Blackwing Volumes Stories

Click year to view histories in descending order of release:

2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015


       2020        

Volume ? - Q4 - ??
Coming soon...

Volume XIX - Q3 - Firm

Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment back in 1930 on August 198th (which was the day of release for V.XIX). After nearly a century of fighting for voting rights, finally it become illegal to deny anyone, on gender basis, the right to vote. This Volumes release pays tribute to the 19th Amendment and ongoing efforts on U.S. and the world voting rights. This limited pencil has an imprint inspired by the suffrage.

Volume 3 - Q2 - Extra-Firm

In June of 1966, George Harrison met maestro Ravi Shankar in Bath, England. Harrison asked Ravi to teach him how to play the sitar, a task Ravi agreed to only after considerable hesitation. Their collaboration resulted in an explosion in the popularity of classical Indian music and culture in the United States and around the world. Volume 3 is a tribute to Ravi Shankar on his 100th birthday. It’s matte turmeric finish accented with a pattern was inspired by one of Ravi’s iconic sitars, and prominently features the (Om), a sacred Sanskrit symbol with three phonetic components that correlate to the waking, dream, and unconscious states of being. 

Volume 840 - Q1 - Balanced

This release is a tribute to Duke Kahanamoku, the surfing icon who popularized the sport on California’s beaches in the early decades following surfing’s arrival around 1907, The pencil features a sea green barrel with a gold foil accent in the shape of the California coastline. Duke popularized surfing along California’s 840 mile coast, but the lifestyle left in his wake has influenced people around the world. 


2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015


       2019        

Volume 155 - Q4 - Soft Core

Featuring an iconic Bauhaus motif of simple shapes and colors, the Blackwing Volume 155 pencils are dedicated to the graduates of the Bauhaus school. Their passion for beauty, practicality, and craftsmanship left an indelible mark on the world of art and design. German architect Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus design school with the belief "there is no essential difference between the artist and the artisan." His school sought to tear down the perceived walls separating art and design. Only 155 students ever graduated from the Bauhaus in its 24 years of operation, but those students went on to immeasurably impact the way the modern world would look.

Volume 42 - Q3 - Balanced

This release is dedicated to Jackie Robinson and everyone else who inspires people to pursue their dreams regardless of obstacles in their way. Inspired by Robinson's jersey number with the Brooklyn Dodgers, he was the first African American in over 60 years to play for a Major League Baseball team, but faced racism from fans, rivals, and even fellow teammates. His response was always to work harder and prove that he belonged.

Volume 10 - Q2 - Extra-Firm

Reporter Nellie Bly went undercover in 1887 to investigate the Women's Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell Island in New York. The public knew little about the harsh conditions and cruel treatment of the patients until Bly published her series of articles, "The Days in a Madhouse." Her work led to the reform of New York's hospitals, brought greater understanding to mental illness, and set a standard for investigative journalism to uncover the truth and keep citizens informed. Blackwing Volume 10 is a tribute to the legacy of the ten days she spent on Blackwell Island. 

Volume 811 - Q1 - Firm

In 2010, Maya Angelou compared libraries to "a rainbow in the clouds" — no matter how much clouds block out the light, you can always find the illumination of hope in a library. Volume 811 honors libraries and the illuminating hope they provide. Its emerald gradient finish and gold ferrule is reminiscent of the iconic green lamps that light the pages of books in libraries around the world. It even glows in the dark for extra "illumination". The name 811 is a reference to the section of the Dewey Decimal System dedicated to American English Poetry, where many of Maya Angelou's greatest works can be found.


2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015


       2018        

Volume 4 - Q4 - Soft Core

A tribute to the 2020 NASA Mars rover mission and all great technological achievements that started with someone putting a pencil to paper, the pencil features a rust-colored body with a sand texture finish inspired by the perceived color of Mars. The first concepts for the rover’s robotic arm and zoom camera were drawn with Palomino Blackwing pencils at Motiv Space Systems, a fitting illustration of the pencil’s ability to help us reach for the stars. When it lands, these instruments will help the rover search for signs of life and test technology that may allow for future human expeditions.

Volume 33⅓ - Q3 - Balanced

This release celebrates vinyl records and the richness of the analog experience. First introduced in the 1800s, vinyl's uncompressed, honest sound and the physical ritual of playing a record forge a connection between musician, music, and listener that is unmatched by newer musical media. The pencil body is accented with glossy black foil banding near the grip, which represent the grooves on a vinyl record. Its name references one of the most common playback speeds for vinyl records.

Volume 10001 - Q2 - Firm

Honoring math educator Tetsuya Miyamoto, who practices “The Art of Teaching Without Teaching," and all creative educational methods. Miyamoto Sensei's most famous teaching tool is the KenKen® puzzle, which inspires his students to apply problem solving and logic in creative ways. The pencil's unusual five-sided shape represents a play on the word “Gōkaku," which means “passed” (in the sense of passing a test) in Japanese, and “Gokakukei,” the Japanese word for “pentagon." Its name references one of Miyamoto Sensei’s favorite equations and is a palindrome in both Arabic numerals and Kanji.

