Stackable Brain Specimen Coasters Reveal a 3D View of the Human Brain

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The brilliant minds at ThinkGeek just launched this set of 10 glass coasters printed with sequential illustrations of the brain. When stacked in the correct order they reveal a complete three-dimensional “scan” of human brain. Available here. (via Laughing Squid)

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Book Conservator Nobuo Okano Repairs Tattered Books to Make Them Look Brand New

For the past 33 years Japanese craftsman Okano Nobuo has been repairing tattered books and reconstituting them to look brand new. When a customer brought in an old Japanese-English dictionary that looked like it had been through a few wars, Okano approached it like an art conservationist repairing a painting. Using very basic tools like a wooden press, chisel, water and glue, Okano reconstituted the book to make it look like it was just purchased.

The tedious job required Okano to take each page—all 1000 of them—and flatten out all the creases with tweezers and an iron. But not everything is repaired. Okano makes some things disappear, like the initials of an old girlfriend. And much like the way a sculptor removes pieces to improve on it, Okano applies a subtractive process to bring the book back to life.

Once the job was done the book was returned to the customer, who presented it to his daughter as she was on her way to college. “It’s not their shape or form but what’s inside them that attracts us to books,” says Okano. For a man who makes it his job to repair the shape and form of books it’s an incredibly humbling statement and is a testament to the value we still hold in physical books. (via Reddit)

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Designer Sylvain Viau Imagines the Hover Cars We Were Promised

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For his ongoing series Flying Cars, French designer Sylvain Viau digitally edits photographs of cars into sleek, wheel-less hover cars that appear to float just above the ground. Viau not only uses his own photography to create these sci-fi cars, but is fortunate to claim many of the actual cars among his own collection. He originally worked only with 80s Citroën vehicles because of their classic space-age design, but has continued to branch out over the last few months to include cars from Peugeot, Toyota, and Renault. You can see many more here. (via Designboom)

Update: Photographer Renaud Marion created a similar series of works in 2013.

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Ceramic Cephalopod and Jellyfish Air Plant Holders by Cindy and James Searles

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California-based artists Cindy and James Searles make call kinds of handmade ceramic air plant holders in the form of jellyfish, squid, octopi, and other underwater creatures. They come in shapes in size way too numerous to show here, you can see more in their shop. If you liked this, also check out Cathy Van Hoang’s urchin shell air planters.

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Branching & Looping Wooden Tables by Michael Beitz

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Artist Michael Beitz (previously) designed two more of his amazing sculptural tables in the last year. The first is called Tree Picnic, a functional 50-foot-long picnic table that branches like a tree at the Michigan Riley Farm in Buffalo, NY. The other piece is a 18-foot-long tangle of looping wood titled Not Now, referring to the table’s anti-social design. The sculpture was on view last year as part of his solo show called Maybe Later at the Roswell Museum and Art Center. You can see more of his strange interpretations of everyday furniture in this online gallery. (via Contemporist)

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Sponsor // Get 50% Off the Craftsy Online Class ‘Sketchbooks: Drawing the Everyday’

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Masterpieces are born in the artist’s sketchbook, but are your drawing skills up to the challenge? Luckily, Craftsy is here to help. For a limited time, get 50% off the online Craftsy class Sketchbooks: Drawing the Everyday — a special offer for Colossal readers — with guidance from internationally renowned artist Paul Heaston.

In these video lessons, you’ll learn how to draw the world around you, how to think of your sketchbook as a versatile companion, and how to use pencil, ink, and watercolor in your on-the-go “studio.” First, Paul will walk you through realistically depicting your subject in dimensional space. Then, build texture using ink and infuse your work with color as you add smooth watercolor washes. Finally, you’ll learn how to combine what you’ve learned to create finished works that your audience will connect with in a meaningful way.

Visit Craftsy.com to get 50% off the online class, Sketchbooks: Drawing the Everyday, and start creating more compelling compositions today. Offer expires April 27th, 2015 at 11:59pm MST.

New Urban Geodes on the Streets of L.A. by Paige Smith

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Surrounding an exhibition at Maker City LA, artist Paige Smith A.K.A. a common name (previously), began to install new crystalized rock formations around the streets of LA. The geodesic rock formations which she refers to as urban geodes are created mostly with paper and spray paint or cast resin in random cracks and crevices around the city. She’s also installed geodes in Spain, Istanbul, Jordan, South Korea, and elsewhere around the world over the last few years. For the most up-to-date news on her geological street art you can follow smith on Instagram.

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