Dalton Ghetti is an artist who resides in Bridgeport, Connecticut. His work is unique to say the least. Ghetti carves super realistic sculpture in the graphite on the tips of pencils. Many of his pieces have moving parts; chains and hinges carefully carved from common, everyday number twos.
Born and raised in Brazil, he describes the beginning of this art form as having originated in the classroom where he would take out his pocket-knife to sharpen his pencils at school. He started carving the wood around the lead and then moved to chalk for a larger surface. The chalk he says was frustrating because of the imperfections in the material. He’d work on a piece and most times there would be a mass in the chalk that would cause the sculpture to break. He kept at it until one day he discovered that graphite provided the perfect medium. It was soft enough to carve with a consistent structure throughout.
Over many years and after many attempts he has perfected his craft. Occasionally he’ll use a carpenter’s pencil but most often he carves on the kind of pencils who’s tips you or I might break while writing a grocery list. Ghetti keeps his sculpture in small styrofoam boxes that he’s cut out precise shapes in for each pencil. He has a pencil Cemetery that is a square block of styrofoam with pins sticking out of it. On the head of each pin he’s glued the broken pieces of his failed attempts at a project.
There are at least fifty pieces if not more including a bust of Elvis Presley, a pair of ears that are two separate links, a hammer, a broom (which is wrapped at the bristles with a single strand of human hair), a boat on saw horses with a tiny hole in the bottom and a chain with around twenty three movable links. Ghetti has carved the entire alphabet on separate pencils and displays them side-by-side. The pencils in this piece came from a second grade classroom where students donated their stubs for the project.
It is nearly impossible to describe this work in a way that conveys how incredible it is. Some of the pieces can be seen on his website www.daltonghetti.com but even there, it’s difficult to grasp the detail and the scale of the pieces. That said… it is well worth taking a look