GAZA ARTIST CARVES SCULPTURES ON PENCIL LEADS

CNC
Added On September 13, 2018

Few would pay more than scant attention to a pencil lead. 
 
But for Firas Abu Zour, a 19-year-old Palestinian artist, it becomes a good way to demonstrate his artistic talent and craftsmanship.
 
CNC tells his story.
 
Abu Zour studies law at a university in Gaza. He has also taught himself to create art by carving on pencil leads, a contemporary art form he has been practicing for two years.
 
He says he is inspired by Russian artist Salavat Fidai. 
 
SOUNDBITE(URDU): FIRAS ABU ZOUR, Palestinian Artist
"I had seen the sculptures of the Russian artist online and I really liked this art. I was eager to try this art. I first began sculpting on chalk fingers, and then I moved on to carve on pencil leads. I used normal blades of cutters, then I started to use sculpting knives."
 
He said for the majority of people, a pencil is a writing tool, but for him it is a piece of art.
 
His micro artworks feature items representing love, peace and homeland, and depict many world famous icons.
 
 
SOUNDBITE(URDU): FIRAS ABU ZOUR, Palestinian Artist
"My ideas are unlimited, I can make any idea that comes to my mind. When there is a special occasion, I can make a sculpture about it. I love the Barcelona football team, so I carved the team's logo."
 
Abu Zour said this art form requires much patience and steady nerves. It may take one to four hours to carve a single miniature piece. 
 
Abu Zour's work is not easy, as it requires great precision and concentration. He also suffers from many difficulties, most notably the recurrent power outages in the Gaza Strip which has suffered from a blockade by Israel and the Palestinian Authority since the Hamas took over the  enclave in 2007.
 
However, despite these challenges, he says he hopes to improve his talent and participate in international exhibitions.
 
Abu Zour has now about 40 carved pencil tips in collection. He uses charcoal pencils, wood pencils used by school students, as well as some colored wooden pencils.
 
One of his most loved works is a key for the return of the displaced Palestinian refugees due to the conflict with Israel.
 
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were expelled from their homes in  Palestinian territories in 1948, when the state of Israel was established. The Palestinians have desired for their return to homeland once a peace deal is reached with Israel.