Brazil’s pencil tip carpenter

Dalton Ghetti gets straight to the point – literally. Like the needle head sculptures of Englishman Willard Wigan, the Brazilian-born artist (now residing in the US) also fine tuned the art of miniature masterpieces with his extraordinary pencil sculptures.

When Jungle spoke to Ghetti he’d just finished chiselling a single tear drop from a pencil tip as part of a painstaking project inspired by the 9/11 attacks, making one a day for each victim. His patience is unparalleled; having begun in 2002, he expects it to take a decade to complete, and whilst other works have taken up to two and a half years, he reflects that each teardrop “is simple, and doesn’t take too long”.

He carves the intricate designs using just a razor blade, needle and pencil. Without the aid of a magnifying glass. Occasionally works can break before completion. “I don’t keep track of how many pencils I break, though I do keep a Cemetery Collection”, a display of broken pieces glued to the heads of pins.

The graphite creations are eclectic and varied; his inspiration comes from whatever’s around him. Micro-marvels include a bust of Elvis and an entire alphabet. Despite such time-consuming work, Ghetti considers himself a carpenter by trade, citing sculpting as “just a hobby”, giving rise to his tools series – including a nail, saw and hammer.

By Caroline Major
Images courtesy of

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