Burnt Matchstick

Sidsel Paaske
2 min
Year: 1966



If you strike a match, and then let it burn down until it goes out, what happens then? 

(Sound of striking a match, the flame sizzling)

That’s right, the wood bends!  

It kind of crumples, as though it’s bowing its head. 

The matchstick, which was originally completely straight with a red head, becomes something entirely different. And perhaps its new appearance is also beautiful, but in a different way. 

What you’re looking at here is a very famous matchstick!  

The woman who made it was called Sidsel Paaske. She wanted to be an artist, but she was thrown out of the art academy because she was going to have a baby!  


WHAT? REALLY? That’s so stupid! 


It was very unfair, there’s no doubt about that.   

Sidsel Paaske thought so too, but she didn’t give up; she became an artist anyway!  

One day, she had a brilliant idea. 

She sat at her table striking one match after another. When she’d finished, she drew all the burnt matchsticks. Finally, she found out exactly what this matchstick sculpture should look like!  

(Sound of match being struck, burning)

It turned out the same height as a slightly tall man! 

And although it’s very decorative – it’s a matchstick made of velvet, lace, silk, wool, pearls AND sequins – it still looks burnt! Do you agree?