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Chinese Man Quits Job to Work on Awe-Inspiring 500,000-Toothpick Painting

38-year-old Liu Xuedong discovered his artistic side quite late in life, during a serious mid-life crisis. He wasn’t happy with his job as a security guard in China’s Jilin Province, but instead of whining about it, he taught himself how to create art with toothpicks. Inspired by hundreds of how-to videos online, he quit his job and decided to dedicate his time to the art form.

Liu carefully watched how accomplished artists arranged toothpicks to create intricate patterns and shapes. He then spent about 2,000 yuan ($315) on a set of 500,000 toothpicks to try it out for himself. Over the next three months, Liu watched more videos and practiced on his own.

After several unsuccessful attempts, he finally completed his first masterpiece , a ‘3D wild horse’ painting that’s about three meters long by one meter wide, and weighs a whopping 170 kilograms.

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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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Toothpick Artist Creates Detailed Toothpick Portraits of Celebrities

Steven J. Backman, one of the world’s most talented toothpick artists, creates detailed portraits of celebrities and icons exclusively out of toothpicks.

The first time I visited Mr. Backman’s official site I was fascinated by his incredible models of famous landmarks made from a single toothpick, which I presented here on Oddity Central, a while back. But I remembered seeing a series of incredibly detailed portraits that the artist creates exclusively out of wooden toothpicks, and just had to show them to you guys.

Using dozens of toothpicks and glue, Steven J. Backman manages to create unique masterpieces that look like the work of a talented graphic designer. He obviously spends a lot of time working on them, because the likeness and attention to detail are simply amazing.

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Wayne Kusy and His Impressive Toothpick Fleet

Chicago-based artist Wayne Kusy uses thousands of ordinary toothpicks and gallons of glue to create impressive-looking models of famous sea vessels.

50-year-old Kusy remembers he built his first toothpick model when he was just a child in the fifth grade. It was an Indian tepee and it got him a B+ in class, but toothpicks were to play a much bigger part in his life. He moved on to build a house out pf toothpicks, then a year later he started working on a ship that didn’t come out perfectly, but wasn’t far off the mark either, so he decided to build another one. And, before he knew it, he was pretty much obsessed with toothpicks.

Wayne Kusy’s amazing toothpick fleet began to take shape when he bought a plastic Revell model of the Titanic, studied the blueprints and deck plans, and spent the next three years recreating it with 75,000 flat and square toothpicks. It was impressive to look at, but it was so big that his small Chicago apartment could barely accommodate it, and there was no way to move it out without hitting the corners of his home and damaging the ship. The Titanic lost a lot of toothpicks on its maiden voyage out of Wayne’s apartment, but it taught the artist a valuable lesson – from there on he designed his ships so they could be reassembled from multiple segments.

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It’s Simply Amazing What a Man Can Do with a Single Toothpick

San Francisco-based artist Steven J. Backman uses simple toothpicks to create the most incredible artworks.

Steven’s fascination for toothpick art can be traced back to his elementary school days, when he used toothpicks and beans to create a project of DNA molecules. Unfortunately, after accidentally getting a toothpick stuck in his palm, he had to quit his favorite hobby. But, even though he didn’t practice it anymore, his passion for building toothpick models stuck with him all the way through university, when he started to give it another shot. In 1984, he decided to build a replica of a San Francisco cable cart, from toothpicks and glue, as a way to show his appreciation the iconic landmarks. Soon after, he established his toothpick art company, “Landmarks of San Francisco”, which he still operates today.

Throughout the years, Steven J. Backman has created some truly impressive toothpick sculptures and replicas, from a 10,000 toothpick electric powered radio-controlled yacht and a 30,000 toothpick replica of the Golden Gate Bridge, acquired by Ripley’s Believe or Not. I promise to cover all of his incredible artworks in the future, but I thought his one toothpick wonders deserved a full post of their own.

I’ve stared at his miniature masterpieces for a while now and I still can’t wrap my head around how he managed to reproduce all these famous landmarks in such fine detail, using a single toothpick, some glue and tweezers. His mini models are under two inches long and take anywhere from a a few hours to a few months to complete, and some of them currently hold the Guinness Record for the world’s smallest replica. One thing is for sure, Steven’s favorite motto – “The Essence of Patience” – best describes the time and effort that goes into his work.

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Toothpick San Francisco Took 34 Years to Complete

San Francisco has been rendered by many other artists before, but never quite like this.

Scott Weaver always dreamed he would build the world’s largest toothpick model and 34 years ago he started working on it. Fast-forward to present day and he still hasn’t fulfilled his dream, but he did create one of the most impressive toothpick sculptures in the world.

“Rolling through the Bay” is a 9 feet tall, 7 feet wide and 2 feet deep toothpick model of san Francisco that features 4 pingpong ball rolling tracks and several entry points. That’s right, it’s the tracks that make this wooden masterpiece so unique. That’s how Mr. Weaver began his adventure in the world of toothpicks, by building abstract models and rolling pingpong balls on them. It just got out of hand at some point and turned into this amazing model.

Though “Rolling through the Bay” does feature some of the most iconic sights in San Francisco, like the Bay Bridge, Golden State Park, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alamo Square or the Cable Car tour, Scott Weaver says it’s just his view of the city and unlike more traditional models, his has rolling pingpong balls.

The toothpick model of San Fracisco took over 3,000 hours of work to complete and over 1,000,000 toothpicks. Luckily, a pack of 750 toothpicks costs just 99 cents, so Weaver can’t say his hobby is too expensive. Ripley’s Believe It or Not offered Scott $40,000 for his unique model, but he isn’t ready to part with it just yet.

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Stagecoach Made with 1.5 Million Toothpicks

It may look like an ordinary old stagecoach, but, in truth, there’s nothing ordinary about this colorful masterpiece.

After seeing a smaller model of a stagecoach made from toothpicks in the window of a store, Terry Woodling  decided he was going to build his own life-size replica. This was back in 1981, but he didn’t really get started until Thanksgiving of 1994. Also known as “Me. Toothpick”, 72-year-old Terry spent 15 years of his life working on his one of a kind toothpick stagecoach, in Warsaw, Indiana.

More than 1.5 million flat toothpicks went into the project, bound together by a whole lot of glue. The fact that it’s glued was  actually why his stagecoach didn’t get acknowledged by the Guinness Book of Records. But Mr. Toothpicks isn’t too disappointed and decided to donate it to the local Warsaw Museum. But his extraordinary creation caught the eye of Ripley’s Believe It or Not and got a place in their famous museum.

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