“With the pencil, the skillful artist delineates the building in a draft or plan for the instruction or guidance of the workman.”
A tool familiar to all operative masons and school children alike, in the Emulation system the pencil is one of the Working-tools of a Master Mason and is intended symbolically to remind us that our words and actions are observed and recorded by the Almighty Architect, to whom we must give an account of our conduct through life.
While many of the Working-tools of Freemasonry are designed to assist in the cutting and measuring of stones for use at the Temple, the pencil is unique in that it is utilized solely by the overseer of the work. Despite having little utility in a dusty quarry, the pencil is arguable the most important tool at a work site; this is because it is the pencil that draws out the plans for all the bearers of burdens and workmen at the Temple to follow.
In the French Rite "to hold the Pencil," or in French, tener he crayons is to discharge the functions of a Secretary during the Communication of a Lodge.