Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Handful from Levenger

During the two weeks spent in Louisiana last month, I enjoyed some time visiting with my favorite cousin and her family. Carolyne, or as I’ve long called her, the Cajun Queen, is one of us who takes pleasure in stationery goods, and stays on top of what’s available in the pen, pencil, ink and paper market through blogs and other websites. Carolyne has kept up with my frequent fountain pen hurrahs over the past year, but apart from a Pelikano Junior, remains loyal to her rollerball pens. She is a big fan of Levenger products and has on at least three occasions given me wonderful gifts from their online catalogue. What I’ve come to discover however, is that Levenger is quick to ‘retire’ items from their online menu. I have a pen case, an eyeglass-pen case and a mechanical pencil from Levenger-via-Carolyne, and none of the three are currently available on the Levenger website. Hard to understand when each of the three is an excellent, high quality product, as well as practical. Mmm…wait a second there; let me amend that to say that two of Carolyne’s gifts are practical, with the case for ten fountain pens more in line with the needs of pen nuts like myself. I have to doubt that a case for multiple fountain pens would be very useful for someone like my sister or best friend.

The last time in Baton Rouge Carolyne gave me what Levenger calls the 2mm Clutch Pencil. Lead with a 2mm diameter is huge, practically verging on the size of a carpenter’s pencil. I am no stranger to thick lead, since I regularly use a 0.9 Montblanc 167 mechanical pencil, but the difference in 0.9 and 2mm is considerable. Still, I like thick lead because it guarantees stability in writing; thick lead doesn’t suddenly snap in mid-sentence.

The Levenger Clutch Pencil is short, measuring only 4.5 inches, with a weighty 0.5 inch diameter. After writing with it for three pages, I switched to my regular 0.9 Montblanc and was surprised at the Montblanc’s lightness in comparison. The Levenger has a barrel of half brushed aluminum at the top, and natural wood at the bottom. I wish they had added a rubber grip above the point because the smooth wood does not allow for a secure hold, making the grip almost slippery. I also would ask that they lengthen the pencil at least an inch, but perhaps that’s my big, large-grip hand talking.

Unfortunately, as stated above, the 2mm Clutch Pencil—like the eyeglass-pen case and the fountain pen case—is no longer listed on Levenger’s website. Don’t quite know why this is so, but they know more than I do of sales and marketing.

Finally, a bayou-sized thanks to the Cajun Queen.

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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America