- Art work of aPencil Sharpener
CAN YOU SHAPEN A PENCIL THIS WELL?
Artist Dalton Ghetti carves artwork frompencils.
Dalton Ghetti does really sharp work - on a tiny scale.
The Bridgeportartist creates impossibly detailed miniature sculptures on the tip of a pencil.
"I'm known as the pencil guy," laughed Ghetti, 49. "I don't mindthat at all."
He shuns a magnifying glass and uses simple tools like razor blades and needlesto create delicate little figures - from a tiny, jagged handsaw to a minibustof Elvis in shades.
"It's like I'm removing specs of dust at a time because the scale is sosmall," he said. "If there's a little bit of dust on my table at theend 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 razoror a pocketknife. He started big, with wood and stone, and then moved tocarving soap, candles and even broom handles before he found his niche about 25years 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, soI was like, let me see how small I can go."
He works as a carpenter and carves pencils in his free time - often putting injust an hour or so before his eyes get tired. It can take years to finish anespecially complicated piece - a linked chain in the middle of a pencil tookhim 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'spretty much like a hobby, a kind of meditation work that I do."
Along with his other projects, Ghetti is slowly carving a tiny, graphite tearfor every 9/11 victim, finishing one each morning before he goes to work, andestimates it will take him 10 years to finish and display them together.
Several years ago, he decided to carve the entire alphabet, and created oneletter a month until he was done.
The entire work is on display through Aug. 29 at the New Britain Museum ofAmerican Art as part of its "Meticulous Masterpieces" show.
He has four pieces in the works, but would not say what they are, in case heends up jinxing himself into snapping the delicate lead. Ghetti doesn't sellhis 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 itfor myself," he said. "It's my own interest in the small things inlife that drove me to call people's attention to them."
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