White charcoal?

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lizmonster

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Beginning artist here.

What the heck is this stuff?

Yes, I've googled. Closest I've found is one post saying the manufacturer they talked to won't discuss it, and another that described it as kind of like chalk, only not (v. helpful, that). I've seen some suggestions it's made from ash, but even then, they'd have to pigment it pretty heavily, wouldn't they?

I've been playing with charcoal, which I love (although it's brittle, and I may switch to pastels out of frustration). And I would love to know what this stuff actually is.

Anybody know?
 

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I know that pre 1990 it was made with a mixture of chalk, clay and wax. The percentages depended on the manufacturer.

This is based on a list of materials from an archival studies class I took in the 1980s. It's regarded / was regarded as a non-stable material in archive terms.
 

lizmonster

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I know that pre 1990 it was made with a mixture of chalk, clay and wax. The percentages depended on the manufacturer.

This is based on a list of materials from an archival studies class I took in the 1980s. It's regarded / was regarded as a non-stable material in archive terms.

Oh, cool - thank you! I have a white charcoal pencil, and the texture is weird - "stickier" than the charcoal (probably the wax), but more reluctant to deposit color. Much harder, though - I can sharpen the white charcoal pencil, but the black ones just fall to bits.

If I ever do anything that needs archiving, I will avoid it. :)
 

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This
If you are referring to General's "White Charcoal" pencils - they are made of Calcium Carbonate and a binder inside a wooden (cedar) sheath. There is zero titanium white pigment in these pencils. There is zero charcoal in them ( I have never seen white charcoal so the name seems ill advised - but it's been that way for 20 years or more so.. there you go!)
from Wetcanvas.com seems to suggest that some may be or have been made with titanium white. Standards and regulations change, I imagine.