Oakland-based artist Gabriel Schama (previously) continues to produce intricate relief sculptures by layering pieces of laser-cut mahogany plywood. Some of his most impressive new works see mandala-like shapes contained within the silhouettes of people’s faces, a striking idea that imbues each portrait with an unusual sense of motion and personality. Other pieces seem to utilize religious iconography or patterns from nature like reptile scales or leaves. Schama is soon to release a new collection of work for sale and you can learn more via his website.
We’ve long marveled at artist Maskull Lasserre's masterful ability to carve anatomical details into everyday objects. One of his recent sculptures, titled Improbable Worlds, is no exception. For this piece the Canadian artist split an old upright piano in two, slicing through every last component leaving only a single point of connection: a tiny wishbone carved from the wooden piano back. The visual tension created by the piece is astounding, let alone the head-scratching question of how he technically accomplished it, knowing that if the weight of the piano shifted just slightly the piece would snap in half.
You can see more of Lasserre’s recent artworks in his portfolio.
Working with tiny pieces of wood, wood sculptor Seiji Kawasaki carves realistic foods that look almost good enough to eat—depending on your taste. From chocolate bars that emerge from jagged pieces of wood to peppers and dried minnows that double as chopstick holders, the artist can create any edible item from a block of wood in just a few hours. Kawasaki has exhibited work in a number of galleries around Japan, and you can see more of his work in this Facebook gallery. If you liked this, also check out the work of Randall Rosenthal. (via My Modern Met, Booooooom.
Sometimes it seems long gone are the days of kids sitting down and playing with simple wooden toys, trading tactile objects for screens and buttons. Freelance illustrator and 3D artist artist Mat Szulik straddles the two worlds of digital and physical in this fantastic series of conceptual wood toys based on digital polygons. Titled PolyWood v1.0, the series of 8 creatures are all digital, using wood textures mapped to Szulik’s geometric illustrations. I can’t imagine how something like this could be produced or carved from actual wood, but they’re lovely to look at regardless. (via Behance)
In this new timelapse video, woodworker Frank Howarth (previously) demonstrates how he designed and constructed a replica of the Star Wars’ Death Star out of bamboo. The Portland-based designer, who also has a degree in architecture from Harvard, shares much of his behind-the-scenes processes through his wildly popular YouTube channel. I expected to skip through different parts of the video, but Howarth has an uncanny ability to film himself working, it really is worth watching the whole thing straight through. Even the sound design is great.
LA-based sculptor Joshua Abarbanel fabricates wood sculptures and installations reminiscent of coral reefs comprised of concentric flower-like blooms. The artist builds both smaller standalone artworks that rest on a pedestal and larger wall or ceiling-mounted pieces that seem to grow organically in every direction. Each piece first takes shape on a computer before being cut from assorted woods with the aid of a laser cutter. From Abarbanel’s artists statement:
Finding inspiration in fractals, accretive formations, and the Fibonacci sequence, Abarbanel creates art that often simultaneously evokes microscopic and aerial perspectives, such that the compositions serve as metaphors for archetypal relationships between people, between individuals and communities, and between humankind and the planet. His work also illustrates how disparate parts can come together to make a whole in beautiful and startling ways.
Abarbanel recently opened an exhibition of work at Porch Gallery in Ojai, California through May 29, 2016. (via Hi-Fructose)