art - pencil sculpture 8

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


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

215 thoughts on “Miniature Art on the Tip of Pencil by Dalton Ghetti”

  1. I LOVE this it is amazing I adore small things where ever i visit i like to buy hand made objects the smaller the better this is great hope it gets to exhibit in england would certainly come see it. i want a pencil :)

  2. What amazing work – so detailed and realistic! It’s a shame the artist isn’t selling his work..I know several people who would be interested

  3. I love how he make such intricate designs yet his handwriting looks like shit down at that level.

  4. “Bet he can’t carve boobs…or a vagina…That would be awesome”

    I bet he has them hidden somewhere.

  5. The New Britain Museum of American Art is featuring an exhibition of Dalton’s work right now. New Britain, CT
    It’s available to be seen every day but Monday. My wife and I saw it this afternoon.
    Truly amazing!

  6. If he didn’t have steady hands then I doubt he’d be sculpturing intricate masterpieces on the tip of a pencil???

  7. All hes doing is making it impossible to actually use these pencils for writing, which is their intentional purpose. Because of this waste of pencils you are contributing to global warming, you sir are indeed a criminal.

  8. I love his philosophy, ‘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” For some reason, this posting made me cry. I think it is because he never gave up.

  9. If you notice, many of the pencils are already well used- look at the variety and the use of the erasers. I’ll bet he carves many of them from pencils that would have just been thrown away. And even if he bought tons of whole huge boxes brand new, I think they are of great worth as an art form alone! Probably a better use of pencils than many people use them for- and rather cheap for art utensils! Plus, he boosts the economy by buying pencils! It’s an amazing gift to all of us to see what is possible if you just look at things a little differently!

  10. absolutely fantastic! some very nice carvings no matter what size, but to think of how small they actually are is amazing! thank you to whoever posted this.

  11. lighten up-save your breath for real issues…forming a Garden Gnome Preservation Society

  12. Nearly everything we do at this point contributes to global warming, which by the way, is officially called ‘climate change’. For example, you took the time to write your comment here, to do that, you had to turn on your computer, which uses electricity, so, using your logic, you are also a criminal. Just FYI, even recycling relies on many resources to remake products…

  13. Peter, you do need to lighten up. I would gladly give this person all the small pencils I have had leftover from school if he could carve me a miniature horse, dragon, or dolphin. There are bigger issues than your supposed waste of pencils. Think of the wars, the BP oil spill, starvation, deforestation, etc. Besides a lot of people use mechanical pencils now days and not the kind you need to sharpen.

  14. Ingenious and inspirational. The painstaking detail is amazing — this totally made my day!

  15. Fantastic work, but for the record, they are not “normal pencils” they are carpenters pencils. this in no way detracts from the amazing work.

  16. Many people catch pencil eweryday,but one only one of them is different – Dalton ghetti

  17. Sory to burst u guys bubble but thes pics r all totaly shopped. Im a photoshop expert and i can tell 4 sure. If u look at teh pixels and teh shadows in teh pics you wil see taht they r all wrong. im srsly an expert on thes tihngs an i can say for 100% certain that tehy r shopped.

  18. Please see my comment of 8/6. The physical display of several of his actual works are available to be seen at the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, CT.

    There is NOTHING photo shopped nor in any way faked by this man’s work.

    Let us please stick to facts and give Artist Ghetti his due.

  19. I think I got more of a kick our of reading the comments than the article- even though the article was amazing. You global warming guys need to get a life- morons.

  20. You may be a photoshop expert (which I seriously doubt) but you could try to at least be a beginner with the English language…

  21. ahurissant, fantastique, stupéfiant…et malgré ça si joli et même certains réellement beaux!

  22. The pencil with the chain links has my exact birth date on it, and I was born in CT. Pretty cool… Not as cool as the art though.

  23. this is pseudo-art or kitsch. i mean, the guy does small sculptures, pretty small, really really small, so what? that’s not art, that’s just cute or amazingly detailed.

  24. yup pretty neat, but i got a headache from the same damn phrase( from a single pencil lead ) over and over and over and over and over. damn we get it already.

  25. These are truly remarkable. The work involved just boggles the imagination.

    “Well this will break eventually but let’s see how far I get.” That’s actually a pretty good life philosophy. Try to do amazing things without the fear of failure – and you’ll accomplish amazing things!

