Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dalton Ghetti’s Pencil Sculptures - yes again amazing

Pencils have been associated with art for hundreds of years, but it is only recently that they have been used for sculptures rather than to draw with. Artist Dalton Ghetti, a Brazilian native now living in Bridgeport, CT, has been carving miniature sculptures into the graphite of pencils since he was a school boy in Brazil. However, he makes a living as a carpenter. He received his associate’s degree in architecture from Norwalk Community Technical College. As a child in Brazil, Ghetti sharpened his pencils with a razor blade, which led to him experiment with carving into the wood of the pencils and then with other materials such as chalk, soap, and tree bark. Eventually, he discovered the ease with which graphite could be carved into because of its smooth texture. He uses No. 2 pencils and stronger, flat carpenter pencils.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Ghetti’s sculptures is that he does not use a magnifying glass of any sort while creating his pieces. He does them all by hand and most of the time all he needs is a razor blade, a sewing needle, and very bright light. In order to protect his eyes and keep them from getting tired, he only works on his pencils for about an hour and a half a day. The time restraint and the tiny, intricate details make for a long process; his pieces can take months to years to complete. Ghetti explains: “I have an interest in small things in life—insects, moths, spiders. I spend a lot of time observing them. There’s a whole microscopic world out there that people don’t even notice.” Magnifying glasses have been previously provided for visitors to exhibits of his sculptures, as well as enlarged photographs, to fully appreciate the detail.

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