It’s unnerving to discover a wasp’s nest dangling outside your house, but perhaps it would be a tad less so with the help of biology student Mattia Menchetti who cleverly realized he could give colored construction paper to a colony of European paper wasps. By gradually providing different paper shades, the wasps turned their homes into a functional rainbow of different colors. This isn’t the first time scientists have encountered insects producing colorful materials with the aid of artificial coloring. In 2012, residue from an M&M plant caused local bees to make blue and green honey, and a similar—though admittedly more tragic—incident involving bees and the dye used in Maraschino cherries occured recently in New York. You can see more of Menchetti’s experiment on his website. (via Booooooom)
Barcelona-based paper artist Raya Sader Bujana designed these fantastic serial plane paper figures in collaboration with photographer Garcia Mendez for an Olympic themed stock photography shoot. Each figure is cut from up to 150 pieces of paper joined by hundreds of tiny 3mm separators to create the delicate layering effect. Bujana shares more her process over on All Things Paper and you can see some of her unrelated origami jewelry in her Etsy shop. The photos seen here were shot by Leo García Mendez.
Clare Pentlow makes delicate paper look almost dangerous, in the most organized and beautiful way. Cutting hundreds of sharp points into folded layers of paper, Pentlow forms circular designs that mimic the center of exotic flowers. The works are typically composed of a multitude of colors, yet the monochrome pieces do not pale in comparison to their bright companions. You can see more of the London-based artist’s concentric artworks on her Instagram and Twitter. (via All Things Paper)
Jewelry maker Jeremy May designs wearable pieces from the layered pages of vintage books, transforming their content into unique works that are nearly impossible to trace back to their paper origin. To make these multi-shaped works, May first laminates hundreds of sheets of paper together. He then creates the shape for the piece, and finishes it off with a high gloss coating. After production, May often inserts the works back into the books, bringing the transformed and colorful pages back to their material source.
Although many of the pieces lose the words and images on the book’s original pages, some preserve hints to the jewelry’s former life in snippets of text or photographs that make it onto the final piece. Each ring or bracelet he produces is formed through a book that May finds inspiring, allowing the jewelry’s content to match its pleasing aesthetic.
The London-based artist is a part of the group exhibition “Read and Worn: Jewelry From Books” at RR Gallery in New York City through April 24. (via My Modern Met)
Based in rural Devon, UK, artist Suzy Taylor works with an X-Acto knife and sheets of paper to cut skulls, animals, and entire family trees composed of dense arrays of leaves and flowers. Each piece begins as a complete drawing and is then cut from paper over a period of hours or days. Though many of her designs are original commissions, she also turns much of her work into prints and stationery that are sometimes available from her shop (currently on vacation) and Not On the High Street. You can follow more of her recent work on Instagram. (via Culture N Lifestyle)
It’s been a couple of years since we last checked in on Mark Powell (previously here and here), who produces ballpoint pen portraits and illustrations of birds and people on vintage envelopes. Recently Powell has expanded his practice to include old maps as another form of canvas, drawing detailed faces and bodies that are given texture by the haphazard roads and regions that comprise the United States or Paris.
Powell chooses to draw on paper with historical marks in order to imbue his works with a greater story, adding a deeper background to his subjects. “They compliment each other and I hope leads the viewer to wonder, and maybe create, a history for the two,” said Powell. “I rarely connect the portrait and ‘canvas’ as they are both strangers to me.”
Powell’s illustrations can take between a couple of hours and an entire month depending on the size of the surface and the detail given to his subjects. His upcoming exhibition, “Anthropology,” will open March 3 and run through April 10, 2016 at Hang-Up Gallery in London. You can see more of Powell’s drawings on his Facebook.