Miniature Bhutan Creates Amazing Artworks Out Of Pencil Lead And Rice Grains

Email

Miniature Bhutan carves on the lead of pencil tips to make traditional miniature sculptures such as the Buddha, traditional bridges, swords and butter lamps.

(Source: Kuensel Online)

 

By Dilisha Subba | Yeewong Magazine 

Sonam Tashi hunches over his work table crammed with his tools and peculiar tiny objects: a tiny bottle, a tiny dome and his miniature art pieces, some of which are too small for the naked eye to see.

Sonam Tashi at work

Meticulously, the artist starts making tiny carvings on the pencil lead that will soon turn into something you will not expect to see on the tip of a pencil. He holds his breadth every few seconds to ensure a stable motionless cut. 

Sonam does not use lenses or any fancy miniature art tools. He pushes his spectacles back up his nose ridge and in what looks like a painstakingly slow burn, he begins to carve the tip of the pencil’s graphite.

 

Source: Facebook/Minibhutan & Pema Dorji and PemC

 

Never has a needle looked as colossal as it did at that instant as it was held next to the tiny butter lamp sculpture which he has carved on the pencil tip with such  absolute patience and attention to detail. It was almost as though time has decided to stop for Sonam Tashi to create his masterpiece.

More about Miniature Bhutan

Miniature Bhutan (MB) is a company that takes traditional Bhutanese items and literally makes a diminutive, microscopic version of them. It was founded in December of 2017 after having won an award at the annual TechStar competition at the Thimphu Tech Park.

The idea was derived from a simple observation that almost all traditional items sold in Bhutan were imported from neighbouring countries. The core value of MB IS that every single product must be handmade.

 

Source: Facebook/Minibhutan

 

They try to create the miniature version of many different Bhutanese traditional items in order to promote the concept of ‘Made in Bhutan’.

“Miniature Bhutan is all about making products that are already here in Bhutan. We don’t need other imported souvenirs to show us how Bhutan looks like. We actually want Bhutanese people to show how Bhutanese products look like. We Bhutanese can tell our own stories”, says Sonam Tashi with much fervour.

Making great miniature art out of pencil lead and rice grains

MB carves the lead tips of pencils to make traditional artworks such as the Buddha, traditional bridges, swords, butter lamps and so on. The products are so intricate to the point that each has minute designs that can only be seen on close speculation.

They also work with art on rice grains which are designed into pendants as personal products. What is fascinating is that behind every product, there is a story attached.

 

Source: Facebook/Minibhutan

 

Till date, Sonam Tashi has worked with enormous organisations such as the UNDP, Asian Development Bank and Kiloskar Oil India Ltd.

More support for Bhutanese artists

On talking about the market status in Bhutan, Sonam says, “Many organisations buy from handicrafts which is far cheaper but… the products we make are handmade with traditional art, it takes a lot of time and painstaking effort to do this. So if the government could buy that kind of products from the individual entrepreneurs, it will be easier to sustain also la.”

Working with nanoscopic objects is as intricate as it is time-consuming. Sonam Tashi shares a story about once having worked on silver dust for three months only to have it blown away by the wind when a colleague accidentally opened the window. Such occupational hazards are a daily mission for him to tackle.

Looking forward, the future plans for MB include making a 2.5cm Thangka and making the smallest book in Bhutan which is completely authentic as the author will be Bhutanese as well. MB also plans to hold an exhibition on Miniature art in the near future.

 

This article first appeared in Yeewong Magazine and has been edited for the Bhutan Times.

 


Related Posts

Tourism Growth Boosts Handicrafts Business

“We can see the happiness in the colours and it’s very special. I think it’s essential that westerners come over,...

Nov 01, 2017 07:10

Handicraft Shops Do Lucrative Business

Handicraft business in Paro is lucrative. The profit margin was very high. Although the same remains true now,...

Aug 21, 2017 15:17

Meet Bhutan's cerebral palsy 'foot' artist Pema Tshering

He was abandoned after his parents found out he had cerebral palsy. But a chance meeting with the Queen Mother turned...

May 20, 2018 14:28

Yathra Weaving – A Specialty In Bumthang Which Brings Income And...

For tourists, Yathra products are popular and unique souvenirs from Bumthang.

May 21, 2018 21:07

Traditional Art Of Making Wooden Bowls (Dhapas) Thrives In...

There is a strong demand for Trashiyangtse's dhapas and dzas both locally and internationally.

May 30, 2018 18:13

Study Finds Homestays And Eco-tourism Helped Preserve Bhutan’s...

The evaluation found that 98 percent of the homestays used exclusive traditional products like local food products and...

Aug 25, 2018 16:17

Latest

News

Bhutan Ranks 134th Out Of 189 Countries On The Human Development Index

Bhutan has climbed a step up from its 135th rank in 2016, according to the Human Development Indices and Indicators.

Sep 19, 2018 16:25

National Assembly Election 2018: Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa And Druk Phuensum Thosgpa Through To General Round

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa secured 92,722 votes and Druk Phuensum Thosgpa secured 90,020 votes.

Sep 15, 2018 21:50

Features

Drukgyel Dzong Which Used To House Sacred Bhutanese Documents Lost to A Fire In 1951, To Be Restored By 2022

The reconstruction works began in April 2016 after the command of His Majesty The King to celebrate the birth of His Royal Highness (HRH)...

Sep 17, 2018 15:42

11 Year Old Author Revives Forgotten Snowball Culture Of ‘Khakey’ In Bhutan

Khakey is a custom that originated in Western Bhutan and was popular a few generations ago.

Sep 13, 2018 19:27

Sports

No Medals Won But Bhutan Was Recognised For Its Concept Of Happiness By Various News Outlets At The 18th Asian Games

Stephen Wade said that in the Olympics results, there is a direct correlation between how much money a country spends and how many medals...

Sep 20, 2018 17:10

Bhutanese Female Athlete Aces In Athletics And Boxing While Juggling Studies

Tandin was selected to compete at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia last month.

Sep 09, 2018 17:24

Business

Cultivation Of Avocado Looks Set To Take Off In Tsirang, Bhutan

A few farmers have already started selling avocados in the Sunday vegetable market for about Nu 250-350 a kilogram.

Sep 18, 2018 15:38

BEBL Group Aims To Export Bhutan’s Finest Agro-Products To New Markets Such As The Middle-East

Most of the Bhutanese commodities are absorbed within the Indian market, BEBL feels that the farmers are deprived of their deserving market...

Sep 14, 2018 17:52

Travel

Handicrafts Shops Thrives In Paro Selling Bhutanese Textile, Paintings, Bamboo Products And More

With businesses picking up fast as a result of the tourism boom, the handicraft shops in Paro have even formed a committee with a...

Sep 16, 2018 14:56

Be Awe-Inspired By The ‘Dance Of The Terrifying Gods’ And More At The Thimphu Tshechu Which Starts On 19 Sept

Held from 19 to 21 Sept 2018, the annual Thimphu Tshechu (festival) is a vibrant visual feast for both locals and foreigners.

Sep 12, 2018 20:45

Lifestyle

Bhutan’s Legend - Pemi Tshewang Tashi Is Now Successfully Made Into A Comic And Animation Film

It is a tale of how Pemi Tshewang Tashi, a warrior in his time, gave up his personal life as he dutifully carried out his lord’s order of...

Sep 21, 2018 17:44

Miniature Bhutan Creates Amazing Artworks Out Of Pencil Lead And Rice Grains

Miniature Bhutan carves on the lead of pencil tips to make traditional miniature sculptures such as the Buddha, traditional bridges, swords...

Sep 10, 2018 12:44

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!