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.
South Carolina-based artist Jessica Drenk was born and raised in Montana where she developed an understanding and appreciation of the natural world that has since deeply influenced the course of her artistic career. Her installations and sculptures often imitate organic shapes, patterns, and textures even when using a medium that is often manufactured by human hands. Drenk’s most recent sculptures are a series called Implements, each of which begins with a mass of standard No. 2 pencils that have been tightly glued together. Using an electric sander she then molds the piece into a form that seems more likely to have originated in a dark cave or deep within the ocean than from a school desk. Of her work she says:
By transforming familiar objects into nature-inspired forms and patterns, I examine how we classify the world around us. Manufactured goods appear as natural objects, something functional becomes something decorative, a simple material is made complex, and the commonplace becomes unique. In changing books into fossilized remnants of our culture, or in arranging elegantly sliced PVC pipes to suggest ripple and wave patterns, I create a connection between the man-made and the natural.
You can find her work at Paia Contemporary in Hawaii, or Foster/White in Seattle, and see many more images over on Facebook. All images courtesy the artist. (via booooooom)