Volume 54 - Q1 - Extra-Firm

Designed using the collaborative exercise known as “Exquisite Corpse,” Volume 54 pays tribute to the Surrealist movement and all creative exercises that force us to look beyond our own perspectives. Seeking to unleash the power of the unconscious mind, Surrealist poets and artists looked for ways to produce works unhindered by reason. The Blackwing 54 is named for the address where the Exquisite Corpse method was first invented. Each element of the pencil’s design was chosen independently by a different contributor, in the spirit of those early collaborative artistic efforts.


2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015


       2017        

Volume 16.2 - Q4 - Firm Core

Ada Lovelace is honored by this release. She was a brilliant mathematician and visionary who recognized the potential of the calculating machines of the mid-19th century to develop into powerful computers. Her notes on Charles Babbage's theorized Analytical Engine include what many consider to be the world's first computer program. 16.2 references the Analytical Engine’s storage capacity of 16.2 kB, a tiny fraction of the storage of modern smartphones. Each pencil is stamped with the initials AAL in binary and features a firm graphite core.

Volume 1 - Q3 - Balanced

Country music artist Guy Clark is celebrated in this release. His powerful debut album “Old No. 1” is regarded as one of the most influential ever recorded. The rich storytelling and poetic authenticity of his music helped establish the outlaw country genre, breaking free of the polished formulas of the mainstream Nashville sound. The pencil features the round barrel preferred by Guy, and its blue-gray eraser is inspired by the color of Guy’s signature denim shirts. 

Volume 73 - Q2 - Soft

The blue finish and raised texture pays tribute to Lake Tahoe and the fight to preserve its natural beauty. When the lake began to lose its stunning clarity due to pollution, aggressive conservation efforts brought it back to a visible depth of 73 feet—a significant improvement over its low of 66 feet. The raised ripples on the pencil’s surface reflect Lake Tahoe’s topography.

Volume 205 - Q1 - Firm

Commemorates the 13-year expedition of imperial Chinese diplomat Zhang Qian that laid the groundwork for the Silk Road. This trade route allowed an unprecedented exchange of goods and cultural ideas between East and West for over a thousand years. The pencils feature a swirling body print inspired by jade, one of the most valuable goods traded through the Silk Road. In a first for the Volumes series, they come in two colors: green and white. The name of the pencils comes from the molecular weight of jadeite, the most sought-after form of jade.


2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015


       2016        

Volume 530 - Q4 - Extra-Firm Core

Eureka! Volume 530 celebrates the moment of discovery. Its gold barrel and shiny, black-striped gold ferrule are inspired by both the historic discovery of gold that set off the California Gold Rush and the eureka moments that bring clarity to the creative process. The pencil is named for Sutter’s Mill, also known as California Historical Site No. 530, where gold was first found in the state. 

Volume 344 - Q3 - Firm

The maroon barrel, black eraser, and dramatic red ferrule pay tribute to photographer Dorothea Lange and the 80th anniversary of her historic Depression-era photograph “Migrant Mother.” The pencil’s coloring is inspired by how a Blackwing 602 would look in a darkroom and the number indicates the Library of Congress LOT that contains several Dorothea Lange photographs.

Volume 56 - Q2 - Firm

Honoring baseball legend Joe DiMaggio on the 75th anniversary of his astounding 56 game hitting streak, this release features a white barrel with blue pinstripes and a navy eraser, evoking the uniform of the New York Yankees. Its gold ferrule and lettering reference the Commissioner’s Trophy won by the Yankees in 1941.

Volume 24 - Q1 - Extra-Firm

No other writer has such a strong association with the original Blackwing, so it’s fitting that Volume 24 celebrates John Steinbeck. It was designed with input from Steinbeck’s son to be the author’s ideal pencil. It has a custom extra-firm graphite core that is ideal for long writing sessions and sharpens to a fine, strong point without sacrificing much darkness. This all-black pencil’s name references Steinbeck’s practice of working with 24 sharpened pencils at a time to reduce distractions from sharpening.


2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015


       2015        

Volume 1138 - Q4 - Soft Core

Memorializes the groundbreaking film, “A Trip to the Moon,” which was not only the first science fiction film ever made, but its length, elaborate costumes, and storyline set the tone for narrative films of all genres. To properly represent filmmaker Georges Méliès’ triumph, the entire movie is compressed into strips of color and applied to the pencil barrel through an intricate process called roll-on printing. The pencil’s silver ferrule and black eraser suit the lunar theme, and the number refers to the frequent appearance of the number 1138 in science fiction.

Volume 211 - Q3 - Firm

Naturalist John Muir is known as the “Father of the National Parks.” Volume 211 honors the outsize impact he had on the United State’s treatment of its wild environment — most famously through the founding of Yosemite National Park. The number 211 marks the length of the John Muir Trail, which passes through the park. The pencil has a subtle, natural finish and brown eraser that conjure up the image of the woods. 

Volume 725 - Q2 - Balanced

Palomino launched the limited edition Blackwings with a tribute to the Newport Folk Festival® and its impact on music and culture. The Blackwing 725 specifically memorializes the day Bob Dylan “went electric” on the 25th day of the 7th month at the festival. The pencil’s barrel recalls the sunburst finish of his Fender Stratocaster guitar with an ombre color scheme of yellow, red, and black, a gold-colored ferrule, and a black eraser.


2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015