Diana Probst, Cambridge Artist

Making my pencil case

A sketch book and pencil case.  The pencil case is a tray inside an aluminium sleeve.

It is pretty cool, yeah

There has been some interest in my pencil case lately, including someone who snapped it so they could put it on reddit. So, for anyone who doesn’t know, this is my most compact art kit. The moleskine sketchbook fits into my back pocket, along with what I call the analogue drive.

The pencil case used to be an external USB drive. I took out the innards and built a tray out of used bits of wood, which I laser cut. It’s gorilla glued together. I’ve also got wood glued into one end of the case, mostly for aesthetics, but also to stop sharp aluminium chewing through my pocket.

I milled out a slot in the case to match a hole in the wooden tray, for a USB connection. I stripped down a usb socket to nothing but the plastic and four wires, and soldered it to a USB/SD conversion board. I used heat shrink to keep the card in place. That’s all held in place by a lot more glue. I put in a wooden barrier to stop the pencils from riding up and levering the card off or breaking the solder.

There’s a hole in the base for the pencil sharpener to sit in, and the sharpener itself is milled to make it flatter, and has steps on the bottom so it connects with the hole without falling through. It’s aluminium, so it can take having lost a chunk of itself.

In the case I have watercolour pencils in ochre, grey, umber (dark brown), blue, green, and red. I can record most scenes with that, and I don’t have to use water with the pencils, but it’s an option. I also have a couple of pencils, with slightly different drawing characteristics, and a small length of a bog-standard silicone eraser. The last thing I have is a USB micro to Apple Lightning connector. I have a phone that I use for Work in Progress photos and this is the most convenient way of carrying a charger.

I really enjoy making tools for myself and other artists and makers. If you have ideas, I’m always open to new commissions.

Twitter: @dianaprobst
Facebook: Diana Probst – Cambridge Artist