Jessica Drenk creates sculptures out of pencils. Each sculpture uses between 1,200 and 4,000 of them. After being glued together, the sculptures are sanded with a belt sander and other power tools, before being finished by hand.

By transforming familiar objects into nature-inspired forms and patterns, Drenk examines how we classify the world around us. Manufactured goods appear as natural objects, something functional becomes something decorative, a simple material is made complex, and the commonplace becomes unique. By sanding groups of pencils into shapes suggesting weathered wood, the artist creates a connection between the manmade and the natural. By bringing her appreciation for the nature into the forms and textures of a sculpture, Drenk highlights the chaos and beauty that can be found in simple materials. Her interests in archaeology, paleontology, biology, botany, and geology influence not only the shapes and textures of her sculpture, but also lend a visual framework for creating, collecting, and classifying Denk’s own specimens of the present.

All images © Jessica Drenk

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