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Craft

The Craft Stories Colossal Readers Loved Most in 2022

December 6, 2022

Colossal

A collage of four photos

We’re wrapping up 2022 and revisiting some of the craft projects we wrote about this year. From a 2,000-year-old Roman glass bowl to a menagerie of paper bats, the stories Colossal readers loved most are diverse in medium and subject matter and show a vast array of creativity around the globe.

If you want even more of 2022’s highlights, check out the top art stories and our favorite books of the year. You can also dive into the Colossal archive.

 

A photo of a hand holding a blue glass bowl

Image courtesy of Marieke Mom

Archeologists Unearth a Roman Glass Bowl Dating Back 2,000 Years in Pristine Condition

A January archaeological dig in the city of Nijmegen, The Netherlands, unearthed a stunningly preserved bowl made of blue glass that’s estimated to be about 2,000 years old.

 

A photo of an embroidered moth sculpture

Image © Larysa Bernhardt

Vintage Tapestries Cloak the Wings of Larysa Bernhardt’s Plush Moths

Artist Larysa Bernhardt creates colorful moth sculptures embroidered with vintage tapestries, often portraying historical people, animals, and delicate botanical forms on their wings.

 

A photo of a paper bat

Image © Guardabosques

A Collection of Paper Sculptures Studies the Wild Diversity of 88 Different Bat Species

A project by Juan Nicolás Elizalde, who is half of the creative team behind the Buenos Aires-based studio Guardabosques, explores the incredible diversity of bats through geometric paper sculptures.

 

A photo of a patchwork quilt against racism

Image courtesy of SJSA

A Conversation with Social Justice Sewing Academy Explores Community Activism and the Power of Remembering Through Quilts

In a time when witnessing inequity is like digging into an already numb wound, the Social Justice Sewing Academy offers the power of touch. Program director Stephanie Valencia speaks about the work of honoring the victims of violence and their families through community art, supporting young entrepreneurs with creative or social justice-oriented businesses, and most importantly, giving people something to hold on to.

 

A photo of a hand holding a glass snake

Image © Ryan Eicher

Kaleidoscopic Patterns Coil Around Miniature Snakes Exquisitely Cast in Glass

Intricate linework and trippy, geometric motifs flow through the minuscule glass-blown serpents by Ryan Eicher.

 

A photo of a hand holding an embroidery hoop with colorful trees

Image © Sew Beautiful

Skies Peek Through Foliage in French Knots in Embroideries that Peer Up From the Forest Floor

The vibrant embroideries of Sew Beautiful capture the awe-inspiring breadth of the outdoors within a tiny wooden hoop.

 

A photo of a finger holding a tiny paper houseplant

Image © Raya Sader Bujana

Impossibly Small Houseplants and Basketry Crafted from Paper by Raya Sader Bujana

Barcelona-based artist Raya Sader Bujana defines her work as something between sculpture and illustration, creating impossibly tiny replicas of houseplants that rest atop a finger.

 

A photo of an embroidered human eye peering out from tree bark

Image © Diane Yevtukh

Vivid Compositions in Thread Enliven Hollow Spaces in Diana Yevtukh’s Striking Embroideries

Ukrainian artist Diana Yevtukh draws inspiration from her surroundings by carefully situating cornucopian floral arrangements made of thread in the hollows of trees.

 

A photo of mugs, cups, and vessels covered in drippy colorful glaze

Image © Brian Giniewski

Mottled, Marbled, and Speckled Glazes Ooze Over Ceramic Vessels in Thick Pastel Drips

Referencing a melty summertime ice cream cone or icing on a cake, Brian Giniewski’s Drippy Pots are covered in mottled pastels, speckles, or single colors that trickle down the exterior of mugs and cups.

 

A photo of a book opened to be a loom with hands on the shuttle

Image © Cai Wei Qun

An Elaborately Designed Book on Weaving Opens to Reveal a Fully Functional Loom

Cai Wei Qun constructed an impressively immersive book on weaving, which opens to reveal a trove of history, techniques and tricks, and an entire loom tucked between its covers.

