Aren’t you surprised to note that this art form is actually made up of pencils only. The eraser rubbers and the tail end of the pencils are used to provide cushion support. Yes, there are other uses of pencils too. Pencils are used to produce stunning architectural marvels and models similar to their original forms.
I recall, World Fame Gilbert Keith Chesterton’s famous quote,’Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling.‘
Pencil is used in several ways, as an artist’s small, fine brush. Technically these little slender, rod-shaped instruments of wood, metal, etc. with a center stick of graphite, crayon, etc. which is sharpened to a point for marking, writing, and drawing, are supposed to have limited use but in this photo blog I am going to illustrate the several other creative ways that transformed pencil into an amazing unimaginable and incredible piece of art. The earliest pencilling craft, pencilled art or pencil sculpturing came into existence some 1700 years back when primitive forms of pencils used were developed from birds’ feathers. These pencils had colorful sketches that matched the royalty which possessed them. Later ordinary person also started using them. The pencil carving business bloomed further later with the advent of lead pencils made from soft wood. A picture here illustrates how even crayons are carved into fantastic pieces of art.
According to Wikipedia Jennifer Maestre is a South African-born, Massachusetts-based artist, best known for her unique pencil sculptures all over the world, derives most of her inspiration from the form and texture of the sea urchin. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and holds a BFA degree from the Massachusetts College of Art. Jennifer is probably the best pencil sculpturist in the world till date. Here are some of her sculptures. For more please visit her site.
Stunningly beautiful Jennifer Maestre said, in her official statement, “My sculptures were originally inspired by the form and function of the sea urchin. The spines of the urchin, so dangerous yet beautiful, serve as an explicit warning against contact. The alluring texture of the spines draws the touch in spite of the possible consequences.
She explains further, ‘The sections of pencils present aspects of sharp and smooth for two very different textural and aesthetic experiences. Paradox and surprise are integral in my choice of materials. Quantities of industrially manufactured objects are used to create flexible forms reminiscent of the organic shapes of animals and nature. Pencils are common objects, here, these anonymous objects become the structure. There is true a fragility to the sometimes brutal aspect of the sculptures, vulnerability that is belied by the fearsome texture.
She explains her craft, ‘To make the pencil sculptures, I take hundreds of pencils, cut them into 1-inch sections, drill a hole in each section (to turn them into beads), sharpen them all and sew them together. The beading technique I rely on most is peyote stitch.’ Here is a small simple model as an example you may try your hands on it, And please remember practicing will take you further. So do’nt stop, if anything goes wrong.
Jennifer says, ‘I’m inspired by animals, plants, other art, Ernst Haeckel, Odilon Redon, mythology….I started off in the direction of prickly things….” In an interview now available online, Jennifer talks about the delicate art of pencil sculpturing, She says, “I love Ernst Haeckle’s work, but I’d say it inspires rather than influences me.I’ve always been the type to use pencils down to the tiniest nub, and save the nubs. However, when I started using pencils in my sculptures, it was more about the textures they could allow me to achieve. I was experimenting with lots of pointy things, and pencils happened to be easy to get, and fun to work with. Sometimes I have a rough idea in my head for a form, sometimes things go awry, and I end up somewhere I never envisioned. Sometimes I make a ‘pattern’ for myself, and follow it to see what happens. Many times, one sculpture will inspire the next….I am represented by Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge MA., at least as far as the sculptures. I sell my jewelry in a few shops, galleries, and Museum stores, and on etsy.com.”
Basic Pencil Sculpturing: Tutorial
You may yourself make stunningly attractive creative pencil sculptures if you start with a stepwise approach. Here this model created by Jennifer, is probably the simplest.
Just take colored pencils. Cut them into one inch pieces, well sharpened. Make small holes in each and tie them like beads. Start re-assembling them into any shape you like. With practice you may create more complex and max creative models. After you have plenty of such model. Show them in any exhibition. Get rewards, awards and good money as well. And you may try little cheating initially, unlike any master. Just look at the above sculpture that resembles an ash try. Try sticking small pencils with the help of instant binders on the surface of the ash try until covered. You may cut ‘tongue shaped’ equal sizes from a discarded bike tube and cover it with the tiny pencils. Now finally you have the idea, how to make pencil sculptures without any cheating!