Craft

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Craft Illustration

Dried Botanics Pressed into Delicate Fauna Compositions by Artist Helen Ahpornsiri

May 28, 2020

Anna Marks

All images © Helen Ahpornsiri, shared with permission

England-based artist Helen Ahpornsiri (previously) presses delicate flowers and plants into wondrous artworks that depict the colorful diversity of the natural world. By foraging botanics from her garden, Ahpornsiri pieces the dried natural matter together in a manner that’s similar to constructing a jigsaw puzzle. “I prefer to use fern and common wildflower species as I like the idea of giving something unassuming, or thought of as a weed, a new narrative—and they are relatively easy to grow!” she says. “The marine algae I use is foraged from beaches on the south coast of England. I search for loose pieces of marine algae along strandlines and in rockpools, especially after stormy seas, to avoid being disruptive to the surrounding ecosystem.”

The artist’s collection features mammals and insects from across the animal kingdom—ranging from peacocks and bees to elephants—some of which are aligned with tiny pieces of gold leaf that reflect the sparkling color and vibrancy of the species she creates. Upon close inspection, the flowers’ color appears faded from the drying process, similar to the way watercolors dry and bleed into their canvas. In one of the artist’s most recent pieces, a comet moth is mounted on black board, with its antenna crafted from a minuscule leaf that elegantly depicts the fragility of the insect’s anatomy.

You can see more of Ahpornsiri’s delicate botanic compositions on her website, on Instagram, and via her shop.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Precise Angular Stitches Encase Found Twigs in Natalie Ciccoricco’s New Embroideries

May 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Natalie Ciccoricco

Stitching lengthy, varicolored rows around found twigs, Natalie Ciccoricco juxtaposes the organic forms of nature with her meticulous embroideries. The California-based artist has been crafting her Nesting series on white, handmade paper with unfinished edges. The stark backdrop complements the precisely laid thread that seems to suspend each twig, while the natural borders offer an additional organic element.

An extension of her stitches on vintage photographs, Ciccoricco’s lastest series was born out of her time quarantined at home. “While being under quarantine at home, I started creating embroidery artworks using materials found in our yard, on our deck or nature walks,” she writes on her site. “Exploring the juxtaposition between geometric shapes and organic elements, this series is an ongoing exercise to find beauty and hope in challenging times.”

Although each piece from Nesting is sold out in her shop, some prints of her other embroideries are available on Society6. Follow Ciccoricco’s progress and see her latest works on Instagram. (via Jealous Curator)

 

 

 



Art Craft Food

Domestic Ceramics by Mechelle Bounpraseuth Infused with Culinary Life and Family Memories

May 18, 2020

Anna Marks

All images © Mechelle Bounpraseuth, shared with permission

Sydney-based artist Mechelle Bounpraseuth crafts life-sized ceramics that explore her identity as a first-generation daughter of Laotian refugees. Her small and glossy ceramic artwork, which ranges from drink cans to widely known sauces, explores her connection with her past and how branded ingredients are rooted in culinary culture and rituals. 

Bounpraseuth was raised a Jehovah’s Witness, and despite many fond memories of her family and childhood, her religion discouraged her from pursuing artistic pursuits. She left the religion in her 20s and got married, realizing that her dream of becoming an artist was possible and that she didn’t have to succumb to the person her religion had wanted her to be.

Her creativity initially began from drawing and creating zines, before Bounpraseuth enrolled in a ceramics course and began crafting functional objects. Noticing her talent for the medium, her tutor encouraged her to pursue work with more artistic flair. She began to expand on her drawings of household objects by recreating them in clay and glossy bright colors.

One of Bounpraseuth’s ceramics is a Heinz Ketchup bottle, a condiment found in many family fridges and cupboards throughout the world. For the artist, the sauce represents the memory of her family eating pho together, a ritual in which they would come together and make the recipe from scratch with a dollop of ketchup. These sculptural forms are meaningful symbols to Bounpraseuth as the pho was a labor of love and would take her family all day to make.

