Etched in lead

Standing tall at 19 centimetres, and weighing over six grams, from a batch of wood and fine quality lead is… the average pencil, and surprisingly, a micro-artist’s canvas of creativity.

While the prospects of sculpting lead on the tip of a pencil seem unique, the art requires immense patience, undivided attention, and a whole lot of creativity. This weekend, Artmozo will pair up with artist R Suresh Kumar for a workshop on pencil carving.

Suresh, a B Tech graduate, worked in a local TV channel in Puducherry before establishing himself as an artist. The self-taught artist has been pursuing this form since 2012 and was conferred with his first Assist World Record in 2015 for the “maximum chalk pieces carved in one hour”. He currently holds six records from Assist, and recounts his biggest and latest one with joy. It was set on October 15, 2017, to commemorate Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s birthday in Rashtrapati Bhavan. Part of a 50-member ensemble overseen by President Ram Nath Kovind, Suresh created nearly “110 portraits (pencil carved) of the ex-President in 15 hours on chalk.”

As he puts it, “Chalk piece carving and pencil carving are crafts from the heart. The biggest challenge is to start over, when it breaks.” Suresh also has a product line on the e-commerce platform Artmozo.

What does the workshop have in store? He says, “This is not a workshop for pencil carving, this is a workshop for patience and concentration. Nowadays, kids are hooked to electronic goods, and this is a way to detox digitally,”

The session will start with a theoretical class on pencil types, usage and technicalities. This will be followed by a hands-on carving session to teach making spherical and cubical shapes. Towards the end, one will be taught to carve a letter on lead and finish with a miniature elephant.

The workshop will be held on June 22, in Studio Pepperfry, Phoenix MarketCity, Velachery, from 11 am to 2 pm. Price is ₹1,999 per person, including material. Tickets are available on: pencilcarving.

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