Artist Diem Chau‘s brilliantly carved alphabet crayons truly embody the title of her blog: The Pleasure of Tiny Things. Crayons are a universal symbol of joyful art making and of the endless creative possibilities we possess as human beings. Chau has elevated the beloved tool to an art form in and of itself, proving that our world may continued to be colored by an appreciation for crayons long after childhood, and offering us a moment to reminisce with a smile upon our days coloring sky blue at the top of white pages, forest green at the bottom, and entire worlds in between. Read on to learn about the meaningful inspiration behind Chau’s carved crayons.

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With regard to Chau’s inspiration and the process behind her exquisite crayon carvings, she told (the now shuttered) VenusZine, “The crayons came from doing research into Depression Era folk art. People had to make do with whatever they had. Nothing was wasted. The work that stuck in my mind is “hobo” art. People who traveled to find work would often make things to sell or barter, lots of walking sticks, carved pits, portraits, quilts, you name it! So I went back to what I knew before art school: simplicity and play. I carved on a lot of things. The crayons stuck. Everyone remembers them as kids. They’re beautiful, colorful, cheerful, but also incredibly fragile and once broken can never be mended. Sometimes I think the accidental breaking of a crayon sculpture becomes an integral part in it’s meaning.”

Chau’s A-Z crayon carvings will be on display at the Packer Schopf Gallery in Chicago from April 5th – May 18th.

View each individual crayon carving at Diem Chau’s blog The Pleasure of Tiny Things.

+ Diem Chau

+ Packer Schopf Gallery

All images © Diem Chau