Seattle-based artist Diem Chau likes tiny things. Over recent years, she's been working on micro sculptures, creating intricate artworks by whittling down crayons and pencils. Similar in method to the work of Dalton Ghetti, who gained international recognition for his intricate pencil sculptures, Chau's work has a character of its own that leads to a unique style and outcome.
Chau is currently exhibiting a collection called A-Z: Northwest Natives at the G. Gibson Gallery in Seattle. As the name hints, the exhibition runs through an alphabet of the natural inhabitants of the Northwest US. C is for Cougar, G is for Grizzly, W is for Wolf Eel, and so on. In addition to the alphabet collection, Chau is also showcasing some of her pencil work, including a stunning graphite chameleon.
- In Chameleon, a lone lizard sits atop a graphite stalk, pondering its existence.
- In the alphabet collection, A is for Aquilegia, more commonly known as the Columbine. B is for Bald Eagle, C is for Cougar, D is for Dogwood, E is for Elk, F is for Fox, and G is for Grizzly.
- A detailed view of F is for Fox.
- H is for Heron, I is for Iris, J is for Juniper, K is for Killer Whale, L is for Lynx, and M is for Mountain Goat.
- J is for Juniper, the conifers that gave the world the joy that is gin.
- "I really had fun doing this guy," says Chau. "The two color combo was a challenge, positioning the whale's body on this crayon was also hard. I finally just took some liberties and placed his dorsal fin on top of his head."
- N is for Northern Spotted Owl, O is for Otter, P is for Painted Turtle, Q is for The Quinault Tribe, R is for Rhododendron, S is for Salmon, and T is for Timberwolf.
- A close-up of the adorable O is for Otter.
- Perhaps our favorite of the collection, P is for Painted Turtle perfectly captures a skyward-facing turtle in the wax of a crayon.
- U is for Urchin, V is for Viola, W is for Wolf Eel, X is for Xanthogrammica, or giant green anemone, Y is for Yuma myotis (vesper bat), and Z is for Zapus princeps, the Western jumping mouse.
- A 360-degree view of Y is for Yuma myotis, the latin name for the vesper or evening bat.
- The Dreamer and The Lone Deer, two sculptures crafted from pencils.
- The detail captured in The Last Honey Bee, a graphite sculpture carved from a carpenter’s pencil, is astounding.