What kind of animal would a pencil be?

Jennifer Maestre sculpts pencil creatures. They were originally inspired by the form and function of sea urchins while she was attending the Mass College of Art.

The spines of the urchin, so dangerous yet beautiful, serve as an explicit warning against contact. The alluring texture of the spines draws the touch in, in spite of the possible consequences. There is a true fragility to the sometimes brutal aspect of the sculptures, vulnerability that is belied by the fearsome texture.
To make the pencil sculptures, I take hundreds of pencils, cut them into 1-inch sections, drill a hole in each section (to turn them into beads), sharpen them all and sew them together. The beading technique I rely on most is peyote stitch.

Yikes, sounds tedious. But the result is unforgettable. Some of these look as tho’ they could stretch their legs and jump away. As well as the sculptural aspect, we appreciate the different shades and shapes of color that the pencils allow. There’s the color of the wood itself, the color of the tip/center, the outside of the pencil, and in some cases even the color of the eraser and it’s brass neck. Amazing!

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