Patient artists

by Kathy Laurenhue on February 4, 2011

As we head into the weekend, a little light-hearted entertainment seems in order. As you may have noticed from past posts, I love art and all that the human mind can imagine. That doesn’t mean that I actually like everything each artist creates, but I am always fascinated by the working of their minds. As someone who is better known for impatience than patience, I find patient artists especially intriguing. Here are two whose websites have turned up in my email lately:

Stan Munro now of Syracuse, New York was once the “wacky morning guy” on 13WHAM-TV, in his hometown of Rochester, NY. Wacky or not, he also worked at other TV stations and other jobs over the years, but “toothpicking was always there.” Since 2003, he has worked fulltime building amazing structures out of toothpicks – and selling them. According to his website, http://www.toothpickcity.com/, his “first introduction to toothpicks was in grade school when Stan’s art teacher instructed the class to make a toothpick structure that was six inches tall and could hold an egg. Stan’s held his desk.”

Now, in creating detailed replicas of the wonders of the world, he was created his own wonders.

Artist Dalton Ghetti of Bridgeport, Connecticut works on pencils – not with them, but on them. A native of Brazil, and a carpenter by trade, he has been making his tiny graphite works for about 25 years. After creating huge wood projects, he says that he decided to challenge himself “by trying to make things as small as possible.” According to the article at http://nbmaa.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/dalton-ghettis-microscopic-world/, Mr. Ghetti says, “We’re a fast-paced society, and people don’t have time to stop and reflect–it’s all go, go, go. Hopefully these pieces make them stop and realize there is beauty in small things.”

He uses three basic tools– a razor blade, sewing needle and sculpting knife, plus a very bright light, but so far doesn’t require a magnifying glass as an additional aid, although magnifying glasses are sometimes provided to visitors to the galleries where his works are exhibited. In order to protect his eyes, he only works on the pencils for about an hour and a half a day. As a result, most pieces take him several months, but an intricate pencil with interlocking chains took two and a half years. And yes, he often works months on a project only to ruin it just before it’s finished. But he seems philosophical, enjoying the process as much as the result.

He doesn’t seem to have his own website, but you can learn more by checking this one, http://oddstuffmagazine.com/extraordinary-art-on-pencil-tips-by-dalton-ghetti.html, or just doing a web search for Dalton Ghetti.

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