Sudbury: Local author extols the virtues of the humble pencil

Local artist Peter Gray has written a book called 101 things to do with a pencil. Local artist Peter Gray has written a book called 101 things to do with a pencil.

Saturday, June 28, 2014
11:56 AM

There are very few things in life that cost so little but give so many hours of amusement.

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That’s the view of the humble pencil according to illustrator and author Peter Gray, who has just penned a book about the most basic of drawing tools.

101 Uses for a Pencil due to be published next week, is part learning guide and part humorous gift book, imparting useful tips for basic drawing techniques alongside quirky suggestions for getting the best out of your HB or 2B.

Mr Gray, 45, from Sudbury, is more than qualified to write the book having spent 40 years “fiddling with a pencil” as a professional illustrator who has written more than 40 titles during his career.

Most of his other books have been about specialist drawing techniques, but tired of writing about the same subject matter, he wanted to create something “a bit more light-hearted”.

He said: “The initial idea of the book was to show the adaptability of the pencil.

“It’s a fantastic tool, as simple as you can get and so versatile.

“Really, a pencil is all that you need – it costs no more than 80p and if you use it carefully, it could last six months and fill three sketch books.”

As well as some fairly sound drawing tuition, the book suggests other uses for a pencil such as chopsticks, magic tricks, puzzles and games.

The possibilities are diverse, ranging from using a pencil to penetrate cellophane wrappers or to defuse a mousetrap, to writing a bestseller or scratching your ear.

Mr Gray is hoping the book will solve a few Christmas gift dilemmas. Published by New Holland, 101 Uses for Pencil will be available at Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury and on the Amazon.co.uk website from July 3.

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