Tag Archives: wood

900-Year-Old Coded Viking Message Carved on Wood Fragment Finally Solved, It Says “Kiss Me” [Updated]

 900 Year Old Coded Viking Message Carved on Wood Fragment Finally Solved, It Says Kiss Me [Updated] wood Vikings history codes
Photo by Jonas Nordby via forskning.no

For the past several years researchers have been trying to crack a Viking rune alphabet known as Jötunvillur, a perplexing code dating back to the 11th or 12th century that’s been found in some 80 inscriptions including the scratched piece of wood found above. Recently runologist (!) Jonas Nordby from the University of Oslo managed to crack the code and discovered the secret message etched into this particular 900-year-old object reads “Kiss me.” Via Medievalists.net:

For the jötunvillur code, one would replace the original runic character with the last sound of the rune name. For example, the rune for ‘f’, pronounced fe, would be turned into an ‘e’, while the rune for ‘k’, pronounced kaun, became ‘n’.

“It’s like solving a puzzle,” said Nordby to the Norwegian website forskning.no. “Gradually I began to see a pattern in what was apparently meaningless combinations of runes.”

However, those thinking that the coded runes will reveal deep secrets of the Norse will be disappointed. The messages found so far seem to be either used in learning or have a playful tone. In one case the message was ‘Kiss me’. Nordby explains “We have little reason to believe that rune codes should hide sensitive messages, people often wrote short everyday messages.”

The act of coding secret messages appears to have been a leisure activity amongst the Vikings, as some of the other translated inscriptions turned out to be playful taunts at the person doing the decoding. The story was originally reported on forskning.no. (via Erik Kwakkel, Neatorama)

Update: Ida Kvittingen wrote to clarify several aspects of this piece that appears to have been lost in translation from the original article in Forskning.no. Specifically:

The inscription “kiss me” is NOT written using the jötunvillur code. This is a well-known code called cipher runes. Nordby did not crack this code, it was deciphered by others years ago. In my article, it is used as an example of how people often used codes in everyday messages. [...] Only 9 of the 80 or so runic writings that Nordby investigated are written using the jötunvillur code.

For further information you can see more the article in an English version on ScienceNordic.

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Carcass: A Scale Replica of a Fast Food Kitchen Carved Entirely from Wood by Roxy Paine

Carcass: A Scale Replica of a Fast Food Kitchen Carved Entirely from Wood by Roxy Paine wood installation fast food dioramas
Carcass, 2013. Birch, maple, glass, fluorescent lighting. 13’ 10 13/16” x 20’ 1/2” x 13’ 7” H. Photo by Joseph Rynkiewicz.

Carcass: A Scale Replica of a Fast Food Kitchen Carved Entirely from Wood by Roxy Paine wood installation fast food dioramas
Carcass, 2013. Birch, maple, glass, fluorescent lighting. 13’ 10 13/16” x 20’ 1/2” x 13’ 7” H. Photo by Joseph Rynkiewicz.

Carcass: A Scale Replica of a Fast Food Kitchen Carved Entirely from Wood by Roxy Paine wood installation fast food dioramas
Carcass, 2013. Birch, maple, glass, fluorescent lighting. 13’ 10 13/16” x 20’ 1/2” x 13’ 7” H. Photo by Joseph Rynkiewicz.

Carcass: A Scale Replica of a Fast Food Kitchen Carved Entirely from Wood by Roxy Paine wood installation fast food dioramas
Carcass, 2013. Birch, maple, glass, fluorescent lighting. 13’ 10 13/16” x 20’ 1/2” x 13’ 7” H. Photo by Joseph Rynkiewicz.

Carcass: A Scale Replica of a Fast Food Kitchen Carved Entirely from Wood by Roxy Paine wood installation fast food dioramas
Carcass, 2013. Birch, maple, glass, fluorescent lighting. 13’ 10 13/16” x 20’ 1/2” x 13’ 7” H. Photo by Joseph Rynkiewicz.

