Guy Spends Two Years Building Giant World Globe with Colored Matchsticks

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Now that we have Google Earth, world globes are almost obsolete. But there certainly is an undeniable old-world charm associated with them. Perhaps that’s what prompted sculptor Andy Yoder to spend the last two years building his own globe, entirely out of colored matchsticks. He painstakingly hand-painted thousands of matches individually and put them together to form a large model of our planet.

Yoder’s son, Reddit user ‘yoderaustin’, explained that underneath all the matchsticks is a frame of foam and cardboard inside a plywood skeleton. Once the frame was ready and the painting was done, his father used wood glue to attach the matches to the skeleton. And in case you’re wondering – the ‘matchstick globe’ isn’t a potential fire hazard. Yoder had the good sense to douse the entire structure in a flame retardant chemical.

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Godfather Fan Builds Life-Size Sculpture of Al Pacino Exclusively Out of Matchsticks

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There are two things Croatian artist Tomislav Horvat loves in this world – the Godfather series and matchstick modeling. Recently, he decided to combine his two greatest passions, and created a unique sculpture of Al Pacino as Don Michael Corleone.

24-year-old Tomislav Horvat has to be one of the calmest, most patient people in the world. It took him 19 months to complete a sculpture of Al Pacino as Don Corleone sitting in his iconic armchair, during which time he spent between 8 and 10 hours gluing matchsticks. How many people do you know who would be capable of doing this day in and day out without going mad, because I can’t think of a single one.

The whole sculpture is made out of 117,000 matchsticks, but most of them were used to create the armchair (68,000). Tomislav says he learned the basics of matchstick modelling in school, where he studied technical drawing and design, and before he knew it, he was creating all kinds of cool things out of thousands of tiny wooden sticks. Before the Al Pacino sculpture, Horvat had built a bridge from 7,500 matchsticks, a castle from 4,500 matchsticks and a windmill out of 3,000 matchsticks, among others.

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Croatian Modeler Builds Incredibly Accurate Replicas of Industrial Vehicles from Thousands of Matchsticks

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20-year old Djordje Balac spends weeks, sometimes months at a time working from sunrise to midnight creating realistic models of industrial vehicles like trucks, excavators and cranes exclusively from matchsticks and glue.

Djordje’s passion for making wooden models dates back to general school. At first he cut all the necessary parts from pieces of wood, but soon he discovered matchsticks were a much better building material and, as he puts it. “the rest is history”. He started using hundreds of boxes of matches to create small-size models of his favorite trucks and industrial equipment, and spent weeks trying to get all the details just right. As his skills improved, the young man from Gospic, Croatia, decided to take his matchstick art to the next level by making the wooden replicas operational. So in 2006, he started building larger matchstick models, concentrating not only on replicating every design feature, but also on functionality. Despite working with a rigid material like matchsticks, he managed to make the arms of his excavator and crane models extend and turn like they do on real ones, and the cabins of his trucks detachable. After posting photos of his creations on forums and social media sites, Djordje Balac got the recognition he deserved, and was even invited to display his models at fairs and exhibitions around his home country.

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The Matchstick Fleet of Bernardo Cassasola

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Argentinian artist Bernardo Cassasola has spent a large part of his life building ship models exclusively out of matchsticks. Now, he’s the proud owner of an entire fleet of incredibly detailed wooden vessels.

“It’s related to life. When I want to be somewhere I just sit down and I can fix my gaze on what I do. I feel wonderful sensations. I can be anywhere in the world because I’m just working with matchsticks,” Bernardo Cassasola once said, in an interview with Reuters. The 63-year-old artist from Argentina has been creating matchstick models since the age of 13, and as the years past, his creations became larger and more detailed. His impressive collection numbers millions of matchsticks, and includes musical instruments like guitars, banjos and violins, architectural models and impressive ship replicas. Throughout his life, Cassasola created a number of extremely accurate matchstick galleons, but his most noteworthy masterpiece is, without a doubt, the 10 feet six inches (3.2 m) war ship he worked on for 7 and a half years. This painstaking labor of love features stunning details like a tiny wooden helm, a scope, down to the handles of the ship’s doors. The multi-decked galleon was unveiled in 2008, when Bernardo Cassasola also announced his next challenge – a 10-meter-long replica of the Titanic made from matchsticks. This guy should definitely meet Wayne Kusy, the man who builds ships with toothpicks, I’m sure they’d have a ball.

