Attracted to the shape of the shavings that were formed while sharpening her pencil, designer Haruka Misawa decided to explore how they could be formed into realistic flowers. Printing paper with a color gradation, she tightly wraps it in a pencil-like shape so the flowers blossom outward when scraped against the shaver. Each flower created in this method is completely unique, Misawa’s technique making it impossible to replicate the same design of each of her 15-40 mm flowers twice.
You can see more of Misawa’s designs on her Instagram. (via Faith is Torment and This Isn’t Happiness)
All photos courtesy Cindy Chinn
We’ve seen a number of artists working with pencil leads over the last few years, where the narrow dimensions of graphite are carved into minuscule objects. This recent piece by Nebraska-based artist Cindy Chinn is particularly ingenious, an entire carpenter’s pencil is turned into a tiny train, trestle, and bridge. “This piece was designed using straight lead pieces for the rails, with the tiny carved train placed and securely glued on top of the rails,” Chinn shares. “The train engine is only 3/16″ of an inch tall. The pencil is 5-5/8″ long and mounted in a wood shadowbox frame as shown in the photos.”
You can see more of Chinn’s pencil carving work on her website and on Etsy. See more pencil carving fun from Salavat Fidai, Diem Chau, and Dalton Ghetti. (via Laughing Squid)
Starting with carpenter and art pencils containing thick leads, Russian artist Salavat Fidai uses an X-ACTO knife to carve miniature renderings of hands, buildings, and various characters from pop culture. The delicate process requires a good understanding of how much pressure the lead can withstand, but even then mistakes are inevitable. The Ufa-based artist is fascinated by all things miniature, and also paints on seeds and matchboxes. Watch the timelapse below to see his process for carving an entire replica of the Eiffel Tower.
You can follow Fidai on Instagram, and some of his pieces occasionally end up in his shop. If you liked this, also check out pencil carvings by Diem Chau and Dalton Ghetti.
Amalgamated is a new series of vessels by studio markunpoika constructed from assembled pencils. Taking advantage of the pencil’s unique hexagon shape, the pencils are first tightly glued together at each facet to form a solid block. The final pieces are then carved on a machine lathe to reveal the insides of each pencil. Via studio markunpoika:
“Amalgamated” is a collection which explores the relationship of a mass produced ‘tool’ and its individual purpose. The beauty of the pencil as an object seems to go unnoticed if utilised only for their primary purpose. “Amalgamated” is a visual and tactile investigation by using pencils as a raw material. This holistic principle has been the fundament for creating this set of vases; let the pencils become a thing themselves.
The vessels are part of a collaboration between Gallery FUMI and Faber-Castell and were recently on view as part of Design Miami/Basel 2014. (via designboom)
Tokyo-based designer Duncan Shotton, known for his whimsical functional objects like the magnetic cloud keyholder and his Lochness monster pins, just launched a Kickstarter Project for a new kind of pencil that makes rainbows when you sharpen it. Each pencil has a 6-layer rainbow core of recycled paper (not wood) and either a white or black exterior. Shotton says the pencils will ship before Christmas.
Update: Rainbow Pencils are now available in the Colossal Shop.
Armadillo, Boy, Cat, Dove, Elephant, Frog
Girl, Handstand, Iguana, Jellyfish, Koala, Ladybug
Manatee, Nautilus, Owl, Penguin, Quail, Rabbit, Seahorse
Tiger, Urchin, Viper, Wolf, Xiphosura (Horseshoecrab), Yoga, Zebra
An artist’s medium is as varied as imagination allows and you’ll find hundreds, maybe even thousands of them here on Colossal. But occasionally a medium itself is altered to create an artwork, as is the case with Seattle artist Diem Chau (previously here and here) who works within the narrow confines of graphite pencil leads and colored crayons to carve her delicate sculptures of animals and people. A native of Vietnam, Chau and her family came to America as refugees in 1986 and would later receive a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts after which she began exhibiting her works in New York, Miami, Seattle and Los Angeles.
Luckily we’ll finally get a glimpse of Chau’s miniature carvings here in Chicago at Packer Schopf Gallery opening this Friday. Almost everything you see here will be on view and the artist will be giving a talk at 1pm the following day on April 6th, 2013. See more of her new A-Z series on Flickr and on her blog.