Jay Mohler Updates the Traditional Craft of Homespun God’s Eyes to Create Elaborate Masterpieces up to 48 Inches Wide 

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Far more than just popsicle sticks and yarn, Jay Mohler‘s Ojos de Dios or “God’s Eye” mandalas update the craft often seen at sleepaway camps and elementary classrooms. Upwards of 15 colors of yarn are included in his elaborate mandalas, producing pieces that span up to 48 inches in diameter.

Mohler has been crafting Ojos de Dios since 1966, inspired by both Huichol natives of Mexico, and monks from Tibet. The Asheville, North Carolina-based artist began making 8-sided pieces when they grew in popularity as folk art in the 1970’s American Southwest, selling them at tourist gift shops around Albuquerque, New Mexico. Most recently Mohler has been producing 12-sided works that he recognizes as potentially spiritual objects, but explains, “I create these for artistic satisfaction rather than as any sort of spiritual talisman.”

Not only does Mohler sell his own elaborate pieces, but he also creates DIY kits for fans to make their own work. You can buy both his finished pieces and kits on his Etsy page and find detailed instructions for making your own mandalas here. (via The Jealous Curator)

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Stunning Arabic Light Calligraphy by Julien Breton 

light-1La beauté- The beauty. Arabic calligraphy. Tetouan, Morocco, 2015. Calligraphy by Julien Breton aka Kaalam. Photography by Cisco Light-painting.

Artist Julien Breton aka ‘Kaalam‘ is a master of photographic light painting, turning full-body gestures reminiscent of dance movements into the invisible pen strokes of Arabic calligraphy. Breton works silently in secluded urban environments and against dimmed architectural backdrops to execute perfectly rehearsed motions that translate on film to both abstract and literal Arabic handwriting. With its sweeping tails, loops, and punctuated diacritic dots, it’s difficult to imagine any other language more suited to the transcription of human body movement into written language.

Collected here are a number of works over the last few years, but you can see much more on Behance and on his website. If you liked this, also check out the work of Stephen Orlando.

4953231e6531d8fcdca349189213013bPensée – think. Arabic calligraphy. Saint-Laurent sur sèvres, France, 2014. Calligraphy by Julien Breton aka Kaalam. Photography by David Gallard.

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Dead’s place. Abstract calligraphy. New York, USA, 2012. Calligraphy by Julien Breton aka Kaalam. Photography by David Gallard.

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Fraternité. Arabic calligraphy. Alexandrie, Egypte, 2015.

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La lumière – The light. Arabic calligraphy. Jodpur, India, 2012. Calligraphy by Julien Breton aka Kaalam. Photography by David Gallard.

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Compassion. Arabic calligraphy. Issé, France, 2014. Calligraphy by Julien Breton aka Kaalam.
Photography by David Gallard.

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Under the city. Abstract calligraphy. Nantes, France, 2012. Calligraphy by Julien Breton aka Kaalam. Photography by David Gallard.

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Credit: Billy and the Kid / Morocco

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Credit: Billy and the Kid / Morocco

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Broken Liquid: New Bodies of Water Sculpted from Layered Glass by Ben Young 

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Glass artist Ben Young (previously here and here) just shared a glimpse of his latest sculptural works made from layers of cut laminate window panes. The bodies of water depicted in Young’s work are usually cut into cross-sections akin to textbook illustrations, creating translucent geometric islands that can appear both monolithic or chamsic.

“I hope viewers might imagine the work as something ‘living’ that creates the illusion of space, movement, depth and sense of spatial being,” Young says. “I like to play with the irony between the glass being a solid material and how I can form such natural and organic shapes.” The self-taught artist, furniture maker, and surfer has explored the properties of cut glass for over a decade at his Sydney studio. Here’s a bit more about his processes via Kirra Galleries:

Each of Young’s sculptural works are hand drawn, hand cut and handcrafted from clear sheet float glass made for windows, then laminated layer upon layer to create the final form. He constructs models, draws templates, makes custom jigs and then cuts the layers with a glazier’s hand-tool. The complexity comes from the planning phase, where he says “I do a lot of thinking before I even start to draw or cut.” He then sketches the concept by hand and creates a plan using traditional technical drawing techniques: “I work with 2D shapes and have to figure out how to translate that into a 3D finished piece. Sometimes my starting point changes dramatically as I have to find a way to layer the glass to create certain shapes.” The texture and colour of the glass varies in every piece according to its thickness and arrangement.

Young opens a new exhibition of work along with artist Peter Nilsson titled Float at Kirra Galleries this evening in Melbourne.

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A Smoldering Bouquet of Roses Photographed by Ars Thanea 

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As part of a reference photoshoot for an illustration project by Warsaw-based creative studio Ars Thanea, a bouquet of roses was set on fire and photographed as they smoldered in the dark. The glow of the dying embers is strangely evocative, it would be amazing to see an entire series of different flowers photographed like this. You can see the final illustration and how they caught the images over on Behance. (via Boing Boing)

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An Abandoned Indonesian Church Shaped Like a Massive Clucking Chicken 

Towering above the trees in a densely forested area of Indonesia lies a giant chicken. The gigantic structure has the body, tail, and head of the bird, even holding open its beak in what appears to be mid-squawk. Although the very old bird is quickly decaying, Gereja Ayam (as the locals call it) attracts hundreds of photographers and travelers to its location in Magelang, Central Java each year who are looking to explore the bird’s bizarre interior.

The building was originally built as a prayer house by 67-year-old Daniel Alamsjah after he received a divine message from God. Although he intended the building to resemble a dove, the locals care more that it looks like a chicken, nicknaming it “Chicken Church.” In addition to a prayer house, Alamsjah also used the building as a rehabilitation center, treating disabled children, drug addicts, and others. Alamsjah was forced to shut the center’s doors fifteen years ago after steep construction costs.

Currently five of the eight pillars holding up the building are crumbling while graffiti covers the inside walls. No longer a place for therapy, the building still serves as a place for worship and travel and according to locals—a private spot for many young couples to hide away from parents or prying eyes. (via Hyperallergic and Daily Mail)

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This Tree Created by Artist Sam Van Aken Grows 40 Different Kinds of Fruit 

In 2008, while locating specimens to create a multi-colored blossom tree for an art project, artist and Syracuse University art professor Sam Van Aken had the opportunity to acquire a 3-acre orchard from the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. Fascinated by the practice of grafting trees since a young age, Aken began to graft buds from the 250 heritage varieties found on the orchard onto a single stock tree.

To create the Frankenstein-esque tree, Aken worked with stone fruits (fruits with pits) like peaches, plums, apricots, almonds, and nectarines. Over the course of five years he successfully grafted dozens of plants onto the same tree, and with that, the Tree of 40 Fruit project was born. Because of their similarities, all 40 fruits bud, bloom and fruit in near perfect unison.

Aken has since grafted at least 16 different “Trees of 40 Fruit” which are planted across the U.S. in places like Newton, Massachusetts; Pound Ridge, New York; Short Hills, New Jersey; Bentonville, Arkansas; and San Jose, California. Each tree is specific to its environment, using both local and antique varieties.

National Geographic recently met up with Aken to interview the artist about how he makes each tree. You can hear him talk about the project in the video above. (via Digg)

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