Art

Blooming Metallic Birds and Other Animals by Taiichiro Yoshida

September 28, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Hanasuzume, 2013. Copper.

Artist Taiichiro Yoshida forms the delicate wings of birds and fluffy fur of mammals from a variety of sculpted metal flowers of bronze, copper, or silver. Decorative hot metalworking in Japan is considered an ancient technique, beginning sometime in the 2-3rd century BC. Yoshida achieves the fragile nature of each piece through smithing, where the hot metal is carefully beaten and then formed into blooms before being colored.

You can see more of his work on Artsy. (via Cross Connect, Hi-Fructose)

Fire Bird, 2014. Wood, grass, copper, phosphor bronze, bird’s skull.

 

 



Amazing Photography

Otherworldly ‘Earth Pyramids’ Captured in the Foggy Early Morning Light by Photographer Kilian Schönberger

September 27, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Photographer Kilian Schönberger (previously) climbed the Alps late at night to capture one of the mountain range’s strangest segments, alien-like columns found in South Tyrol, an autonomous province in Northern Italy. His series Otherworld showcases the so-called “earth pyramids” in a hazy dawn light, strange creations that appear like stalagmites freed from their underground caves.

The structures are created by erosion, rising from clay soil left behind by glaciers from the last Ice Age. Each features a large boulder resting on top which protects the soil below. Eventually the tall columns lose the strength to hold the large rock overhead, shifting balance and sending it tumbling down the mountain.

The otherworldly elements remind Schönberger of the hoodos in the Southwestern United States, however the two naturally occurring wonders are formed from two very different geological processes. You can see more of German landscape photographer’s work on his Instagram and Behance  

 

 



Design

A Cascade of Water Over Terra Cotta Tubes Functions as a Beautiful Low-Energy Air Conditioner

September 27, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

New Delhi-based architecture and design company Ant Studio recently created a completely low-energy cooling system that relies on clay tubes and water as a cheap alternative to traditional air conditioners. The spherical system reminiscent of a beehive was built as a part of a larger beautification project for a DEKI Electronics factory. The simple, low-tech solution adds an aesthetic twist to the typical metal appliance, and requires little upkeep to ensure its surroundings stay cool.

In order to cool the air, the system is first packed with a few hundred terra cotta cones. Next, water is poured down the sides of the structure so the clay objects can absorb the liquid as it flows down their sides. Finally the water slowly evaporates from the soaked cones, lowering temperatures around the installation by 6-10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Similar cooling devices have been in use for thousands of years, with archaeological evidence suggesting that clay pots were utilized to assist with water cooling methods as far back as 3000 BC in Pakistan and India. The natural and cheap solution also doubles as an art installation, appearing more like a postmodern waterfall than HVAC system. Although this system relies on electrically pumped water, other versions could function with poured water or a connection to a naturally flowing water source to be truly zero-energy. (via ArchDaily and InHabitat)

 

 



Design

Dozens of Rice Varieties Form Colorful Drawings in the Fields of Inakadate, Japan

September 26, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

The village of Inakadate is an area of Japan most known for its production of rice, an agricultural product that has grown in the surrounding fields for over 2,000 years. In order to increase tourism to the small village, officials began a traditional of creating large, elaborate images by strategically plantings different varieties of rice. Nearly 25 years later, the town is known throughout the country for its colorful rice drawings, which occur each year with the help of hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of local volunteers.

To begin the process for upcoming designs, there is first a conference to discuss possible ideas. Next government officials make simple computer mockups of the winning designs, which are then sent to local art teachers for more conceptual renderings. Finally, markers are placed into the fields to create what is essentially a large-scale paint-by-number, the entire process taking up to three months.

You can see more images of the famous rice paddy fields in the video above. (via Great Big Story)

 

 



Design

A “Living” Chandelier Filled with Algae by Julian Melchiorri

September 26, 2017

Christopher Jobson

ALl photos © Mike Chino.

London-based designer and engineer Julian Melchiorri has designed an elegant new lighting solution that is part chandelier and part living organism. Titled Exhale, the piece is comprised of 70 glass petals of varying shape that contain a solution of green algae sustained by daylight, LEDs, and a drip-feed of nutrients. The lighting design won the 2017 Emerging Talent Medal at the London Design Festival and was on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum. You can learn more over on Inhabitat.

 

 



History Illustration

Digitally Explore a 1,000-Year-Old Illustrated Guide to Plants and Their Medical Uses

September 25, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Cotton MS Vitellius C III is the only surviving Old English illustrated book describing plants and their uses. Recently the British Library, along with the Bibliothèque nationale de France, digitized the 1,000-year-old illuminated manuscript. The ancient book features illustrations of plants and animals alongside various bodily issues that can be treated by their use or consumption. For example, a snake is illustrated by the passage on sweet basil, an herb that has been known to help fight poisonous bites.

Despite the manuscript being an extensive guide, there have been questions posed by several scholars regarding the piece’s exact use.

“Although it might seem like a practical guide to finding plants and preparing remedies, this manuscript’s uses are debated,” explains the the British Library’s Alison Hudson. “First, the illustrations are not always very useful for identifying plants and animals in the wild: take, for example, these depictions of strawberries and elephants [seen below].”

You can flip through the entirety of the guide’s illustrations on The British Library’s website. (via Open Culture and Hyperallergic)

 

 



Art

Artist Transforms a Fallen Redwood Tree into A Gigantic Eight-Tentacle Sea Creature

September 25, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Washington-based woodcarver Jeffrey Michael Samudosky has been creating elaborate figural works from a variety of Pacific Northwest trees since he started his company JMS Wood Sculpture in 1998. One of his most recent projects is a replica of an Enteroctopus dofleini, or Giant Pacific Octopus, carved from a fallen Redwood given to him by Redwood Burl. The cephalopod’s tentacles curve and twist their way across areas which Samudosky left natural, including the entire back of the trunk which gives the illusion that the octopus is on top of the tree, rather than a part of it.

Samudosky has previously carved deep sea diving helmets, rams, and bears twice his size. You can explore more of the self-taught woodworker’s pieces on his website and Facebook. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Animal Multi-Tool