WoodSwimmer is a new short film by engineer and stop-motion animator Brett Foxwell, who has built armatures for films such as Boxtrolls and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Created in collaboration with musician and animator bedtimes, the work follows a piece of raw wood through a milling machine, capturing its unique growth rings, knots, and weathered spots through a series of cross-sectional photographic scans. Due the speed at which the images are animated, the log’s grains begin to flow like granules of sand—shifting, mixing, and flowing in a vibrant dance that seems completely removed from its rigid material.
“Fascinated with the shapes and textures found in both newly-cut and long-dead pieces of wood, I envisioned a world composed entirely of these forms,” Foxwell told Colossal. “As I began to engage with the material, I conceived a method using a milling machine and an animation camera setup to scan through a wood sample photographically and capture its entire structure. Although a difficult and tedious technique to refine, it yielded gorgeous imagery at once abstract and very real. Between the twisting growth rings, swirling rays, knot holes, termites and rot, I found there is a lot going on inside of wood.”
Heads up: watching this full-screen in HD with sound makes all the difference. You can see more of Foxwell’s works, like his 19-minute film Fabricated, on his Vimeo.
Heads facing downward, eyes closed, the figures inhabiting the world of painter and sculptor Jaime Molina (previously) seem to be in a state of deep contemplation or sorrow. Or maybe they’re just hungover and taking a nap. The mystery is part of Molina’s intention as he assembles these strange characters from found wood to inhabit his fictional world called “Cutty Town” — he refers to the objects themselves as “Cuttys”. At once strangely familiar and approachable, the pieces sprout hairdos of bent nails, cacti, and leaves that add more questions left only to the viewer to answer.
Industrial design studio BKID conceived of this lovely wooden bird pencil holder called Tropical Bird. The object won a 2013 Red Dot Design award and you can see a view more photos over on Behance. If you liked this, also check out Moisés Hernández’s watercolor bird project.
Inspired by his daily experience of life in the Pacific Northwest, artist and designer Greg Klassen (previously) fabricates one-of-a-kind tables featuring blue glass rivers, lakes, and waterfalls. The topographical studies mimic bodies of water seen from an aerial view, but the twisting blue pathways are often defined by the wood pieces he selects. While the majority of Klassen’s work serves as functional art, he’s also begun to create more isolated wood and glass sculptures mounted on walls.
Several of Klassen’s most recent tables are available through his online shop, and you can explore more pieces from the last few years on Instagram and Facebook.
Danish artist Thomas Dambo works on large-scale sculptures with recycled materials, having completed 25 wooden works around the world in just under three years. His latest project, The Six Forgotten Giants, is based in his hometown of Copenhagen, a project that builds and hides friendly giants throughout the city’s forests. Using a treasure map, visitors can find the oversized creatures, each of which comes with a poem that describes a bit of their personality.
All of the giants are produced from recycled wood, material that was gathered by Dambo and his team from 600 pallets, a shed, an old fence, and various other sources. Using local volunteers to build the works, Dambo then names each sculpture after one of the builders, such as Teddy Friendly seen below. You can see more images of the oversized sculptures on Dambo’s website. (via Bored Panda)
Argentina-based toy designer Mat Random has designed a new geometric wood figure as a follow-up to his previous piece The Feline, another posable toy that he has named The Simian. Due to similarly placed joints for the animals’ legs and head, parts can be swapped between the two breeds to create an entirely new hybridized creature. Each low poly work can also be posed on two or four legs by maneuvering the object’s nine components, adding a puzzle-like quality to the wooden toys. You can see more of Random’s designs on his website and Behance.