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Artist Recreates San Francisco Landmarks With Toothpicks

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Artist Scott Weaver has taken more than three decades and used more than 100,000 toothpicks in his sculpture of San Francisco. (CBS)

Artist Scott Weaver has taken more than three decades and used more than 100,000 toothpicks in his sculpture of San Francisco. (CBS)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS News) — Those who see it are amazed at what Scott Weaver has built with just glue and toothpicks. His work is a vision of San Francisco, from its Cable Cars to its rows of Victorian houses.

Standing next to the miniature creation, 9-year-old Erin McGlynn said, “This is art. This is not just toothpicks, this is art.”

Weaver said he has used more than 100,000 toothpicks to recreate virtually every landmark in the city. He’s aware that some people may call him crazy.

“What kind of eccentric idiot would spend thousands of hours making a toothpick sculpture? That’s me!” he explained.

He had been working on his toothpick sculpture for 36 years.

Weaver recalls, “My mom always said, ‘Scotty, get that thing done, get it out of your wife’s living room.’”

It’s now on display at The Exploratorium, where he is giving guided tours with a ping pong ball.

Museum patron Lisa Holden thinks, “It’s a piece of art, no question. It’s absolutely art and it’s absolutely beautiful.”

“That’s the way art should be,” Weaver said. “You know, there’s no rules.”

And with no rules, he has turned the humble toothpick into a building block of wonder.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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