Ukrainian glass artist Nikita Drachuk of Glass Symphony creates all manner of glass spiders, octopi, and other critters by hand. He uses a method called lampworking, where a lamp or torch is used to melt rods of colored glass. Once in a molten state, the glass can be formed by blowing and shaping with various tools and small movements. You can see more of their delicate glass critters here.
Housed in a 16th century building in the historic center of Lyon, France is the Musée Miniature et Cinéma, a 5-story museum containing over 100 miniature film sets. The tiny scenes were produced by world-renowned miniaturists and contain the highest form of Hyperrealism in order to trick the audience’s eye into believing each set was indeed life-size.
The handcrafted models contain all the minuscule features that would be found in the film’s actual scene, from fake mold inhabiting peeling walls to scratches seen behind tiny bedposts. The props in the museum’s scenes are also placed with incredible accuracy, disheveled books in libraries propped against each other at just the right angle, and miniature Charles Eames chairs that would even fool the designer. Accurate within these scenes is also their relationship to outside light, windows accentuating or distilling the light to position the set in the right time of day, geographic location or season.
“The subtle lighting arrangement, the painstaking replication of old textures, the use of the same original materials, all contribute to the creation of a moving poetry that resonates with each new miniature panorama,” explains the museum’s website.
If you don’t happen to be traveling to France anytime soon you can see more images of the meticulously detailed scenes on the Musée Miniature et Cinéma’s gallery page here. (via Beautiful/Decay)
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.