To the Point

My brothers girlfriend sent me this the other day and I cannot stop string at these.
It is unbelievable.

Artist Dalton Ghetti carves artwork from pencils.

Dalton Ghetti does really sharp work - on a tiny scale.

The Bridgeport artist creates impossibly detailed miniature sculptures on the tip of a pencil.

"I'm known as the pencil guy," laughed Ghetti, 49. "I don't mind that at all."

He shuns a magnifying glass and uses simple tools like razor blades and needles to create delicate little figures - from a tiny, jagged handsaw to a minibust of Elvis in shades.

"It's like I'm removing specs of dust at a time because the scale is so small," he said. "If there's a little bit of dust on my table at the end of the day and I didn't break it - that's a good day's work."

Ghetti, who grew up in Brazil, has been carving since he was a schoolboy who sharpened his pencil with a razor or a pocketknife. He started big, with wood and stone, and then moved to carving soap, candles and even broom handles before he found his niche about 25 years ago.

"The pencil has been kind of like a challenge to myself," he said. "I can do anything really big, but the small stuff is really difficult, so I was like, let me see how small I can go."

He works as a carpenter and carves pencils in his free time - often putting in just an hour or so before his eyes get tired. It can take years to finish an especially complicated piece - a linked chain in the middle of a pencil took him two years, and a carefully crafted giraffe even longer.

"When I'm inspired, I can sit down and things just flow," he said. "You can't force yourself to do those things. I do it just for fun, it's pretty much like a hobby, a kind of meditation work that I do."

Along with his other projects, Ghetti is slowly carving a tiny, graphite tear for every 9/11 victim, finishing one each morning before he goes to work, and estimates it will take him 10 years to finish and display them together.

Several years ago, he decided to carve the entire alphabet, and created one letter a month until he was done.

The entire work is on display through Aug. 29 at the New Britain Museum of American Art as part of its "Meticulous Masterpieces" show.

He has four pieces in the works, but would not say what they are, in case he ends up jinxing himself into snapping the delicate lead. Ghetti doesn't sell his creations, and even saves his failed attempts, pinned into a Styrofoam "graveyard."

"I do it from my heart, I do it when I feel like - and I pretty much do it for myself," he said. "It's my own interest in the small things in life that drove me to call people's attention to them."

Even the graveyard looks like a work of art. I wish I could go see these in person.


  1. OMG! He must have the steady hand of a surgeon and the patience of a saint! AMAZING. What a strange and fascinating skill...

  2. umm... WOW. That is unbelievable!!! So cool!

  3. This post is totally worth a comment!
    Amazing, and very unique!
    Love it!

  4. This is insane! I want them all!

  5. Love the collection of stubby ones! The patina on the shafts of the pencils are wonderful!

  6. Most IMPRESSIVE piece of art ive seen today :))))))))))))