Saturday, September 6, 2014

Getting the Write-Start!

  Have you ever heard of these?  Several years back, I was filling out my annual order for supplies for my elementary art room and saw these in the catalog.  I ordered 1/2 dozen boxes to try them out, thinking they'd be great for my younger students.  What I didn't expect was that they would instantly become everyone's favorite colored pencil!
They are made by Crayola, and are called Crayola Write-Start Colored Pencils.  They are officially 'intended' for younger kids, but my older kids fought to use them, and frankly I like using them too.   I'm missing a few in my set - the set has 8 pencils.  I have black, green, yellow, red, and purple, but the set also includes orange, blue, and brown.
The leads are soft, the colors are rich, and the points never seem to break.  The kids could really bear down on the point to get rich color, and they were easy to hang on to.  The are thick and easy to grip (which helps with my old lady hands), and hexagonal so they don't roll off the table.  And the graphics on the pencils are cute, too!  My only regret is that they only come in these basic 8 colors.  You can still buy them, but it's rare to find them in catalogs so you really have to hunt them down.  If you follow the link above, you'll find them at a great price at amazon.com if you are already spending $35 and qualify for free shipping.  (It doesn't mention Amazon Prime). 

Once, at a conference, I got samples of these Ticonderoga 'Core-Lock' colored pencils ([photo below) from a vendor.  Their quality is amazing - I personally think they rival Prismacolor in quality and richness of color.  Unfortunately, I have just three colors and I don't think they are made any more.  Why does the good stuff so often disappear? 
I mean, do you remember the Sanford Colorific (or Foohy) Gel Markers?  (Same thing, with a name change.)  They were spectacular!  Or the gel colored pencils? Why is it that when you get really attached to something, it disappears from the market?  What would we all do if black Sharpies were no longer available??

Do you have a favorite 'unsung' art material that you think others should know about?   Or a favorite material that is simply no longer available?

6 comments:

  1. Good to know! Thanks for the great suggestion!

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  2. OMG, once Staples was blowing out huge tins of those Ticonderoga colored pencils and I bought 'em all for next to nothing. They are THE BEST...and I've not found them again since. Pretty sure they stopped making 'em which was a total bummer. They never broke and they had the best colors, sigh.

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    1. Lucky find! I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks they're awesome!

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  3. Oh the nostalgia!! When I was in middle school all the "popular" girls wrote each others names in bubble or block letters with markers and decorated them for all of their binders. I was not even close to being "popular" but my mom bought be a box of the gel markers and I was doodling my own sign the other kids saw how awesome the markers were and suddenly I was the coolest of cool for about two weeks. I was heartbroken when they quit selling them .

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    1. The craziest things can sometimes really make a difference! Maybe we all need to write letters to Sanford and Crayola about these products?

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