Olivia Snoddy/The Mirror

A Fairfield student takes a close look at the pencil carvings in the two-dimensional 9/11 memorial artwork.

In a small measurement of eight and a half by eleven inches, one artist joins together again those lives taken in the September 11 attacks, doing so with a razor blade and 3000 pencils.

Brazilian-born artist Dalton Ghetti resurfaces emotions felt September 11, 2001 after about 3000 lives were taken at the World Trade Center that sun-filled Tuesday morning. The degree of tragedy Ghetti illustrates in his recycled-art demonstration is one of patience, perfection and emotion. Through his 3000 teardrop filled larger teardrop, lives lost on 9/11 are again brought together in dignity and unity.

Three thousand hours of Ghetti’s life were used in this creation’s making. Using only a razor blade to carve the graphite from recycled pencils, each teardrop, roughly the size of a grain of rice, took about an hour to complete.
After 11 years and 3000 hours later, Ghetti’s memorial was complete, placing all 3000 teardrops into one larger two-dimensional dark teardrop.

Ghetti, born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, traveled to the United States at age 24, where he would go on to earn an Associate’s Degree in Architecture from Norwalk Community Technical College in 1994. Currently working as a carpenter and a house renovator, his self-taught hobby is one he embraces as both a hobby and a form of mediation.

His craftsmanship with tools and pencils arose in the classroom at the age of six, where he would sharpen his writing pencils with a razor blade. Given the gift of a set of metal tools from his parents at age nine, he began sculpting with hammers, chisels and knives. He focused mainly on carving large objects and later turned his attention to smaller things, wanting people to notice the smaller objects in life.

Ghetti’s work is one of a recycled practice, using pencils found on both streets and sidewalks. His detailed procedure, carving with a sewing needle and a triangular, sharp metal blade, takes months or up to a year to finish a sculpture. He does not sell his pencil carvings, for he wishes to take on this hobby for himself.

“It takes an admiration and a keen perception of sadness to be able to create life in a tragic moment,” said Michael Franco ’13. “It brings you closer to September 11 and it has a lot of meaning since every person who passed away has their own teardrop. He put in so much time to create them equally,” said Franco.

The essence of the teardrop is understood through Ghetti’s demonstration. The teardrop delivers justice and respect to the many lives lost, while also conveying a sense of remembrance to viewers.

The profound metaphor of the teardrop recalls the emotions experienced on September 11. A teardrop may only be the size of a grain of rice, but for Ghetti who created 3000 of them over the span of ten years, this proves that 9/11 will forever continue to receive the proper justice and remembrance it deserves.

“Dalton Ghetti: Remembering 9/11” can be viewed at the Bellarmine Museum now through Saturday Oct. 13. Prints of the memorial can be purchased at the Bellarmine Museum, with part of the proceeds given to 9/11 First Responders.

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