Cool Sites Series: Ghetti and Aoyama

(This essay is one in a series of posts reviewing my favorite websites. Even though I don’t spend a lot of time surfing the Internet, I do have a file on my computer entitled “Random Cool Stuff.”  Within that file are bookmarked Internet sites, an odd collection of webpages, among the millions of possibilities that tickled my fancy, intrigued me, or led me in a whole new direction.)

There are two things about myself that I know for sure: First, I am not a detail-oriented person, and second, I like projects that can be completed within a reasonable amount of time. Of course, because of these two traits in myself, I am inexplicably drawn to impossibly detail-oriented, time-consuming art done by people who are the exact opposite of me.

One of those people is Dalton Ghetti. He does something that perhaps no one else in the world does–he creates incredibly intricate carvings on the tip of a pencil with nothing more than a razor blade, sewing needle, and small sculpting knife. He doesn’t even use a magnifying glass.

Ghetti, a carpenter by trade, often spends anywhere from months to years on a single creation. “When I tell people how long it takes, that’s when they don’t believe it,” said Ghetti in an interview with the New York Times. “That’s what amazes people more, the patience. Because everything nowadays has to be fast, fast, fast.”

Originally from Brazil, Ghetti began carving pencils over twenty-five years ago, yet he has never sold any of them, he only gives them away as gifts to friends.

But carving on the tip of a pencil can be nerve-wracking. Ghetti says that he used to become more and more nervous as he neared completing a piece. “It would drive me mad when I would be just a bit too heavy-handed and the pencil’s tip would break.” He came up with the idea of “the cemetery collection,” a display of projects that broke. “I decided to change the way I thought about the work–when I started a new piece my attitude would be ‘well this will break eventually but let’s see how far I get.’ It helped me break fewer pencils.”

Ghetti doesn’t have a website of his own, but rumor has it he’s creating one soon. To see more of his work, just google Dalton Ghetti, and scroll through a number of articles and images featuring his carved pencil art.

What Dalton Ghetti does with pencils, Hina Aoyama does with paper. Born in Japan and currently living in France, Aoyama creates the most beautiful, intricate papercutting around.

Her work is described as super fine, lacy papercutting that mixes traditional and modern themes.

Whereas most papercutters use Exacto knives to execute their fine cuts, Aoyama uses nothing but a pair of small, very sharp scissors. One online admirer commented that she must have hands as steady as a surgeon.

There is little information about this award-winning artist, and she, like Ghetti, lacks a website featuring her work. Perhaps they are too occupied with their labor-intensive creations to muck around on the Internet. Regardless, if you google Hina Aoyama, you will be rewarded with even more images of her amazing papercutting art.

If you are interested in giving papercutting a whirl, I recommend the following excellent beginning papercutting books. (Yes, even though I don’t have the patience for it, I HAD to try it!): Creative Paper Cutting edited by Sufunotomo and Paper Cuts by Taylor Hagerty. If you are interested in pencil carving, more power to you, you’re on your own.

About flyingnotscreaming

My weekly quotes and "Notes from Flights" are my attempt to learn how to soar through life's unknowns with grace and gratitude. Thank you for flying with me. --Melissa Myers Place, writer, reader, massage therapist, mother, wife, and daughter
This entry was posted in Essays and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cool Sites Series: Ghetti and Aoyama

  1. Diane says:

    Now those are really cool! Thanks Melissa!

  2. Lynn Burgoyne says:

    Wow! That was fun! I’m inspired! However, I will need some really, really, really strong reading glasses before I attempt this at home!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s