Drawing Out Sculpture
Our world has become so fast-paced these days. Most of the daily activities we used to engage in now have shortened versions, abbreviations of their former selves that save us time but disconnect us from the actual activities. Brazilian-born Dalton Ghetti, a carpenter by trade, is getting back to a slower type of life by engaging in one of the most painstaking, slowest types of art he could find: miniature pencil carvings.
(This post with help from WebUrbanist and Delana)
One of his most well known works is called alphabet and consists of 26 pencils with a letter of the alphabet carved into each tip: “The pencil tip is great; it’s like a pure, very homogenous material. It cuts in the same direction, not like wood, which has a grain. But when I tell people how long it takes, that’s when they don’t believe it. That’s what amazes people more, the patience. Because everything nowadays has to be fast, fast, fast.” Dalton Ghetti explains. Dalton must have an incredible amount of patience, as he spent 2½ years just working on the alphabet sculptures.
He has loved carving since he was a small child. He began with tree bark and experimented with plenty of materials before finally settling on pencils. The graphite is easy to work with since it has no grain, but it allows for a large measure of interest for the artist due to its small size and delicate nature.
Ghetti’s intricate carvings can take him weeks, months or even years to complete. But the artist is not worried about how many moments of his life that he spends sharpening pencils. These moments are almost like meditation for the man who takes life a little more slowly than the rest of us. The tiny and detailed carvings are created without the benefit of a magnifying glass. Ghetti uses sewing needles, razor blades and No. 2 or carpenter’s pencils to slowly carve out intricate shapes and scenes.
Now residing in Connecticut, he uses his training as an architect and carpenter to inform his artistic process. While he does sometimes slip up and break a pencil, even these “failures” are beautiful to look at.
Although there is plenty of interest in Ghetti’s carvings, he does not sell his pencil art. Fans do have a chance to own a bit of his work as he sells posters and postcards of his completed pieces, but don’t expect him to autograph your poster with the pen you have in your pocket; he is so dedicated to his material that he insists on signing his name in pencil.