While in college, artist John Bisbee was scavaging in an abandoned house looking for items to incorporate into a series of found-object sculptures when he kicked over a bucket of old rusty nails. To his astonishment, the nails had fused together into a bucket-shaped hunk of metal. He had an epiphany. Bisbee has since spent nearly 30 years using nails as his sole medium to create geometric sculptures, organic installations, and unwieldy objects from thousands of nails that are hammered, bent, welded, or fastened together in a seemingly limitless procession of forms. His mantra: “Only nails, always different.” He shares with American Craft, “A nail, like a line, can and will do almost anything. What can’t you draw with a line? The nail is just my line.”
Bisbee is currently an artist in residence at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and had an exhibition at Shelburne Museum earlier this year. He was recently profiled in American Craft’s Material Crush issue featuring 30 artists working in unusual mediums, almost half of which have been featured right here on Colossal. Definitely worth a look. (via American Craft)
The artist Kat O’ Sullivan has been creating upcycled sweaters and clothing for over 20 years. “It seems like anything within my grasp ends up painted a million colors,” she says. And this statement certainly held true when the artist decided to purchase a home in upstate New York that had been built in 1840. “I just thought it was cute,” explains Sullivan, but “it was the kind of house you would drive by and never notice.”
But once in the hands of the artist and her “creative mayhem” the home quickly began to change. After a trip to the local paint shop – “give me one of everything!” – Sullivan spent countless hours painting and renovating until the home looked like a psychedelic rainbow complete with oddly shaped windows, eyes and a big mouth. But “Calico,” as Sullivan calls her home, is an eternal work in progress. “It will only get weirder.”
You can keep up with Sullivan and her psychedelic home on Facebook or on Etsy, where she sells sweaters and tutorials on how to make her sweaters. (via Designboom)
The things that surround us are important; they influence how we feel and how we see the world. That’s why owning original artwork is so important and it’s the driving force behind OAC Gallery – a boutique, online gallery that sells curated, original art.
In a time where everything is migrating to the digital space, many online art galleries are starting to feel like big box stores, making you sift through thousands of pieces and a wide range of talent. OAC Gallery believes that galleries have a responsibility to carefully vet their pieces so that they inspire, provoke and challenge us. While buying art online is convenient, before you spend $1,500, wouldn’t it feel great to know that an experienced eye has singled out your piece as strong work?
The Solar Dynamics Observatory just released this amazing timelapse created from 17,000 images of the sun taken late last month. The bright spot you see gradually passing from right to left is sunspot AR 2192, the largest observed sunspot in 22 years. It measures 80,000 miles across or roughly the width of 10 Earths side by side. Definitely recommend watching it full-screen. (via Kottke)
New York-based pastry chef Amber Spiegel has taken the artistry of cookie decoration to an entirely new level, creating edible objects that legions of online commenters profess “guilt” for wanting to consume, but not because of calories. The amount of time I would spend finding a recipe, mixing, completely ruining the first batch and trying again but actually paying attention this time, is the same amount of time Spiegel devotes to decorating a single cookie—about 45 minutes. Her attention to detail has turned cookie decorating into a full-time career as she films her own cookie decorating videos and travels the world teaching others her techniques. See much more over on YouTube. (via Sploid)
Freiburg, Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, MS L 34, 14th century
Another day, another collection of fascinating discoveries from medieval book historian Erik Kwakkel who previously introduced the internet to his observations on the history of doodles, color theory, and rare forms of bookbinding. Kwakkel has also been investigating how bookmakers found creative solutions around damaged parchment—thin membranes of cow and sheepskin used for printing books between the fifth and thirteenth centuries before the rise of paper. Parchment was extremely delicate and costly to manufacture well, so imperfections from animal hair follicles to small tears and texture anomalies were left for the poor scribes to contend with.
After witnessing their doodling artistry, it should come as no surprise that medieval scribes had a host of ideas to work around bad parchment, from webs of silk embroidery to cheeky illustrations, the blemishes were incorporated right into the physical texts. Although a different medium, the process is uncannily similar to the ancient Japanese process of repairing broken ceramics, Kintsugi, where fractures in pots or bowls are mended with precious metal, acknowledging the history of the imperfect object instead of discarding it.