Having known Dalton only from reports of his pencil sculptures, meeting him in person is an entirely different story. Some named him king of miniature sculpture, microscopic artist, to me he is a down to earth carpenter enjoying his hobby and always put on a very friendly face.
"Nobody has ever seen me doing it, I do the carving only when I'm alone and quiet in my studio. It is a meditative process I enjoy very much". With just a razor blade and a sewing needle, nothing fancy, not even a magnifying glass, he would carve pencils in his free time for about an hour or so when he feels like to.
I was so intrigued by the "Screw" piece I had to ask some stupid questions. To look at the tip of the lead I needed to use a magnifying glass the exhibition provided, it is hard to imagine how it was made without one. "Was it really 10 months you took to create the "Screw" piece?" I asked. "Well I don't count every second nor record how much time I spent on each piece but from playing around with the ideas, sketching out and working on the way to do it as I go, to carving until finish, I count all that in and it was approximately that much time I spent".
"Do you prefer certain graphite hardness to work on?" I wondered. "I don't, most of the used pencils I got were from friends or from somewhere I picked up. Once I started on a particular pencil I would know its characteristics and I would modify the pressure I put on the needle accordingly."
I wanted Dalton to have something from my collection as he is the admirable guy working on pencils while I'm a guy admiring unique stationery stuffs, or more so admiring unique things being done on stationery stuffs. It was obvious that the only thing I could give was sitting right in front of me in the office, a Palomino Blackwing I had been using for a few weeks. I was so happy he loves it, I went on to explain how the eraser could be extended once it is consumed near the metal grip. "Thank you so much for the pencil, it's mine! It's mine to keep and I will use it."
His "Memorial to 9/11" piece is work in progress, which will take him approximately 10 years to finish, creating 3,000 graphite tear drops, one for each of the victims of 9/11. "I still haven't figured out how to display the final work." It's a long way to go but if you have any idea how, I'm sure he is welcome to hear.
Dalton didn't know city'super before, but by chance he did shop for food there the day before we met. He signed on 2 of the 26 postcards I got from him, with beautiful handwriting. I'm going to send the est of the postcards to friends.