Pencil Tip Sculpture

The Last Elephant 2012
carved carpenter’s pencil (graphite & wood)
5 1/4″h x 5/8″w x 1/4″d (13.3cm x 1.6cm x .6cm)

Growing up, I would spin the last bits of scrap from my leftover origami paper into the tiniest cranes I could muster. Clearly, I’ve been outdone. Artist Diem Chau has carved an elephant sculpture from the tip of a carpenter’s pencil, whittling away the graphite and the wood.

Chau says her “current work drifts into new territory by exploring the periphery of the narrative, moments forgotten and faded, or too brief to retain.” I find this objective to be in sync with her motivation for creating the elephant. According to her blog, she says she was saddened and disgusted when she discovered that the founder of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches went on a safari and killed an elephant.

“I wanted to make something beautiful and sad,” says Chau on her blog. “I feel his loneliness.”

I find it beautiful that Chau’s love for story keeping inspired her to create a memorial on the tip of a pencil, an object intended to aid in remembrance. See her other pencil sculpture and works on her blog.

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