PyroPet Candles Melt into Creepy Metallic Skeletons 

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First mentioned in this space back in 2011 as the “Devil’s Candle,” this delightfully creepy candle that melts from a cute geometric cat into a ghoulish steel skeleton was designed by Thorunn Arnadottir and Dan Koval. After going viral around the web it left many wondering where they could get their hands on one, but unfortunately it was not to be, until now. The duo have finally figured out how to mass produce a whole family of morbid little candle pets called PyroPets, the first of which, a cat named Kisa (“kitty” in Icelandic), is available for the first time over on Kickstarter. The candle is actually quite large, measuring almost 7″ tall and has a burning time of around 20 hours.

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Cut Feather Shadowboxes by Chris Maynard 

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Using feathers acquired from zoos and private aviaries, artist Chris Maynard creates delicately constructed shadowboxes that play with aspects of light and negative space. The artist admits to being “feather obsessed” and is fascinated not only with birds and flight, but with the color and texture of their plumage which he explores through his small dioramas. You can see much more on his website and Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe will soon be showing some of Maynard’s larger work. (via Colossal Submissions)

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The Beauty of Death: Catacomb Saints Photographed by Paul Koudounaris 

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St. Albertus

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St. Valerius in Weyarn

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Hand of St. Valentin

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St. Benedictus

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Skull of St. Getreu in Ursberg

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St. Friedrich at the Benedictine abbey in Melk

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St. Valentinus in Waldsassen

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Relic of St. Deodatus in Rheinau

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In 1578 word spread of the discovery in Rome of a network of underground tombs containing the remains of thousands of early Christian martyrs. Many skeletons of these supposed saints were soon removed from their resting place and sent to Catholic churches in Europe to replace holy relics that were destroyed during the Protestant Reformation. Once in place the skeletons were then carefully reassembled and enshrined in costumes, wigs, jewels, crowns, gold lace, and armor as a physical reminder of the heavenly treasures that awaited in the afterlife.

Over the past few years photographer Paul Koudounaris who specializes in the photography of skeletal reliquaries, mummies and other aspects of death, managed to gain unprecedented access to various religious institutions to photograph many of these beautifully macabre shrines for the first time in history. The photos have been collected into a book titled Heavenly Bodies released by Thames & Hudson early next month. (via Hyperallergic)

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The New American: An Abstract Stop Motion Animation Laser Cut onto 800 Blocks of Wood by Nando Costa 

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Created by designer Nando Costa (previously) The New American is a painstakingly crafted motion graphics animation that was laser cut into a series of 800 individual maple blocks, a process that took nearly two years. Of the work Costa says:

The abstract storyline showcased in this piece is a concoction of a variety of ideas and can perhaps be described as a union between concepts and experiments born during the Situationist movement and real life events experienced during the last few years in American society. Particularly the duality between the economic downturn and the shift in values and beliefs of many citizens.

Several frames from the animation are currently available over on Etsy. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

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A Morbid New Way to Count Calories: The Sugar Skull Spoon 

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To help reinforce their assertion that sugar is evil, the designers over at Hundred Million designed this wicked Sugar Skull Spoon. Cut from stainless steel, this anatomical serving utensil serves as a morbid reminder every time you get a little scoop happy. Though even if you’re not counting calories it still beats a regular spoon. Pick it up on Kickstarter for about $13. (via Cool Material, This Isn’t Happiness)

Update: The sugar skull spoon is now available in the Colossal Shop.

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