  26. THIS is what my students keep inside of them, waiting to be born. Not everyone is book smart,
    but they all have something to add to this great world………..

  27. Great work! I love the fact that he carves common everyday tools and objects. Keep up this most unique form of sculpture. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  28. Yeah, right. And Jackson Pollack just slung paint onto hundreds of variously sized canvases during his career as what you would call a pseudo-artist or kitschist. And, I mean, that guy Chuck Close just does large portraits, pretty large, really really large, that are just cute or amazingly detailed. So what?

    Fortunately for us, your opinion on what is and what isn’t art is not sought out by the curators of the world’s art museums.

  29. Climate change. The name was changed from global warming to cllimate change when the earth started cooling ten years ago. The climate is always changing but we have nothing to do with it.

  30. I have a box of neat old advertising pencils that my grandmother collected in upstate NY. Now I know where they belong! Dalton if you want them contact me at and I will send them to you-free of course! If anyone has his contact info, please pass it on to me.

  31. To all the replies below – ever heard of sarcasm as praise? Peter obviously has. And, for may part, there is nothing leaden about the work, it’s great art!

  32. On a Mac, no pictures are shown in ANY browser. Probably made for IE only. Shame.

  33. phenomenal stuff. these are the best things I have seen. I really love this website and it really brings a lot of cheer to my day. I also look at your website again at a later date. I just love those intricate little sculptures.

  34. amei!
    lindo de mais!
    sou brasileira e tenho muito interesses pelas obras de dalton!

  35. My god, another stoooopid hetero troglodyte. They breed like cockroaches. Shoulda been stomped out years ago, instead of letting it fester into a global pandemic of filth and idiocy.

  36. Amelia emoted: “I would gladly give this person all the small pencils I have had leftover from school if he could carve me a miniature horse, dragon, or dolphin.”

    My god you’re the mother of all cheapskates! What were you in a past life, a slave holder?

  37. How come they haven’t banned your bigoted handle yet? You’re disgusting…only a hetero acts like this.

  38. “Try to do amazing things without the fear of failure – and you’ll accomplish amazing things!”

    Only works if you’re affluent, and have time on your hands to pursue avocations with no financial return. Your golden philosophy is a crock o’turds, otherwise…the poor and low income are excluded, thanks very much.

  39. It is sweet that you posted about this. I found you on bing and I had been looking for info about this. Nice website, thanks for the info. I will return to check for new entries

  40. This guy is my hero!! i just sit in classand make my pencil sharp,but this guy takes this to a godly level

  41. God, those are so shopped, i can’t believe pencils impress down synders around here.

  42. This totally tripped me out. I would gladly pay for a few of these. Especially the one with the dangling heart in the middle. :)

  43. Perhaps he was just trying to be funny and was saying the sarcastically.
    Just saying.

  44. Me too. I already replied to someone suggesting this way up the list and then read all these people who evidently have so little understanding of that kind of humor, that I am saddened, but then I have found mankind does that to me on a regular basis. I have also made joking remarks like that only to get a bunch of people jump on me thinking I was serious and even when I informed them of this, were still upset that I could imagine something so heinous. Some are born without a funny bone.

  45. Some are carpenters pencils, some are not. For those that do not know, a carpenters pencil has a lead that is much bigger and rectangular. Since I have both and a scale in front of me, the carpenters lead is 1/4 x 1/8 inch while a “regular” pencil measures approximately 3/32 inch round. So the carpenters pencil is over twice as wide on the long side and 50% larger on the narrow side than the pencil is round. That would work out to roughly 3 times as much material to work with than the regular pencil. So the picture captions are misleading. Still, the work is beautiful and amazing. I’ve done some miniature things like this before and there is something about settling down to have the patience necessary to work so small and not damage the piece. It brings a calm and peace to my mind. Seeing his work might inspire me to do some more of my own carvings. Thanks for posting this and I hope the artist ends up with sales for some of his work for lots of money.

    PS Graphite (pencil lead) is actually a very good material to carve.


  46. that’s absolutely astonishing work!
    omgsh i love stumbleupon for so many reasons.
    i just stumbled upon this rly weird site actually just now….

    seems interesting..?

