The Little Truck that Could

This is a model of a motorized concrete mixer truck. A recycled motor paired to a battery moves the truck forward and reverse. The driver’s cabin is decorated with steering wheel, cushioned seat, headlights, license plate and ladder. This motor is linked to shaft that ends at a yellow gear (visible in the photos below). This gear rotates the concrete mixer and connects to an adjustable trough from which the concrete can be poured when the truck arrives at the construction site. All details are realistically measured against actual trucks.

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My Little Neighborhood

Washington Park in Downtown Newark

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Newark Model Small(Above L to R) Broad Street Station, Polhemus House, YWCA Building, Newark Museum, Ballantine House,
Second Presbyterian Church, American Insurance Company, Newark Public Library

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When I examine old pictures of my neighborhood in the city archives, I realize how much of my city disappeared in the past forty-some years. This sad trend will inevitably continue, as it does in most cities where old buildings outlive their use. If not in the form of my city’s physical destruction, this loss is in the form of my gradual loss of childhood memories. To reconcile this trend, I built the below model as my own souvenir. This keepsake will forever remind me of my identity in Newark.

The landmarks depicted are selected from my neighborhood and include my childhood home. The buildings are drawn with ink and pastel on thick paper, which is then cutout to form a two-dimensional silhouette. The trolleys travel back and forth down the street and are magnetically operated by a crank and hidden string beneath the street. The tracks guide the trains up, down, and into the tunnel. These trolleys are modeled on those that used to exist in Newark, long before my time here.

Perhaps, this models presents a more romanticized and idealized Newark than the city that may actually exist.

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New York in Miniature

The impressive range New York’s architecture, from the humblest home to the slenderest tower, powers my inspiration to create. I aim to capture my perceptions of bustling New York in this model. With a base measuring only 28 by 36 inches, I have built an intricate model replete with subway entrances, lampposts, and people. Whenever I glance at my tiny creation, I rejoice in knowing that my love of New York is within the breadth of my arms.

 

NYC collage small

 

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Paper Cutout Models

Handmade Dollhouse

Over the years, I slowly built this dollhouse. Using balsa wood, cardboard, and scraps salvaged from the garbage, I glued together the numerable pieces of furniture. Odds and ends (many from my sister) such as bottle caps, cloth scraps, and earrings complement the intricate displays. None of the materials are purchased from a conventional model store. They are all hand assembled – either for the sheer joy of it, or as a skill-building exercise in model-making.

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Dollhouse

 

Tower of Light

This lightweight and colorful creation explores how perception alters through shifting one’s vantage point. Inspired by the shapes of Italian Futurist sculptures, this “tree” is part sculpture, part Tower of Babel, and part abstract spaceship. Dimensions: 3 ft diameter base by 8 ft high. Materials: Zome erector kit and floodlight beneath for shadows and contrast.

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christmas tree