Recycled ArtArtist, Architect, Builder: Paul Marti, the Master of Matchstickshands

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by Paul Marti

Artist, Architect, Builder: Paul Marti, the Master of Matchstickshands

Paul Marti wants you to understand about his odd and wondrous matchstick creations — his delicate cathedrals, soaring castles, luxe mansions — is that they are ART, not craft.
He didn’t hone his solitary skill by replicating actual buildings the way other match stickers do. He designed them in his head, dreamed up their rounded towers and elaborate arches, painted their stained glass, placed their columns and capitals and tiny crosses just so. He solved their construction problems the way an artist would, by conjuring a vision of something beautiful first, then doing whatever it took to make it real.
He’s not a snob about it — in fact, he’s out of work right now —He doesn’t has an agent…
These Master Pieces are his life’s work, and he wants you to get that they are originals.
“I would love to see them in a museum,” he says, “That’s where they belong.”… I need support …
This is how long it takes: 10,000 hours for his giant Swiss cathedral, about 3 feet long and 2 feet high. Maybe seven years of his life on one project. He has been making matchstick buildings since he was about 7 years old, and has completed maybe a dozen, cutting, gluing, rounding corners with a belt sander, whenever he was not working. “This was my life,” he said. “This was all I did.”
He built a model of the Chapel on the Rock at the St. Malo Retreat Center, located near Rocky Mountain National Park, in Colorado-USA This is the place, he points out, that Pope John Paul II visited during his 1993 trip to Colorado. Paul Marti measured and mapped it to get the proportions right. Aside from a few substitutions – his bricks for the church’s stones, a gravel roof instead of shingles – it appears precise.
Marti tries to make his works authentic, using construction details from the time period they might have been built in, the Renaissance, the Middle Ages, perhaps Colonial California. He never glues sections together so that they overlap. He joins walls, windows and roofs at their seams. This is key for when he puts electrical lamps inside — light flows through them uniformly, the way it flows through a real building.
According to the Ripley’s Believe or Not, Paul Marti is the only one person in the World who can works with Matchstick like that. People make matchstick buildings, but they don’t have his technique, his construction details.

Artist, Architect, Builder: Paul Marti, the Master of Matchstickshands Recycled Art
Artist, Architect, Builder: Paul Marti, the Master of Matchstickshands Recycled Art
Artist, Architect, Builder: Paul Marti, the Master of Matchstickshands Recycled Art
Artist, Architect, Builder: Paul Marti, the Master of Matchstickshands Recycled Art

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