This miniature sculptor must have the eyesight of an eagle and patience of a saint to do what he does. Meet Chien Chu Lee, a Taiwanese artist, who has made a pencil lead his medium of art. The incredibly intricate works are a testimony to his sculpting skills and eye for detail.
If you’ve used a pencil, you’d know how fragile its lead is. You must’ve broken the graphite tip of your pencils hundreds of times while working with them in school. Well, Lee has managed to make this brittle material a medium to express his art. And it’s his selection of difficult subjects, that range from figurines to objects to buildings and much else, that sets him apart.
There’s no doubt that Lee is bestowed with remarkable patience and a pair of steady hands. It seems nothing is impossible for him. After creating almost everything he could think of, he took up the challenge of carving a link chain from pencil lead. According to him, he always wanted to carve a link chain. He was able to achieve this after many trials and errors. The credit for this goes to his grit and determination that enabled him to achieve this impossible-looking feat, despite several setbacks.
Just a look at Lee’s link chain will show how difficult this feat is. For one, he had to meticulously carve each tiny, individual link without breaking the solid graphite stem and turn it into a series of long flowing links that look like a metal chain. He conveyed his uncontained joy on this accomplishment by saying, “I firmly believe, it doesn’t get any better than this!”
Lee did not start out as a pencil sculptor but created small wooden toys for his children using bamboo sticks. However, his insatiable craving for doing something complex introduced him to pencil lead, thanks to the inspiration he received from the intricately shaved pencil carvings of Brazilian-born Dalton Ghetti. He began to hone his carving skills using razor blades and X-Acto knife for his works. He spent hundreds of hours in perfecting his craft of carving mini sculptures from pencil leads.
Lee caught the attention of the public when one of his works went viral. He had carved the entire English alphabet into a single strand out of mechanical pencil lead. This graphite strand measured just 0.5 millimeters end to end!
Today, he enjoys a fan following of over 71,000 on Instagram alone.