The Man Who Maintained His Dexterity By Carving Figures Out Of Matchsticks
by Trisha Leigh
No one wants to get old and wake up one day to find they’re a shell of their former selves, but not everyone goes to extreme lengths to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Raymond Cooke did, though.
A 1975 news report on Thames TV said that Cooke, who was an artist by trade, had always enjoyed handyman tasks as well. He built all of his own kitchen and bathroom cabinetry at home, but one day, noticed holding his hammer and chisels wasn’t as easy as it used to be.
His doctor diagnosed him with rheumatoid arthritis and warned him that it would get worse, and probably quickly.
One of the ways he chose to hold onto his enthusiasm and ability to create things was by carving realistic figurines out of matchsticks.
“Ever wondered what all your discarded matches are good for? Christopher Rainbow meets Raymond Cooke, matchstick sculptor par excellence, who turns every matchstick into an exquisite little work of art.”
He says the hobby helped him still hold his carpentry tools and maintain his dexterity after his diagnosis.
“All that is required is a steady hand, infinite patience, an eye for minute detail, and some bits of broken razor blade.”
You can count me out, but kudos to him, because the results are undeniably cool.