He uses lead with diameters ranging from 0.5 mm to 4 mm and has around 450 micro art works to his credit
Rajkumar P was 19 when he first fashioned a heart out of a pencil lead. It took him 30 minutes to chisel the pencil. “I was doing my graduation in architecture and did it as part of a challenge given by my friends. I never thought it would come out well,” explains the 26-year-old artist from Chennai.
Rajkumar works as an architect and now has around 450 micro art works to his credit. He has sculpted alphabets, DNA, World Cup, snowflake, the dancing god Nataraja and many more on lead with diameters ranging from 0.5 mm to 4 mm with the help of a detailing knife. “I started with a pocket knife. When my friends saw my interest they gifted me a professional set. It is sharp and helps me make precise cuts,” he explains.
It takes him anything between 15 minutes to six hours to finish a piece. “Alphabets are easy for me. But when it comes to creating figurines of people, it gets harder,” he says. The first figurines he sculptured was of Buddha. “I failed in my first attempt and now this work is close to my heart. I will never sell it,” he says.
The most challenging piece he has done is that of English alphabets on lead with a diameter of 0.5 mm. “It took me about four hours. I chiselled the lead to create a flat surface to work on before I carved it out,” he explains. He recently sculptured Varadaraja Perumal in a 4 mm pencil tip. “I finished the work last week. It was made to order.”
Rajkumar says that pencil lead art is not very difficult if one has an interest in it. “All you need is patience. I had to discard more than 400 pencils in this process but that should not stop one from trying.” Rajkumar sells most of his works through his Instagram page. “I also often get messages requesting me to teach. I have taken eight workshops in Chennai.” Other than pencil lead art he also does paper cutting art. “I am new in it and still have a long way to go,” he concludes.
Visit www.instagram.com/lead____leads for his works