Captivating sculptures transform pencils into art

Every artist knows that pencils are one of the most fundamental creative tools. You can use them to draft ideas, create detailed sketches, or scribble playful doodle art (opens in new tab). However not many people use pencils like Jennifer Maestre (opens in new tab), a Massachusetts-based artist who carves them into captivating sculptures of sea urchins and other forms of underwater life.

Working with huge batches of hundreds of pencils, Maestre cuts each one down into one inch sections and drills a hole into them. The pencil chunks are then sewn together like beads the create the distinctive sea urchin shape. As for the prickly spines, it makes sense that these are made from sharpened pencil ends.

"The spines of the urchin, so dangerous yet beautiful, serve as an explicit warning against contact," Maestre explains on her website. "The sections of pencils present aspects of sharp and smooth for two very different textural and aesthetic experiences. Paradox and surprise are integral in my choice of materials."

Explore the gallery below to marvel at Maestre's intricately woven pencil sea urchin sculptures.

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Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.