Scott Weaver's incredible toothpick sculptures

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There are places where I sometimes feel like the maker movement just refuses to go. Someplace between art and craft, hobby and obsession.

The DIY tutorials show you how a pattern goes together, but the usually do not instruct you how to design the pattern. The kits assemble nicely (or dont) but they only address the design problem imagined by the kit maker.

A kinetic sculpture like this one, defies any sort of kit design, any sort of DIY bootstrap. And that’s exactly what makes it interesting. If someone came up with a HOWTO for this, it would still take thousands of hours to assemble the kit. And it might have a total of three buyers.

After reading Rainbows’ End, I have to wonder how crowdsourcing the design process could create works like this one in a tiny fraction of the time. Would the finished product feel as special, I wonder? I suspect it would, just to many more people, in a less obsessive way.


That is mighty fine OCD fueled cre 8 tivity! Pretty awesome.

There is another amazing piece of toothpick art in the permanent collection of the American Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore, Md. AVAM is a museum that holds a large variety of ‘outsider’ art created by artists with OCD or other conditions including religious fanaticism. It’s a 25’ long model of the Queen Mary by the artist Wayne Kusy. I can’t even imagine the patience and focus required to put these toothpick creations together. Let alone dealing with the effects of all that Elmer’s Glue!

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That reminds me. I forgot to floss this morning. Thx.


If the toothpicks are so incredible, why does he have to dress them up by making sculptures out of them?


Fabulous creation! But my god! How many poor trees were sacrificed by this art?

And why is there a shutterstock watermark in this video???


Probably less than the paper records incinerated by one Wall Street firm this morning before breakfast. Anyway, things like toothpicks are made from fast-growing cheap wood like bamboo. Anyone who’s ever made the mistake of planting bamboo learns quickly it’s more weed than tree :wink:


This is at the Exploratorium in San Francisco now, if anyone wants to check it out. It is indeed spectacular.


Two. Two trees. I counted.


Toothpicks are small. I’m going with one.


Nope, bamboo is quite hard, harder than oak, toothpicks are pretty soft.

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