Rook! I Carve Pensu!
February 11, 2003 3:49 PM   Subscribe

Pencil Carving For Experts. A mere four months after I posted this, I ran across this latest site of pencil carving wizardry, this time from Japan. Be sure to check out the gallery. The bar has been raised.
posted by jonson (25 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Witty at 3:53 PM on February 11, 2003

Are you a legend?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:55 PM on February 11, 2003

posted by Orange Goblin at 4:01 PM on February 11, 2003

this is the best thing ever.

posted by cadastral at 4:04 PM on February 11, 2003

What I suspect they aren't showing us is that these pencils are GIGANTIC, car sized things, and that the carving is accomplished using mining drills. That, or that they have some sort of Fantastic Voyage style miniaturization tool, which they used to shrink the worlds greatest sculptors down to pencil size. Either way, I suspect malfeasance of some sort.
posted by jonson at 4:10 PM on February 11, 2003 [1 favorite]


Why do off the wall things that require amazing patience always seem to come from Japan? ( e.g.: Oolong)

Can Oolong be metafilter's patron saint now that he's gone to the great Clover Field? I figured he's sort of a mascot but maybe he could graduate?
posted by small_ruminant at 4:11 PM on February 11, 2003

what kind of tools do you need to make these? gotta be somthing more than just an x-acto knife.
posted by tayknight at 4:58 PM on February 11, 2003

I bet they fucking suck for playing pencil break.
posted by Stan Chin at 5:03 PM on February 11, 2003

Some days you fancy a nice hearty sandwich. On others nothing but the finest of cinematic entertainements will do. And then there are the days when anything other than ridiculously, outrageously, stupendously amazing pencil carvings is just a waste of time.

I'd hate to be around someone carving one of these when they take the tiniest nick out of the lead and the whole thing snaps in two. The agony!
posted by MUD at 5:24 PM on February 11, 2003

My first reaction to Winter's Big Triangle was "Holy shit!" This guy takes wanking at work to new levels.
posted by mischief at 6:25 PM on February 11, 2003

I am in awe - the sheer workmanship and patience involved in taking a basic, useful object and turning it into a complex, useless object d'art is both amusing and stunning at the same time.
posted by FormlessOne at 6:35 PM on February 11, 2003

Why pencils do you think?
posted by aladfar at 7:04 PM on February 11, 2003

Why Everest, aladfar? Why Everest?
posted by Hildago at 7:09 PM on February 11, 2003 [1 favorite]

cadastral, that was my favorite as well. all stunning. thanks, jonson!
posted by harja at 7:13 PM on February 11, 2003

wow. I looked at those pictures over and over, hoping that they were some type of Photoshop mockup. I'd love to see those in person. just incredible.
posted by milnak at 12:14 AM on February 12, 2003

it's only a pencil
posted by Opus Dark at 1:05 AM on February 12, 2003

sociopathically lovely!
posted by hama7 at 2:05 AM on February 12, 2003

great post, thanks jonson!
posted by madamjujujive at 4:39 AM on February 12, 2003

this sort of things sends me into turmoil about whether I am or am not wasting my life
posted by Frasermoo at 5:24 AM on February 12, 2003

I wonder if they freeze (heat?) them or something to make them easier to carve.
posted by gottabefunky at 7:01 AM on February 12, 2003

Why pencils do you think?

My girlfriend is Japanese, and she decided in high school that she wasn't going to university, and chose art school instead. During the grueling university entrance exams the art school kids would make a great show of how expertly they sharpened their pencils, as if to say "Don't worry about us, we don't care about exams." She tells me that later on, in art school, every class had at least one person who would carve pencils like this during class.

She wasn't the least bit bit surprised at the bunny with pancakes on its head.
posted by zaelic at 7:41 AM on February 12, 2003

These things make me want to cry.

It is absolutely humbling to me that someone can have the skill, concentration and determination to make these carvings. My puny university-educated brain can't even begin to comprehend how it is done. I'd like to think I'm a pretty smart fellow, but then I see this and realize there is a whole other level of genius that I can't even hope to achieve. I could study something like this for hours and not even know how you would start to carve it.

I would rather own one of these pencil carvings than almost any other piece of painted or sculpted art.
posted by grum@work at 9:29 AM on February 12, 2003

:: head explodes ::
posted by alms at 9:46 AM on February 12, 2003

Fan-freakin-tastic. I am going to try this someday. A very sharp X-acto is the first tool that jumped to my mind Tayknight although I am not certain it would do the job. ::checking::

Okay, I just spent about three minutes on a "golf-sized" pencil, starting something like this with the somewhat dull No 11 blade that I keep on my desk. A razor sharp fine knife is likely all that is needed. I'll see where this takes me. (Upon preview, I broke the lead due to not paying enough attention and working while only holding the thing in my hand. Probably best to keep the workpiece on my bench when most of the wood is removed.
posted by Dick Paris at 10:04 AM on February 12, 2003

Humans do the darndest things....

what do Americans have to show for their time? - laser-guided cruise missiles, i guess.
posted by troutfishing at 10:19 AM on February 12, 2003

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