This is my most recent commission piece.  I was asked to carve an elephant from a pencil lead, but as usual… I got a little carried away!  This elephant art piece was actually carved from a few pencils and then assembled onto the pencil you see below.

I was able to get this level of detail thanks to my new trinocular microscope (my new favorite toy)!

Click on any image below to view it larger and see the detail

June 25, 2016: This is the final piece in the custom case I built:

Elephant Art Carved From a Pencil Lead

It’s a regular carpenter’s pencil but I sanded it smooth, stained it (two tone) and then used my foil stamp machine to impress a custom logo on the side.

View more of my Carved Pencil Art here

Here’s the story of the elephants from the beginning.  It always starts with some reference material.  This was my source image and inspiration.  I added some grid lines to help me scale the carving on the pencil lead.  The client requested a single elephant, but then I turned it into three… then I wanted to add trees… then I wanted to add grass for them to walk on.


This next image shows how I etched the grid lines into the graphite.

Elephant art - the early stage

From there, it’s just a matter of carving the graphite into an elephant shape!  I start by working under a lighted magnifier to get to this stage or completeness.

elephant pencil carving stage 1

Then I get it under the microscope and really have some fun!

elephant pencil carving stage 2

At this point I’ve been able to better shape the elephant and add some detail to skin and tusks.  I’ve kept it on the ‘base’ so that I can hold it better.  At some point I have to make the decision ‘when’ to cut it loose and finish it off.  🙂

Here are the 3 final elephants carved from separate pieces and mounted on a new pencil:

Elephant art - Elephants carved from a carpenter's pencil

I’ve already exceeded the client’s expectations by this point.  I showed him a photo of the elephants and he asked, “Which one is mine?” – He was overwhelmed when I said “They ALL are!”.  😀

Here’s a look at the full length of the pencil:

Epiphany Elephant Pencil Carving

I added the lettering by using a foil stamp machine I recently bought just for these custom pencils.

This piece will be displayed in the “Epiphany Elephant” Museum.

Finally – here is an album of final images.  Enjoy and if you like this piece, please share it on social media.  You can view more of my pencil carvings here.

Thanks – Cin

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Elephant Art Carved From a Pencil Lead
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