The Fine Art of Japanese Parquetry Using Razor-Thin Slices of Wood Mosaics 

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From 2012-2013 Gucci Japan produced an online video series called “Hand” that payed homage to 35 artists and designers who eschew modern mass-production in favor of traditional techniques. One of the most impressive videos is an example of Japanese parquetry demonstrated by Noboru Honma, where geometric mosaics of wood are cut into razor-thin veneers for application on boxes or other decorative objects.

According to Jesus Diaz over at Gizmodo, when viewed with headphones and at full-screen, this video may be an example of autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR), a perceptual phenomenon that’s described on Wikipedia as “a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation in the head, scalp, back, or peripheral regions of the body in response to visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, and/or cognitive stimuli.” So, what’s the verdict, does this Japanese parquetry make your spine tingle!? Or maybe this calligraphy video? Or what about competitive wood planing? Anything? (via Spoon & Tamago, Sploid)

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Vases Constructed from Hundreds of Pencils by Studio Markunpoika 

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Amalgamated is a new series of vessels by studio markunpoika constructed from assembled pencils. Taking advantage of the pencil’s unique hexagon shape, the pencils are first tightly glued together at each facet to form a solid block. The final pieces are then carved on a machine lathe to reveal the insides of each pencil. Via studio markunpoika:

“Amalgamated” is a collection which explores the relationship of a mass produced ‘tool’ and its individual purpose. The beauty of the pencil as an object seems to go unnoticed if utilised only for their primary purpose. “Amalgamated” is a visual and tactile investigation by using pencils as a raw material. This holistic principle has been the fundament for creating this set of vases; let the pencils become a thing themselves.

The vessels are part of a collaboration between Gallery FUMI and Faber-Castell and were recently on view as part of Design Miami/Basel 2014. (via designboom)

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Mysterious Landscapes of People Exploring the World by Nicolas Bouvier 

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To explore the photography of French art director and concept designer Nicolas Bouvier is to become lost in strange new world, the inhabitants of which are dwarfed by the towering silhouettes of tree and mountains, or swallowed completely by eerie fog and haze. Though these landscapes are indeed real, shot in locations mostly in the Pacific Northwestern U.S., it may not be surprising that Bouvier’s day job is pure science fiction: he creates stunning concept art and illustrations for video games like Halo and Assassin’s Creed. While his concept art has gathered wide acclaim (he’s currently publishing a third book of his own illustrations), his photographic work has also flourished, garnering a significant following over on Flickr. We’ve featured his images several times right here on Colossal as part of our Flickr Finds series.

Currently based in Seattle, Bouvier first picked up a camera in the 1990s while in school, but it wasn’t until 2007 that he began shooting again in earnest. He has since amassed a collection of nearly two dozen cameras (he mentions he picked up a Lumix ZS40 just yesterday), all of which he experiments with as he explores locations around California, Washington, Oregon, Mexico, and France with his family who often appear as subjects in his surreal photos.

It was nearly impossible to make a selection of work for this post, so I strongly urge you to click this link, grab some coffee, and then press the right arrow on your keyboard about 1,100 times. You won’t regret it.

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Colorful Liquid Splashes Captured at 1/3500th of a Second Look Like Floating Sculptures 

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Cassandra Warner and Jeremy Floto of Floto+Warner Studio recently produced this beautiful series of photos titled Clourant that seemingly turns large splashes of colorful liquid into glistening sculptures that hover in midair. The photos were shot at a speed of 1/3,500th of a second, taking special care to disguise the origin of each burst making images appear almost digital in nature (the duo assures no Photoshop was used). They share about the project:

Colourant is a series of events that pass you by as an imperceptible flash. A fleeting moment, that blocks and obscures the landscape, a momentary graffiti of air and space. Creating shapes of nature not experienced by the human eye, these short-lived anomalies are frozen for us to view at 3500th of a second. Transforming the non-discernible and ephemeral to the eternal. The essence of photography—immortalize the transitory.

You can see several additional shots from the series on their website and prints are available through Vaughan Hannigan. If you liked this you can check out similar high-speed liquid works by Manon Wethly, Fabian Oefner, and Shinichi Maruyama.

Update: For those curious, the artists share via email that the colors/liquids used in the photographs are “non toxic and water based.”

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Art Meets Mathematics: Dizzying Geometric GIFs by David Whyte 

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In 2011, Dublin-based physics student David Whyte began a Tumblr called Bees & Bombs where he posted humorous images and quirky GIFs of his own creation, borrowing heavily from videos and pop culture icons. One day he decided to start playing with Processing, a popular open source programming language designed to help create images, animation, and various computer interactions. His background in mathematics and physics greatly enhanced his understanding of motion and geometry and it wasn’t long before he was churning out some of the most popular animations shared on Tumblr.

Whyte’s minimalistic use of shapes and color places an increased emphasis on motion, and leaves one somewhat dumbstruck at how he conceives of each image. In a somewhat rare move he happens to be quite open about his methods and frequently posts source code and tips to help other artists. See much more of his work on Bees & Bombs.

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