  47. I am a school teacher and throw away countless pencil nubs…looks like I could be more clever with my garbage. Thanks for greatness found in a nub.

  48. Ummm… perhaps you missed the part where he doesn’t do this for money. Just gives it away to friends.

  49. You are completely right. I applaud your good spirit and insight on this man’s talent-seeing it for what it really is. All those who have wasted their breath continuously pointing out the obvious, and poking fun…I can do nothing but laugh. If you all honestly feel the need to get on your computer each day and reply to comments that you obviously disagree on, instead of keeping to yourself and saving that person a hassle, I feel sorry for you.

  50. it would be pretty cool if i could do this in class while im bored.
    and his is amazing..i cant even begin to imagine how created several of the pencils

  51. I am in awe of these teeny, tiny sculptures! They are truly incredible. I can’t even imagine the time and concentration it takes the artist. Just wow!

    This proves that when you are truly creative, you can make art out of absolutely anything; no matter how big or teeny-tiny.

    Thanks for sharing these incredible images!

    Drive on,
    – M.

  52. Great find. This reminds me of the famous US-based artist who creates the worlds smallest sculptures under a microscope! Can’t remember who it is, though…

  53. Oh so wonderous, the concept of the chain links are simply mind numbing. People like you help the rest of us stay sane, and for that I humbly thank you.

  54. You must be kidding, are you not? I feel very sorry for your abysmal intellect, if you’re not. This is among the greatest use of pencils I can ever imagine. If you want to make noise about wasted wood, then consider disposable chop sticks.

  55. I can’t help but imagine a film of this guy, climaxing with him tied to a chair, a deranged criminal making fantastic demands in the presence of an electric pencil sharpener.

  56. wow that is rediculous. very impressive buddy

    REAL MONEY for looking at an ad for 20 secs . Not a bad deal eh? Even more money for referrals…doesn’t even require a credit card…
    It adds up nicely and is at least worth taking a look.

  57. Phenomenal pieces of artwork. Tremendous talent, patience and imagination. Hope your friends realize what a gift from your heart these are. I too found this on StumbleUpon and love how it helps us ‘stumble upon’ sites we never would have seen otherwise.

  58. Whoa… I don’t think I’d have the patience to do something like these. Quite amazing!

  59. I am impressed! I can never keep my hand steady enough to carve a steak yet alone a tiny pencil. Truly amazing skill.

  60. Great article and amazing guy, though they forgot the ‘why’ of this story, which actually comes from early in his school days, Dalton was often teased for having a big penis. They called him Moby Dick, and Willie Chamberlain, Ghetti Big Spaghetti and just simply Big Penis Dalton, and to compensate for his big penis he decided to be a sculptor of such tiny art people would go, “Well, there’s no way he has a big penis now.”

    Dalton Ghetti, let me address you directly and say that you don’t need to overcompensate with your tiny art for your big penis. It’s completely natural and it’s not about size, it’s about how you use it.

  61. They called him Moby Dick, and Willie Chamberlain, Ghetti Big Spaghetti and just simply Big Penis Dalton, and to compensate for his big penis he decided to be a sculptor of such tiny art people would go, “Well, there’s no way he has a big penis now.”

  62. tyey art grate works.Its amasing!
    I products miniature works too.My works are painting.Please come to look because there is an anthology.The sentence is only Japanese……

  63. Incredible!! The gift that this man is sharing with the world is completely a blessing! My son was smiling when he learned they shared the same first name. ;)

  64. Incredible, absolutely incredible. I couldn’t do any of these with a big bar of soap!!

  65. This is AMAZING!  I would pay lots of money for one of those pencils and most definitely go to a gallary that was displaying his work! 

  66. Some dude named Dalton Ghetti. Yeah if you scroll up there’s actually an article that tells the story.

  67. This is incredibly awesome, This must be featured worldwide so that people will be familiar with this kind of works, The guy behind this is sure to know his craft.

  68. OMG…I love your blog, you should add an RSS feed feature so I can get
    automatic notifications of new blogs. If you set one up please email me! i will
    bookmark you for now. Again Excellent Blog!

    Cheap flights to Mumbai

  69. 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!!

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

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

  72. Problem is that it is hard to write with the pencil after it has been all carved up like that!

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