Photographer and art director Tatsuya Tanaka has a fascination with all things tiny and has an uncanny ability to repurpose everyday objects as set pieces or tools for the inhabitants of his miniature world. For his project Miniature Calendar, Tanaka has been stretching his imagination to its limits nearly every day for the last four years. A tape dispenser becomes the bar for a restaurant, a circuit board is suddenly a rice paddy field, and the notes of a musical score become the hurdles for a track race. Individually, the photos might invoke a smile or chuckle as you get the joke, but when viewed collectively they morph into a fascinating study on Tanaka’s breadth of creativity.
Master of the miniature Jon Almeda creates tiny hand thrown ceramics at 1″ scale that are every bit as detailed and perfect as their much larger counterparts. The Washington-based artist makes vases, bowls, and even tea kettles tiny enough to sit atop a coin or toothbrush. Despite their fragile beginnings, the pieces are sturdy enough to endure standard glazing and firing to emerge as fully finished ceramics. Almeda uses a custom designed motorized curio wheel that affords the precise control needed to execute minute handbuilding techniques need for each object.
Over the last few months we’ve marveled at the precision of South African artist Lorraine Loots' tiny paintings (previously here and here). In this new process video shot by Gareth Pon, we finally get to see how she blends pencil and paint to execute the most minute details of a wee hotdog no larger than a coin. Loots is exhibiting no less than 730 of her ‘Paintings for Ants’ at Three Kings Studio in New York starting July 8, 2015.
Scientists at MIT have pulled up a very tiny curtain on their newest invention: a 1.7cm square robot capable of assembling itself like a piece of origami. The Untethered Miniature Origami Robot is powered by a small neodymium magnet and four electromagnetic coils underneath the robot’s surface that create magnet fields necessary for it to operate. The small robot can walk on different surfaces, climb, carry objects twice its own weight, swim in shallow water, burrow, and it even completely dissolves in an acetone solution leaving behind just the magnet.
So what can we do with super tiny self-folding robots? Researchers hope to develop even smaller autonomous robots with additional sensors that can dissolve in water. Such tiny devices could have a variety of medical uses when introduced inside of a human body, maybe zapping cancer cells or cleaning clogged arteries. You can read more about it over at IEEE and in this research paper. (via Laughing Squid)
Glass artist Kiva Ford draws from his vast experience in scientific glassblowing to create perfect miniatures of wine glasses, beakers, and ribbon-striped vases, some scarcely an inch tall. A member of the American Scientific Glassblowers Society, Kiva creates instruments for scientists who require one-of-a-kind designs for various experiments. The same techniques and tools used for scientific equipment also apply to his artistic practice including the miniature works you see here, as well as larger sculptures, and ornate drinkware.
First Flakes of Winter; Mixed Media 2010; 9″ x 2″ x 2.5″
Started From The Bottom Now We Here pt2; Mixed Media 2013; 9″ x 2″ x 2.5″
Banksy Is Your Gran; Mixed Media, 3volt filament bulb 2015; 2.25″ x 2″ x 2.5″
El Torero; Mixed Media 2013; 4″ x 4″ x 4.5″
Summer in the Winter; Mixed Media 2013; 3″ x 2″ x 2.5″
Frolic; Mixed Media 2013; 3″ x 2″ x 2.5″
The Troubadour II; Mixed Media 2014; 1″ x 1″ x 1.5″
Der Stuhl. Die Puppe. Das Entartete. Das Genie; Mixed Media 2013; 2.5″ x 3″ x 3.25″
Ornate jewelry boxes set the stage for tiny painted scenes filled with nearly-microscopic human figurines. The boxes are meticulously crafted by Canadian-Trinidadian artist Talwst, who uses mixed media to explore the narrative of art history in combination with elements of contrasting cultures. Although his vintage boxes may cast an ancient light on the scene, the boxes encapsulate a present day cultural commentary through their arrangements.
Talwst works out of his studio in Toronto, Ontario and has a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Mississauga through April 12th. TALWST will also be collaborating with VICE magazine this year to produce a body of work that will appear on newsstands this September. (via BOOOOOOOM)