Pencil Carving by Cindy Chinn

Cindy Chinn, a Midwest-based artist, wields her pencils like magic wands. Her intricate pencil carvings defy the ordinary, transforming graphite into miniature worlds. Let’s dive into the enchanting realm of her art

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 featured on sites such as SteampunkTendencies.com,  BoredPanda.com, ThisIsColossal.com (even Spanish TV!) and many others.  Since then, I’ve been busy taking orders, answering questions and doing interviews – this is FUN!  😀 ** VIEW CURRENT PENCIL CARVINGS FOR SALE **

Pencil Carving Gallery

Here is my viral post that made me ‘a world-wide sensation’ 😉


Train carved into the lead of a carpenters pencil… 3/16’th of an inch high. by Artist Cindy Chinnhttps://cindychinn.com/blog/pencil-carvings-by-cindy-chinn/

Posted by Cindy Chinn on Thursday, May 7, 2015

NEW: January 2024: Here is my latest pencil carving – the “Big Top” Train! I had a lot of fun coming up with ideas for this one, and it’s by far my most detailed and whimsical pencil train yet! This one is available for purchase – contact me for more info.

Currently Available: The Great Wall Zephyr

Here is one of my latest train carvings – The “Great Wall Zephyr” is a classic old steam engine pulling a coal car behind it, and other cars which you can see on the trestle.

My “Bison Herd” pencil carving is currently available – please contact me for pricing and details.

Recent 2023 Pencil Carvings

I have been busy this past winter starting on a new series of pencil carvings. Here is the first collection featuring a “Hand” theme (and a Christmas tree! 🙂 )

“The White Line Express” Pencil Carving by Cindy Chinn

White Line Express Pencil Carving by Cindy Chinn
Pencil Carving of a Train by Cindy Chinn

After that first train went viral, I received orders for more trains other pencil carving projects and started 2016 busily looking through a magnifying glass!  Here is a gallery of my pencil lead trains that I have carved so far. It’s been fun coming up with some different designs.

I hope that the photos are able to convey the small scale of these pencil carvings.  I use carpenter’s pencils as the lead is a little bigger and the shape of the pencil itself is more interesting.

The trains are constructed, rather than carved from a single piece of lead (graphite).  The trestle and cars under are carved in place, while I use mechanical pencil lead for the rails and carve the engine (and other cars if needed) from some graphite I have cut from the pencil.  I then glue the rails and the engine to the pencil.

Disney Rapunzel Pencil

In 2019 I was invited to Disney Studios in Los Angeles to film this short feature about carving pencils.  I had a great time and everyone loved the results!  The video was view over 2 million times on Instagram!

Pencil Carving

Other Pencil Carving Designs

I also carve other designs and like to see how much detail I can find.  Some designs are VERY tricky and I haven’t mastered them all yet.  Some break at critical places and cannot be fixed by gluing or re-carving.

Elephants carved from pencil lead
giraffe carved from pencil lead

I have been coming up with new designs with some destined for galleries and some for commissions.  Keep checking back as I plan to have more designs and more photos of pencil carvings in the future!

Check out the blog post which shows the progress of my Epiphany Elephant pencil – and another one which shows the carving of my Giraffe Pencil.

Crayon Carving

Lately I’ve also been working with crayons.  I like the options I have with the colors and combinations of colors.    I never realized how much room for experiment there was in this art form.

Adopt-a-Pet Series

Here’s a series I hope to expand on – they were so much fun!  (and they all went to good homes) 😉

Thanks for following along- Feel free to share this page!

Throught the Magnifying Glass

I would like to thank Art Whitton Photography for his great photos of these tiny works!

Buy a pencil from Etsy store – each one is Made to Order – just for you!  Or contact me to create a custom carving!

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