Incredible Miniatures Carved from Matchsticks

Artists have been using matchsticks as a medium for their art for a while now. Some use thousands of matches to create amazing wooden models, others use them to create colorful sculptures, or decorate their homes in a unique way, but I’ve never seen detailed matchstick miniature sculptures before.

I saw some interesting photos of carved matchsticks last week, while surfing the interwebs for unique art to share with you guys, but I couldn’t find any info on the artist who made them. Unfortunately, the research I conducted following my find didn’t prove very successful. All I learned is they are created using fine tools like scalpels and other specialized instruments, and that they’re mostly made by artists from South American countries like Chile, Argentina and Brazil. A miniature matchstick sculpture takes around three hours to complete and it’s then placed inside a small glass cover, for protection.

Among the most famous matchstick sculptors, I’ve found Christian Hernandez, who focuses of Greek mythology themes, and Argentinian Javier Gobai, whose detailed works you can admire in the photos below:

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Mother Gives 8-Year-Old Daughter Regular Botox Shots

Keri Campbell, a beautician from San Francisco, gives her 8-year-old daughter Britney Botox shots every three months, to make her “popular” and “famous”.

According to British tabloid The Sun, the beauty-pageant-obsessed-mom is proud her daughter is probably the youngest child in the world to receive Botox injections and claims the treatment will help her become famous as a teenager. “I wish that I’d had the same advantages when I was younger. She is a lucky little girl and is going to be famous because of the benefits I am giving her so early,” Kerry says, adding that she just wants Britney to have the best start in life so she can become a superstar, easier.

What’s even more disturbing is the eight-year-old now asks to be given Botox shots, claiming she can see wrinkles: “I check every night for wrinkles, when I see some I want more injections. They used to hurt, but now I don’t cry that much.” She says her friends think it’s cool she gets this kind of treatment, and want to be just like her.

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Gary LeMaster – The Incredible Eggshell Sculptor

Gary LeMaster has to be one of the world’s most gifted sculptors. After all, how many people can take an egg and turn it into an intricate and detailed work of art?

Born in New Zealand, where his father, a US soldier, was stationed at the time, Gary showed a passion for the arts, at a very young age. After the family moved to the States, he grew up learning how to use tools, and do woodworking alongside his father, while, at the same time, learning to appreciate fine arts, from his mother, a talented ballet dancer. It was his mother’s guidance that got him a scholarship in music at the University of Iowa, which he turned down to pursue a teaching degree in history and English. Although he practiced drawing with pencil, charcoal, pen and ink, the fact that he was color-blind made Gary LeMaster think his visual art was limited, and that he wasn’t good enough for art school.

After enrolling in several school programs and obtaining numerous degrees, he decided it was time he took some art courses at the University of Iowa, where he enjoyed every class he took. Although Gary regretted not turning to the arts to begin with, his graduate art courses helped take his drawing skills to a whole other level, which proved to be very important in his career as a professional eggshell sculptor.

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Chocolate Crack Pipes – A Sweet and Healthy Alternative to Tobacco

An Austrian chocolatier has invented an ingenious type of inhaler that could help people give up smoking and leave a sweet taste in their mouths, at the same time.

Created by confectioner Rouven Haas, Chococaps inhalers are small crack pipes the size of  normal cigarettes, containing a concentrated cocoa powder that can be inhaled, for a quick chocolate fix. They don’t contain nicotine or any other substance found in tobacco cigarettes, but the simple act of inhaling could help smokers give up the dirty habit, without any side-effects. And if you’re worried about gaining weight, forget about it. According to manufacturers, Chococaps allows you to enjoy the taste of chocolate, without putting on the pounds, so this could be a viable alternative to chocolate addicts worried about their figure.

It sounds like a really cool and innovative product, but it’s actually being criticized by health campaigners like anti smoking expert Otto Brandli, who said “it is a dangerous product that can only encourage the smoking of cigarettes or worse. It is idiotic to encourage this sort of behaviour”.

