Cretacolor's pencils, crayons and pastels are still manufactured at the factory in Hirm, in Austria, set up in 1790 by Joseph Hardtmuth, inventor of the graphite pencil. Hardtmuth was a music lover, and sponsored both Mozart and Schubert, so it's likely that some of their great compositions would have been written with Cretacolor pencils. They were given royal approval in 1889 when Queen Victoria was said to be thrilled when she first used one of their pencils. Nowadays, Cretacolor has an impressive line of good-quality watersoluble products including briques, pencils, crayons and pastels. They're loved by artists for their versatility, since they can be used dry for drawing and sketching or with water to create a whole range of effects.