Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Derwent Christmas

I received this Christmas Greeting image in an e-mail from Cumberland Pencil Company today and thought it was a creative use of a pencil and pencil shavings to design an artistic Christmas tree. Cumberland has been a long time customer of our company using cedar slats historically in their Derwent brand pencils. Derwent is considered to be one of the premier professional artist ranges worldwide, particularly with respect to their innovative line of color pencils exhibiting excellent color fastness and other features including the Inktense line.

Of course Cumberland has a storied history in the pencil industry having been founded nearby the original Borrowdale graphite mines discovered in the 1500s. Cumberland established it's Pencil Museum near it's old factory site in Keswick and has become a regular tourist attraction when visiting the lovely Lake District of Northwest England. The Museum website also has interesting history if you'd like to learn more about pencils. A couple years ago Cumberland moved their manufacturing operations to a brand new site within the area, a rare commitment for a European or US manufacturer to invest in new facilities domestically.

For more on cedar and a Christmas association visit my old Timberlines post A Very Cedar Christmas.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A Day in the Woods

A nice clear, cool day in the Collins Almanor Forest today where I visited Collins Lumber Company in Chester, CA. Collins is our supply partner for the FSC Certified Incense-cedar lumber used in our own ForestChoice Pencils and CalCedar's FSC Certified pencil slats supplied to manufacturer such as Caran d'Ache.

It was nice to be back in a more rural forest setting even if just for the day including stopping in town for a Latte at The Coffee Station. Chester at this time of year has a great feel of small town America, not so busy as during the Summer months with all the vacationers to Lake Almanor and the Lassen National Park. Checking the local paper over coffee the big news of the day was a classic example of a small town scandal. The front page story discusses the community healing process initiated to come to terms with the decision of the local high school principal to dispose of 25-30 sports trophies. In one of my favorite comments one Alumni stated that disposing of the trophies showed a “total lack of understanding about small schools and small towns."

Following our productive meeting with Collins Pine we drove to Redding to meet with another supplier Sierra Pacific Industries which provides our cedar lumber under the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) & PEFC certification programs. Our drive took us through the Collins Almanor Forest, Lassen National Forest, Lassen Volcanic National Park and timberlands owned by Sierra Pacific. The two forest images here are of the Collins including a small group of Incense-cedar trees about 50 years old plus the Coffee Station.

In an upcoming post I'll be covering some more detailed updates and views on issues related to the FSC and SFI/PEFC certification schemes as well as information related to the developing carbon offset credit market with respect to California forests.