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Polish Artist Builds Mind-Blowing Matchstick Church Models

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Children are generally not permitted to play with matchsticks, but nothing could keep Wieslaw Laszkeiwick away from the tiny sticks of wood. Ever since he was a child, building models out of matchsticks has been more than a pastime for the self-taught master. He treats the activity like a prayer. And what he likes to build most are houses of prayer. Now 58 years old, this Polish folk artist works with hundreds of thousands of matches, pieces of cardboard and microscopic slides for several months at a time, creating beautiful replicas of churches around the world.

Laszkeiwick lives in a wooden house with his son, where one of the rooms is used as a workshop. It’s in this room that he spent over 40 years creating detailed structures using matches. One of Laszkeiwick’s most notable works was a replica of the 17th century monument, the Church of St. Nicholas in Zamosc. The completed structure stood almost 5 feet tall and was intended to be a gift to Pope Benedict XVI. What pleased him so much about the St. Nicholas church was its spherical dome. To create the replica, he used almost half a million matchsticks bound on to matching paper. After the building was complete, he covered it with several coats of varnish and special glue that prevents the matches from warping after they are attached. He also mounted a bulb inside to illuminate the intricate stained glass windows, made from hundreds of pieces of glass. Elements such as doors and gates were carved, and a he fashioned a bell out of specially prepared matches. It took him a whole year to complete the project.

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The Awe-Inspiring Matchstick Architecture of Patrick Acton

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Patrick Acton is known as the world’s best matchstick artist for a reason. His extensive collection features scale wooden models of iconic film locations like Lord of the Rings’ Minas Tirith and Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School of Wizardry, made from hundreds of thousands of matchsticks.

Acton was one of the first artist I wrote about, when I started Oddity Central, almost five years ago. He was working on one of his masterpieces, a detailed model of the famous fortress city Minas Tirith, as seen in the Lord of the Rings 3: The Return of the King, from 420,000 matchsticks. Since then, he’s built lots of other astonishing matchstick sculptures and he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. The 59-year-old American artist, who works as a career counselor in Gladbrook, Iowa, started his career as a matchstick modeler back in 1977, when he pieced together a small-scale replica of a local church from 500 matches. He did it all with only Ohio Blue Tip matches purchased at the grocery store, a bottle of school glue, a utility knife, and a piece of sandpaper. He had always enjoyed working with wood and tinkering with things around his parent’s home, and after graduating from college, matchstick modelling became an enjoyable hobby. Although he has achieved worldwide notoriety for his mind-blowing creations, Patrick Acton continued to work as a counselor and dedicated only a few hours a night working on his fragile models. He recently accepted Ripley’s offer to build models for their Odditoriums, full time.

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Man Spends 16 Years Building 6-Million-Matchstick Model

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Bulgarian artist Plamen Ignatov, has dedicated the last 16 years of his life to making a detailed matchstick model of the Rila Monastery, from around 6 million matchsticks.

Now, we’ve posted a lot of impressive matchstick creations, from the model of Minas Tirith built by Patrick Anton, to the matchstick fleet of David Reynolds, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a detailed model. Just hearing that the artist spent 16 years working on it, one can tell he was seriously passionate about assembling this matchstick masterpiece, and after laying eyes on it, you understand why it took him so long. The whole religious complex is incredibly detailed, with even the shingles realistically reproduced, and Ignatov even managed to fit a picture of Jesus into one of the walls, and painted religious figures on the wooden pavement of the monastery courtyard.

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Indian Artist Makes Detailed Model of the Taj Mahal from Matchsticks

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It takes a great deal of skill and patience to create even the simplest matchstick model, but a detailed structure like the famous Taj Mahal seems almost impossible to recreate using the tiny sticks of wood. But Indian artist Shaikh Salimbhai challenged himself to create an almost identical model of the iconic structure using only wooden matchsticks, and although it took him a year and 19 days to finish it, he accomplished his goal. The wooden model was made from 75,000 matchsticks and will certainly become an inspiration for matchstick artists around the world.  The awe-inspiring matchstick Taj Mahal was unveiled on October 9, in the Indian city of Ahmedabad.

