Saturday, February 26, 2011

World's Largest Ball of Plastic Crap! Lucas, Kansas.

Here it is - the beginnings of the World's Largest Ball of Plastic Crap. All those bits and bobs and things that you (OK, I...) collect, meaning to 'do something with this amazing thing...', are amassing into a new World's Largest Thing. These cast-offs and leftovers and items can't really be recycled, so they normally end up in the dump. I'm tying and attaching them all together into a big ball.

The framework is sort of an exoskeleton, that will still fit through doorways. The idea is to use up all of the crap in the house, working on the Ball inside, until it fills the exoskeleton. Then, it'll move outside. The WLBoPC started on February 19th, in conjunction with another annual project.  This is the second year of participating in Thing-A-Day, where artists commit to making something every single day in February. I've been trying to do an hour of writing about the WLCoWSVoWLT, to capture the stories before I forget them, but in the middle of the month had to take a break and actually MAKE something.

My favorite part is the odd juxtaposition of items...

Found via Google Alerts: Ship in a Bottle, Port of L.A.

The Port of Los Angeles unveiled a new public art sculpture this week as part of the Los Angeles Waterfront Redevelopment Project.

Created by internationally-acclaimed artist Mark Dion, "Ship in a Bottle" is permanently installed at the south end of Cabrillo Way, a short walk south from the 22nd Street Landing in San Pedro, CA.

"The L.A. waterfront public art program focuses on creating a unique experience, destination and sense of place to the waterfront, and making a connection between art, the region and residents here," said Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D.

Putting a contemporary twist on an historic and romantic seafaring craft, Dion's larger-than-life "Ship in a Bottle" art work incorporates an eight foot scale model of a container ship inside a 12-foot clear glass bottle.  Sitting on a grassy mound in the midst of the Marina, the ship rests on a bed of crushed glass, and both the bottle and container ship appear to be floating out over the waters of the Port's outer harbor.

Read the rest on Martin Cox's Maritime Matters site

Thursday, February 24, 2011

News Flash! Erika to Emcee Pancake Day Talent Show...

KSCB Radio News has the scoop, straight from the Pancake Board... but here's the gist:

Emceeing this year’s Pancake Day Talent Show Mar. 7 will be Kansas artist Erika Nelson, who promises to bring her quirky sense of fun to the evening. Nelson has spent the last few years making the world’s smallest versions of the world’s largest things. These miniature replicas of some of the country’s weirdest attractions are now housed in her traveling museum, which she bills as “The World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things.”
Nelson recently garnered national attention as a guest on Conan O’Brien’s talk show in December.
"Anyone who happened to catch Erika's appearance on The Conan Show knows that she is bright, witty and able to handle herself in front of an audience,” said Sally Fuller, Pancake Day Talent Show Chairman...

Read the rest on the KSCB Talk Radio news release!

Found via Google Alert: WLCoWSVoWLT on Tumblr

Yes, we at WLT Inc. Google ourselves.  Sometimes actively, sometimes passively through Google Alerts.  And it's a good thing, too, as you don't always know what press is floating around out there about you unless you engage in some Shameless Self-Googles now and then. 
Spotted today, our listing on Tumblr, posted by This Belongs In A Museum:

Monday, February 21, 2011

More Chair Debate from the Email Inbox: One for Missouri, one for Texas.

Guinness World Records Names Route 66 Rocking Chair "World's Largest"
CUBA, MO The steel 42'1" rocking chair that took its place on Route 66 on April 1, 2008, celebrates its 2009 birthday with the Guinness World Records designation of Largest Rocking Chair. The Guinness designated Largest Rocking Chair adds one more Route 66 attraction to the Show-Me State, which bills itself as "Close to Home, Far From Ordinary."

Owners of the rocker, Dan and Carolyn Sanazaro, who grew up in Cuba, built the chair adjacent to The Fanning Outpost General Store to prompt travelers to stop and visit their complex of businesses: an archery range, a taxidermy shop, and a general store with lodge style d├ęcor, convenience items, and Route 66 mementos. The businesses center around a renovated Fanning, MO community building with a history as both a bar and a voting center at different times.

Read the rest at the Route 66 Association of Missouri Website

But, what about the Star of Texas?

Star of Texas, World's Largest Rocking Chair

It appeared at first as though drinking may have inspired Larry Dennis's peculiar masterpiece, but the bottle he was holding when he greeted me turned out to be nothing more than a frosty root beer. As I found out, Larry doesn't even drink. A tug on a strip of beef jerky is about as wild as he gets. "They used to call me Ol' Straight, Straight Larry," he confessed.

As I looked up at that colossal piece of furniture in the parking lot, though, I knew the soft-spoken carpenter could be a lot nuttier than he let on.