 

 

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Craft Design

Reboot Your Nostalgia: Make Your Own Paper Models of Retro Computers and Games

November 30, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of a paper model of a retro computer

All images © Rocky Bergen

Designer Rocky Bergen folds us back into the world of dialup and floppy disks with a delightfully retro collection of paper computers and gaming systems. His DIY models faithfully recreate classic technology like the first Apple II complete with Oregon Trail or the more obscure IMSAI 8080 system and multiple Commodore platforms. Print, score, cut, and reconnect with bygone tech using Bergen’s 20 free downloadable templates. (via Present & Correct)

 

A photo of a paper model of a retro computer

A photo of a paper model of a retro computer

A photo of a paper model of a retro computer

A photo of a paper model of a retro computer

A photo of a paper model of a retro game system

A photo of a paper model of a retro game system

A photo of a paper model of a retro boombox

 

 



Art Craft

Vivid Hues and Intricate Embroidery Bring Yumi Okita’s Remarkably Tactile Moths to Life

November 30, 2022

Kate Mothes

A photograph of an embroidered, life-like moth.

All images © Yumi Okita

In vividly colored thread and textiles, Yumi Okita imbues remarkably tactile moths and butterflies with lifelike features. The North Carolina-based artist designs each specimen to perch on its own delicate wire legs, and some of the larger creatures boast wing spans nearly 10 inches wide. Long fascinated by the natural world, she portrays the insects’ intricate detail, innate fragility, and sublime patterns in embroidery thread, faux fur, feathers, and layers of dyed fabric.

Okita often sells her sculptures in her Etsy shop and is currently exploring the theme of nature further in a series of botanical designs, which she has begun sharing on Instagram.

 

A photograph of an embroidered, life-like moth held in a hand.

A photograph of an embroidered, life-like moth.

A photograph of an embroidered, life-like moth.

A photograph of an embroidered, life-like moth.

A photograph of an embroidered, life-like moth.

A photograph of an embroidered, life-like moth.

A photograph of an embroidered, life-like moth.

A photograph of an embroidered, life-like moth.

A photograph of an embroidered, life-like moth.

 

 



Art Craft Photography

Top of the Stack: Colossal’s Favorite Art Books of 2022

November 28, 2022

Colossal

A photo of book covers

As we near the end of 2022, we’re taking a look back at the year, starting with the books we found most compelling, impressive, and inspirational. We’ve published dozens of articles on artist monographs and compendiums of broader topics across art and design and science and history over the last 12 months, and these are the 10 titles that impacted us most.

Head to Bookshop to browse all 25 books on our list, including the highly anticipated Hilma AF Klint Catalogue Raisonné, a glimpse into rarely-seen works by Ruth Asawa, and a dive into the history of protest art.

 

A photo of a colorful underwater organism

Ocean, Exploring the Marine World

Across its 352 pages, Ocean, Exploring the Marine World dives into the planet’s notoriously vast and mysterious aquatic ecosystems, traveling across the continents and three millennia to uncover the stunning diversity of life below the surface. It presents science and history alongside art and illustration, including biological renderings by Ernst Haeckel, Katsushika Hokusai’s woodblock prints, and works by artists like Kerry James Marshall, Vincent van Gogh, and Yayoi Kusama.

 

A photo of colorful costumes and a pony bead relief

Nick Cave: Forothermore

From floral Soundsuits and found-object sculptures to a multicolor web of millions of pony beads, Forothermore surveys the 30-plus-year career of artist Nick Cave and accompanies a massive retrospective of the same name.

 

A photo of two embroidered works of bees and flowers

Paint with Thread: A Step-By-Step Guide to Embroidery Through the Seasons

Learn the distinctive stitching techniques of artist Emillie Ferris with Paint with Thread: A Step-By-Step Guide to Embroidery Through the Seasons. The how-to volume contains instructions for creating five whimsical projects that utilize Ferris’s long and short stitches to create textured portrayals of flora and fauna.

 

A painted portrait of a woman with botanics and fruits covering her face

Great Women Painters 

Spanning nearly 350 pages, Great Women Painters highlights more than 300 artists across 500 years and a vast array of movements and aesthetics. The book pairs icons like Frida Kahlo and Leonora Carrington with contemporary artists like Ewa Juszkiewicz and Katharina Grosse in a broad and diverse overview of the women who profoundly impact art today.

 

A photo of a book cover

An Alternative History of Photography

From East Asia to West Africa and New Zealand to Uzbekistan, this volume traverses the globe as it acknowledges the recognized greats of the medium and uncovers overlooked artists, traditions, and techniques. The book contains hundreds of images across decades, including works from Western icons like Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Man Ray, and Ansel Adams and African studio photographers like Sanlé Sory, Michel Kameni, and Malick Sidibe.

