How far would you go to show how much you love your city? Or in Scott Weaver's case, how far wood you go? The talented (and incredibly patient) artist has worked on his painstakingly intricate tribute to San Francisco for the last 35 years, using 100,000 wooden toothpicks. The sculpture, called "Rolling Through the Bay," is more than just a work of eco art - it's also an interactive, kinetic "tour" that uses ping pong balls rolling along winding tracks within the piece to highlight neighborhoods, historical locations, and landmarks of the city by the bay. Click through our gallery to see some of the coolest toothpick recreations - including one of the Rice-a-Roni trolley car! Or read on to see a video of the "tours" in action.
So where did Weaver get all of his toothpicks? “I have used different brands of toothpicks depending on what I am building,” he explains. “I also have many friends and family members that collect toothpicks in their travels for me. For example, some of the trees in Golden Gate Park are made from toothpicks from Kenya, Morocco, Spain, West Germany and Italy. The heart inside the Palace of Fine Arts is made out of toothpicks people threw at our wedding.”
As you can see (if you watched the video) the sculpture features some of the most famous places in SF. On some of the tours, the ping pong balls roll past Chinatown, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Painted Ladies (a.k.a. the “Full House” homes) and the World Series trophy. And on others, they travel through the (rainbow colored) toothpicks of The Castro, down Lombard Street and end up at Fisherman’s Wharf. Each landmark is jaw-droppingly detailed and some even commemorate memorable moments in Weaver’s own life like the birth of his son.
Rolling Through the Bay will be on display at the Tinkering Studio until May 31, 2011.
Images via The Tinkering Studio’s Flickr Stream