Published: 02nd October 2019
This artist from Udupi carves art using pencil lead without using a magnifying glass!
Surendra Acharya speaks about carving micro models on pencil leads without any formal training and how he went on to bag a Guinness World Record for it
Have you seen those beautiful and cute micro models made on pencil lead and ever wondered how patient one has to be to carve such delicate designs? Surendra Acharya from Udupi is one such artist who learnt to make these models on his own. During the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, an artist had carved the world cup trophy on a small piece of chalk and it was published in a newspaper. When Surendra came across the photo and article of this artist, he decided to make a micro model of the world cup trophy on pencil lead. After spending a few hours, he completed the model successfully. And there has been no looking back since then as Surendra continued to carve many such models of people, animals, birds, gods, mythological figures and much more.
It's been nine years and Surendra has made over 1,000 micro models on pencil lead. He says, "Since the time I have started carving these models, I have learnt how to focus all my energy and concentration on one task. While making these models on lead, there are many chances that it might break. One needs patience when such models break and we have to rework them again. There are times when the models will take a week, a month or two or sometimes even a whole year. It is disappointing when they break, but we must remember that nothing happens at one go. There are several times when I am invited to exhibit the models that I have carved and they get damaged during transportation. Forty such pieces were damaged. Till date, I have carved models of all kinds of musical instruments, Mother Teresa, a carving depicting a mother and a child's love, a boy dancing with a girl, Lord Krishna dancing on the snake and so on."
World famous: Surendra Acharya designed a continuous 58 chain links out of one pencil lead which has entered the Guinness Book of World Records
For the record
Two years ago, Surendra visited philanthropist Dr Veerendra Heggade, Dharmadhikari of Dharmasthala Temple who also runs several educational institutions, and showed him the micro pencil models he had carved. On seeing such creativity, Dr Veerendra encouraged him to try for a Guinness World Record. Surendra explains, "I was happy that he encouraged me, but I was unaware of the process of participating in the Guinness World Records. He asked me to contact Prithivish K, an engineering student from SDM Institute of Technology, Ujire who had set a Guinness Record by creating art using Rubik's cube. Prithivish helped me apply for the same and the jury gave us a set of rules and regulations. The challenge they gave me was to make a chain link from one pencil lead. Abdul Baseer, a Pakistani artist, had created a record by making 50 chain links on one pencil lead. And I had to make more than that."
Musically beautiful: Among all the other models he has made, violin is the one that stands out
In the midst of this, Surendra had a financial challenge to deal with — spending `7 lakh if he had to invite the jury of Guinness World Records to India. Therefore, he found an alternate idea. He invited a gazetted officer and a video recorder to record his work. Finally, in April 2019, he successfully carved 58 chain links, breaking the record of Abdul Baseer. "I spent 12 hours to make this chain link model. But before that, I practiced it for 12 hours as there was no room for making mistakes on the final day," says Surendra whose name has been entered in the record book and he is waiting to receive a certificate from the jury of the Guinness World Records.
When we asked Surendra about the instruments he uses to carve such micro models, he says, "Initially I would use normal blades as I did not know much about carving. Later, I started using surgical blades and needles to carve the models. When it comes to pencils, I use 10B or 12B pencils which are 8 mm in length and mostly Camlin pencils as the lead is hard and doesn’t break easily. Sometimes, I use Apsara pencils as well."
Mighty Jaguar: Surendra's micro model of Jaguar is delicate and detailed when it comes to legs and tail of the animal
The unique quality of this artist is that though he does not use a magnifying glass, he makes perfect models. "I give these glasses to the viewers who visit to look at the pencil models. This helps them see the minutes details of the model," concludes Surendra.