Did you know pencil sculpting was a thing? That’s right, using the common graphite filled writing device, artists are creating beautiful works of art which combine both the geometric, stackable nature of the lowly pencil, and the often organic forms of hand sculpted art. By glueing the hexagonal sticks of wood together and then carving the resulting block, large honeycomb-like structures can be created. Depending on if a colored pencil or graphite is used, the carved portions of the resulting forms reveal the inner writing material and form a flowing surface of pixilation. Today we bring you two sculptors working with this different medium: Australian Lionel Bawden and American Jessica Drenk.
Lionel Bawden has been working with arranging and carving colored pencils for about 10 years. His works range from undulating organic forms built out of graphite pencils to pill-like forms built out of carefully planned patterns of colored pencils. These latter works – which are also his most recent – are built and finished with such precision that they nearly hide their pencil based roots.
See Bawden’s fine work directly below, then continue reading for a look at the work of Jessica Drenk.
Jessica Drenk, an artist based in Clemson, South Carolina, takes inspiration from the natural world. Her works, with the smeared grey of graphite on their carved surfaces, have the warn and weathered feel of driftwood; while the manufactured yellow exterior of the pencils she often uses provides a sharp contrast to this natural form.