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German Artist Carves Tiny Sculptures Out of Toothpicks

51-year-old German artist Ragna Reusch-Klinkenberg is an expert at carving miniscule figures out of toothpicks and pencil tips that are so tiny you need a magnifying glass to actually see them properly! Some of Ragna’s figurines include animals like cats and giraffes, inanimate objects like toothbrushes, and even famous politicians.

Ragna, who holds a degree in graphic design, says her real passion lies in working with wood. She’s been passionate about carving since her childhood. She started carving erasers at school using small forks and later moved on to carving wooden clothespins and selling the miniatures she made at craft markets.

“Once I had forgotten my clothespin blanks, but I found a toothpick in my pocket,” she recalled. So she tried working with it, and fell in love right away.

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Ragna uses a knife with a tiny blade to create her extraordinary toothpick carvings. Surprisingly, she doesn’t need a magnifying glass – she’s able to work with only her reading glasses. Once the carving is ready, she paints the figure with a very thin brush. “For me, this is like knitting,” she admitted. “I have just as shaky hands as everyone else.”

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Over the years, Ragna has patiently carved thousands of toothpicks into various designs, some as small as 8 millimeters. She does carve larger blocks of wood into statues using a chainsaw, but her painstaking work with toothpicks and other small objects has earned her international fame. In 2011, she carved heads of politicians into pencils-tips, which gained worldwide attention. Her work has been exhibited in various cities across the world.

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Photos: Ragna Reusch-Klinkenberg/Facebook

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