A Wind-Up Bamboo Passenger Pigeon by Haptic Lab 

The Flying Martha Ornithopter is a mechanical toy that when wound, flaps its wings through the air just like a real bird. The simple invention is built entirely from bamboo and Mulberry paper, and released just like a paper airplane. The ornithopter was built by Haptic Lab to honor the very last passenger pigeon, Martha, who died while in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914.

Haptic Lab believes the invention is symbolic of humanity’s role in a rapidly changing world. “Like our other projects at Haptic Lab, the Flying Martha ornithopter aims to connect people to their physical environment, to one another, and to the planet as a whole,” says the design studio. “The Flying Martha celebrates the spirit of invention and discovery essential to humanity’s survival and to the survival of our planet.”

Each ornithopter is built to reflect the true size of the extinct bird, with a wingspan of 16 inches. The handmade nature of the toy bird allows its user to customize its flight, solving problems to discover the invention’s best flight path. By a slight twist of the tail to the left or right, its flight course is altered, giving the owner full control of how the bird flies.

The project is currently raising funds on Kickstarter. You can see more projects by Haptic Lab on their website, Instagram and Facebook. (via Kottke)

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Aspen Trees Grow on Delicate Ceramic Vessels by Heesoo Lee 

Ceramic artist Heesoo Lee brings the textural depth of aspen forest canopies to her sculptural bowls and vases. Lee painstakingly places each and every leaf by hand, building unique, organic trees that seem to come to life with their shimmering, colorful leaves. While the vibrant glazes add a lifelike layer, the pieces are equally stunning in their unglazed form. The Montana-based artist shares many progress shots and videos on her Instagram, and works are available for purchase on Etsy. (via Lustik)

An unglazed work in progress

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Aerial Images of Vibrant Landscapes by Photographer Niaz Uddin 

The Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone National Park (all images via Niaz Uddin)

Niaz Uddin is a photographer, director, and filmmaker that explores a variety of natural landscapes from high above. His color-saturated photographs explore crowded beaches and remote tide pools, capturing each of the scenic environments from a bird’s eye view. One of my favorite images is the picture above, which provides a rare perspective of the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park. You can see even more sky-high images on his Instagram, and buy limited prints on his website.

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach

Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach

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Synchronistic Images Captured in Soviet Era Swimming Pools by Photographer Maria Svarbova 

Photographer Maria Svarbova is fascinated by the sterile, geometric aesthetic of old swimming pools, especially those built during the Socialist Era in her native country of Slovakia. Each scene she photographs is highly controlled, from the subjects of her works to the bright colors and dramatic shadows that compose each shot.

“The figures are mid-movement, but there is no joyful playfulness to them,” says Sarbova’s artist statement about the project. “Frozen in the composition, the swimmers are as smooth and cold as the pools tiles…Despite the retro setting, the pictures somehow evoke a futuristic feeling as well, as if they were taken somewhere completely alien.”

The series, In the Swimming Pool, began in 2014 and is her largest to date. Recently she published a book on the project through The New Heroes and Pioneers aptly titled The Swimming Pool Book which you can pre-order on Amazon. To see more of her photographs centered around Eastern European pools, head to her Instagram or Behance. (via Visual Fodder)

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In Secret Wood’s Enchanting Pendants, Turtles Carry the World on Their Backs [Sponsored] 

Vancouver-based jewelers Secret Wood are known for their fusion of wood and resin to create magical rings. Their latest creation features more enchanting worlds, this time on the back of a turtle.

The recently released World Turtle pendant has a unique feature: it is customizable and interchangeable. Switch between different enchanting worlds to personalize your World Turtle pendant. From waterfalls to winter scenes, coral reefs to blossoms, intricate worlds are artfully created inside the turtle’s geometric shell. The design allows light to shine through, refracting off the shell’s many facets.

These pendants take inspiration from Hindu, Chinese and Indigenous mythologies which tell of the world being found on the back of a turtle. The turtle seemed appropriate for this grand role due to its qualities: perseverance, longevity, and determination.

“We were completely inspired by these mythologies and knew we had to use them in our creations,” explains Secret Wood founder, Roman Wood. “There are so many beautiful landscapes on this Earth, the creative possibilities are endless.”

Much like Secret Wood’s rings, every piece is handmade and unique, ensuring a unique wearable experience. More turtle shell designs will be released in the future.

See more examples of the World Turtle on Secret Wood’s pre-order site. The pre-order for these pendants will run until October 18th, or until crafting capacity is reached.

Banksy Unofficially Collaborates With Basquiat Outside the Barbican 

Just days before the opening of the first large-scale UK exhibition of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work at the Barbican, Banksy stopped by in the night to put up two new murals. The first, which he refers to as a “portrait of Basquiat being welcomed by the Metropolitan Police,” depicts a figure isolated from Basquiat’s famous 1982 painting, Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump, being frisked by two police officers as a dog watches nearby. The second shows a line of customers queuing for a ride aboard a ferris wheel of Basquiat’s iconic crowns drawn in oil pastel.

Basquiat rose to fame in the late 1970s on the streets of New York as half of the graffiti duo SAMO©. Banksy’s new pieces seem to simultaneously reference the prevalence of racial profiling in targeted stop-and-frisk procedures (Basquiat sometimes referenced police brutality in his own work), while also coyly challenging the Barbican’s strict graffiti removal policy. Basquiat: Boom for Real opens September 21, 2017. (via Arrested Motion)

Photo © Patrick Nguyen, courtesy Arrested Motion.

Photo © Patrick Nguyen, courtesy Arrested Motion.

Photo © Patrick Nguyen, courtesy Arrested Motion.

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