LEGO My Linux

Artist Eric Harshbarger Constructs Tux in the OTN Lounge

LEGO artist Eric Harshbarger is creating a mosaic of Tux, the Linux mascot, in the OTN Lounge. The 50 by 80 inch piece will be comprised of 35,000 LEGO parts. And if you ask nicely, you might even be able to help.

Head up to the lounge starting today, through Wednesday evening, to check on his progress. While you're there, feel free to ask about his process—and his work with Sun Microsystems.

"Two years ago, I was here for JavaOne," noted Eric, a former Sun employee. "I still have friends who work for Sun."

A few weeks ago, he got an unexpected call from a friend asking if he'd be interested in doing something special for Oracle OpenWorld. We're glad he accepted.

Eric explained his pieces are mosaics, "like pixels on a screen." He turned his adult hobby into a full-time gig around 2001. Since then, he's done sculptures of Conan O'Brien, Bart Simpson, and R2D2.

Where does he get so many LEGO pieces in so many strange and helpful shapes? "I buy my pieces mostly from private collectors, who buy, sort, and sell particular pieces," Eric explained. But LEGO certainly knows he exists—he did a commission for LEGO's New York City office in the summer of 2001.

When he's not snapping blocks into place, Eric is creating puzzles and games from his hometown of Auburn, Alabama, and competing in Scrabble tournaments. In fact, he'll be back in the Bay Area in a few weeks for the Second Annual California Open Scrabble Tournament.

Eric will be building his mosaic from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. every day through Wednesday. Take a trip to the OTN Lounge and see for yourself—and maybe build something of your own.


Eric has subsequently written about his work at Oracle OpenWorld. See It should also be noted that the OTN Lounge distributed its own building blocks.

Posted by John E. Bredehoft on October 17, 2009 at 01:26 AM PDT #

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