Huge mounds of firewood are a common site here in the midwest, but in the capable hands of Michigan artist Michael McGillis a row of logs becomes a unexpectedly beautiful sight. Titled Wake the piece was originally installed back in 2006 at the Franconia Sculpture Park in Shafer, Minnesota and consisted of a 95-foot long trench of cut trees painted purple in the middle as if to reveal a suprising new species of plant. A simple idea, wonderfully executed. (via my darkened eyes)
French designer and woodworker Malet Thibaut just released this limited edition “Art Toy” undoubtedly inspired by the iconic Lego figures. The toys are quite larger than their traditional yellow plastic counterparts, and it’s probably important to note that although the limbs appear flexible they are not actually hinged. Regardless I think they’d make a pretty awesome gift for the Lego-obsessed. Pick ‘em up on Etsy. Unfortunately sold out at the moment. (via behance)
These funky tree lights were designed by Judson Beaumont of Straight Line Designs, a furniture design firm out of Vancouver. Called Tree Rings the lights are made out of a beetle pine shell topped with mirrored Plexiglas that allows the embedded cool fluorescent light to shine through in the dark. I’m not sure of the practical application, but it appears the lights can be used as as small tables and bear enough weight to act as a stool. The pieces debuted last summer at Duthie Gallery. (via zymaze on fancy)
French firm Orée recently launched a new keyboard made entirely from a single piece of maple or walnut. Every keyboard is made to order and is crafted, polished, oil-finished and assembled by hand in their workshop in southern France. Via their website:
Orée was born from our observation that modern technology products look very much alike, are highly impersonal, made out of eco-unfriendly materials and are designed for rapid obsolescence. We set out to do something different: create lasting & personal high performance technology objects primarily made of wood, the most natural, durable and renewable material on earth. Orée is about reconciling tradition & novelty to create exceptional products through an exclusive combination of timeless woodworking techniques and cutting-edge technologies. All our products are eco-designed, crafted and hand-finished in France.
The keyboard is bluetooth enabled and retails for about $163 (€125.00). On their website you can customize Mac/Windows options, US/UK/Canadian keyboard layouts, options for keyboard fonts, and even a special message. Gorgeous. (via designboom)
For his Brecce collection, Italian designer Marco Stefanelli devised an ingenious way of removing fragments from sawmill scraps, tree branches, and cement fragments, and replacing them with perfectly sculpted resin embedded with LEDs. The resulting lamps retain the organic nature of their original form yet cast a beautifully subdued light. You can see much more on Stefanelli’s blog. (via the awesomer)
The Minister’s Treehouse in Crossville, Tennessee is a 100ft structure built by minister Horace Burgess from the early 1990s through 2004. The entire building wraps around a giant tree and was built completely without blueprints, sprawling to an estimated 10,000 square feet inside, including a four-story swing set. Photographer Kristin Sweeting took a recent trip to the treehouse and took many of the photos above. You can also see more images by Chuck Sutherland who provided the image on top.
At face value these small hand-carved wooden sculptures by scientist and artist John V. Muntean appear to be a random amalgam of mixed geometric shapes, curves and holes, but shine a light at the right angle and suddenly in the objects shadow is a discernable image. In fact, each sculpture contains three images, usually revolving around a theme. Via his website:
A Magic Angle Sculpture appears to be nothing more than an abstract wooden carving, skewered with a rod and mounted on a base. However, when lit from above and rotated at the magic angle (54.74º) it will cast three alternating shadows. Every 120º of rotation, the amorphous shadows evolve into independent forms. Our scientific interpretation of nature often depends upon our point of view. Perspective matters.