flowers

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Art

Temporal Floral Structures Formed From Unfired Clay by Phoebe Cummings

November 13, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist Phoebe Cummings works primarily with unfired clay to create floral arrangements that are both performative and temporal. The malleable sculptures last only as long as the exhibition, and are made on-site to specifically respond to their temporary environment. The works’ forms are inspired by the natural world as well as botanical illustrations, yet their colors remain the monochromatic shade of raw clay.

The UK-based artist studied Three-Dimensional Crafts at the University of Brighton, and completed her MA in Ceramics & Glass at the Royal College of Art in 2005. Cummings has participated in several residencies across the UK and USA, including the Kohler Co. factory in Wisconsin and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Cummings was just awarded the BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Craft Prize, in partnership with the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Crafts Council. You can take a behind-the-scenes peek into her practice on her Instagram. (via Patternbank Blog)

 

 



Photography

Everyday Scenes Imbued With Surreal Mystery by Photographer Brooke DiDonato

October 23, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Brooklyn-based photographer Brooke DiDonato twists everyday scenes to include subtle elements of mystery or illusion. In her works, flowers protrude from city pipes or replace laces in a pair of dress shoes, while disembodied arms reach out from a wall of dense foliage. Each work suggests that there is something missing from the scene, a specific peculiarity that’s hard to pinpoint.

“The bulk of my images are set in real locations, but the characters in them are often exaggerated or imagined,” DiDonato told Colossal. “I’m interested in blending these different elements together and delivering them through a medium that was traditionally thought of as a way to archive our realities.”

DiDonato also creates videos that has the same dreamy perspective present in her static images. To see more of her work visit her website or Instagram.

 

 



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.

 

 



Animation

An Experimental Animation of Blooming Flowers

September 6, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Though it’s practically over before it starts, this brief animation titled flow/er by Alexa Sirbu and Lukas Vojir takes us into a primordial world of blooming flowers, where organic particles and flower petals collide in beautifully random explosions. Their statement on the project:

In nature, it is often the simplest rules that lead to forming the most complex, beautiful forms.
flow/er is a visual poem that observes this through a design lens, combining our fascination with organic,
raw aesthetic with foreign geometric forms. We observe natural laws take shape in a strange dance of meticulous choreography clashing with violent forces of nature.

You can see an equally brief making-of clip here. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Colossal Craft Design

Tiffanie Turner’s Debut Book Shows How To Create Her Masterful Paper Flowers

August 3, 2017

Laura Staugaitis

All images courtesy of Tiffanie Turner and Watson-Guptill, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography copyright Aya Brackett.

We’ve long admired the breathtaking botanical artwork crafted by San Francisco-based artist Tiffanie Turner (previously here and here). Combining her architectural training with a love of the natural world, Turner has pioneered a seemingly infinite number of techniques to craft incredibly lifelike flowers from everyday materials. And, after years of refining her unique art form, her debut book The Fine Art of Paper Flowers will be published on August 22nd.

In her comprehensive photo-filled 254-page book, Turner starts from the ground up, detailing materials and basic techniques, doling out dye recipes, and offering species-specific construction guides for leaves, stems, and buds. Finished projects range from delicate cosmos to peonies the size of a fully-grown person, and include options for personal accessories like everlasting boutonnieres and flower crowns that channel Frida Kahlo. Turner generously shares every aspect of her years of acquired knowledge in her friendly voice, with step-by-step instructions that read somewhere between a cookbook and a novel. The Fine Art of Paper Flowers is currently available for pre-order in The Colossal Shop.

And, if you live in the Chicago area or would like to visit our fair city, we are thrilled to be hosting Tiffanie for two workshops and a book signing on September 26th. Tiffanie will be teaching how to make Cosmos or Double Bomb Peonies (or both!) in an intimate workshop setting held at Colossal’s HQ. There will also be a free book signing, where copies of Tiffanie’s book will be available for purchase. Tickets and info for the workshops can be found in The Colossal Shop.

 

 



Illustration Photography

Insect Flower Arrangements by Raku Inoue

August 2, 2017

Christopher Jobson

For a new series titled Natura Insects, Montreal-based creative Raku Inoue arranged a variety of leaves and blooms to create the delicate components of stag beetles, butterflies, and other insects. While the same results could be easily produced using digital or collage techniques, Inoue pushed the concept even further and used real flowers which he then photographed as you see here. You can see more from the series on Instagram. (via Abudeezo)

 

 



Art Photography

Weeds and Flowers Recast as Shadowy Subjects in Daniel Shipp’s Dramatic Photographs

July 31, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

In Daniel Shipp's series Botanical Inquiry, the Sydney-based photographer explores how plants and flowers found at the edges of urban infrastructure fit into our modern world. Shipp collects seemingly unremarkable plants and photographs the subjects in built dioramas, an environment that allows him to manipulate the relationship between foreground and background with a controlled precision. Through this process he is able to create dramatic photographs in-camera, shooting digitally but using old visual effects techniques developed for early cinema.

By highlighting botanical specimens we have culturally labeled “weeds,” Shipp attempts to shift the viewer’s perspective on flora that they might walk past each day. He recasts these marginal plants as the subject of each of his photographic stories, showcasing their knack for survival even in the face of pollution and harmful human intervention.

“There are some beautiful ‘weeds’ that we might walk past all the time,” Shipp explains to Colossal. “I knew that if I could present these often unnoticed plants in the right context that there was potential for storytelling. Next time you go for a walk make an effort to look for plants in places you wouldn’t normally—shopping center carparks, service stations etc.”

Shipp further explained that one of the most beautiful colors he has photographed for the series was found on the underside of the foliage of a plant common to industrial parks across Sydney. The hidden purple was one of the most incredible metallic shades he had ever seen, and it had been sneakily surrounding him for the majority of his life.

Shipp was recently announced as the winner of Magnum and LensCulture's 2017 Fine Art Photo Award. You can see more of his photographs on his website and Instagram, and take a behind-the-scenes look at his Botanical Inquiry series in the short video below. (via This Isn’t Happiness)