A Carved Graphite Train on Tracks Emerges from Inside a Carpenter’s Pencil 

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All photos courtesy Cindy Chinn

We’ve seen a number of artists working with pencil leads over the last few years, where the narrow dimensions of graphite are carved into minuscule objects. This recent piece by Nebraska-based artist Cindy Chinn is particularly ingenious, an entire carpenter’s pencil is turned into a tiny train, trestle, and bridge. “This piece was designed using straight lead pieces for the rails, with the tiny carved train placed and securely glued on top of the rails,” Chinn shares. “The train engine is only 3/16″ of an inch tall. The pencil is 5-5/8″ long and mounted in a wood shadowbox frame as shown in the photos.”

You can see more of Chinn’s pencil carving work on her website and on Etsy. See more pencil carving fun from Salavat Fidai, Diem Chau, and Dalton Ghetti. (via Laughing Squid)

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Hyperrealistic Oil Paintings of Haphazardly Wrapped Packages and Gifts by Yrjö Edelmann 

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Image provided Craighead Green Gallery

The works of Yrjö Edelmann are so precise that they translate without question as photograph. Even with double, triple, and quadruple takes it is nearly impossible to imagine that the pieces have been produced from precisely placed oil paint. The objects Edelmann depicts are not perfectly wrapped pieces, but rather haphazardly taped and constructed, often on irregularly shaped canvases to heighten the trompe-l’œil effect. Scotch tape and twine hold the wrapping paper in place, with wrinkles covering the bright and often reflective package’s surface.

Edelmann was born in 1941 in Finland, and studied at the University College of Arts in Stockholm, Sweden. Edelmann is represented by Craighead Green Gallery in Dallas, Gallerie GKM in Malmö, and Scott Richards Contemporary Art in San Francisco where he has an upcoming solo exhibition in March of 2016. You explore more of his work in detail on Artsy.  (via This Isn’t Happiness)

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Image provided Craighead Green Gallery

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Image provided Craighead Green Gallery

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Image provided Craighead Green Gallery

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Image courtesy of Scott Richards Contemporary Art

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Image courtesy of Scott Richards Contemporary Art

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UGEARS: Elaborate Self-Propelled DIY Mechanical Models 

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UGEARS are a series of 11 new mechnical models built from wooden pieces that spring to life with the help of rubber band engines, cranks, or with the assistance of gravity. Similar to balsa wood insects, the laser-cut pieces assemble like a puzzle without need for glue or adhesives. The most impressive design is an elaborate 480-piece steam locomotive that’s 12″ long and propels itself up and down a provided track with an internal engine.

UGEARS was designed by Kiev-based Ukrainian Gears and all of the models seen here are currently funding on Kickstarter for another 6 days.

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Sponsor // 50% Off Craftsy’s Online Class ‘Sketching Landscapes in Pen, Ink & Watercolor’ 

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Want to improve your landscape sketches? Learn the secrets to bringing beautiful landscapes to life by breaking them down into manageable shapes, adding texture and detail, building value and more. Join artist Shari Blaukopf, in the online Craftsy class, Sketching Landscapes in Pen, Ink & Watercolor, for 50% off today — a special offer for Colossal readers — and build confidence sketching outdoor scenes using fundamental pen, ink and watercolor techniques.

In these online-video lessons, you’ll learn how to choose your supplies, select the focus of your sketch and orient your composition. Then, find out how to paint the sky using wet-on-wet paint application, mark-making techniques and tips for creating perspective. Next, simplify your surroundings with manageable shapes, before adding textures and details that will make your scenes jump off the page.

Visit Craftsy.com now to get 50% off the online class, Sketching Landscapes in Pen, Ink & Watercolor, and enroll risk-free with Craftsy’s full money-back guarantee. Offer expires December 28, 2015 at 11:59pm MT.

Pouring a Thermos of Hot Tea at -40°C Near the Arctic Circle 

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Ontario-based photographer Michael Davies timed this impressive shot of his friend Markus hurling a thermos of hot tea through the air yesterday in -40°C weather. At such frigid temperatures water freezes instantly to form a dramatic plume of ice. For the last decade Davies has worked as a photographer in the fly-in community of Pangnirtung in Canada’s High Arctic, only 20km south of the Arctic Circle, a place that sees about two hours of sunlight each day during the winter. He shares via email that almost nothing was left to chance in creating the photo, as so many things had to be perfectly timed:

Around 1pm I jumped on my skidoo along with my friend Markus and we drove 45 minutes to the top of a nearby mountain where the light (which is almost always pink near the solstice) would hit the hills. Prepared with multiple thermoses filled with tea, we began tossing the water and shooting. Nothing of this shot was to chance, I followed the temperature, watched for calm wind, and planned the shot and set it up. Even the sun in the middle of the spray was something I was hoping for, even though it’s impossible to control.

You can see more of Davies’ most recent photography over on Flickr.

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New Calligraphy Animals by Andrew Fox 

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With just a few strokes of his calligraphy pen, illustrator Andrew Fox creates everything from animals and insects to people and robots—figures that seem bristling with personality despite their simplicity. We explored Fox’s work here on Colossal last year, and if you’re tempted to try these yourself he’s since published a book: Learn to Draw Calligraphy Animals. You can see more of his work over on Behance and Society6.

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Welded Insects Produced From Salvaged Metal Scraps by John Brown 

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Gathering spare pieces of metal, John Brown assembles his findings into sculptures of colorful butterflies, insects, and birds. Although the assemblages are formed from salvaged materials like nails and bicycle chains, the pieces somehow remain delicate, wings appearing just as thin as a butterfly’s own. After welding each piece together, Brown finishes the sculpture by painting the wings with oil paint, accurately copying the markings of specific species such as the Holly Blue and Red Admiral butterflies.

The Wales-based sculptor has lived in the rural west of his country for the past eight years, inspired by the fauna-rich valleys that compose the region. You can see more of his metal insects and other welded figures on his Facebook and Etsy page. (via Lustik)

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