Artist builds everything from a cat castle to engines out of Popsicle sticks

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Artist builds everything from a cat castle to engines out of Popsicle sticks

What started as a school project has led to some impressive creations for one P.E.I. artist  — and they're all made out of Popsicle sticks.

In a corner of Randy Tipe's home, there is a miniature roller coaster in one corner, a drum set on a shelf across the room. He has constructed a Ferris wheel that turns and even a miniature car with functional steering.

"I've built two or three motors. One's air compressed. A vehicle, a ship. I'm very into architecture but I find more moving parts is more interesting," he said.  

It all started when Tipe had to use Popsicle sticks for a high school project. Since then, he estimates he's gone through more than 100,000 of them for his creations.

He works with needle-nose pliers to cut the sticks, and uses a hot glue gun to put the pieces together.

"There's no real planning," said Tipe. "I do look on google images or online, especially for the more mechanical stuff because I have to find what to build ... otherwise I just use my imagination." 

Tipe doesn't eat his way through Popsicles for his supply. He buys them from convenience or grocery stores. 

'Hunting for more ideas'

His creations expand beyond miniature versions of things. He's built a functioning dresser, complete with a lock and key, mouse traps, even a working pistol that can shoot BB pellets.

"I'm just hunting for more ideas. I really want to make more movable items but I also really love architecture," Tipe said. 

He works a separate day job but said his goal is to become an apprentice or freelance artist. 

While he's kept his passion mostly to himself for now, Tipe said his hope is to connect more with other artists. 

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