This is how pencils are actually made.
Here's one of my projects from my Intermediate Ceramics class. I can't remember if we had a specific criteria for this one, nor do I remember if I had any particular meaning to this, other than to say that pencils come from trees. The wooden ones, anyway.
This wasn't one of my greatest works, as the roots kept braking, and I didn't coat the bottom, having been told that it would make it stick to the kiln. Later, I was told that just means I shouldn't paint the bottom surface and that painting up to the edge would have been perfectly alright. But my teacher, Lauren, was pretty easygoing about it, and just pretty in general. She was quite a good teacher, for a grad student.
The University of Delaware ceramics department blog can be found here. It's run by Lauren, Abbey Donavan (another awesome teacher I had for Beginning Ceramics), and several other teachers and students. Heck, even former students, as I'm still officially an author of the site and no one has tried to kick me out yet. It shows whatever the teachers may find interesting as well as many of the students' work.