Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Not So Humble White Vinyl Eraser

While at my local Office Depot recently I came across white vinyl pencil-cap erasers. I wasn't there to buy them, but they went home with me. I was excited to have white erasers for my 4H pencils tops. A silly convenience.

Usually I find today's eraser market confusing and the white pencil-cap eraser adds to it. Erasers, mostly used to remove mistakes, come in a variety of qualities and products. They're also used for more tasks than error removal. When sketching they may be used to highlight or lighten lines.  

I have erasers for specific purposes: kneaded, manual, and electric. Some I find more useful than others. I pick the eraser for the area I plan to cover and the support's surface delicacy. 


White Vinyl Block Eraser
I especially like the white vinyl block eraser. I prefer it because it smoothly removes unwanted pencil marks but does not damage the support's surface, or most ink and paint strokes. The block's size and shape allow it to more evenly erase marks from a wide space than its stick and pencil-cap versions. 

The pencil cap and stick forms are better at erasing individual guide and design lines. Sometimes I cut my stick-eraser with a craft knife giving it an angle or point for erasing marks in small spaces or to reveal a clean surface to use. 

I also have an battery powered electric white eraser that spins a small stick. Its fast rotation uses less pressure which minimizes paper damage. I'm on my second one, actually. It's wonderful for removing calligraphy ruling lines. Unfortunately this one does not retain its power as well as the previous one I had.


Feathered Ink
Although I prefer the white eraser because it's gentle to the surface, it's still important to use all erasers with care. Rubbing an eraser, even a white one, on a support vigorously removes the paper or pergamenata's coating. This leads to ink sinking into the surface, feathering out from the stroke line. 

I've noticed white erasers smudge heavy, broad area pencil shading rather than removing it. It also leaves crumbs I can't blow away, but must brush off with my antique drafting brush.

When I try a new-to-me support I do an eraser-ink test run. I want to know what to expect from any corrections I'll be making.

I like vinyl erasers because they are gentler and cleaner than standard rubber erasers. While they come in white and a variety of shapes, the kid in me likes to play with the ones in fun, fragrant shapes.

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