William was fascinated by science. One day, he opened a textbook and saw a picture of a windmill, and his life changed forever.
“I was very interested when I saw the windmill could make electricity and pump water. I thought: ‘That could be a defence against hunger. Maybe I should build one for myself’.”
Neighbors found it very strange that he was spending so much time sifting through garbage. “Many, including my mother, thought I was going crazy. They had never seen a windmill before.”
“People thought I was smoking marijuana. So I told them I was only making something for juju [magic].’ Then they said: 'Ah, I see.’”
He built a 16-ft-tall turbine from spare bicycle parts, a tractor fan blade, and an old shock absorber, and made blades out of plastic pipes- amazing the entire village when he climbed to the top and plugged in a light bulb that slowly flickered to life.
A book titled 'The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind’ was written about his story, as well as a documentary called ‘William and the Windmill.’
Today the Department of Teeny-weeny Wonders is out exploring a tiny paper city called Paperholm, a handmade miniature metropolis that’s being constructed one building at a time by Edinburgh-based artist Charles Young. While studying architecture at the Edinburgh College of Art, where he receive bachelor and masters degree, Young tough himself how to build paper and card models.
The first Paperholm structure was erected back in August when Young challenged himself to build a new paper building every day. He says that his model-making hobby helps him sketch and develop ideas for design projects. As the project has progressed his paper structures have grown increasingly intricate, taking anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours to create.
“Over the last three months I really got to know the material that I’m working with a lot better,” he tells us. “By trying to make different shapes with the paper you get to learn its limits in terms of how much it will bend and how finely you can cut it. The paper that I’ve been using is just ordinary watercolor paper but it has a good balance between its flexibility and its strength. The most important thing is simply to use a sharp blade to cut with, this allows you to get good straight edges and to pick out fine detail.”
Many of Young’s latest creations can be animated for utterly charming gifs like the ones seen above.
For additional images follow the growth of Charles Young’s enchanting paper city here on Tumblr at paperholm.