Pencil Points Make For Incredible Art
An artist’s inspiration can come from pretty much anywhere; and in Massachusetts-based artist Jennifer Maestre’s case, it comes from sea urchins.
The Johannesburg, South African native finds the spiny creatures dangerous but beautiful. Maestre’s sculptures, made mostly of sharpened colorful pencils, mirror the same colorful, look-but-don’t-touch qualities of the deep sea inhabitants.
To create the pencil structures, Maestre takes hundreds of pencils and cuts them down until they’re about an inch long. After drilling a hole in each, she’s able to sew them together, similar to a beading technique, to create some of the most fascinating sculptures.
According to Maestre’s website, the artist shares, “I experimented with other pointy things and techniques and finally hit on turning pencils into beads. Using this combination of technique and materials allows me to retain all the qualities that I want in my work, with the potential for more variety of form.”
Maestre has mastered the art of taking a material that is hard and rigid and turning it into a pliable medium that, when strategically placed, creates a fluid, organic formation which at first glance could actually be a sea urchin.
Maestre did not let her lack of metal-working skills limit her work and also works with nails in much the same manner. Although she has used colored nails to create some well-known pieces, it’s the colorful pencil work that is stealing the show.
The vibrancy the pencil sculptures emote has gotten Maestre to branch out even more to experiment with her fascination with colored pencils.
Maestre has since introduced jewelry into the mix by slicing the colored pencils into a variety of shapes, while using a glue and lamination process to design some amazingly creative necklaces, earrings, and pins.
The artist, who goes through millions of pencils to share her inspiration with the world, says that the on-going joke in her studio is she “can never find anything to write with.”