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#561 Toothpick whimsy of Scott Weaver

By Cathryn Wellner / January 28, 2013
Scott Weaver's Rolling through the Bay

Photo clip of Scott Weaver and his toothpick sculpture from video shot in the Tinkering Studio of the Exploratorium

Some artists paint with watercolours or acrylics. Others carve granite or wood. But toothpicks? That was Scott Weaver’s choice for his complex re-creation of San Francisco.

Weaver has received a lot of attention for the intricate toothpick sculpture celebrating the city’s beloved icons. For more than three decades he worked on “Rolling Through the Bay”. When he drops a ping pong ball onto the beginning of any of its specially designed pathways, visitors can follow the ball on a rolling tour that winds through the sculpture.

Using toothpicks from all over the world, he created replicas of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Palace of Fine Arts, Coit Tower, cable cars, the Trans America Building, Chinatown, Lombard Street, Ferry Building, Fisherman’s Wharf, Cliff House, and on through the city’s byways.

Photographs on Tumblr give a close-up view of his creativity and whimsy. The videos below show Weaver giving tours of his toothpick city, at Exploratorium’s Tinkering Studio and at the American Visionary Art Museum. Be sure to watch the AVAM video right to the end, for a look at the toothpick hat he created that gives a rolling tour of San Francisco’s longest-running musical, Beach Blanket Babylon.

Weaver put a lot of heart and humour into his amazing sculpture. He has been creating toothpick sculptures since he was eight, but he started this one in 1974. We humans have some odd passions. This is one of the stranger, and it has given joy to thousands of people who have seen it in person and watched the videos.

Scott Weaver’s Rolling through the Bay from The Tinkering Studio on Vimeo.



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