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)
This fun table designed by Juno Jeon adds an unexpected twist to one of the most common pieces of furniture: a simple drawer. Covered with a dense grid of scale-like plates the drawer appears to bristle as you open it, flipping each consecutive set of scales to the reverse side. The “Pull Me to Life” table was designed as part of Jeon’s “Movement” series where he imagined what reactions different pieces of furniture in his house might have if they were living creatures. You can see more of the designer’s furniture concepts on Designboom.
Perth-based artist Paul Kaptein works with large blocks of laminated wood to reveal warped and distorted human figures, some pierced with a smattering of holes linked with drawn lines like star constellations. The hand-carved busts and figurative sculptures are additionally punctuated by gaps formed from the laminating process, creating the impression of digital glitches or images skewed by poor reception. Kaptein says he’s interested in examining the undefined area between expansion and contraction, or interconnection and incompleteness. Even as the viewer walks around each piece, it continues to surprise as the warped nature of each artwork continues to push and sink in seemingly every direction.
Artist Victoria Wagner works with large pieces of reclaimed wood sliced into geometric forms and painted to resemble large gemstones. Titled Woodrocks, the cut facets of each piece are covered with delicate oil paint gradients that evoke mostly natural tones found in sunsets, water, or outdoor landscapes. The incongruous nature of wood and stone is something that fascinates Wagner. “There is something confusing to the senses in combinations that vacillate between interval and tone, allowing for optical engagement and a perceptual unpredictability,” she says. You can explore more of Wagner’s work on her website and on Instagram. (via Cross Connect, Supersonic)