Steve February 22, 2021

This story was first published on the 6th of October, 2010


Series of images that circulates via email and social media show tiny but intricate sculptures carved into the graphite tips of pencils.

Brief Analysis

The images are genuine. They depict the work of the talented artist, Dalton Ghetti.


Subject: Fw: Got a pencil?

Wow factor!!

Pencil Art 1

Pencil Art 2

Pencil Art 3

Pencil Art 4

Pencil Art 5

Pencil Art 6

Pencil Art 7

Pencil Art 8

Pencil Art 9

Pencil Art 10

Pencil Art 11

Pencil Art 12

Pencil Art 13

Pencil Art 14

Pencil Art 15

Pencil Art 16

Image credit: Dalton Ghetti

Detailed Analysis

This series of photographs depicting tiny sculptures carved into the tips of pencils circulates via email and has also been posted to a great many blogs, forums and social networks.

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The images have been circulated in various formats since at least 2010. They are often posted unattributed and some commentators have suggested that they have been “photoshopped”.

However, the photographs are genuine and depict the work of Connecticut based artist Dalton Ghetti. Information about the artist posted on the Environmental Graffiti website explains:

Dalton Ghetti is a truly incredible artist. This 49-year-old carpenter from Bridgeport, CT has been carving utterly stunning miniature sculptures, without the aid of a magnifying glass, for more than a quarter of a century. Every amazing piece is carved from the tip of a lead pencil. As a child, he began by carving tree bark, but moved on to other things, like soap to chalk before deciding that graphite was his preferred medium.

An Inhabitat article about Ghetti explains how the artist creates his works:

Getting familiar with Dalton’s technique makes the work even more interesting, as he refuses to work with a magnifying glass, and only uses three tools – a razor blade, sewing needle and sculpting knife. He explains his process: “I use the sewing needle to make holes or dig into the graphite. I scratch and create lines and turn the graphite around slowly in my hand”

And a July 2010 article in the UK’s Daily Mail notes:

Many artists have used pencils to create beautiful pieces of work – but only one creates stunning masterpieces on the tip of one. Microscopic artist Dalton Ghetti spends up to two-and-a half years painstakingly crafting each handmade piece on the graphite of a pencil. Mr Ghetti, who works as a carpenter, has been working with pencils for about 25 years and his stunning sculptures include Elvis, the entire alphabet, linking chains and even an entire church which is just 10mm tall.

Dalton Ghetti has also been featured in the New York Arts magazine. In 2007, his work was exhibited at the Silvermine Guild Arts Center in New Canaan, Connecticut.

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Brett Christensen

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