Thousands of Screws Make a 3D Portrait (15 pics)

"Most people are drawn to the portraits because they have something different about them (from a distance especially). Seeing them in person is a whole different feel than seeing the photograph. They have a sense of depth that the photo can't capture." - Andrew Myers

Meet Andrew Myers, one of the most patient modern-day sculptors around. This Laguna Beach, California-based artist goes through a multi-step process to create incredible works of art you almost have to see (or touch) to believe. He starts with a base, plywood panel, and then places pages of a phone book on top. (Cool fact: He'll use pages from his subjects' local area.) He then draws out a face and pre-drills 8,000 to 10,000 holes, by hand. As he drills in the screws, Myers doesn't rely on any computer software to guide him, he figures it out as he goes along. "For me, I consider this a traditional sculpture and all my screws are at different depths," he says.

One of the most challenging parts is getting rid of the flat drawing underneath because he then has to paint over each of the screw heads, individually, so that in the end, the sculpture looks like an actual portrait.

Look through these photos and you'll notice that the real magic happens when you see these pieces from an angle.

Update: I got in touch with Myers to ask him a few questions about this very different type of sculpting. Read that brief interview below.

Andrew Myers, the Artist

How does this type of sculpture differ from your usual work?
These pieces are definitely a departure from my normal artwork. For years I had been sculpting in bronze, doing figurative, narrative types of work. The screw art was born mostly because I was burnt out on the narrative work, but also because I'm always searching for a "better" sculpture. It has been hard for me to stick to one style of work as I always tend to find something more interesting. In fact, before I got the exposure on the screw art, I had considered taking a break from that to pursue something else.

What do you hope others will get out of these pieces?
When other people look at this work, I hope they can see the amount of thought and work that went into each piece. I feel I have used everything I've learned over the past decade, including sculpture, painting, construction etc, to create something that I had never seen before.

What's next?
Right now I am in a studio transition, so I haven't had much time to work on the art side of things. However, I have some great plans for the future, which include plenty of screws and large scale sculptures (hopefully public art).

Andrew Myers' website

Photos courtesy of Andrew Myers

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Tags: 3D, Make, Portrait, Screws, Thousands, a, art, of

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Comment by Camilo Manrique Guzmán on January 4, 2012 at 1:17pm

It certainly is quite a lot of work. Well done, well executed. Loved it.

Comment by Kim Baker on March 18, 2011 at 8:58am
Simply one word will do, amazing!
Comment by Hertz Nazaire on March 1, 2011 at 4:49am
that is some awesome work
Comment by Carme Rodríguez Capilla on February 27, 2011 at 10:06am
How cool! Andrew you are great, a great artist with a patience as hell ... uff!
Comment by Drew Rickett on February 25, 2011 at 6:51pm
I'm not sure who impresses me more, this guy or Saimir Strati... Oh, wait, it's Saimir Strati; nevermind. Someone sent me the Da Vinci nail sculpture 3 or so years ago. Didn't bother to find out who the artist was until I saw this. He's actually done some other pretty impressive mosaics with ordinary objects (toothpicks, corks).
Comment by Amy Wong on February 25, 2011 at 4:33pm
Eeeek! Patience is the word! Amazing work!!
Comment by Visnja V on February 25, 2011 at 8:29am
OK! What is his profession? INcredible machine? ;)
Comment by Sofia Gritsyuk on February 25, 2011 at 7:16am
Very interesting :-)
Comment by Henry on February 25, 2011 at 6:59am
quoting Alyssa: Wow. just wow. Really liked it.
Comment by Megan Roper on February 24, 2011 at 11:44pm
Beautiful work Andrew. I love the juxtaposition of the smooth phone book pages with the staggering waves of screws. You took something so ordinary and made it wonderful :)

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