The chair stands in front of the Texas Hill Country Furniture and Mercantile, a rustic home-furnishings store outside Lipan, run by Larry and his wife Sherry. According to Larry, the idea for the big seat came to him after a visitor to the shop brought by a photo he had taken of a novelty rocker, 12 feet tall. Realizing what an attention-getter such a spectacle would be for the business, Larry set about creating one of his own.

Read the rest at Texas Twisted

From the Email Inbox: ISU campus's Reiman Gardens now has world's largest garden gnome, 15' tall

Apr 9, 2010

Gnome is the Centerpiece of Reiman Gardens' Celebration of Garden Ornamentation

Ames, Iowa- Iowa State University's Reiman Gardens has an enormous new inhabitant, a garden gnome of gigantic proportions.

At 15-feet-tall and nearly 3,500 pounds, the yet unnamed creation is the World's Largest Concrete Gnome, besting the old record by two feet, set by a gnome in New York.  A fiberglass replica located in Poland is reported to be taller, but not made of concrete.

Crafted by Andy and Connie Kautza, owners of National Rock and Sculpture, Inc., the gnome traveled 400 miles from Wausau, Wisconsin to its new home in the south-central neck the Gardens.  Plans are to keep it for several years. Garden gnome figurines date back to the 1800's and are a good luck charm for gardeners and farmers.    

The gnome displays will be in the Gardens until mid-October.

For more information contact 515-294-4412.


And, another article about the Gnew Gnome:
Monday, April 12, 2010 -  Largest Concrete Gnome - world record set by Iowa State University

 AMES, Iowa, USA -- Iowa State University's
Reiman Gardens is now home to a 15-foot tall, 3,500-pound garden gnome, created by Andy and Connie Kautza in Wausau, Wisc., which sets the new world record for the Largest Concrete Gnome.

   Photo: Artist Andy Kautza, of Wausau, Wis., takes a metal tip off the peak of the largest concrete gnome in the world. Photo by Ronnie Miller/The Tribune (enlarge photo)

  The previous Guinness world record for the Largest Gnome was a gnome named Chomsky in upstate New York on the Kelder's Farm. Chomsky is only 13 feet, 6 inches tall and stand in front of miniature golf course.

world's Largest Concrete Gnome is made from concrete and stands a whopping 15 feet tall and weighs in at more than 3,500 pounds.

   Created by Andy and Connie Kautza in Wausau, Wisc., the Largest Concrete Gnome in the world traveled 400 miles to its new home in Ames, Iowa. 
 Reiman Gardens spent about $8,000 - all from privately raised funds - to have him built at National Rock and Sculpture in Wausau, Wis., which specializes in sculptures for amusement parks and zoos, and facility director Teresa McLaughlin expects the gardens will recoup three times that sum from increased attendance.
The world's Largest Concrete Gnome will enjoy the company of a cohort of about 20 other miniature gnomes painted and decorated by different Iowa organizations. By day, the gnomes may pose as sculptures, but legend has it, they're active at night and eager to help in the garden. Garden gnome figurines date back to the 1800s and are considered to be a good luck charm for gardeners and farmers. 
Teresa McLaughlin, of Reiman Gardens, said the world's Largest Concrete Gnome is already getting a lot of attention, which is not surprising to Kautza who is used to stopping traffic when delivering his creations.

    "There is some fun just putting your arms around him and getting your picture taken," said McLaughlin.

    World's Largest Concrete Gnome facts
    • The giant gnome is 15 feet tall, weighs 3,500 pounds and required one cubic yard of concrete, which is enough to pave about 20 feet of sidewalk.
    • The gnome consists of two layers of concrete, including a scratch coat that covers its reinforced, iron-welded cage and metal lath, and a second coat that was sculpted, painted and sealed.
     • Underneath the nine colors of paint custom-mixed by Sherwin-Williams, the gnome is painted black to add definition to the textures and creases of the sculpture. 
The gnome will be officially unveiled on April 22. Leaders at the facility will dedicate the pudgy giant during a ceremony, when it will receive its official name. Among the early entries in an ongoing contest: Knickernobbins, Ginkgowinkle, Whataschnozzle, Gnorbert, Gnelson, Gnormous and, rather inexplicably, Gilbert.
The celebration officially kicks off at noon on April 22, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, with a tree-planting ceremony with former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack, Iowa State Dean of the College of Agriculture Wendy Wintersteen and Ames Mayor Ann Campbell. 
The gardens are located at 1407 University Blvd. near Jack Trice Stadium.    




Friday, February 18, 2011

Hand-Drawn Book showing in Brooklyn NY!

