By Darla McCammon
Now that gas is finally affordable—you find out from Gov. Holcomb that you can’t go anywhere! Frustrating, right?
So let’s check out some places where you can go.
Remember, how the old yellow pages ad used to say, “Let your fingers do the walking?” You have, at your fingertips, access to some of the most incredible and interesting information in the world. You can reach it through the keys on your computer. So, let’s travel this week to visit the famous matchstick artist, Patrick Acton and his “Matchstick Marvels.”
Acton was born and raised on a farm in Green County Iowa. After he graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1977, he moved, with his wife, to the city where he now resides: Gladbrook, Iowa. He took a full-time job as a career counselor at the local community college in Iowa but continued his hobby on nights and weekends. His hobby? Making 3-D, very accurate models of anything he deemed worthy. Incredibly, he makes these models out of matchsticks! His work became renowned due to the exquisite detail and dedicated hours he gave to make them accurate renditions. Eventually, he quit his job at the college and gave full-time to creating his work and sharing it. He opened a small museum in Gladbrook and within a few years, his museum and his work were named the Iowa Tourism Attraction of the year.
His beautiful depiction of the Notre Dame Cathedral in France, for example, is incredible. It took 298,000 individual matchsticks to complete and Acton said it was one of the most difficult projects he has ever taken. He said it was because of the fire that he was able to get more specific information on the design so he could incorporate that into his duplication of naves, bell towers, and many of the other unique structures found in this beautiful building. It is breathtaking to see.
You can find many photos of Acton’s completed works on the internet. Go to www.matchstickmarvels.com and you will get to enjoy helicopters, birds, navy big boats, buildings in Washington, DC., Space shuttles, New York Trade Center, Henry Potter Hogwarts, Saturn V rocket and the lunar module. and many more. You can also view free multiple Youtube videos with a walk-through of his museum by typing in a search for matchstickmarvels.
Acton has a wonderful relationship with Ripley’s Believe it or not and their multiple museums. The two-headed dragon pictured on the website I gave you, was commissioned by Ripley’s and can be found in most of their museums. It features a 5-foot tall double-headed dragon that took 272,000 matchsticks, 2000 hours of labor for each one, has animation built-in, and is 11 ft long with 10 ft. wingspan. Acton used 9 gallons of wood glue per each one.
Now, as you lay on the floor in front of the TV or look up these things on your computer you can save the human race by staying home to do so! See you next week with another “look it up” challenge!
- Lakeland Art Association plans to hold its annual spring show competition on May 10. Contact Elizabeth Wamsley at [email protected] to verify dates and receive a prospectus.
- Fort Wayne Arts Festival at Jefferson Pointe is still scheduled for Sept. 12 and 13. For info contact Teri at (916) 397-7589.
- Warsaw City Hall exhibits will be closed until further notice. We will do our best to keep you informed on all cancelled or date changes on local events.