If you happen to be a fan of matchstick models, you might want to check out the awesome works of artists we featured on Oddity Central in the past, like Patrick Anton, Phillip Warren or Tofic Daher.

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The Matchstick Insects of Kyle Bean

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Although he only just graduated from art school in 2009, Brighton-based artist Kyle Bean already has a very impressive portfolio under his belt. Throughout his yet short but successful career, Bean has collaborated with important names like the BBC, New York Times Magazine, Selfridges or Hermes.

His latest collection, “Stick Insects”, features a series of insect models created entirely out of matchsticks.

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Matchstick Master Builds Impressive Matchstick Fleet

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David Reynolds, from Southampton, England, has spent over 10,000 hours gluing 250,000 matchsticks into a veritable matchstick armada of 20 legendary ships.

The 51-year-old retired oil rig worker first made headlines last year, when the Guinness Book of Records acknowledged his oil rig replica as the largest matchstick model in the world, numbering 4,075,000 matchsticks. But the matchstick master didn’t sleep on his laurel after this notable success. He kept on gluing matchsticks and this year he finally completed his amazing collection of 20 famous ships, including Nelson’s HMS Victory, the Cutty Sark, Queen Mary and even the Titanic.

The creator says he was inspired by the city of Southampton and England’s seafaring history, but the fact that his father worked on board the Queen Mary, and his life at sea as an oil rig worker also had something to do with it. He considers his intricate matchstick models a tribute to the men and women who  risked their lives at sea, throughout history.

Asked if he uses official plans from museums, to get every detail right, David Reynolds said that would cost him up to 1,000 pounds for each ship, so he prefers to use whatever photos and models he can find and do his own drawings. Each ship in his matchstick armada has taken between four and seven months to complete, and cost between 300 and 400 British pounds. The entire fleet took him around 10 years to build, and he says the hardest part was recreating the anchors, lifeboats and safety robes, as they take  tremendous patience and time.

Mister Reynolds discovered the art of matchstick model making when his son bought him a kit, when he was housebound after serious surgery. It started off as a hobby, but quickly turned into a passion that continues to bring him worldwide recognition.

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Master Modeller Builds Unique Matchstick Armada

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We’ve seen some pretty amazing things built entirely with matchsticks, but Phillip Warren’s matchstick fleet is in a class of its own.

79-year-old Phillip Waren has spent the last 62 years of his life creating incredible ship models out of old mtachsticks and the wooden boxes they used to be packed in. He started building his amazing matchstick models when he was just 17, using the things around him, and since matchsticks were much more common back then, finding large supplies was a very easy task.

The master modeller, from Brandford, Dorset, has created every ship built in the Royal Navy since 1945, as well as 60 other ships from the US navy and other impressive floating fortresses from 18 other nations. One of the largest ships in his collection is the famous USS Nimitz, the largest aircraft carrier in the world.

Throghout his career as a ship model builder, Phillip Waren created over 400 individual ships, as well as 1,200 airplane models that make his aircraft carriers look more real. The average ship in his collection is made using around 1,500 matchsticks and takes about a month to complete, but for his larger creations he used over 5,000 matchsticks and 200 wooden boxes. These took him about a year to complete. All in all, Phillip Waren used around 650,000 matchsticks, to create his entire fleet.

Although many museum curators told him his matchstick creations are worth serious money, Phillip Waren considers them invaluable, and has never once considered selling them. He decided not to ensure them either because he feels “the purpose of insurance is to replace things when you lose them. These can never be replaced”.

Sadly, his collection isn’t going to grow much bigger than it already is, not because Phillip Waren is getting to old, but because the wooden boxes used as packaging for the matches have been replace by cardboard ones, and his stockpile is running low.

Take a look at Mr. Waren’s detailed collection and prepare to have your mind blown:

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