What in the H-E
Double Toothpicks
is Wood Zeppelin?!

Wood Zeppelin is a toothpick rock and roll band animation created by world acclaimed toothpick artist Wayne Kusy. It is rock music, internet technology and Folk Art combined to create toothpick music videos. To lampoon the world with toothpicks and music in the vane of the Monkees and MTV.

Folk Art
All the characters, musical instruments, backgrounds, and props are made from toothpicks, wire, used clothing, and other household utensils. The band members have toothpick stage names with the exception of the lead singer: Burch Reynolds on 1st guitar, Chris Wikipix 2nd Guitar, Slim Pickin Bass, Saul Mills Drums and Hortents Byrd vocals.

Rock & Roll
The tootpick characters are modeled after actual musicians who perform and record the video sound tracks. The band plays live, and in the proces of recording a full length CD entitled Wood Zeppelin I.

Internet Technology
Folk Artist Wayne is a web development programmer by trade. The video backgrounds and efects are generated by applications he developed incliding a “Toothpick Typewriter” and a frame compiler called “Frame Padder”. He also used cheap conventional video editors found online.

Wood Zeppelin is musical, humorous, amazing, entertaining and fun for the whole family. It takes a little from all things television and creates a paralell toothpick universe with it. Anti-reality? Hmmmm...

Chris Wikipix
Burch Reynolds
Hortentz Byrd
Saul Mills
Slim Pickin

Since 5th grade, artist Wayne Kusy has always focused his talents constructing ocean liners from toothpicks. Stop action animation is something completely new to him. Wayne is also a song writer and guitarist. By trade, he is a professional web developer and programmer, and understands how to build animated gifs for the web. Wood Zeppelin combines all these talents into something unique and powerful, and just as impressive as his 25 foot ocean liners.
For more info on Wayne Kusy, click here.

Motion Tests & the art of
stop action photography

  • Algonquin Time Lapse
  • Motion Test 1
    with toothpick Dog and men jumping rope.
  • Motion Test 2
    Drum kit construction and first toothpick musician prototype
  • Motion Test 3
    Experiments in camera angles and background and layered motioned with green screen

Algonquin Time Lapse
In the past, many have inquired about documenting the construction of his ships using time lapse photography. The problem was that his toothpick liners were so big and took so long to build, that keeping a camera steady for years at a time would have been impossible. Then one day, as luck would have it, Wayne was commissioned to build a 45 inch model of the SS Algonquin schooner for the Village of Algonquin IL celebrating 150 years of incorporation. Being a web programming knowing how to build small animated gifs, Wayne built small spinning graphics before, but nothing like a large screen movie. With the exception of his cell phone and disposable cameras, he never owned a real camera in his life!

Enlisting the help of his ship photographer and friend Ed Lines Jr., the artist was given a quick lesson in shutters and exposures and how to take a picture. Using a borrowed Nikon and tripod, Wayne took 4200 photos of the entire construction of the Algonquin, including close ups, moving he camera, experimenting with camera angles to accent different phases of construction. He compiled them 100 at a time using his Ubuntu box, then converting each segment to an MP4. The MP4 segments would be sewn together with a cheap video editor. It became clear in the beginning that certain repetitive parts had to be sped up to avoid a useer turning the video off. As a time lapse, the video would run for almost an hour. When the artist sped up the frame rate, it became more of a stop action animation that a piece by piece time lapse. Suddenly, there were now other possibilities, and other things to replicate with toothpcks other than ocean liners.

Wood Zeppelin - motion tests
Being a musician as well as artist, Wayne felt washed up as a guitarist. He did not want to join another band and keep flogging the same dead horse as he seen other along the way. In the afterglow of the Algonquin, he started to plan his NEW rock band Wood Zeppelin, a band like the Archies, a cartoon with real musicians playing it's music. He build a series of small characters of toothpicks and wire. They could contort and flex like a human being. He also built a dog. Through a series of 3 motion tests, the artist learned how stablize light and animate characters and their movements. With every test, an enormous amount of progress can be seen lighting, motion, instruments, props and backgrounds. Motion test 1 was an animatin of a dog and small human characters skipping rope. Motion test 2 saw the first large scale human character and an animated drum set. Motion test 3 introduced green screen effects, new animated backgrounds with foregrounds and new Wood zeppelin characters enteracting with musical equipment.

It took a whole year to get to this point, but now Wayne Kusy is going to create his first pilot video powered by Wood Zeppelin and a whole lotta toothpicks.

About Wayne Kusy

Since he was in 5th grade, toothpick Folk Artist Wayne Kusy has made a reputation for himself building large scale ocean liners out of toothpicks. Measuirng as long at 25 feet and 800,000 toothpicks, his works include, the Titanic, Lusitania, Queen Mary, Cutty Sark, American and recently the Algonquin Schooner. His work has been seen published in People Magazine, CNN, Daily Mail, among hundreds of other print and TV media. Last January, the artist made his first international television debut in Bremen Haven Germany on the Buten & Binnen show as he acquired the deck plans of a future liner, the SS Bremen.

Who is Wood Zeppelin?!

Wood Zeppelin is a real band of real musicians! And in no particular order, here they are... Mouse over the faces below and find out!

Chris Pietrowicz
Wayne Kusy
Laura Walsh
Mike Mirto
Dave Bernstein