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Horse Boarding – The Latest in Equestrian Extreme Sports

Adrenaline junkies have found a new way to get their fix – horse boarding, a fresh extreme sport where boarders on off-road skateboards are dragged by horses, reaching speeds of over 35 mph.

Horse boarding was invented three years ago, by Daniel Fowler-Prime, after he tied a rope between his mountain board and a horse, and decided it was a pleasurable experience. He was just messing around on the farm, and laughing with his friends, but soon realized this could actually be considered a sport. This summer, he’s proud to be organizing Britain’s first Horse Boarding Championship.

According to Daniel, ”We have people from all over the country coming to the training ground to try it. It’s very accessible for people of all abilities, you only need a bit of space and a lot of guts,” Easy for him to say, he’s a professional stunt horse rider and has made appearances in films like “Kingdom of Heaven” and “The Da Vinci Code”, but for regular people, holding on to a rope while maintaining balance at 35 mph has to be pretty tough.

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Deaf Puppy Learns Sign Language from Her Deaf Owners

Everyone knows how important it is for dogs to associate sounds with commands, but Alice, a deaf eight-weeks-old springer spaniel is currently learning sign language commands, from her new owners.

The poor puppy had a rough start in life, after being abandoned by a breeder who decided a dog that couldn’t learn commands wouldn’t bring him any money. When she was brought to The Blue Cross adoption center, Alice was sick, dirty and very nervous, and the staff though they would have a tough time finding a family willing to take in a dog that required lots of special training. But when Marie Williams and her family first laid eyes on the cute canine, they new they had find the pet they were looking for.

Marie fell in love with puppy the moment she saw her, and when she learned she was actually deaf, that just made her even more special in her eyes. Miss Williams and her partner, Mark Morgan, are also deaf, so they knew Alice would fit right in with the family. Now, less the a month after being adopted, the puppy has already learned some basic commands, and her new masters are using sign language to teach her other tricks. ‘Alice is such a loving and responsive dog and she proves that with a bit of time and effort, a deaf dog can be trained and become a wonderful pet,” said Julie Stone, manager of The Blue Cross center.

 

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Artist Makes Perfume Out of His Own Excrements

British artist Jammie Nicholas used his own faeces as the raw material for a perfume he calls “Surplus“. Believe it or nor, he has already sold 25 bottles of it, for $65 a pop.

In an interview with Viceland.com, Nicholas says he got the idea of producing his special perfume after reading “The History of Shit”, by Dominique Laporte, which “which analyses the theoretical and social implications of faeces, and its role as a building material for cosmetics. It suggested that pleasant smells were used to cover bad smells, so it could be suggested that a bad smell could be used to cover pleasant smells”. After doing some research and talking to a bunch of perfumers and scientists, he learned there are molecules that are common to both good and bad smells, just in different concentrations. For example, both faeces and white flowers like juniper or orange blossoms are made from the molecule Skatol. He also found out that many food companies use stuff like civet, an emulation of the anal secretions of the civet cat, and ambergis, which mimics a sperm whale’s gallstone.

Asked about the actual production process of his faeces perfume, Jammie says it all happened in his flat, where he worked with all the windows open and using nose plugs. It took him only a week to extract the “essential oils” from the excrements, then spent a lot longer setting up his distillation device and mixing the crazy concoction. He made a total of 85 bottles of 60 ml, and somehow managed to actually sell 25 of them.

Although the artist himself admits he has only used his Surplus perfume at private events, others who have tried it claim it actually smells pretty good. Well, it is eau de toilet(te)

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Geeky Inventor Transforms into Real-Life Transformer

Many of you probably know him as “The Transformers Guy from American Idol”, but Drew Beaumier is actually a young inventor who managed to create a fully functional Transformers outfit.

25-year-old Beaumier, from California, has always been a huge Transformers fan, but although the idea of building a geeky Transformers costume hit him a few years back, it wasn’t until he saw the advertisement for a good condition Power Wheels car that he actually began working on it. Using only a box of tools, glue and spare parts from WallMart, Drew took apart the second hand toy car and attached the parts to a sports body suit. It took him eight weeks of working in his garage to finish the masterpiece, but it was well worth the time.