 

A photo of a bright orb and people lying on the floor

Olafur Eliasson, Experience

This enormous, nearly 500-page monograph explores the inimitable career of artist Olafur Eliasson. The edition comprises a breadth of works from the 1990s to today, including “The Weather Project” from 2003 (shown above) and the more recent “Life,” which flooded Fondation Beyeler with murky green waters.

 

A photo of a figurative textile sculpture with a massive tongue in a gallery

Prime, Art’s Next Generation

Across nearly 450 pages, PRIME, Art’s Next Generation offers a broad and insightful survey of the Millenials defining the future of the art world, including Jordan Casteel, Tau Lewis, and Firelei Báez. The tome takes a broad look at what’s emerged from a cultural and creative landscape shaped by the internet.

 

A portrait of Jean Michel Basquiat

Photo by Lee Jaffe

Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure

This monograph accompanies the expansive King Pleasure exhibition that opened earlier this year in Chelsea and offers an intimate and holistic glimpse at the life that inspired Jean-Michel Basquiat’s oeuvre. The 336-page book features a broad array of works, interviews with family members, and an in-depth consideration of his life.

 

A photo of a book cover

Art and Climate Change

We’re continually concerned with the effects of the climate crisis, and this collection within Thames&Hudson’s World of Art series draws together an array of works that respond to the current moment.

 

Shop all 25 titles on our list on Bookshop.

 

 



Art Craft

Metal Sculptor Shota Suzuki Crafts Exquisitely Detailed Blooms That Express the Passing of Time

November 25, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images © Shota Suzuki, shared with permission

Tender stems bear lush blooms and windswept leaves gather around new growth in artist Shota Suzuki’s delicate metal sculptures. Rendered in painstaking detail, the forms are inspired by flora around his home and studio in Kyoto, such as Japanese maple trees and dandelions that have gone to seed. “Recently, I have been adding rain and wind to my work,” he tells Colossal, sharing that he’s inspired by the way nature demonstrates the passing of time. He adds silvery water droplets to ginkgo leaves, ruffles the petals of flowers, or portrays a branch of cherry blossoms as if it has blown from a tree.

An early interest in jewelry led Suzuki to study metalworking, and the exquisite detail of florals and foliage suited his ability to work on a small scale. A wide range of patinas create a life-like appearance, achieved by combining an array of chemicals that produce specific hues and textures, including traditional Japanese copper coloration methods such as niiro. “I don’t want to create works in which time stands still,” he says. “I want to express a moment in time.”

Suzuki’s work is included in Natural Mastery: Lacquer and Silver Works from Japan at Stuart Lochhead Sculpture in London from December 1 to 9. You can find more work on his website and Instagram.

 

A realistic sculpture of a tree sapling growing from dead leaves, made from metal.

 A realistic sculpture of flowers made from metal, photographed on a table.

A realistic sculpture of flowers made from metal.

A realistic sculpture of ginkgo leaves made from metal.

A realistic sculpture of a stem of cherry blossoms made from metal.

A realistic sculpture of dried leaves made from metal.

A realistic sculpture of gold ginkgo leaves with silver droplets, made from metal.

 

 



Craft Food

Tiny Trays Serve Up Delicious Morsels in Miniature Spreads by Mahnaz Miryani

November 18, 2022

Kate Mothes

A photograph of miniature foods.

All images © Mahnaz Miryani, shared with permission

Tehran-based artist Mahnaz Miryani has been fascinated by puzzles since she was a child. In her miniature culinary arrangements, she channels a love for fitting little pieces together into satisfying compositions. Tiny trays transport pastries, eggs, cakes, and other dainty morsels, including a baking surface with an apple pie in the making. Miryani sculpts each itty-bitty croissant or cup of coffee from polymer clay, adding texture to create realistic details. Then, it’s time to bake! Once the clay has hardened in the oven, she adds colorful details in acrylic paint and soft pastels. The next item she plans to add to her menu is a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs.

Miryani is also the founder of a platform dedicated to miniature foods called Yummy Miniature. You can follow more of her work on Instagram.

 

A photograph of miniature foods.

A photograph of miniature foods.

Two photographs of miniature foods.

A photograph of miniature foods.

A photograph of miniature foods.

A photograph of miniature foods.

A photograph of miniature foods.

 

 

A Colossal

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Sailing Ship Kite