Matchstick Architecture: From Tiny Sticks, Buildings of His Dreams

Thanks to The Denver Post, we came across this incredible story of Paul Marti, matchstick mastermind:

Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post

The first thing 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 matchstickers do. Those copycats. 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. A commission would be swell, he reminds you — but these objects are his life’s work, and he wants you togetthat they are originals. “I would like to see them in a museum,” he says, “That’s where they belong.”

He has contacted several, he says, but it has been a tough sell. He’s not famous, he doesn’t have an agent. And how to even describe his work? Each is a combination of things. Architecture, sculpture, carpentry, masonry. They are fantastical, but real. They are engineered to stand strong, but they have the quaint charm of dollhouses, too.

This is the how he makes them: He bundles together six matchsticks to form a log, then with a scroll saw, he slices the logs into sections about an eighth of an inch thick to make bricks, then he lays the bricks into a wall, using single matchsticks as mortar. The walls come together into buildings, and details — cornices, steeples, domes, parquet floors, flying buttresses — are connected to complete the vision.

And 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.”

What drives him to this kind of perfection? He answers that awkwardly, as if he doesn’t know himself, as if he’s not even sure that all this work was worth it. But he believes he can do something no one can. People make matchstick buildings, but they don’t have his technique, his construction details. “I can create something exactly the way it was built 1,000 years ago. I can say I can do that.”

Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post

Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post

Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post

Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post

Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post

DENY Designs Artist of The Week: Rachael Taylor

Rachael Taylor Organic Retro Leaves Modern ClockThe DENY Designs featured artist of the week is Rachael Taylor. We are loving her bright and beautiful surface designs and patterns – don’t you?

About Rachael Taylor:

Rachael Taylor is a fun, enthusiastic creative designer & textile artist with over several years industry experience in a variety of fields. Since leaving university this young designer has achieved so much in such a small time span working for a number of prestigious clients worldwide.

Rachael likes to bring her own personality to her work & creates fun quirky designs ‘patterns to make you happy’. Her positive & energetic approach was recognised in 2009 as she was awarded the title of ‘the happiest person in Britain 2009′ from her excited & happy twitter posts. Her patterns are spontaneous as Rachael loves to draw with her right & left hand and sometimes even with her eyes closed. This way her patterns are unique & full of energy, she takes inspiration from everything around her & a lot of her motifs come from her own mood & personality.

To see all of Rachael Taylor’s designs on DENY Designs products,

Minimalist Posters of Pixar Movies

via DesignTaxi:

We love this! Melbourne-based designer Wonchan Lee has created minimalist of Pixar’s animated films.

Lee’s reworking of popular movies such as Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc. and so on features simple yet iconic vector graphics.

“Because it has really broad demographics, in terms of age bracket and cultural background, it was very challenging to come up with something that pleases such a wide audience whilst satisfying myself as an artist and as a fan of Pixar, too,” says Lee.


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Button Up: Incredible Art Installations Made From Buttons

Mastermind behind these amazing button installations? Artist Augusto Esquivel. Using only buttons, paint and string, August Esquivel has the ability to create just about anything – from bicycles to toilets to musical instruments – and they look absolutely stunning!

Augusto says, “I am often obsessed with comparisons of reality and potential and the balance between them, in art: the idea of chaos in perfect order: an object seemingly solid to the eye can also be fragile and inconsistent to the touch; a common object used to create a piece of art becomes transformed into something complicated and intriguing.”

“I realize how insignificant and small a simple sewing button can be as it lays in my grandmother’s sewing box, but at the same time how unique and precious it can become as part of a work of art. Like an atom in a molecule, each button serves and shapes the whole. I hold the button to my ear and it whispers to me, “I want to be…..”

He has the ability to even make us call a toilet “beautiful” – that is true talent.

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Coca-Cola Couture For A Great Cause

As the part of its “Tribute to Fashion” charity project, Coca Cola asked some of the best Italian designers to put their stamp on its limited edition bottle, including Moschino, Donatella Versace, Angela Missoni, Alberto Ferreti, Consuelo Castiglioni and Etro, who showcased their creations at the Milano Fashion Centre.

The bottles, dressed in their high-end Italian designer couture even strutted their stuff down the runway to launch the campaign.

“Italian designers revamp Coca Cola Light bottle! It’s thirsty work visiting fashion show after fashion show, but we doubt anyone could drink through a Coca Cola bottle this big, as seen at Milan Fashion Week.” — []

These Coca Cola Light designs initially went on sale September 25, 2011 in Italy, and all profits from sales will help young women from the Abruzzo area find scholarships.




Alberta Ferretti




We love these! Almost too good-looking to even think about drinking though!

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DENY Designs Artist of The Week: Marta Spendowska

The DENY Designs featured Artist of the week is: Marta Spendowska. New to the DENY Designs team this year, Marta brings glamourous, feminine and colorful designs that every stylish fashionista is sure to fall in love with.

What Marta says about her inspiration for her work:

“Every time I reach for a brush, paint, pencil, tablet I feel like this is a time to let go. Every time right before I start, there is this feeling of completeness, joy, a bit of confusion, if I can handle my emotions, and than the time stops. It literally stops. I don’t care about physics anymore. I love almond/rice/soy chais and lattes. I wouldn’t say no to some good Pino Noir.”

To see all of Marta Spendowska’s fabulous artworks on DENY Designs products, visit:

Don’t you just ♥ her work?


Friday Fun: PANTONE Cruiser Bikes

Happy Friday! How about a super stylish weekend cruise on a PANTONE bike? Count us in!

Thanks to Italian Designer ABICI, you can now cruise in some serious style. ABICI has recently launched a super cool collection of bicycles called the ‘Pantone Universe Bicycles’.  The bicycles come in your choice of four PANTONE colors: Green 627C, Ruby Red 186C, Turquoise 15-5519, and Mimosa 14-0848.


The bikes not only look stylish, but feature: fully-enclosed chainguards that display the PANTONE color codes they take after, leather saddles, metal mudguards, back-pedal rear brakes, manual front brakes, and battery-powered lights. The bikes can also be customized for men and women and customers can even choose different speeds and accessories to fit their cruising needs.

The bikes look awesome, but do come with a semi-hefty price tag. The prices for these sweet bikes start at $1,181.  Worth it?

So would you splurge on a PANTONE bicycle for yourself?

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