With wheels attached to both his hands and legs, the geeky inventor can crouch into a car and roll down the street, or stand up and pose as a real-life Transformer. Not bad for a guy who not so long ago was struggling for money and doing lousy bar jobs. Now Drew makes a lot more entertaining tourists in Hollywood and taking photos with other Transformers fans. His ingenious suit has also helped him win a big cash prize on Halloween, for the last three years, which actually helped pay it off.

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Professor Splash Sets New Record for High Dive into Shallow Pool

Darren Taylor, better known as “Professor Splash“, has just set a new world record by swan diving 36 feet into a shallow kiddie pool.

Taylor, a professional diver from  Colorado, has been practicing high diving for the last 25 years, and already has 12 other Guinness Records under his belt. For his 13th one he traveled to Norway, where he jumped from 36 feet into just 12 inches of water. And if that’s not impressive enough, Guinness doesn’t allow the bottom of the kiddie pool to be inflated. “However, there are a couple of foam mats underneath the pool. Believe me, jumping and landing as flat as possible in 12 inches of water is tough enough as it is.” says the Professor.

Using his own special technique, Professor Splash leads with his hands, which breaks the impact on his face and pushes him forward as he hits the thin layer of water. “With my unique technique I can make each jump a world record one, but I must admit they are not getting any easier. You have to judge the wind, the cold, the time of day and become calm so that each jump is a success.” says the diver, who manages to remain unhurt, every time.

In Norway, he wanted the water to be as close to freezing point as possible, so it was dense enough to slow his descent when he impacted the water. He also had to land as flat as possible to “dissipate as much water for a cushion effect”.

Check out the video of his amazing stunt, after the jump.

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Animal Lovers Go on a Month-Long Dog Food Diet

Alison Weiner and Hanna Mandelbaum, co-owners of Evermore Pet Food, will eat their own dog food for an entire month, in a bid to convince the world their product is one hundred percent organic and healthy.

Hanna, 30, and Alison, 38, claim their dog food, which looks like  mixed with chili, is made with meat from chicken and cows raised on farms where gourmet markets get their meat from, and that it’s completely antibiotics and hormones free. According to the duo “a lot of pet foods claim to be human grade, but none of those companies put their mouth where there money is,”, so they’ve decided to stand up to the challenge and eat their own dog food for an entire month, and document the experience on their website.

Alison Wiener, who is a chef by training, says she and her friend couldn’t eat this dog food non-stop, because humans and canines have different nutritional requirements, with dogs needing a lot more protein, but they do eat at least one dog food meal a day. When they aren’t consuming the product they themselves created, the two women eat select ingredients that are actually found in the dog chow, like yams, kale, blueberries and dandelion greens. Although they admit their Evermore dog food isn’t exactly a delicacy for us humans, the two daredevils say “it really doesn’t taste that bad”.

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Chilean Taekwondo Instructor Opens Real-Life Jedi Academy

Following a dream of combining his passion for martial arts with his love for the Star Wars saga, a Chilean taekwondo instructor has opened the first Jedi school in South America.

William Berrueta has been a fan of the Star Wars franchise for a very long time, but it was the Star Wars Exhibition Tour, which came to Chile in 2005, that inspired the martial arts instructor to start a training program for young sci-fi enthusiasts, based on Jedi powers. It took a while for the 46-year-old to fulfill his dream, but last Thursday, the “Jedi Temple” school, in Quilpué, finally opened its doors to 20 would-be Jedi warriors, aged between six and twelve. Now, after being featured on BBC, it has already gained international acclaim.

