Ellen Jewett (previously) effortlessly blends animals with elements from their environments, creating ceramic pieces that often balance unexpected species together in a singular piece. Each work is highly detailed—flowers, leaves, and vines wrapping themselves around animals from coyotes to chameleons.
By focusing on negative spaces within the animals’ bodies, Jewett strips away the weight of her objects, a quality that is usually inextricably linked to the medium of sculpture. She constructs her ceramic pieces using an additive technique, beginning with the innermost parts of the sculptures and layering outward. As periphery components of the animals’ surroundings are added to the piece, a narrative begins to form. These additional pieces Jewett describes as being beautiful, grotesque, or fantastical and add to the object’s exploration of domestication, death, growth, visibility, and wildness.
Jewett’s materials are just as important as her process—only using clay, paints, finishes, and glazes that are free from toxic properties. In addition to being toxic free, she also attempts to source locally and naturally whenever possible. You can keep updated on the Canadian artist’s new work on her Facebook page, and several new pieces are currently available.
Artist David Oliveira (previously) works with wire in an unconventional way by cutting and twisting the material into sculptures that could be mistaken for 2D sketches. Despite the apparent difficulty of shaping wire into a recognizable form, Oliveira manages to achieve uncanny proportions of his animal subjects in this series of sculptures from 2014. Viewed from one angle the pieces could be mistaken for a chaotic jumble, but a shift in perspective reveals the squinting eyes of lions, or the spread wings of a pelican. The Lisbon-based artist also creates vast interior installations of birds and thoughtful examinations of the human form. You can scroll through an archive of his work over on Facebook. (via Cross Connect)
Vermont-based knitter Emily Stoneking runs an anatomical knitting brand called aKNITomy where she transforms fluffy skeins of yarn into the anatomical details of rats, frogs, people, and other creatures. Stoneking—who is admittedly not a scientist—likes to approximate the form and style seen in most anatomical illustrations with clear colors and distinct forms that may not be 100% accurate but are fun to look at nonetheless.
The specimens are available as both completed pieces and downloadable patterns, so you can ditch the formaldehyde and get a PDF knitting guide. (via IFLScience)
No this isn’t a clip from the latest Miyazaki anime, this is the first sighting of a real fluorescent turtle.
Marine biologist David Gruber of City University of New York, was recently in the Solomon Islands to film a variety of biofluorescent fish and coral, when suddenly a completey unexpected sight burst into the frame: a glowing yellow and red sea turtle. The creature is a critically endangered hawksbill sea turtle, and until this sighting last July, the phenomenon had never been documented in turtles, let alone any other reptile.
Biofluorescence is the ability for an organism to reflect blue light and re-emit it as a different color, not to be confused with bioluminescence, where organisms produce their own light.
Many undersea creatures like coral, sharks, and some shrimp have shown the ability to show single green, red, or orange colors under the right lighting conditions, but according to National Geographic, no organisms have shown the ability to emit two distinct colors like the hawksbill. As seen in the video, the coloring appears not only in mottled patterns on the turtle’s shell, but even extends within the cracks of its head and feet. Gruber mentions this could be a mixture of both glowing red glowing algae attached to the turtle, but the yellow fluorescence is undoubtedly part of the animal.
Watch the video above to see the moment of discovery and learn more on Nat Geo.
Milan-based designer Andrea Minini (previously) just shared his third series of animal illustrations where he challenges himself to create the familiar forms of mammals, birds, and fish using the effect of moiré patterns. For this latest series Minini used only two lines that are repeatedly scaled or rotated to make each creature. These and many of his earlier illustrations are available as prints.
[Briefly NSFW?] Artist Beth Cavener (previously) explores the extremes of human emotion and psychology through the articulated forms of animals. The twisting shapes of oversized predatory cats, foxes, goats, and other animals are meant to depict the internal and external human struggles of fear, anger, love. “On the surface, these figures are simply feral and domestic individuals suspended in a moment of tension,” Cavener shares, “[but] beneath the surface, they embody the consequences of human fear, apathy, aggression, and misunderstanding.”
Filmmaker Bas Berkhout of Like Knows Like recently interviewed Cavener in her Montana studio to learn more about the inspiration and process behind her sculpture for a new short film. If you’re interested, the video shows the artists working on two new pieces: Trapped and Foregiveness. (via Juxtapoz)
Straddling a line between 2D and 3D, paper artist Calvin Nicholls forms carefully cut and layered paper sculptures of animals that seem to break free from the surrounding matboard and hover just above the surface. To achieve the haut-relief effect (a process he shares online), Nicholls first works from a drawing which he uses as a template for the various paper components. Using an X-ACTO knife, scalpels, and scissors he then carefully cuts pieces of paper and glues them in place. Each piece can take anywhere from a few weeks up to two years depending on scale and complexity.
Nicholls recently sculpted five birds of paradise as part of a private commission that are currently on view at the Society of Animal Artists annual ‘Art and the Animal’ show at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, NY. The pieces won both an Award of Excellence and the “Artists’ Choice” awards. You can also keep an eye out for his work at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum later this month for the Birds in Art exhibition.
Seen here is a collection of artworks from the last year or so, but you can explore hundreds of additional pieces on his website and Facebook.