastel pencil sharpener?

sounds great, Gary! sign me up!

Diana
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Old 10-21-2009, 03:42 AM
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Re: Best pastel pencil sharpener?

Gary, will it cost more than a new box of pastel pencils? Ten new boxes of pastel pencils?

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Old 10-21-2009, 06:37 AM
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Re: Best pastel pencil sharpener?

Hi Jenny, so far I have found no reason why it should cost any more than half a dozen pastel pencils. It was for sharpening my pencils rather than sticks that led me to come up with this idea originally. Once I have the first one made I can question them seriously about the costs of making more and will keep the forum updated.
Gary
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:25 AM
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Re: Best pastel pencil sharpener?

Wow Gary you are an inventor as well as an artist. This sounds amazing. An implement that is badly needed by us all. I will be watching your for your news on its progression. Best of luck with it.
Mary Brigid

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