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Miniature Art on the Tip of Pencil by Dalton Ghetti

Many artists have used pencils to create works of art – but Dalton Ghetti creates miniature masterpieces on the tips of pencils.

Dalton, who works as a carpenter, has been making his tiny graphite works for about 25 years. A sculpture of Elvis Presley wearing shades, carved from a single pencil.

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”

A tiny saw, using both the wood and graphite of a single 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 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”

Dalton, 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”

“I don’t make any money from it but that’s not what it’s about for me. However, I would love for a gallery owner in England to fly me over to put on a show,” he said

Dalton hollowed out the centre of the wood, then carved the central column of graphite to create this hanging, linked heart

Carved from the graphite in a normal pencil: A tiny hammer

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Carved from the graphite in a normal pencil: A tiny button

This carving shows a goblet being held by a hand, all carved from one pencil’s graphite

Carved from the graphite in a normal pencil: A highly detailed boot

A miniature graphite chair

Using the eraser end of a pencil, Dalton created a tiny cross sculpture from the internal graphite

A mini mailbox on a post

An intricately detailed screw, carved in one piece from a pencil’s graphite

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215 Responses to Miniature Art on the Tip of Pencil by Dalton Ghetti

  1. Finally someone “gets it” Your art is so worth the time it took to make. Have you ever thought of getting into politics? You should. Unlike most politicians, you GET RIGHT TO THE POINT!!

  2. It’s really great! I just can’t believe it’s possible. Thank you for showing us this ideas. :)

  3. I was just browsing for relevant blog posts for my project research and I happened to stumble upon yours. Thanks for the excellent information.