jennifer maestre has loved “the way pencils smell and how the graphite gleams” since she was a young girl. she never wanted to throw one away, sharpening them until they were just tiny nubs. to maestre, pencils represent “creativity, inspiration, striving, work potential, and fun,” in addition to being “cute.”
to make the pencil sculptures, I take hundreds of pencils, cut them into 1-inch sections, drill a hole in each section (to turn them into beads), sharpen them all and sew them together. the beading technique I rely on most is peyote stitch.
I’m inspired by animals, plants, other art, ernst haeckel, odilon redon, mythology. in fact, it isn’t easy to specify particular sources of inspiration. sometimes one sculpture will inspire the next, or maybe I’ll make a mistake, and that will send me off in a new direction.