A Colossal Year

Wow. In August of last year I started this blog on a whim, wanting to catalog the neat design-related things I was finding online. I had no goals, direction, or expectations and by the end of the year I was getting a couple dozen visits each day, enough interest to keep me going, but not enough to convince me that my mom wasn’t sitting at home hitting refresh. Then 2011 happened. Based on some success with a few posts involving art, I decided to shift the blog strongly in that direction, focusing the daily stream of posts on sculpture, street art, photography and other unexpected creative projects. The internet responded quickly and Colossal reached over 7 million people this year, including a number of surprise visitorsAhem.

I’ve had to switch hosts three times, the site crashed and burned on numerous occasions, but with the help of Media Temple (and especially CloudFlare), things seem to be humming along now.

Without further ado, here’s the top 10 things you found interesting on Colossal this year.

10. Glass Beach. A California beach polluted beyond recognition is gradually returned to normal with the help of the unrelenting surf, leaving behind millions of polished glass shards.

9. Customized Book Side Tables. Furniture maker Jane Dandy’s side tables designed to perfectly encapsulated your favorite books took the design blogs by storm.

8. One Day on Earth. A film shot in every country in the world in a single day.

7. Skull Nickels. A macabre sub-genre of numismatic treasures known as Hobo Nickels.

6. A Solar-Powered 3D Printer that Prints Glass from Sand. Harnessing the power of the sun has never been so incredible.

5. Sagaki Keita. The illustrations of Tokyo-based artist Sagaki Keita contain thousands of whimsical characters that are drawn almost completely improvised to form representations of classical artwork.

4. Money Trees. In several wooded areas around the UK, passersby have been stopping for decades (if not centuries), meticulously hammering small denomination coins intro trees.

3. A Portrait of Tobias Wong Using 13,138 Dice. Canadian artist and designer Tobias Wong died last year at the young age of 35, or more specifically, 13,138 days. In tribute, his friend Frederick McSwain created this immense portrait of Wong entitled Die using 13,138 dice.

2. High Speed Liquid and Bubble Photographs by Heinz Maier. Incredible photographs that appear more like sculpture than liquid.

1. One man, 100,000 toothpicks, and 35 years: An incredible kinetic sculpture of San Francisco. You saw it here first.

Thanks so much for following and I hope you’ll stop by in 2012. It’s going to be an awesome year. Did you know you can follow every post to Colossal on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+?