Dalton M. Ghetti puts a whole new meaning in the term “labor of love” with the painstaking work of carving objects out of the mundane pencil. The Brazilian-born artist is a carpenter by trade but his real passion lies in the meticulous designs he etches out of a pencil using nothing but a cutter and a needle. He reasons he has never sold any sculptures nor take any paid orders because when he sculpts, he wants his work to be dictated by the love of his art instead of the pressure of a deadline or the standards of a client. The only commission he makes is from letting others take photos of his work and by selling postcards featuring his pencils.
Growing up in Brazil where people fixed something when it was broken instead of throwing it away or used something until it was completely worn down, Ghetti has always been an avid believer of recycling. He is a proud supporter of Pencils for Africa where his work has been featured because of the inspiration he exudes from his creations. The charitable cause lets people submit used pencils to be shipped to Africa where children can use it until it is worn down and can then be exchanged for yet another used pencil. The larger-than-life pencil drive is reminiscent of his first sculpture which came from a pencil he picked up from the sidewalk and given it new life. Ghetti may work at a miniscule level but the message he conveys with recycling is widely universal.