When Dr Manuel Cresciani approached Cult Pens and asked if we'd sponsor a prize for his first year architecture students, we said we'd be delighted. Our boss has a bit of a yen for this sort of stuff - as you can tell from his waxing lyrical on the technical drawing blog - so he wasn't hard to convince.
Dr Cresciani - a self-confessed pen addict - is the Programme Leader for Architecture at Northumbria University in Newcastle, which boasts among its alumni such sporting heroes as Steve Cram and Victoria Pendleton, and the not-so-sporty but probably still very fit and certainly very famous Gordon Sumner - aka Sting. Cult Pens had the easy bit - providing two £50 prizes; while the hard bit - actually picking the winners - fell to Dr Cresciani.
The students' mission was to produce six serial visions of a chosen street in such a way that viewers would feel that they had taken the journey along it themselves. And, having chosen to accept this mission, the two winners were Frankie Prinsloo and Lucy Pollard.
Frankie is nineteen and originally from Nottingham. He's enjoying being in Newcastle: 'there's always something going on, and everything is within walking distance.' And the fact that Newcastle - unlike Nottingham - has some nice beaches nearby probably doesn't hurt either! To create his visions he used ink and Promarkers, as they can be layered to create different tones and depth. He's enjoying his course so far; apparently being in the studio at four in the morning trying to finish off work 'builds great community', although the cuts and blisters resulting from model-making are not quite so much fun!
Lucy is twenty-eight and threw over a career as a letting agent in York in favour of returning to education. She says that because of Newcastle's amazing architecture she spends most of her time looking up! For her visual journey she used Letraset fine line drawing pens, in a range of 0.1 to 0.7, and then worked in watercolour paint over the top. Her favourite modules at the moment are History & Theory, and Architectural Technologies: 'I didn't know a lecture on concrete could be so interesting!'
So have they any ideas as to how they'd like to spend their £50 vouchers? As Lucy's pen collection is woefully inadequate for the demands of her course, she's after some really good technical drawing pens and maybe a mechanical pencil. Frankie's less certain: 'but I'm going to get some advice from [Dr Cresciani]. By the sound of it he's a pen fanatic and the go to person when you want to find out about good equipment…'
Congratulations, both of you, and our thanks to Dr Cresciani for inviting Cult Pens to get involved.
15 December 2015