Dalton Ghetti – Miniture art on pencils.

This week as a class we’re looking at how we can develop a ‘growth mindset’…for example, instead of feeling frustrated at not being able to do something, we say “we can’t do it yet”. This offers us a really good opportunity to develop and challenge ourselves and to persevere with our learning. For example, in Maths today we tried folding a square piece of paper in such a way that we could make various shapes by only cutting along one line.

As part of this learning about Growth Mindset we looked at some works of art created by Dalton Ghetti. You won’t believe what he can do with a pencil!

Dalton was a sculptor and used to make huge pieces of art from wood but decided he wanted to challenge himself. Now he carves amazing pieces of art into the graphite of pencils using only three basic tools: a razor blade, sewing needle and sculpting knife. He even refuses to use a magnifying glass!

The longest Dalton has spent on one piece was two and half years on a pencil with interlinking chains. A standard figure will take several months. He said: “The interlinking chains took the most effort and I was really pleased with it because it’s so intricate people think it must be two pencils”.

When Dalton, from Connecticut, USA, first started he would become frustrated when a piece would break before being finished after he had spent months working on it. He said: “It would drive me mad when I would be just a bit too heavy-handed and the pencil’s tip would break. I would get very nervous sometimes, particularly when the piece was almost finished, and then I would make a mistake. I decided to change the way I thought about the work – when I started a new piece my attitude would be ‘well this will break eventually but let’s see how far I get. It helped me break fewer pencils, and although I still do break them, it’s not as often”. Now that’s certainly developing a growth mindset!

You can see some of his miniature masterpieces for yourself.