Jennifer Maestre

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Jennifer Maestre
Born 1959
Johannesburg, South Africa
Nationality American
Known for pencil sculptures

Jennifer Maestre (born 1959 in Johannesburg, South Africa) is a Massachusetts-based artist. She is best known for her pencil sculptures.[1][2]

Maestre was originally inspired by the form and function of the sea urchin. In her artist statement, she writes: "The spines of the urchin, so dangerous yet beautiful, serve as an explicit warning against contact. The alluring texture of the spines draws the touch in spite of the possible consequences. The tension unveiled, we feel push and pull, desire and repulsion. The sections of pencils present aspects of sharp and smooth for two very different textural and aesthetic experiences...There is true a fragility to the sometimes brutal aspect of the sculptures, vulnerability that is belied by the fearsome texture."[3]

Maestre uses a variety pencils, nails and stitching to make the sculptures. She takes hundreds of pencils, cuts them into small 1-inch sections, drills a hole in each section, sharpens them all and sews them together.[4]

Her work is in the permanent collections of the New Britain Museum of American Art. the Krannert Art Museum, and the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park.[5][6][7][8]


  1. ^ "Sea urchins, by Jennifer Maestre". ABC News (Australia). January 16, 2007. 
  2. ^ Ginger Gregg Duggan, Judith Hoos Fox (2005). Over + Over: Passion for Process. Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois. p. 46. ISBN 1-883015-36-7. 
  3. ^ Maestre, Jennifer. "Artist Statement". Jennifer Maestre. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  4. ^ Fernandes, Andrea (October 24, 2008). "Sculpting With Pencils: Jennifer Maestre". Mental Floss. Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  5. ^ "Dangerously Beautiful: The Art of Jennifer Maestre". New Britain Museum of American Art. February 25, 2010. 
  6. ^ Matt, M. "Amazing Pencil Sculptures by Jennifer Maestre". Big Statue. Big Statues. Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  7. ^ "Pencil Sculptures by Jennifer Maestre". Table of Malcontents. Wired. December 8, 2006. 
  8. ^ "12 Cool Colored-Pencil Sculptures". Woman's Day. January 26, 2010. Archived from the original on July 29, 2010. 

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