I Carved A Family Of Elephants Into A Pencil
2 days ago by Cindy Chinn
My first pencil carving at this scale was of a train – and in December of 2015 it went viral across Facebook and the Internet! I was even featured on a TV show in Barcelona.
My most elaborate design has been the Elephant Walk, commissioned by the Epiphany Elephant Museum. The design started out simple, an Elephant with a foil stamped logo. Then I got carried away… after looking at reference I decided that I needed to carve a family of elephants walking across the Serengeti, because carving just one elephant wasn’t challenging enough! So I stopped keeping track of the hours… but it took a few days.
I carved the train using a 5x diopter magnifying lamp. Then I bought a 10x diopter floor lamp. Still feeling like I could get more detail, I bought a 90x Trinocular on an arm, which is basically a microscope that can be setup for a long field of working distance. I would never have been able to get the detail that I was able to get in the elephant’s skin or the baby’s trunk, which was REALLY crazy hard to carve without breaking… I found myself holding my breath a lot.
Using the wood of a pencil I carved the tree tops, and the trunks are made from the graphite lead
I scored the wood of the pencil to create the look of grass
I carved the elephants from different pencils
I start with a carpenter pencil, adding rough grid lines for reference
I rough the basic shape out using my magnifying lamp
Sometimes I also make some of my own tools because I can’t always find points that are small enough
I complete the elephant with skin texture
My work station complete with a magnifying lamp and a trinocular
I have also carved other tiny things, like this graphite mitt
A day at the beach
You can see more works on Etsy
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace
from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty -
the years 1420 to 1912. It is located in the centre of
Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum.
It served as the house of emperors and their households
as well as the ceremonial and political centre of
Chinese government for almost 500 years.
The complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 180 acres.