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Images from the pencil factory reveal the extremely complex production process

Posted on Nov 13, 2018


Photographer Christopher Payne spent several years building a relationship with the owners of General Pencil Company in Jersey City, New Jersey, one of the last remaining pencil factories in the United States. His dedication to working with the factory paid off, and between fall 2015 and summer 2017 Payne was granted access to the production floor for photo-documentation more than thirty times.

The photographer, renowned for his cinematic images that show the architectural grace of manufacturing spaces, doesn't hide his fascination with this seemingly simple every-day-life object. “The pencil is so simple and ubiquitous that we take it for granted,” Payne told Colossal. “But making one is a surprisingly complex process, and when I saw all the steps involved, many of which are done by hand, I knew it would make for a compelling visual narrative.”

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