Stirrer stick sculpture at Fresno State

FRESNO, Calif.

The aptly named Jonathan Brilliant takes items found in a coffee shop and turns them into large works of art. His order's almost ready at Fresno State.

Not everyone gets a kick from caffeine. The wooden sticks we use to stir our cups of coffee also stir Brilliant's imagination. He explained, "Despite the unconventional materials it's actually a pretty traditional way of weaving, especially in the southeast where I come from."

Piece by piece Jonathan slides, slips and secures the sticks until he finds an artistic connection. "I can still make serious large scale sculptures throughout the world but the material is always humble, familiar material."

Those large tubes on the sculpture are items people use just to get through the day. "At first it was actually coffee cup sleeves stacked together to make linear pieces."

Jonathan has sticks, will travel. His works are displayed around the globe from Australia to Seattle to Berlin.

Fresno State's artist in residence will unveil his work next week. "I very much knew about his space and how there'd this very interesting corner to pull a form in between."

Jonathan was also inspired by this basket on display outside his work space. "I think everyone gets hung up on the idea, oh no glue but it's a woven structure so it's pretty much a tried and true method."

He figured he may use as many as 60,000 sticks to complete the project. The sculpture is a work in progress. But to watch the artist work and quickly progress is nothing short of brilliant.

By the way, Jonathan Brilliant's last name is the family name and not made up. His work is a far cry from the days we used to glue popsicle sticks together and make cabins.

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