Masterpieces Made From Pencil Shavings

Caitlin Schneider
@meghanmaconochie on Instagram
@meghanmaconochie on Instagram / @meghanmaconochie on Instagram

Meghan Maconochie is a schoolteacher and artist in South Africa who uses a staple of the classroom—pencils—to create gorgeous works of art, though not in the way you might expect. Maconochie turns the shavings from her colorful collection into everything from Dr. Seuss characters to Banksy recreations to a jar of Marmite or a pink flamingo.

The series is part of a 365 day Instagram project; she told the project's blog that the raw materials come from sharpening every pencil by hand.

“I have tried using an electric sharpener but the shavings end up being too fine and turn to dust pretty much,” she explained.

The process involves sketching an initial design and then layering the shavings for a sculptural look. Some pieces take a few minutes to make while others take hours. Throughout the project, Maconochie has worked around themes and even taken suggestions, all while aiming to post a piece a day. There’s about 100 days left, and while the creations are preserved via photograph, Maconochie tosses most out after she snaps a picture. According to her Instagram though, a more permanent means of preservation has allowed her to capture and sell some of the playful artwork.

Check out a few of Maconochie’s creations below and learn more about the project here.