9/11 Memorial Sculpture by Heath Satow

9/11 Memorial Sculpture by Heath Satow society sculpture history 9/11

9/11 Memorial Sculpture by Heath Satow society sculpture history 9/11

9/11 Memorial Sculpture by Heath Satow society sculpture history 9/11
Photo by Al Seib, LA Times

9/11 Memorial Sculpture by Heath Satow society sculpture history 9/11

For the past five months sculptor Heath Satow has been welding together nearly 3,000 stainless steel figures to form a set of hands meant to hold a segment of I-beam from one of the World Trade Center Towers. The somewhat ambiguous figures (perhaps doves, or people, or angels) represent the people killed on September 11. His extraordinary memorial is being unveiled today in Rosemead, and you can read more over on the Los Angeles Times.

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Monthly Measure by Sebastian Bergne

Monthly Measure by Sebastian Bergne wood rulers calendars

Monthly Measure is a brilliant new desktop calendar by Sebastian Bergne (previously here and here) made from a metal gear etched with days of the week that rolls along a slotted piece of wood imprinted with numbers of the month. If that’s not enough awesome for you, the numbers are placed a centimeter apart so it also functions as a metric ruler. The calendar is being released this weekend at Maison&Objet and will hopefully be available in his shop soon. (via mocoloco)

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Money Trees

Money Trees trees sculpture plants nature money currency

Money Trees trees sculpture plants nature money currency

Money Trees trees sculpture plants nature money currency

Money Trees trees sculpture plants nature money currency

Money Trees trees sculpture plants nature money currency

Money Trees trees sculpture plants nature money currency

Money Trees trees sculpture plants nature money currency

Money Trees trees sculpture plants nature money currency

As perhaps a companion piece to last week’s skull nickels, here’s yet another thing I had no idea existed. Apparently in several wooded areas around the UK, passersby have been stopping for decades (if not centuries), meticulously hammering small denomination coins intro trees. Most of the trees seem to be in and around Cumbria and Portmeirion, and I didn’t find a single example of a tree like this located outside the UK. According to this recent article by the BBC, the practice might date back to the early 1700s in Scotland where ill people stuck florins into trees with the idea that the tree would take away their sickness. The practice seems akin to love padlocks or Americans collaborative effort of sticking their nasty ass gum all over everything. (photos courtesy shaun whiteman, drew, ken werwerka, rachel bibby, paul morriss, ministry, donald mcdougal, heartbeeps, via lustik and hrtbps)

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Mind-bending Animations by Johan Rijpma

These two animations by Johan Rijpma are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. In the first he organizes the photographs of thousands of street tiles to create the semblance of motion. In the second involving rolls of scotch tape — seriously? Is this even possible? Just watch. (via vimeo)

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Vintage Thimble Planters and Moss Terrariums

Vintage Thimble Planters and Moss Terrariums recycling plants organic home gardening

Vintage Thimble Planters and Moss Terrariums recycling plants organic home gardening

Vintage Thimble Planters and Moss Terrariums recycling plants organic home gardening

Here’s your daily dose of, well, moss. Behold these vintage thimble planters by Patricia Buzo and the Moss Terrarium Bottle made from recycled wine bottles over on Uncommon Goods. For people, like me, who have zero real estate for plants yet often find things growing under their bed.

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The Glasswork of Shayna Leib

The Glasswork of Shayna Leib sculpture glass
Before the Rain. Photo by Jaime Young.

The Glasswork of Shayna Leib sculpture glass
Before the Rain. Photo by Jaime Young.

The Glasswork of Shayna Leib sculpture glass
Sirocco. Photo by Jaron Berman.

The Glasswork of Shayna Leib sculpture glass
Sun Rising Over the Tundra. Photo by Jaime Young.

This week I was on the website of Echt Gallery here in Chicago when I stumbled onto these extraordinary glass sculptures by Madison-based artist Shayna Leib. Leib became obsessed with glass at the tender age of 7 when she saw a glassblowing demonstration at a local university, an experience that profoundly changed her life.

Each of the pieces in her Wind and Water takes nearly a month to create and involves a painstaking, multi-step process that begins with pulling individual 30-50 foot segments of glass called cane (imagine making 2400 °F taffy candy), a step that’s repeated 8 to 200 times depending on the scale of the piece. To clarify: she generates over 1 mile of thin glass pieces from which she cuts into tens of thousands of segments organized by shape and length. Next begins the tedious process of building the actual sculpture, requiring roughly 45 minutes for each two square inch area. This all seems practically impossible to me. I get dismayed when confronted with a jumbo-sized bag of carrots.

The Glasswork of Shayna Leib sculpture glass
Penobscot. Photo by Jim Gill.

The Glasswork of Shayna Leib sculpture glass
Moebius. Photo by Tom VanEndye.

The Glasswork of Shayna Leib sculpture glass
Laminar. Photo by Jaime Young.

The Glasswork of Shayna Leib sculpture glass
Laminar. Photo by Jaime Young.

The Glasswork of Shayna Leib sculpture glass

The Glasswork of Shayna Leib sculpture glass

The final pieces resemble flowing grass or perhaps coral reefs that whorl and overflow from one pane to the next. Leib says, “I use glass, not for its mimetic quality to capture the look of stone or plastic, but for its most unique properties; the inclination to flow, the capacity to freeze a moment in time, and its ability to manipulate optics.” If you’re in Chicago you can see her work being featured by Habatat Galleries Michigan November 4-6, 2011 at SOFA on Navy Pier.

If you like this, also check out the works of Nava Lubelski and Amy Eisenfeld Genser.

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Raphaël de Visser

Raphaël de Visser colossal

Raphaël de Visser colossal

I wanted to take a moment to thank designer Raphaël de Visser (his work above) for letting me use his splendid inverted tree header as part of Colossal’s masthead for the past three months. I generally try to change the graphic each month to feature a different aspect of Chicago, however after a ridiculous amount of positive feedback I couldn’t help but leave it up longer than usual. All good things must come to an end, but I’m thrilled to have a great photo of Marina City by Paul McGee on top of the site this month. Thank you both!

If you want to see past Colossal headers, check out the archive.

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