Carcass: A Scale Replica of a Fast Food Kitchen Carved Entirely from Wood by Roxy Paine wood installation fast food dioramas
Carcass, 2013. Birch, maple, glass, fluorescent lighting. 13’ 10 13/16” x 20’ 1/2” x 13’ 7” H. Photo by Joseph Rynkiewicz.

Carcass: A Scale Replica of a Fast Food Kitchen Carved Entirely from Wood by Roxy Paine wood installation fast food dioramas
Carcass, 2013. Birch, maple, glass, fluorescent lighting. 13’ 10 13/16” x 20’ 1/2” x 13’ 7” H. Photo by Joseph Rynkiewicz.

Carcass: A Scale Replica of a Fast Food Kitchen Carved Entirely from Wood by Roxy Paine wood installation fast food dioramas
Carcass, 2013. Birch, maple, glass, fluorescent lighting. 13’ 10 13/16” x 20’ 1/2” x 13’ 7” H. Photo by Joseph Rynkiewicz.

Carcass: A Scale Replica of a Fast Food Kitchen Carved Entirely from Wood by Roxy Paine wood installation fast food dioramas
Carcass, 2013. Birch, maple, glass, fluorescent lighting. 13’ 10 13/16” x 20’ 1/2” x 13’ 7” H. Photo by Joseph Rynkiewicz.

When first viewing this large diorama by Roxy Paine, you’re struck by the paradox of what you think you should be seeing and what is actually in front of you. It’s clear this is an expertly executed replica of a fast food restaurant counter complete with order screens, straw dispensers and a soft-serve ice cream machine; but devoid of flashy logos, food, or any other visual cues whatsoever, all that seems to remain is an empty shell—a carcass—carved entirely from birch and maple wood.

Titled Carcass, the installation was one of two large-scale dioramas on view at Kavi Gupta Gallery as part of Paine’s first solo show in Chicago, Apparatus. Via the gallery:

With Apparatus, Roxy Paine introduces a new chapter in his work, a series of large scale dioramas. Inspired by spaces and environments designed to be activated via human interaction, a fast-food restaurant and a control room, the dioramas present spaces and objects which are hand carved from birch and maple wood and formed from steel, encased and frozen in time, void of human presence, making their inherent function obsolete. Rooted in the Greek language, diorama translates to “through that which is seen”, a definition that has evolved throughout time as dioramas became conventionally known as physical windowed and encased rooms used as educational tools. Paine transforms the environments on display by using the diorama’s traditional experience as a tool to create a contemplative experience where what we see behind the glass transitions between being real and being a mere shell of something real.

The additional installation, Control Room (shown in the video above), similarly depicts an extraordinarily detailed collection of switches and knobs, a control center with an unknown function. You can learn more about both pieces over at Kavi Gupta. All photos by Joseph Rynkiewicz, courtesy the gallery.

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Intersections: An Ornately Carved Wood Cube Projects Shadows onto Gallery Walls

Intersections: An Ornately Carved Wood Cube Projects Shadows onto Gallery Walls wood shadows religion light Islam installation
Intersections, 2013. 6.5′ Cube, projected Shadows: 35′ x 32′.

Intersections: An Ornately Carved Wood Cube Projects Shadows onto Gallery Walls wood shadows religion light Islam installation
Intersections, 2013. 6.5′ Cube, projected Shadows: 35′ x 32′.

Created by mixed media artist Anila Quayyum Agha, this elaborately carved cube with an embedded light source projects a dazzling pattern of shadows onto the surrounding gallery walls. Titled Intersections, the installation is made from large panels of laser-cut wood meant to emulate the geometrical patters found in Islamic sacred spaces. Agha shares:

The Intersections project takes the seminal experience of exclusion as a woman from a space of community and creativity such as a Mosque and translates the complex expressions of both wonder and exclusion that have been my experience while growing up in Pakistan. The wooden frieze emulates a pattern from the Alhambra, which was poised at the intersection of history, culture and art and was a place where Islamic and Western discourses, met and co-existed in harmony and served as a testament to the symbiosis of difference. I have given substance to this mutualism with the installation project exploring the binaries of public and private, light and shadow, and static and dynamic. This installation project relies on the purity and inner symmetry of geometric design, the interpretation of the cast shadows and the viewer’s presence with in a public space.

