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Incredibly Patient Artist Hand-Carves a Delicate Chain from Pencil Lead

Pencil Lead Sculpture by Chien Chu Lee

If you’ve ever broken the tip of your pencil by leaning too hard on the page, you know how incredibly delicate the graphite material is. Despite the lead's fragility, Taiwanese artist Chien Chu Lee doesn’t shy away from using brittle pencil tips as his medium. Covering a range of subjects, he transforms ordinary pencils into mind-blowing miniature sculptures by hand-carving detailed forms from the tip. Each tiny artwork showcases this artist's admirable patience and steady hands—but his latest work is his best yet.

It’s been Lee’s dream to carve a link chain from pencil lead, and he’s finally achieved it after many trials and errors. “[I] always wanted to carve this,” Lee reveals on Instagram, “no matter how hard the work is even after some failed, [I] insist on it.” The incredible piece was made by meticulously carving each tiny, individual link without breaking the pencil tip. Lee was able to transform the solid graphite stem into a long, fluid chain that looks just like metal. Delighted with the end result, Lee rejoices, “I firmly believe, [it doesn’t] get better than this!”

Check out Lee’s incredible pencil tip chain below, along with some other miniature sculptures from his ever-growing portfolio.

Taiwanese artist Chien Chu Lee hand-carved this incredibly delicate chain from a single pencil tip.

Pencil Lead Sculpture by Chien Chu LeePencil Lead Sculpture by Chien Chu Lee

The impressive sculpture took years of practice.

Pencil Lead Sculpture by Chien Chu LeePencil Lead Sculpture by Chien Chu Lee

Covering a range of subjects, Lee's ever-growing portfolio showcases his incredible patience and steady hands.

Pencil Lead Sculpture by Chien Chu LeePencil Lead Sculpture by Chien Chu LeePencil Lead Sculpture by Chien Chu LeePencil Lead Sculpture by Chien Chu LeePencil Lead Sculpture by Chien Chu LeePencil Lead Sculpture by Chien Chu LeePencil Lead Sculpture by Chien Chu LeePencil Lead Sculpture by Chien Chu LeePencil Lead Sculpture by Chien Chu LeeChien Chu Lee: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube
h/t: [Reddit]

All images via Chien Chu Lee.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.

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