Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Carved From the Lead in Pencils

(Above) At least he didn’t use Trajan....

(Above) Dalton Ghetti at work...

(Above) Elvis is back!


(Above) I really love this....

(Above) The graveyard: a resting place for the lead pieces that broke along the way.










DALTON GHETTI CREATES MINIATURE MASTERPIECES on the tips of pencils. Dalton, who works as a carpenter, and has been making his tiny graphite works for about 25 years.

The 49 year old said: “At school I would carve a friend’s name into the wood of a pencil and then give it to them as a present. Later, when I got into sculpture, I would make these huge pieces from things like wood, but decided I wanted to challenge myself by trying to make things as small as possible. I experimented sculpting with different materials, such as chalk, but one day I had an eureka moment and decided to carve into the graphite of a pencil.”

Dalton uses three basic tools to make his incredible creations – a razor blade, sewing needle and sculpting knife. He even refuses to use a magnifying glass and has never sold any of his work, only given it away to friends. He said: “I use the sewing needle to make holes or dig into the graphite. I scratch and create lines and turn the graphite around slowly in my hand.”

The longest Dalton has spent on one piece was two and half years on a pencil with interlinking chains. A standard figure will take several months. He said: “The interlinking chains took the most effort and I was really pleased with it because it’s so intricate people think it must be two pencils.”

When Dalton, from Connecticut, USA, first started he would become frustrated when a piece would break before being finished—especially after he had spent months working on it. He said: “It would drive me mad when I would be just a bit too heavy handed and the pencil’s tip would break. I would get very nervous sometimes, particularly when the piece was almost finished, and then I would make a mistake. I decided to change the way I thought about the work – when I started a new piece my attitude would be ‘well this will break eventually but let’s see how far I get. It helped me break fewer pencils, and although I still do break them, it’s not as often.”

Ghetti, who is originally from Brazil, has a box full of more than 100 sculptures that have broken while working on them that he affectionately calls ‘the cemetery collection’. He said:
“I have quite a few broken pieces so I decided to glue them on pins and into styrofoam for a display case. People might think it’s weird I keep them but they’re still interesting. I worked on them for months so they might be dead now but at one point I gave them life.”

Via here.

49 comments:

惠慧萍婷 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Maree Kimberley said...

these are amazing, I really admire his dedication and passion, just doing something for the love of it.

Hannah said...

Literally, I am in awe of this! So cool! I want an "H"!! :)

Joey said...

Incredible find John! These made my morning...

ray uk said...

Not weird, incredible. They say
patience is a virtue. It certainly
applies here.

Brian Wolf said...

I saw these at the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. The little chainlink one still boggles my mind. Thanks for posting!

ArtSparker said...

The graveyard is my favorite, I think because they are all lined up like crowded musical notes. The Museum of Jurassic Technology had an exhibit by a man who carved the ends of toothpicks many years back.

Jim Linderman said...

Holy Moly! These are incredible. The artist certainly does have lead in his pencil, and he knows how to use it. I'm astounded.

Fashion Serial Killer said...

that's the coolest thing EVER!

Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda said...

sorry, goofed up trying to post a comment. was trying to say this guy's work is amazing. thanks for highlighting this artist's work, john.

Jan said...

Wow - 25 years? Amazing.
Love the interlinked hearts.

michele marinelli said...

i cannot believe! it's incredible.

Laura@popdesign said...

Great find. How lovely to meet an artist working on such a small scale!

Walter Zimmerman said...

Wonderful work! You need to be in touch with David Wilson, creator of the Los Angeles CA treasure, The Museum of Jurassic Technology. Your work would fit beautifully with Mr. Wilson's collection of wonders, and more people could see your terrific creations! Thank you!

The pale observer said...

Wow! Those are amazing - but so fragile! The tiny works of art - which must take HOURS - could break off so easily!! Hopefully they go into glass cases!

Melody said...

These are fantastic! I can't believe the detail on them!

jonnia said...

Wow! Thank you for sharing these!

Outside The Lines said...

Wow....all I can say is amazing! Thanks for posting this John....what an incredible artist and an incredible man!

PJ said...

Doesn't use a magnifying glass?! If he's not near-sighted, he's masochistic.

But astounding, regardless!

marissa_raya said...

incredible! i love it!!!!!

DeAnna said...

Amazing work! I'm sure someday we'll see Ghetti at the Getty.

charles said...

Awesome work, this is incredible stuff.

vidya said...

My children are awestruck and think this is amazing and also mind blowing.

Brian Sibley said...

Amazing! I can't sharpen a pencil without breaking the lead! The most fantastical miniaturist since that guy who created scenes in the eyes of needles.

Katy said...

WOW! This is such awesome work. And I mean that in the truly awe inspiring sense of the word!

Alfredo said...

Fantástico! Tinha que ser alguém com laços brasileiros.

Kenzo said...

This is by far the coolest thing I have seen in a while. Keep up the inspirational work!

Sandra said...

Amazing! Fun to see work that is so lovingly made.

Deer Antler for Pups said...

These are really wonderful. My son attends a Waldorf School and pencil are a big part of his day--can't wait to share this with him.

Mimi Favre said...

This body of work is impressive and inspiring.

Randy Mott said...

This is the coolest thing I've seen in a long time

gopali said...

This is beyond amazing- needs to be in a museum

tess said...

This makes me really happy. People are so infinitely creative. These are really beautiful!

Alta Vista Spain said...

In an age when most of us are glued to our computers and the pencils on our desks have become almost redundant - how refreshing to see some of them getting put to good use! Fantastic!

barbara r-g said...

i love your work! amazing! i collect miniature chairs and shoes, i have never seen anything so small and unique. your imgaination is endless. thank you for sharing your art!

CreativewithClay: Charan Sachar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CreativewithClay: Charan Sachar said...

Are you kidding me! This is mind blowing!! I love it! I am always blown away with what people can create with simple every day mediums. Here is a link to another artist (Jennifer Maestre) who does magic with color pencils.
http://creativewithclay.blogspot.com/2009/02/what-is-your-medium-for-making-art-work.html

Perry said...

Truly an astounding find and great artist. Amazing.

riyo said...

amazing! can't believe my eyes!!

Jorge Mendes said...

Simply amazing.
Estrella y Jorge
Sevilla & Lisboa

nombat said...

I like that he takes the whole pencil into account. From the letters to the fantastic saw, its not just about the graphite.

Prakash Varma said...

simply the best

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