Icheon Ceramics Village in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea, is home to over 300 ceramics studios where artists use traditional techniques to produce a wide range of functional pottery and artwork. Nearly 40 of the studios still use wood-fired kilns. This video filmed by the American Museum of Ceramic Art shows five ceramic masters from Icheon at work in their studios. The process of creating is almost more beautiful than the finished pieces. (via Huffington Post)
Violaine & Jeremy is a graphic design
and illustration studio based in Paris formed by Violaine Orsoni and Jeremy Schneider. The duo collaborate on a wide range of projects including the design and layout of Influencia magazine, indentity projects, and album covers. Among their best work are these astounding graphite drawings of quirky animals adorned with beards of wildlife and other unexpected characters. You can see much more over on Behance.
For a major retrospective of Dutch furniture designer and architect Gerrit Rietveld, the team at Studio Wieki Somers collaborated with chocolatier Rafael Mutter to create Chocolate Mill. The piece was comprised of a giant cylindrical chocolate block that was carefully organized in 10 stacked layers, with flavored shapes used to create different geometric patterns. As a crank-turned blade similar to a cheese slicer grazed shavings off the top, the hidden layers were slowly revealed. You can watch a timelapse of the piece in the video above. (via Designboom, Design You Trust)
Earlier this month the renown graffiti duo Pichi & Avo traveled to Werchter, Belgium to create a large, site-specific installation for the North West Walls Street Art Festival. The event was curated by Belgium artist Arne Quinze, who created a stacked structure of numerous shipping containers and gave the Spanish artists creative freedom over the large, architectural canvas. The result is a radiant explosion of unrestrained spray art featuring their trademark style of Greek gods and lucid splashes of Mediterranean colors, all against a backdrop of graffiti. “When they work together they create breathtaking figurative detail and quality,” said Quinze. “Their work is very striking and always commands the spectator’s full attention.” Although the festival is now over, the Greek gods with all their might and glory still stand. (via Junk Culture)
left: the girl with glasses by Marteline Nystad | right: Monica Lee’s illustration of the photograph
Malaysian artist Monica Lee is obsessed with details. But then again, I guess you have to be in order to create some of the most stunning photo-realistic drawings we’ve ever seen. “I like to challenge myself with complex portraits especially people with freckles or beard,” says Lee, who often works from photographic portraits to create seemingly identical drawings. Surprisingly, Lee worked in the digital world for 12 years before making the jump to illustration. But it certainly doesn’t show. She now spends 3-4 weeks on a single drawing. The artist attributes her love for hyperrealism to her father, who worked in the field of photography. You can follow Monica Lee on Facebook or Instagram. She also sells her complex drawings as smartphone cases. (via Illusion, IGNANT)
Back in 2012 we featured a brief video about a small automaton that could almost perfectly mimic the song of a bird. Using mechanics similar to a clock, the fully automated wind-up device sucks air into a small bellows and forces it through a tiny whistle that sounds exactly like a singing bird. What my non-automata-knowledge-having-self didn’t realize at the time was that the century-old gadget was just one part of a much more intricate miniature automaton called a singing bird box.
The invention of singing bird boxes is attributed to Swiss-born watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz who also played a significant role in the creation of The Writer, a programmable automaton of a writing boy that recently inspired the movie Hugo. The basic device includes the bellows mechanism mentioned above along with a fully articulated bird with a moving beak, rotating head, and flapping wings. Several 18th and 19th century watchmakers including Jacob Frisard, Frères Rochat, and Charles Bruguier, were inspired by Jaquet-Droz’s to create their own opulent variations of singing bird boxes which are highly prized by collectors today. Variations include cigar holders, singing bird guns, and jewelry/makeup boxes.
One fantastic source of many antique bird boxes is London-based Douglas Fisher Antique Automata who carefully films almost all of their devices and makes them available on their YouTube channel. Included here are a few of my favorites, and you can also watch a number of fantastic technical videos about singing bird boxes filmed by Troy Duncan. (via The Presurfer)
If the artwork is on train tracks, is it still called street art? Rail art? Either way, we’re loving this series by Portuguese artist Artur Bordalo in which he cleverly converts the horizontal lines of train tracks into a canvas. The series, which have been popping up on railways throughout Portugal since early this year, often use bright, neon colors which create a nice contrast between the dull gray rocks and tracks. Each work is accompanied by subtle titles that can be playful but also harbor critical or cynical undertones.
The artist also goes by the moniker Bordalo II, an apparent ode to his grandfather whom he saw “painting the city of Lisbon.” You can see more of his work over on his website or Facebook page. (via Laughing Squid)