Largest collection of instruments made from matchsticks
Bohdan Senchukov
14 total number
Ukraine (Kyiv)

The largest collection of instruments made from wooden matchsticks is 14 and was achieved by Bohdan Senchukov (Ukraine) in Kiev, Ukraine, as of 5 October 2019.

Bohdan has been sculpting in matchsticks for a number of years with a collection of 20 self made models at home including a rail train, yacht and motorcycle. It was at school, however, where his inspiration to first create musical instruments came from. After gifting his music teacher, Ivan Sukhyi, a small accordion sculpture as a present he was so excited that he asked if it was possible to make a playable version. The small accordion took roughly two weeks to make and consisted of around 7,000 matchsticks.

Since then he has made a button accordion, a miniature accordion, two guitars, a bass-guitar, a drum, a violin, a svirel, three various shakers, a rattle, a scraper and a Ukrainian bandura.

Making matchstick instruments is time-consuming work which requires careful craftsmanship, persistence, and high level of patience. The melodica guitar in his collection is made of 23,000 matchsticks and took over a year to complete. On the ocassions he loses his patience, particularly when something is not going well, he simply takes a break to think it over.

He would originally buy matchboxes from a local retail shop and remove their match "heads" manually, which was very time consuming. To make the process quicker he instead started to order matchsticks in bulk from the match producing factory in Rivne. The amount of matches varies considerably depending on the instrument from 1,000 for a shaker to 27,000 for the melodica guitar.

Of all of the instruments he has created his favourite is the second playable instrument he ever made. As he was taking guitar lessons at the time Bodhdan decided to build a guitar which he named “The Soul”. The guitar took four months to construct and 15,000 matchsticks and despite fears it would not be able to produce high quality music it is still played today.

All of the instruments are playable and are often brought together to perform Ukrainian folk music by a matchstick ensemble. The leader of the ensemble aims to diversify with musical tastes (Yellow Submarine has recently been added to the repertoire) and build the group to include 50 members. Bohdan is understandably excited to start making the instruments needed.