cardstacker

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How did you get started stacking cards?
I was introduced to what I now call "Cardstacking" by my grandfather at about age 8. He really did not teach me any of the techniques that I use today; he simply taught me that building could be fun.

Do you ever tape, glue, fold, bend, or manipulate the cards?
No. None of my structures involve trickery. They are the "real deal."

What makes them stand up?
The cards stand up–and stay up–for two reasons. First, there are so many cards in large constructions, the combined weight of all the cards actually adds to the stability of the structure. Second, the weight is supported by the strategic arrangement of cards, called grids. Cards, arranged in grid patterns, resemble waffles or ice cube trays. The cards actually prohibit each other from bending and also prohibit each other from falling over. If you can learn to build a grid structure, you can build just about anything.

Did your training as an architect help you in any way?
Yes and no. Most of what I know about Cardstacking came from years of experimentation. I would argue that young people who spend time building with cards and really make an effort to get better at it will develop a natural sense of how structures work and behave. I would even say that the majority of what I know about the structural behavior of real buildings and building materials came from my experiences building with cards. It is possible to learn a lot through casual observation!

Do you ever get bored?
I would not want to build with cards all day every day, and I never do. However,
Cardstacking, like other artistic skills such as playing a musical instrument can be really addictive once you figure out the hardest part. In my lifetime, Cardstacking has gone from a hobby to an obsession to a job and livelihood. If there ever comes an opportunity for you in your life to take somethingyou love and turn it into your job, do it!

Is Cardstacking your job?
Yes. I am my own boss, get to travel around the world, and set my own hours all while doing something that I find challenging and interesting.

Do people actually pay you?
Yes. People actually pay me to do something I enjoy. Some say that what I do is actually called "installation art."

Who pays you?
I have worked for companies ranging from Post Cereal to Fuji Television Japan, science and art museums, and major global PR campaigns.

Do your hands shake?
Yes.

Do you ever get paper cuts?
No.

Do you drink coffee?
Yes.

Do you ever just place one wrong card and it all falls down?
No, remember, it's really not that fragile.

Shouldn't you have been a brain surgeon?
Yes, definitely.

Did your mom and dad ever tell you to stop?
No. My parents have always been really supportive; they are my biggest fans.

Do casinos give you cards?
No.

Do you ever sneeze?
Yes.

Does it knock them down?
No.

Some of the funniest questions I have been asked:
Do you start at the top or the bottom?
How did you get it on the plane?
How do you transport it?
Are those lottery tickets?
I see you holding cards in your mouth; is your spit sticky?