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.