‘Art at Pen Point’ by Nihat Özcan
Nihat Özcan, the Turkish representative of the art of carving pencils, done by a handful of artists in the world, carves world-famous monuments and figures, from the Eiffel Tower to Cappadocia and the Modigliani sculpture, on pencil tips.
In most of the stages of my life, I took up hobbies that allowed me to shape and transform things, basing them on creativity. Fixing and modifying things have always been a part of my life. I was looking for an art discipline that allows you to use craftsmanship. One day I came across a photograph that pictured this art. After doing some research and not finding any Turkish artisans in this field, I decided to start from scratch and educate myself.
How long did it take you to create your first work?
I examined a lot of international artists’ works before starting. And then I acquainted myself with pencils. At that time I looked at it in a different and more respectful way. Taking my craft knife, I tried to shape Istanbul’s Galata Tower. It took me a few weeks to finish my first work.
How many works have you created so far?
I have a fulltime job. So it is hard to find time sometimes, but I carve pencils on weekends and in the evenings. So far I have finished 100 pieces.
What are the best and hardest parts of this?
This craftsmanship brought color to my life. It widens my imagination; there are no limits. It is like meditation. Of course it is a rocky road and you face a lot of difficulties. The hardest part is that pen points can break. Yet the best part is finishing a work and sharing it with people by exhibiting it.
How many pieces are exhibited at the “Art at Pen Point?”
I am very proud to be exhibiting 50 of my works at the Mall of Istanbul. They have supported me a lot, and within a very short time we created a really interesting exhibition. These pieces were all made by hand. This is an exhibition that was never realized in Turkey before. People should visit it; they will enjoy it.