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Rolling Through the Bay

Rolling Through the Bay
Ping-pong balls take a spin through a toothpick San Francisco.

Artist Scott Weaver has been painstakingly constructing this replica of the city of San Francisco out of toothpicks since 1974. Ping-pong balls added here or there wind their way through the model, visiting various famous sites along the way.

What’s going on?

This work-in-progress by charismatic artist Scott Weaver has a permanent home at the Exploratorium—lucky visitors may run into the artist himself, busily making additions.

It’s made from nothing but toothpicks—118,4231/2 of them, at last count—and wood glue. There are 15 different entrance points for ping-pong balls, each conducting a different “tour” through the toothpick city.

There are countless “Easter egg” surprises hidden in this sculpture. Can you find the toothpick heart Scott left in San Francisco? (Hint: Look in the Palace of Fine Arts rotunda.)


IMLS acknowledgment

This web project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [MA-30-16-0175-16].


IMLS acknowledgment

This web project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [MA-30-16-0175-16].