Intersections is currently a finalist in the 3rd Annual See.Me: Year in Review Competition, and you can learn more about it here. (via Twisted Sifter, Hi-Fructose)

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Found Wood Assembled Into Bas-Relief Sculptures by Ron van der Ende

Found Wood Assembled Into Bas Relief Sculptures by Ron van der Ende wood bas relief
Veneer Theory, 2014. Bas-relief in salvaged wood, 60″ x 61″ x 6″.

Found Wood Assembled Into Bas Relief Sculptures by Ron van der Ende wood bas relief
Watershed (Yosemite), 2013. Bas-relief in salvaged wood, 71″ x 79″ x 5″.

Found Wood Assembled Into Bas Relief Sculptures by Ron van der Ende wood bas relief
Cross-Section I, 2012. Bas-relief in salvaged wood, 74″ x 44″ x 5″.

Found Wood Assembled Into Bas Relief Sculptures by Ron van der Ende wood bas relief
Cross-Section I, detail.

Found Wood Assembled Into Bas Relief Sculptures by Ron van der Ende wood bas relief

Found Wood Assembled Into Bas Relief Sculptures by Ron van der Ende wood bas relief
Airstream R.V., 2012. Bas-relief in salvaged wood, 120″ x 53″ x 5″.

Found Wood Assembled Into Bas Relief Sculptures by Ron van der Ende wood bas relief
Airstream R.V., detail.

Found Wood Assembled Into Bas Relief Sculptures by Ron van der Ende wood bas relief
Phoenix: Rise! (Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am), 2011. Bas-relief in salvaged wood, 102″ x 37″ x 7″.

Found Wood Assembled Into Bas Relief Sculptures by Ron van der Ende wood bas relief
Phoenix: Rise! (Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am), detail.

Found Wood Assembled Into Bas Relief Sculptures by Ron van der Ende wood bas relief
Axonometric Array, 2008. Bas-relief in reclaimed timbers, size variable.

Found Wood Assembled Into Bas Relief Sculptures by Ron van der Ende wood bas relief
Cold Storage, 2013. Bas-relief in salvaged wood, 76″ x 52″ x 6″.

Working with stacks of found wood, Dutch artist Ron van der Ende assembles gigantic bas-relief sculptures inspired by space, nature, industry, as well as retro technology and vehicles. The original color and texture of each wood fragment is left intact, making each sculpture into a mosaic containing both a new image and the history of its materials. Van der Ende has so finely honed his technique that one might first assume when viewing a sculpture that they are instead paintings. Because of the artworks strong sense of perspective, some viewers have reported feeling dizzy when first encountering one of his sculptures.

You can see much more of the artist’s work on his website and he’ll also be showing work through Ambach & Rice in April at the Dallas Art Fair.

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Realistic Stacks of Old Newspapers, Cash, and Comic Books Carved from a Single Piece of Wood by Randall Rosenthal

Realistic Stacks of Old Newspapers, Cash, and Comic Books Carved from a Single Piece of Wood by Randall Rosenthal wood sculpture realism

Realistic Stacks of Old Newspapers, Cash, and Comic Books Carved from a Single Piece of Wood by Randall Rosenthal wood sculpture realism

Realistic Stacks of Old Newspapers, Cash, and Comic Books Carved from a Single Piece of Wood by Randall Rosenthal wood sculpture realism

Realistic Stacks of Old Newspapers, Cash, and Comic Books Carved from a Single Piece of Wood by Randall Rosenthal wood sculpture realism
Cuban Cigar Box, 2013

Realistic Stacks of Old Newspapers, Cash, and Comic Books Carved from a Single Piece of Wood by Randall Rosenthal wood sculpture realism
Hush Money 22, 2013

Realistic Stacks of Old Newspapers, Cash, and Comic Books Carved from a Single Piece of Wood by Randall Rosenthal wood sculpture realism

Realistic Stacks of Old Newspapers, Cash, and Comic Books Carved from a Single Piece of Wood by Randall Rosenthal wood sculpture realism