“The idea is to make these children into Padawan,” said Berrueta, who will work with the young apprentices for a period of three months, teaching them yoga, self-defense and meditation. “In this period they will learn relaxation techniques, so they can concentrate and improve flexibility and mobility, so that they understand their bodies better.” Students of the Quilpué Jedi school will train dressed as Jedi fighters and practice with shatter-resistant lightsabers designed by William Berrueta himself. During exhibitions, they will use special sabers, imported from the US, for about $250 each.

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The Mind Blowing Paper Collages of Nathalie Boutté

Nathalie Boutté is a talented French artist who uses thousands of simple strips of paper to create impressive collages.

Born in 1967, Nathalie lives and works in Montreuill, near Paris, where she experiments with all kinds of types of paper, to obtain the results she desires. She has always been passionate about paper, and has worked with everything from tissues to old novel pages and lately, translucent tracing paper. After the sheets of paper have been cut into long strips, they are layered in a way similar to tiles on a roof, revealing only their tips, which act like pixels in a giant collage. Although most of her artworks are pretty big, the dedicated artist says she isn’t scared of working with large formats, on the contrary, the bigger the collage, the more impressive it is. And I have to say, Nathalie Boutté’s pieces are pretty impressive.

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Man Drives Golf Course on Wheels

22-year-old John McArthur is the owner of the world’s only golf course on four wheels – a Skoda Felicia covered with fake grass and complete with a sand bunker.

The young Brit from Rayne, Essex, is surprisingly not a big fan of golf, but as soon as he saw this lovely Felicia on eBay, he new it would be the one to replace his old Renault Megane. He even got a bargain price of £347, so buying it was a no-brainer. As soon as he parked it in front of his front door, his sister said she wouldn’t be caught dead in it, but John’s friends love it and people keep taking photos of the green vehicle and ask about him, wherever he goes.

The golf-mobile is almost completely covered in fake grass and comes complete with a hole flag on the roof and a sand bunker on the hood, and while it doesn’t inspire him to take up golf, young Jake McArthur says he’s happy he never has to wash it.

We’ve featured our share of quirky art cars here on Oddity Central, but this is definitely one of the most ingenious ones.

 

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Cube Works Makes Twisted Artworks from Dozens of Rubik’s Cubes

Solving a Rubik’s Cube is pretty tricky, but using dozens of them to create portraits of famous figures and recreate artistic masterpieces sounds even harder.

Toronto-based Cube Works Studio is a collaboration of graphic architects and “cubers” who use the popular Rubik’s Cube to create an art form that is retro yet avant-garde. Throughout the years, the studio has produced dozens of Rubik’s Cube artworks so impressive and detailed that people often wonder if they’re not taking the cubes apart and use the colored squares individually to create mosaics. But that’s not the case, as many photos and videos taking during the creative process prove.

Apart from their intricate celebrity portraits and artistic recreations, the guys at Cube Works have also set a few world records, including a monumental recreation of the Sistine Chapel’s centerpiece made of over 12,000 Rubik’s Cubes and a 4,050 Rubik’s Cube replica of The Last Supper. This may not be the original purpose Erno Rubik had in mind for his toy, but I’m sure he’d be happy to see it used as an art medium.

 

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Licorice Mosaic Portraits by Jason Mecier

Jason Mecier is a famous mosaic artist who uses all kinds of materials, from sweets to pills and recyclable junk, to create incredibly detailed portraits of celebrities and pop icons.

Looking at the masterpieces Jason Mecier creates, you’d find it hard to believe he has no formal art training, but he is indeed a self-taught artist with incredible talent. His greatest inspiration is his grandmother who nurtured his artistic inclination ever since he was just a child. The artworks she created mesmerized him as a boy, and Jason remembers she was the one who encouraged him to create art using materials readily available to him. You can say he followed her advice to the letter, as he is now known as one of the world’s most gifted junk artists.

The first time I heard about Jason Mecier and his unique artworks, was when he created a series of pill portraits of celebrities who had drug problems throughout their careers. This was back in January of 2010, and since then Jason has completed his portfolio with all kinds of other beautiful creations made of various materials. Some of them are part of his RedVines portrait series, made of delicious licorice.

 

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