With over a million toothpicks, Wayne Kusy's fleet is spectacular

The guys from Rare Visions got to Chicago last night, and we headed out this morning in search of a few roadside attractions (dancing hot dogs on the roof of Super Dawgs and a 50% actual size replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in front of the Niles YMCA) and an incredible toothpick artist, Wayne Kusy.  

Wayne Kusy, Toothpick Sculptures
1961-
Chicago, IL

Web programmer and musician Wayne Kusy began building things out of toothpicks in a 5th grade art class.  “I got a B+.”  The hobby turned to obsession ad ultimately to inspiration and over a million of round, flat, and square toothpicks later, he has built a fleet that has set sail for museums nationwide.

His 25-ft-long replica of the ocean liner “Queen Mary” took over 3 years to build with approx. 814,000 toothpicks.  16-ft-long British liner “Lusitania” used over 193,000 toothpicks and is on display at the American Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore.  

Wayne lives on a small apartment in Chicago, so small that the boats he has built cannot fit in it anymore.  He has designed them to be reassembled in segments, so that he can move them to public venues.  He carefully researches the boats’ blueprints, studies photographs, to make them as accurate as possible. His current schooner “Cutty Sark” has to be on a lean, supported by toothpick boxes, as the ceilings aren’t tall enough.