Realistic Stacks of Old Newspapers, Cash, and Comic Books Carved from a Single Piece of Wood by Randall Rosenthal wood sculpture realism

Realistic Stacks of Old Newspapers, Cash, and Comic Books Carved from a Single Piece of Wood by Randall Rosenthal wood sculpture realism

Realistic Stacks of Old Newspapers, Cash, and Comic Books Carved from a Single Piece of Wood by Randall Rosenthal wood sculpture realism

Realistic Stacks of Old Newspapers, Cash, and Comic Books Carved from a Single Piece of Wood by Randall Rosenthal wood sculpture realism

Realistic Stacks of Old Newspapers, Cash, and Comic Books Carved from a Single Piece of Wood by Randall Rosenthal wood sculpture realism

Realistic Stacks of Old Newspapers, Cash, and Comic Books Carved from a Single Piece of Wood by Randall Rosenthal wood sculpture realism

The subject of Randall Rosenthal’s artwork at times seem inconsequential. Stacks of old newspapers and magazines, a comic book collection in a cardboard box, envelopes stuffed with various stacks of currency. And then you discover that you’re really looking at only two things: a single piece of Vermont white pine and skillfully applied acrylic paint. These are the only materials Rosenthal requires to mimic the look and feel of flimsy newsprint, worn trading cards, translucent pieces of tape and deteriorating cardboard boxes. What’s all the more amazing is that he doesn’t work from a photograph or model, but instead creates each object as he goes, using only an image in his mind as a guide.

After graduating from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in the late 1960s Rosenthal opened his first exhibition of surrealist paintings, a direction he pursued until the late 80s. His focus then shifted to architectural design and next into the realist sculptures he creates today. You can read more about his process and inspiration in this recent interview in rh+artmagazine.

See much more of Rosenthal’s work over at Bernarducci.Meisel.Gallery, and he’s been updating this message board thread at Sawmill Creek since 2011 to show some of his ongoing progress with different projects.

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Sculptor Zheng Chunhui Spent 4 Years Carving the World’s Longest Wooden Sculpture

Sculptor Zheng Chunhui Spent 4 Years Carving the Worlds Longest Wooden Sculpture  wood trees sculpture
Photo by Lv Ming

Sculptor Zheng Chunhui Spent 4 Years Carving the Worlds Longest Wooden Sculpture  wood trees sculpture
Photo by Lv Ming

Sculptor Zheng Chunhui Spent 4 Years Carving the Worlds Longest Wooden Sculpture  wood trees sculpture
Photo by Lv Ming

Sculptor Zheng Chunhui Spent 4 Years Carving the Worlds Longest Wooden Sculpture  wood trees sculpture
Photo by Lv Ming

Chinese artist Zheng Chunhui recently unveiled this exceptionally large wooden sculpture that measures some 40 feet (12.286) meters long. Four years in the making, the tree carving is based on a famous painting called “Along the River During the Qingming Festival,” which is a historical holiday reserved to celebrate past ancestors that falls on the 104th day after the winter solstice. On November 14th the Guinness World Records arrived in Fuzhou, Fujian Province where the piece is currently on display to declare it the longest continuous wooden sculpture in the world. You can see many more photos over on China News. (via Shanghaist)

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A Vertical Loop Picnic Table by Michael Beitz

A Vertical Loop Picnic Table by Michael Beitz wood sculpture furniture

A Vertical Loop Picnic Table by Michael Beitz wood sculpture furniture

A Vertical Loop Picnic Table by Michael Beitz wood sculpture furniture

A Vertical Loop Picnic Table by Michael Beitz wood sculpture furniture

Currently on view on the roof of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Wisconsin, ‘Picnic‘ is a new functional sculpture by arist Michael Beitz (previously here and here). The roller coaster meets picnic table is made out of plywood and took the artist nearly a year to build using a special jig the artist says was reminiscent of a medieval torture device. Beitz is known for transforming pieces of wood furniture like sofas, chairs, and tables into twisting and undulating sculptures, many more of which you can see on his website. All photos courtesy Michael Beitz.

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