New York Designer ignites sphere of 42,000 individual matchstick

the art installation was ignited  from a single match,  in one of the open areas of the New York National central park. quickly burning through a year wort of painstaking work. Leaving behind a ball of black smoldering soot, in the original form. The green sphere was build and completed in New York by Reddit users, Wallace.

the piece featured “Diamond” — a brand in New York —  green head phosphorus matchsticks,  layered and aligned in circular geometry, as a nod to the green nature of the planet Earth.  Although the projects was mostly for the entertainment, but it bears sticking  correlation with the planet, and the pace of climate warming.


wallace was inspired to create ” the  burning sphere”  after been around a significant amount of match boxes. And finding the “bub” on the stick heads almost spherical, then deciding to find more arty use for them. imagining a slightly more larger sphere, primarily for aesthetic sensible, then later moving on to make it much bigger than initially planned.

“As I started the project I was very interested in trying to figure out approximately how many matches I would need. I was buying them in boxes of 300 from my grocery store (I am sure they thought I was crazy) and needed to know if I was about to break the bank. I started playing around in the modeling software Rhino to get a sense of what this match sphere would ultimately become.”

designer Wallace,  holding the complete match sphere.

the total piece is made up of 149 boxes of the Diamond, New York match brand , with  300 sticks in each pack. all totally  42,000 matches individual match sticks. Which was very different from his initial estimate of  62,654 sticks.  the entire project was modeled  and plotted out on his computers.  with every single stick glued together to allow for a sturdy installation.


using a 0.82 degree angle, Wallace was able to predict the path of the sphere the collection of  the 2.2810 inch sticks would form.   According to his simulation of 439 of similar match stick would have offered a sphere of 17.643″ in diameter.

The surface area of a sphere was calculated at  977.405 square inches. with the matches each take up approximately 0.0156 square inches of that surface so 977.405 square inches / 0.0156 square inches = 62,654 matches in a perfect world.”



sphere-of-42000-matches-wallacemk-10-5a83ea0da42d2__700   working on the sphere , still incomplete ion the work shop.

sphere-of-42000-matches-wallacemk-7-5a83ea084749e__700laying the sticks to dry in the workshop


halfway point, of the incomplete sphere.

2/3 of the project nearing completion.


The final piece of sticks left


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