As a part of this year's Sketchbook Project from ArtHouse CoOp, our latest hand-drawn book can be checked out and perused at the show opening tomorrow at the Brooklyn Art Library.
Show runs February 19 - 27 if you want to see it in person, or you can browse through our latest line drawings from the road online:
Thanks for playing!
-Erika Nelson, Director
WLT Inc.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

WLCoWSVoWLT now on Atlas Obscura

They've been a long-time favorite of ours here at World's Largest Things, Inc., and now we're fortunate enough to have scored a listing on the Atlas Obscura site!  Keep posted, for more A.O.-related news in the coming weeks, too...
Thanks for the listing, Atlas Obscura!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

From the Email Inbox: New Rubberband Ball Vying for Title

From the L.A. Times, January 29, 2011

Tim Gardner, 23, has been working on his 400-pound rubber-band ball since he was 11. (Monica Cabrera, Allentown Morning Call / January 29, 2011)

It isn't that Tim Gardner has nothing to do. He has a job at Wal-Mart and a steady girlfriend. But the man from eastern Pennsylvania still finds time to knot thousands and thousands of rubber bands together and stretch them onto a rubber-band ball that weighs 400 pounds and lives in a museum on Staten Island, N.Y.

Lives in a museum? Well, no. "Occupies," maybe.

But it's hard not to think of Gardner's ball as a living thing. He talks to it — "Don't crush me, I gave you life!" — remembers its birthday (Aug. 2, 1999) and even named it: Timmy Jr.

It has been virtually his only hobby since that long-ago August day on his native Staten Island, when he was a bored 11-year-old looking to pass the time. He wound a rubber band into a ball by twisting it around his thumb. Then he added one to it. Then another.

You know how these things go. Before long, his rubber-band ball weighed 10 pounds. He looked up the record for the world's largest rubber-band ball, which at that time weighed something like 1,400 pounds.

"I could beat that," he thought.

When the ball reached 40 pounds, people started to take note. A reporter from the Staten Island Advance wrote about the boy with the rubber-band ball, who would tote it from place to place in a little cart, looking for donations of rubber bands.

"I had all the businesses on Victory Boulevard here," said Gardner, now 23, reminiscing as he wrapped another layer of bands on the ball at the Staten Island Children's Museum. "They all donated to me, so it never occurred to me to buy some."

When the ball reached 300 pounds, the museum contacted him and suggested he house it there, where children could marvel at it.

By that time — 2004 — the world record had increased to 3,120 pounds and was held by a man in Delaware. That did not discourage Gardner, who kept collecting bands of all sizes and colors and visiting the museum whenever he had 15 pounds or so to add to the ball.

That's become harder since June when he moved to Lehighton, a borough of about 5,500 residents 85 miles north of Philadelphia, and lost his old sources of rubber-band donors. He is hoping some publicity might prompt business owners around the surrounding Lehigh Valley to send rubber bands his way.

It's for the kids, after all.

"They'll bring school groups through the museum and it's just neat to see their faces when they get so excited," said Gardner's girlfriend, Jenny Wright.

The ball stands about 3 feet high. It thumps like a bass drum when you hit it. And it has eye-catching textures and colors.

"I've made it black and orange for Halloween," Gardner said. "Red and green for Christmas. Red, white and blue for the Fourth of July. I've done it all."

The record has increased exponentially since 2004, to 9,400 pounds. Some guy in Florida did that, under the sponsorship of an office supply chain. But Gardner looks at his goal as a lifelong one, and said he would keep adding to the ball even if he already held the record. You don't quit knitting just because the scarf is done.

Gardner is aware of exactly how silly this can sound to outsiders. He can be dryly witty about it, as evidenced by his response to colleagues at Wal-Mart who tell him he needs a new hobby.

"OK," he tells them. "I'll make a tinfoil ball.'"

ALMOST! Not quite. New World's Largest Yo-yo a no-go.

Plans for the World's Biggest Yo-Yo Spin Out of Control

from AOL News

Beth Johnson and her husband Tony realized they were at the end of their rope when their 12-foot-wide yo-yo fell to the ground, shattering their dream to set a new world record for the largest functioning yo-yo.

To take the title, the Jacksonville, Fla., couple needed to release their yo-yo -- which weighed more than 7,000 pounds -- from a height of at least 75 feet, then have it recoil three times, two-thirds of the way up each time, according to

But after workers dropped the monstrous yo-yo from a crane, the rope that supported the giant toy burned through because of friction, sending the yo-yo crashing to the ground.

"It didn't do what I thought it would do," said Beth, who claims she and Tony worked seven hours a day for 18 months to build the wooden yo-yo.

Though the Johnsons were unable to build the world's largest functioning yo-yo, Guinness World Records officials are reportedly considering honoring their creation as the heaviest one ever constructed.