David Rees Presents a Primer on the Artisanal Craft of Pencil Sharpening

How have you been sharp­en­ing your pen­cils? Regard­less of your answer, rest assured that you’re doing it wrong.

Lest there be any doubt that I’m geo­graph­i­cal­ly sit­u­at­ed smack dab in the mid­dle of for­mer car­toon­ist’s David Rees’ tar­get demo­graph­ic, I almost did­n’t click on the link to the pitch per­fect send up above because I believed it was real.

Here in non-Caribbean, non-South­east-Asian, non-Russ­ian, non-Mex­i­can Brooklyn—think Girls, the Jonathans Ames and Letham, brown­stone-dwelling movie stars and the very lat­est in n’est plus ultra strollers—it’s entire­ly plau­si­ble that a humor­less young arti­san might take to the Inter­net to teach us reg­u­lar schlubs How to Sharp­en Pen­cils.

Just wait ’til he brings out his leather strop. (Mis­placed yours? Look in your base­ment, or your grand­fa­ther’s tomb.)

Please note that though the video may be satir­i­cal, Rees makes actu­al mon­ey sharpening—and authen­ti­cat­ing—cus­tomers’ Num­ber Two pen­cils, using the same tech­niques demon­strat­ed in the video. (Sor­ry, hol­i­day shop­pers, as per his web­site, he won’t be tak­ing orders for his live pen­cil sharp­en­ing ser­vices until the New Year, but he does have a book out.)

Like you need any more excuse to whip out your knife, place it in your dom­i­nant hand, and start carv­ing.

To quote a cer­tain clas­sic Broad­way musi­cal, you got­ta have a gim­mick.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

“The Peri­od­ic Table Table” — All The Ele­ments in Hand-Carved Wood

Watch The New Amer­i­ca, a Stop Motion Ani­ma­tion Star­ring 800+ Laser Engraved Wood Blocks

Learn to Draw Butts with Just Five Sim­ple Lines

Ayun Hal­l­i­day can get behind New Ork City pub­lic school teach­ers’ insis­tence on the Ticon­dero­ga brand. Fol­low her @AyunHallliday

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.