Artist carves elephant landscape from a pencil

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Artist Cindy Chinn uses pencils. That doesn’t sound unusual for an artist (or really for anyone). However, Chinn uses pencils not as a utensil but as her medium. You might have seen a few of her near-microscopic pencil carvings in the past, but the most recent is really a whole new level of mind bending. It’s a line of elephants carved from graphite with a landscape also carved from the innards of the pencil.

This piece was created by Cindy Chinn for the California-based Epiphany Elephant Museum. The line of elephants toward the end are all graphite, but the combination of wood and graphite in the pencil allows for some very cool landscape as well. The trees have graphite trunks, but some of the surrounding wood was left in place and textured to simulate leaves. It’s a really cool effect. Check out the gallery below for more angles.

Working on such a small scale is only possible with magnification, so Chinn used a simple magnifying lamp and a trinocular microscope for the really detailed parts (see above). She started with a photo of elephants as a reference and added grid lines to plan out the carving. That’s why there’s a grid etched on the graphite in one of the above photos.

The final product includes a little magnifying glass so visitors to the Epiphany Elephant Museum can actually see the work up close. You can get your own copy of this work, handmade by the artist for about $823.

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