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September 18, 2010

Dalton Ghetti makes a point with his tiny sculptures
By Karen Croke • kcroke1@lohud.com • September 18, 2010
as seen in The Journal News

You would think that carving even one tiny sculpture into the tip of a graphite pencil would be a daunting task for the most diligent craftsman. But apparently not for Dalton Ghetti. A

 Dalton Ghetti's tiny sculptures include a
boot carved on the head of a penci

carpenter by trade, he's widely known as "the pencil guy" for the hundreds of intricately carved, microscopically detailed sculptures he has crafted entirely out of the tips of used pencils.

These absolutely stunning works are on display at Iona College's Brother Kenneth Chapman Gallery, through Oct. 7. "The Microsculpture of Dalton Ghetti" is even more astounding considering some of the works took more than a year to complete with just a razor blade and sewing needles and without the use of a magnifying glass. The entire exhibit could fit into a small suitcase.

There's a bust of Elvis with sunglasses, a miniature chair, a giraffe, a hand holding a goblet, a tiny hammer, even two interlocking hearts. He's been doing this for 25 years, says Madalyn Barbero Jordan, the gallery director.
Barbero Jordan says a friend of a friend of a student brought Ghetti's work to her attention, and since it's been on display, she's been overwhelmed with requests for information. "I've had calls from all over the world. It's astounding," she says.
The 49-year-old amateur artist doesn't sells his miniature masterpieces, preferring to simply hand it out to friends and acquaintances. Ghetti, who lives in Bridgeport, Conn., says he always carved when he was young — as many kids do — using stick, and soap and candles. Now he has taken it to a whole different level. One of his more detailed works, the sculpture of a church, is just 10 milimeters high.


  The alphabet carved on the tips of pencils

Ghetti has made about 100 carvings, and each — pun be damned — has a point, but none more so than a large piece that he is working on inspired by the attacks on the World Trade Center.
In a recent interview with London's Daily Mail, Ghetti said, "When Sept. 11 happened, I was in tears all day and couldn't do much for a while. I decided to make a teardrop pencil carving for each of the people who died in the attack, about 3,000."
He has carved one every day since 2002, with each taking less than an hour.
"When I'm done, they will form one big tear drop," he told the Mail. "It will take me about 10 years, but it will be worth it."

If you go
What: "The Micro-Sculpture of Dalton Ghetti." Ghetti has been carving miniature sculptures into pencil lead (without the aid of a magnifying glass) for more than 25 years.
When: Through Oct. 7
Where: Brother Kenneth Chapman Gallery, Iona College Arts Center, 715 North Ave., New Rochelle; 914-637-7796.
Cost: Admission is free.
Related events: During New Rochelle's Arts Festival, Oct. 3, Dalton Ghetti will be at the Iona College Gallery from noon to 3 p.m.

To read more about the Arts Fest, CLICK HERE

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