Maker Faire New York: Toothpick World Interview

1. How did you get started building with toothpicks?
I started toothpicking over 30 years ago. An art teacher in 5th grade asked us to build something 10 inches tall that could hold the weight of an egg. Mine did that, then five textbooks, then my desk — I was hooked. It continued to be a hobby for the next 20 years, until a 3-month unemployment spell, when I just needed something to do. I never thought it would turn into a job (or a company), but now I’m just blown away. Shoulda been makin’ toothpick buildings 20 years ago.

2. You build all your models to the same 1:164 scale. Why this number?
That’s a good question. Most people don’t notice the obscure number, but I build all my models to a 1:164 scale, because in 2004, my wife’s favorite building was the Chrysler Building, and if this idea worked, we wanted it to fit in the TV room. It’s now in a museum in Spain, but she’s nagging me to build another one.

These are incredible, but I would never have the patience for it.

Read the full interview at