I Carved A Family Of Elephants Into A Pencil

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My first pencil carving at this scale was of a train – and in December of 2015 it went viral across Facebook and the Internet! I was even featured on a TV show in Barcelona.

My most elaborate design has been the Elephant Walk, commissioned by the Epiphany Elephant Museum. The design started out simple, an Elephant with a foil stamped logo. Then I got carried away… after looking at reference I decided that I needed to carve a family of elephants walking across the Serengeti, because carving just one elephant wasn’t challenging enough! So I stopped keeping track of the hours… but it took a few days.

I carved the train using a 5x diopter magnifying lamp. Then I bought a 10x diopter floor lamp. Still feeling like I could get more detail, I bought a 90x Trinocular on an arm, which is basically a microscope that can be setup for a long field of working distance. I would never have been able to get the detail that I was able to get in the elephant’s skin or the baby’s trunk, which was REALLY crazy hard to carve without breaking… I found myself holding my breath a lot.

More info: Etsy | cindychinn.com | Facebook

Using the wood of a pencil I carved the tree tops, and the trunks are made from the graphite lead

I scored the wood of the pencil to create the look of grass

I carved the elephants from different pencils

I start with a carpenter pencil, adding rough grid lines for reference

I rough the basic shape out using my magnifying lamp

Sometimes I also make some of my own tools because I can’t always find points that are small enough

I complete the elephant with skin texture

My work station complete with a magnifying lamp and a trinocular

I have also carved other tiny things, like this graphite mitt

Inside art

The beast

A day at the beach

You can see more works on Etsy