Toothpick art may float your boat, but is it woodworking?

comments (0) August 11th, 2009 in blogs, videos

Tom Tom McKenna, Managing Editor
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When I was a kid, my friends and I collected popsicle sticks from the ice-cream man and made all sorts of boats and rafts from them. We used Elmer's glue and the occasional rubber band to assemble these lightships, then we raced our contraptions down a creek a few blocks from our neighborhood.

This video reminds me of those days, except the boat has a motor with a remote control, is made from toothpicks (10,000 of 'em), and is sealed with a fiberglass resin to keep it afloat (the only sealant on our stick boats was the sugary resin of a Bomb Pop or some other cold treat).

The maker, Steven J. Backman, is perhaps the preeminent toothpick sculptor in the country, and he's been making cool things out of toothpicks for more than 30 years. (His work will be on display at Mountainsong Galleries in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, in December.) 

There obviously is some talent, vision, and imagination going on here, but is it woodworking? I'd have to say no; however, his work is fun to look at. What do you think?

posted in: blogs, videos, sculpture, boats, toothpicks, Steven J. Backman

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