First mentioned in this space back in 2011 as the “Devil’s Candle,” this delightfully creepy candle that melts from a cute geometric cat into a ghoulish steel skeleton was designed by Thorunn Arnadottir and Dan Koval. After going viral around the web it left many wondering where they could get their hands on one, but unfortunately it was not to be, until now. The duo have finally figured out how to mass produce a whole family of morbid little candle pets called PyroPets, the first of which, a cat named Kisa (“kitty” in Icelandic), is available for the first time over on Kickstarter. The candle is actually quite large, measuring almost 7″ tall and has a burning time of around 20 hours.
To help reinforce their assertion that sugar is evil, the designers over at Hundred Million designed this wicked Sugar Skull Spoon. Cut from stainless steel, this anatomical serving utensil serves as a morbid reminder every time you get a little scoop happy. Though even if you’re not counting calories it still beats a regular spoon. Pick it up on Kickstarter for about $13. (via Cool Material, This Isn’t Happiness)
While at first these tiny paper objects by artist and designer Mandy Smith seem like playful miniature figures from a dollhouse, one shudders to imagine their application when you realize they’re made of carefully sculpted from sandpaper. From the scratchy bikini to the chaffing slide and the unspeakable horror of the toilet paper roll, each is more uncomfortable than the last. Yet it’s hard to deny Smith’s amazing talent in bending such an unforgiving material to her will. Photos by Bruno Drummond. (via It’s Nice That)
Designer Cameron Moll recently announced a new Kickstarter for a letterpress print of the Brooklyn Bridge constructed entirely from typography. Moll worked entirely in Adobe Illustrator to draw the artwork, and while some sections can be copied and pasted roughly 70-80% of the characters in the artwork were positioned, sized, and rotated one by one. To give you an idea of what the final piece will look like you can see two similar works the designer previously designed, Colosseo and Salt Lake. See more over on Kickstarter.
Self-taught artist Glen Weisgerber is a master pinstriper who has been in business since the early 1970s painting all matter of truck lettering, race cars, logo designs, guitars and bike customizations. This summer Airbrush Action Magazine filmed Weisgerber doing a number of different hand lettering tutorials including single stroke lettering, and chrome lettering. It’s almost a miracle to see each letterform leave his paintbrush so fully formed and perfect. If I was asked to make a list of 100 guesses of what this man was about to demonstrate based on his looks alone, I don’t think pinstriping would have crossed my mind.
Paul Roden and Valerie Lueth over at Pittsburgh-based Tugboat Printshop just announced a new woodcut print titled Moth. Shown in production here, the final piece will be a 2-color print measuring 18″ x 25″ and is now available for pre-order. Art and design blogs everywhere were smitten earlier this year with their equally beautiful Moon print. The duo also has an upcoming exhibition of woodcut prints at the Arm in Brooklyn, opening Thursday, November 7th.
Nearly 155 years before CompuServe debuted the first animated gif in 1987, Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau unveiled an invention called the Phenakistoscope, a device that is largely considered to be the first mechanism for true animation. The simple gadget relied on the persistence of vision principle to display the illusion of images in motion. Via Juxtapoz:
The phenakistoscope used a spinning disc attached vertically to a handle. Arrayed around the disc’s center were a series of drawings showing phases of the animation, and cut through it were a series of equally spaced radial slits. The user would spin the disc and look through the moving slits at the disc’s reflection in a mirror. The scanning of the slits across the reflected images kept them from simply blurring together, so that the user would see a rapid succession of images that appeared to be a single moving picture.
Though Plateau is credited with inventing the device, there were numerous other mathematicians and physicists who were working on similar ideas around the same time, and even they were building on the works of Greek mathematician Euclid and Sir Isaac Newton who had also identified principles behind the phenakistoscope.
Courtesy the Richard Balzer Collection
Courtesy the Richard Balzer Collection
The moving image was only viewable through a narrow slit. Via Wikimedia Commons
So what kinds of things did people want to see animated as they peered into these curious motion devices? Lions eating people. Women morphing into witches. And some other pretty wild and psychedelic imagery, not unlike animated gifs today. Included here is a random selection of some of the first animated images, several of which are courtesy The Richard Balzer Collection who has been painstakingly digitizing old phenakistoscopes over on their Tumblr. (via Juxtapoz, 2headedsnake, thanks Brian!)