By Cory Doctorow at 10:27 am Sun, Oct 9, 2011
The Matitizia is an edible pencil made from (delicious, delicious) licorice root, created by Cecilia Felli.
Tasty, but also causes hypertension, and if you eat tons of these, possible other serious stuff.
Licorice enjoyed in excess can have deleterious effects, yes. So can liquor, sex, and dancing. Still, four of the best things ever.
In not such giant quantities, it’s also a laxative…
If you’re only neurotically gnawing or sucking your licorice root pencil lightly (rather than eating it), it CAN have a mild sedative effect.
Falling asleep and pooping your pants – just what everyone wants in class and the office. Perhaps this is a “teaching” pencil to train people not to gnaw on their writing devices?
I look forward to the upcoming blog from Mark Frauenfelder, carefully comparing the taste against one of his beloved vintage Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602s.
What are you talking about? All pencils are edible. Even the ferrule, if you’re careful about it.
Candy is dandy but licorice, quicker.
No. No. Licorice is NOT delicious. Michael O’Donoghue called it “the liver of candy,” and he was being shockingly unfair to liver.
We used to buy chunks of licorice root to chew when we were kids. We also made sassafras tea from sassafras root shavings. I guess that’s considered unhealthy now because safrole causes liver damage.
Is graphite also edible?
Mmmm…. but what is being used as the “lead” here?
Graphite is just a form of carbon, carbon is edible.
That pencil looks really beautiful (reminds me of pencils I’ve seen made out of twigs with the bark still on). But, how hard/bendy is licorice root? I have never had one so I have no idea. If it is in any way bendy, that graphite rod will break when you use the pencil… BTDT when trying to make my own pencils out of polymer clay (was fun, though).
wait, pencils aren’t edible?
Wait, licorice is?
I’m very confused as to how the lead is put in there. Anyone know?
Most pencils are made by cutting grooves into a board, laying the graphite rods in the grooves, and sandwiching another board on top. The individual pencils are then created by cutting between the graphite rods.
It doesn’t look to me that these roots have been split, and I don’t know if you create a curved piece of graphite anyway.
Maybe the lead is only a cm long, and just pushed in a small hole drilled in the tip? That’s my guess (and makes this only interesting as an artistic piece).
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