What’s Inside the Volume 211 Subscription Box

By now, subscribers have started receiving their subscription box containing Volume 211, but that’s not the only surprise tucked inside that little brown box. We threw a little something extra in there just for our subscribers.

A photo posted by Blackwing (@blackwing) on

The first is a Genuine Incense-cedar 7W1 pencil slat (the same kind used to make many of your favorite pencils). This slat will probably be the first thing you notice when you open your subscription, even if it isn’t the first thing you see. The cedar aroma from this freshly cut slat is intoxicating for us pencil people.

The slat features the story of the 211 on one side, and a map of Incense-cedar growing regions and the John Muir Trail on the other. We worked with the students at the Weber Technical Institute in Stockton, CA to design and laser engrave these slats, and they did a wonderful job.



The second surprise comes in the form of some replacement erasers for your 211 pencils. This is the first time we’ve created a pencil with a brown eraser, so we thought you might like to have some to hold on to. 


Thanks again to everyone for subscribing. If you’d like to snag some of these subscriber-exclusive goodies while they’re still available, you can subscribe here.

Introducing Volume 211

When we started brainstorming ideas for our second Volumes edition, we knew we wanted to show a different side of the program. The 725 was a musician’s pencil: loud and in your face. The 211 is just the opposite: subtle and subdued.


Here’s a short excerpt of the insert that comes with each Volume 211 set:

“John Muir was a writer, poet, and artist, but most notably, he was the most widely recognized environmentalist in American history. Perhaps his biggest accomplishment was being the key figure in the founding of Yosemite National Park.

We pay tribute to John Muir and his impact on creativity and the environment with the Blackwing 211. The John Muir Trail, the premier hiking trail in the United States, starts in Yosemite and continues 211 miles through the Ansel Adams Wilderness, ending at the highest peak in continental United States, Mount Whitney.”

The 211 not only pays tribute to John Muir and the hiking trails of Yosemite in form, it’s function was also designed with the outdoors in mind. It features a firm graphite core designed for long walks spent sketching in nature.

Our headquarters are based in Stockton, CA, about 100 miles west of Yosemite National Park. We share our hometown with the University of the Pacific which houses the John Muir Papers, the only collection of notebooks, sketches and writings by Muir himself.

We took a trip down to the archives and looked through Muir’s drawings. While we were browsing, we discovered a drawing he drew of Half Dome and the Merced River. Inspired, we decided to take a trip to Yosemite and find the spot where John Muir created that drawing. The trees are a bit taller today, but the river and the rocks are just as beautiful as ever.


In addition to the 211 pencils, subscribers will find a little something extra in their subscription box. We’ll talk about that more once subscribers start receiving their shipments. We hope you enjoy the Blackwing 211 as much as we do. Now get out there and sketch something!

Not a subscriber? Buy this edition!

Volume 725 is Sold Out

It’s official.


We’re sad to see these babies go, but Volume 725 is officially sold out. A big thank you to everyone who subscribed or bought our first edition. If you missed out, here is a list of our retailers who ordered the 725:

United States

Desert Island Supply Co –South Birmingham, AL 

Art Outfitters – Little Rock, AR 

CC Gallagher – Avalon, CA

Graphaids – Culver City, CA

Swains Art – Glendale, CA

Ok the Store – Los Angeles, CA

Plastica – Los Angeles, CA

MOCA – Los Angeles, CA

Clover – Los Angeles, CA

Menloville – Menlo Park, CA

Pelago – Oakland, CA

Alpha Stationers – Pacific Grove, CA

Upstairs at Pierre Lafond – Santa Barbara, CA

Flax Art- San Francisco, CA

Aesthetic Union –  San Francisco, CA

Mido, San Jose, Ca

Create or Die Art –  San Mateo, CA

Two Hands Paperie – Boulder, CO

Florence Griswold Museum – Old Lyme, CT

Cherry Blossom Creative – Washington DC, District of Columbia

Hands Office Supply – Delray Beach, FL

Perez Art Museum – Miami, FL

Wynwood Letter Press – Miami, FL 

Beat Street – Kenilworth, IL

Peoria Riverfront Museum – Peoria, IL

Carmichael’s Bookstore – Louisville, KY 

Guild Art Supply – Northhampton, MA

Rock Paper Scissors – Wiscasset, ME

Darling Botanical Co – Traverse City, MI

Ackland Museum Store – Chapel Hill, NC

Zeller Writing Company – Omaha, NE

Pen and Pad – Albuquerque, NM

CW Pencils – New York, NY

Lees Art Supply – New York, NY

New York Stationary – New York, NY

Signature Theater – New York, NY

Elsewhere – Portland, OR

Stubby Pencil Studio – Tigard, OR

Two Old Hippies – South Nashville, TN

Paper Place – Austin, TX

Bison Book Binding – Bellingham, WA


Reids – Calgary Alberta, Canada

Articulations – Ontario, Canada

Take Note – Ontario, Canada

Tokyo Smoke – Ontario, Canada

Phidon Pens – Ontario, Canada

Crywolf – Richmond Hill, Ontario Canada

Original Paper Ya – Granville Island, Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada