Toothpicks Sculpture Completed: 40 Years Later

11:23 AM, Oct 13, 2013   |    comments
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San Francisco, C.A. -- The humble toothpick has been elevated to a thing of art.  An elaborate sculpture of San Francisco is drawing crowds to the Exploratorium Museum of Science and Art.  The sculpture has taken one man nearly four decades to make and there's a special surprise built into it.

Scott Weaver is a man of many talents.  He juggles hatchets, spins frisbees with his teeth, and is a master sculptor in an unusual medium: toothpicks and Elmer's Glue. 

Over the course of three decades, using more than 105,000 toothpicks, Weaver created "Rolling Through the Bay," a nine-foot-high love letter to his hometown of San Francisco.

At first glance, you might think the intricate sculpture was designed using CAD or 3D modeling software.  But the tools of Weaver's trade are actually less sophisticated.

Nail clippers serve as toothpick trimmers and everyday objects become forms and molds.

Weaver's natural talent has elevated this rather low-tech art form, but he credits high-tech for much of his success.

In 1974, Weaver, who has no formal training, created a few San Francisco landmarks out of toothpicks and that was how "Rolling Through the Bay" was born.

This meticulously detailed San Francisco homage is now on display at the city's Exploratorium Museum, attracting sizable crowds, especially when they realize it's not just a sculpture.

And what's next for Scott Weaver?  He says, "It would be a self portrait of myself doing what I invented. Maybe the ping pong ball rolling through myself. Roll through my arm and then down to my foot. That would be cool," continuing his tradition of turning ordinary objects into something extraordinary.

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