Delicate Butterflies Cast in Glass Dust by Michael Crowder 

Photo by Tom DuBrock

Photo by Tom DuBrock

Photo by Tom DuBrock

Photo by Tom DuBrock

Photo by Tom DuBrock

Photo by Tom DuBrock

Photo by Tom DuBrock

Photo by Tom DuBrock

Photo by Tom DuBrock

Photo by Tom DuBrock

Currently on view at Wade Wilson Art in Houston, Texas is this spectacular collection of glass butterflies by artist Michael Crowder titled Mariposa Mori. The artist forms the brittle insects using a technique called pâte de verre that involves the fusion of tiny glass particles. The final pieces are then displayed in wood cases with felt lining similar in form to traditional entomology display boxes. For other artworks Crowder has been known to use similar particulate substances like sugar, chocolate, marble dust or cigarette ashes. Via Wade Wilson:

The butterflies are made in a method called pâte de verre, which translates to “paste of glass.” Itself a 19th century French creation, pâte de verre is at its simplest melting glass particles together. The variation on this technique that I have developed is to use very small particles of glass roughly the size of grains of sugar and to heat them to a precisely controlled point where I can melt and fuse the particles together, but still allow them to retain an open crystalline surface texture. The effect is almost impossibly delicate and fragile looking, as a butterfly wing should be.

You can see much more of Crowder’s work on his website. The exhibition runs through October 25th. (via Ex-Chamber)

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Photographer Creates Lifelike Images of American Streets Using Toy Car Models and Forced Perspective 










Over his long career of making and building, self-taught photographer Michael Paul Smith has at times referred to himself as a text book illustrator, a wallpaper hanger and house painter, a museum display designer, an architectural model maker, and art director. All of these skills have culminated in the amazing ability to shoot forced perspective outdoor scenes using his extensive diecast model car collection. Something he calls his “quirky hobby.”

For nearly 25 years Smith has been working on a fictional town he refers to as Elgin Park where all of his miniature scenes take place. To make each shot he positions an old card table at scenic points around Boston and positions his minutely detailed cars and model sets on top. Using an inexpensive point-and-shoot camera and natural light he then snaps away, simply eye-balling the perspective to get everything right.

While these are his most recent photos, earlier shots from the collection have gone into a book titled Elgin Park: An Ideal American Town. To learn more you can read an extensive interview over on Fstoppers. All photos courtesy Michael Paul Smith. (via PetaPixel)

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Falling from Space: Felix Baumgartner’s Leap from 128,000 Feet 



It’s already been a year since daredevil, stuntman and BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner leapt out of a hot air balloon some 24 miles off the ground plummeted at speeds surpassing Mach 1 (761.2 mph or 1225 km/h) back to Earth. The team over at Redbull Stratos finally released footage from the stunt, capturing the view from multiple angles. Ridiculous. (via kottke)

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New Feather Sculptures by Kate MccGwire 

Schema / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire

Schema, detail / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire

Sepal Speculum II / Photo by Ian Stuart courtesy Kate MccGwire

Flail / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire

Flail, detail / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire

shroud-1Shroud / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire

shroud-2Shroud, detail / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire

Coalesce / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire

Coalesce, detail / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire

Orchis / Photo by Tesa Angus courtesy Kate MccGwire

Cusp / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire

cusp-2Cusp, detail / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire

smother-1Smother / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire

smother-2Smother, detail / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire

British sculptor Kate MccGwire (previously) creates uncanny organic sculptures from layers of bird feathers. The objects she creates are so precisely assembled that they seem to form hybrid creatures with tentacles or limbs that twist and curve into unexpected forms.

MccGwire grew up on the Norfolk Broads, a network of rivers and lakes in eastern England where her connection with nature and fascination with birds was nurtured from an early age. Today the artist patiently collects pigeon and mallard feathers which are carefully washed and sorted in preparation for each new sculpture.

If you want to see her work first-hand this month you’re in luck, as she currently has pieces and installations in no less than four five ongoing exhibitions. You can stop by Le Royal Monceau in Paris through November 3rd, Gaasbeek Castle in Belgium, the Cheongju International Craft Biennale 2013 in South Korea, Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum, and the Viewing Room exhibition at the Marylebone Church Crypt in London.

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Dreamy Paintings of Women on Buildings by Tran Nguyen 

Sleeping With Nostalgia, 2013. Acrylic & colored pencil. 20″ x 26″

Bedridden Mementos, 2013. Acrylic & colored pencil. 14″ x 18″

Taste For Bittersweet Beds, 2013. Acrylic & colored pencil. 13″ x 16.5″

A Place We Once Homed I & II, 2013. Acrylic & colored pencil. 13″ x 16.5″

Artist Tran Nguyen was born in Vietnam but now lives and works in Georgia. These are just a few of her latest acrylic and pencil works from an exhibition at Roq La Rue gallery late this summer. Nguyen says she is “fascinated with creating visuals that can be used as a psychotherapeutic support vehicle, exploring the mind’s dreamscape.” You can see a full gallery of her latest work right here.

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