Assumptionist in Art

Inez Togle Vasquez talks about her passion for LEGO® and using the plastic bricks to create sculptures of Philippine flora

I have always loved LEGO as a kid but I never got to build anything of my own because it was really expensive. When LEGO released the Lord of the Rings sets, I already had a steady job so I decided to treat myself to a little set (Gandalf Arrives 9469). I loved it so much and started collecting more LOTR and some Harry Potter sets. From building with instructions, I moved on to modifying sets and eventually built my own creations (called MOCs).

Rafflesia leonardi, also known as the Corpse Flower.
Strongylodon macrobotrys or the Jade Vine

My Lego Users Group, the Philippine Lego Users Group, encouraged its members to build MOCs. As a Biology major, I have always loved trees and was disappointed that LEGO’s trees looked nothing like the real thing. So I started building trees and landscapes, often for PhLUG’s diorama builds. What started as a hobby in 2012 grew into a major outlet for creativity and expression.

I started building flowers in 2018 when PhLUG took part in the iMake History Museum. I wanted to build something to promote Philippine biodiversity so I built flowers endemic to the Philippines: Rafflesia leonardi and Vanda sanderiana (or the Waling Waling). From there I just built more and more flowers. I try to use different building styles and parts for each build. I now have ten (10) flowers, most of which are unique or endemic to the Philippines.

Vanda sanderiana alba
Ceratocentron fesselii

My advice for those who want to try building with LEGO is:
Don’t be afraid to try.

I was able to share my flowers with the world through LEGOCON (which you can watch on YouTube). Last summer, I also displayed my collection at the Japan Brickfest (JBF), in Kobe, Japan. JBF is an annual gathering of LEGO lovers from all over Asia. It was my very first time to display as an individual, and I was very happy to represent the Philippines with my display.

My advice for those who want to try building with LEGO is: Don’t be afraid to try. Starting a build without instructions may seem daunting at first, but, as with most things, it gets easier with time and practice. Sometimes all it takes to start is to put two bricks together.

Dendrobium anosmum or the Sanggumay

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