All In A Matchstick

by Sherry Riter in Different,Product

We use matchsticks to light candles, the fire to cook while camping (which I totally know nothing about), and endless other uses. But David Mach uses colored matchsticks in a totally different way. It all started with his first match head sculpture in 1982 which accidentally went up in flames, but that didn’t stop him from producing many more. Here are a few of his very original and creative matchstick heads:

David Mach matchstick gorilla mouth open David Mach matchstick person David Mach matchstick gorilla mouth closed
David Mach matchstick alligator David Mach matchstick giraffe

According to David Mach, “Being a sculptor leads everything I do. Every project I take on starts from that point. I believe that an artist must be an ideas monger responding to all kinds of physical location, social and political environments, to materials, to processes, to timescales and budgets. I also believe that sculpture just about encompasses everything – a painting can be a sculpture, a TV ad can be a sculpture, a dance, a performance, a film, a video – all of these kinds of art and many more can be sculpture.

When I have ideas I want to make them, and not just some of them, but all of them. As a result of that my sculpture covers a multitude of sins. I like to work in as many different materials as possible. It’s no understatement to say I am a materials junkie – jumping from highly-painted realistic cast fiberglass pieces to sculpture with coat hangers, to a thatched barn roof laced with fiber-optics to designs for camera obscures (or at least the buildings to house them) and layouts for parks.

Recently, collage has had a huge influence on my sculpture. I spend so much time on collage, looking at, sorting out, re-arranging, and sticking thousands of images a week that ideas for sculpture will pop into my head whole, complete with a list of materials to make them with and a take on the different environments, museums and galleries they will inhabit.”

One of the chores of motherhood is laundry and that involves a washing machine, dryer, laundry detergent, hamper, laundry basket, and clothes hangers. David is very familiar with clothes hangers…lots of clothes hangers…

david mach coat hanger man david mach coat hanger woman
david mach coat hanger gorilla david mach coat hanger astronaut

I have to admit that when I’ve been heavy into doing laundry, I’ve never had such creative thoughts of creating figures as previously shown.

I saved my favorite for last…the scrabble tile woman named Myslexic. Such detail!!! You can zoom to look at any part of her body at David’s web site by clicking on the pictures of her below.

david mach scrabble tile woman head1 david mach scrabble tile woman head zoom

Matchsticks, coat hangers and scrabble tiles…simple items which David Mach has used to produce amazing art. If he can do it, so can you. We all have hidden talents that are untapped and just waiting…

Waiting for you to have the courage to try something different.

About the artist:
David Mach was born in Methil, Fife, in 1956.
He studied at:
Duncan Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee (1974-79)
The Royal College of Art, London (1979-82)
Made a Royal Acadamian in 1998
First Visiting Professor of Inspiration and Discovery at the University of Dundee

Mommy Blogger of The Year Award


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stacey August 17, 2009 at 7:25 am

Those are amazing! Where do you find this stuff?


2 BunnoGal August 17, 2009 at 7:40 am

WOW! They look amazing.


3 cgw @ accidentally, kle August 17, 2009 at 9:18 am

WOAH!!!! the scrabble lady especially!! 😀


4 Oh Sew Good August 17, 2009 at 10:02 am

This is amazing art. How do you find these? I am looking forward to showing them to my dd.


5 Sandy August 17, 2009 at 10:56 am

Incredible detail with such unusual items! I BTW am a redhead writer, too!


6 Tammy Howard August 17, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Wow, that is absolutely cool! I'm a little surprised that you've never thought to form your clothes hangars into works of art. I do it all the time. There is a gorilla JUST LIKE THAT in my laundry room.

(I kid – but I am such a procrastinator that I WOULD make a sculpture if it meant I could put the laundry off a few more minutes…Oh – and if I had any artistic abilities whatsoever)


7 Debbie August 17, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Those are fascinating. Often I think really off the wall art is less than appealing but those are incredible!


8 Lee August 17, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Love this. Being an art history major, your blog continually impresses me and I love it!


9 PropellerHeadMom August 17, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Very cool! I always wondered what I could do with all my metal clothes hangers 🙂


10 Carol August 17, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Sometimes people are so creative it makes my mind melt. I loved it thanks for the share.


11 Dee August 18, 2009 at 1:41 am

Wow I like the scrabble ones.

Hey how do you get the music notes to show in your comments?

Come check out my word game.


12 Cindy @ Chalk it Up! August 18, 2009 at 3:31 am

What amazing art! I love experimenting with new materials.

Thanks for the inspiration!


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