Through the creation of these domestic objects from her past, Bounpraseuth uses her artwork as a way to reflect upon and process her childhood memories and as a way to navigate her old and new identities. These pieces illustrate how some values remain passed down from generations, like Bounparseuth’s reference to her family’s shared domesticity, while some core aspects of family, like religion, are not always. 

For more of the artist’s memory-focused ceramics, head to Instagram. (via It’s Nice That)

 

 

 



Art Craft

Hundreds of Intricately Cut Layers Compose Impeccably Detailed Wildlife Sculptures by Patrick Cabral

May 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Patrick Cabral

Manila-based artist Patrick Cabral (previously) layers paper incised with decorative motifs and lacy patterns into dazzling sculptural portraits of wildlife. Ribbed tentacles with alternating gold and white dangle from an octopus, while elegant pieces comprise a rhinoceros’s exterior. Each multi-layered work contains hundreds of individual paper pieces that are entirely hand-cut.

The crowned lion (shown below) spans more than five feet and is one of Cabral’s largest projects to date. “Working on a piece like this is a paradox. It’s a lot of work that usually spans around 3 months. I love the whole process of cutting because it’s sort of meditative for me,” he writes on Instagram. “It’s opposite though once I started assembling the pieces together because it becomes really stressful (especially) on pieces as big as this.”

For more of the artist’s intricate compositions, head to Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



Craft Illustration

Paper Figures and Objects by Bethany Bickley Spring From Book Pages

May 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Bethany Bickley

A measure of well-written fiction is its ability to provoke clear images in the minds of its readers. For Bethany Bickley, though, the joy of envisioning protagonists and scenery has a more literal element. The Savannah-based artist utilizes pages torn from classics, magazines, and contemporary works to fashion distinctive paper sculptures of clenched fists, a lounging reader, and a trio of masks. Each figurative work serves as a tangible representation of otherwise imagined visuals.

Among her bookish sculptures are the iconic pear tree from Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, a seated Esther Greenwood from Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, and an amalgam of weapons and detective objects to symbolize the thriller genre. In a statement, Bickley said she merges narrative and imagery “to tell a story with impact and purpose. If there are no visuals, I create them.”

To see more of the artist’s illustrative projects and take a peek at her process, head to Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Craft Illustration

Rosy Eyes Peer Out From Leaves and Insects in Bizarre Illustrations by Ana Miminoshvili

May 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Jasmine” (2018). All images © Ana Miminoshvili

Tbilisi-based illustrator and designer Ana Miminoshvili captures the essence of modern surveillance by hiding it in plain sight. In Blooming Eyes, she implants her verdant leaves and botanical compositions with numerous eyes that peer out from their natural surroundings. Red speckles indicate that they’re bloodshot and strained, giving the scleras a rosy hue that complements and blends with the pink florals.

Miminoshvili describes the surreal series as commentary “on anxiety, (the) fear of being watched, and pressure of social media exposure.” The staring eyes disguise themselves in unusual and yet organic places like ladybugs’ spots and a newly opened flower. In a statement, the illustrator said she prefers “creating warm ambiances and combining strict, geometric shapes with more free and natural lines,” after pinpointing a tight color palette that allows her to merge the otherwise disparate elements.

Follow Miminoshvili’s ongoing illustrations and embroideries that consider privacy in contemporary life on Instagram and Behance, and purchase a print in her shop.

 

“Ladybugs” (2018)

“Blooming face” (2020)

“Caterpillar” (2020)

“Eyeballs” (2019)

 

 



Craft

Extra Tongues and Cheeky Grins Knit onto Humorously Grotesque Masks by Ýrúrarí Jóhannsdóttir

May 6, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Ýrúrarí Jóhannsdóttir

Although most masks hide emotions, Ýrúrarí Jóhannsdóttir’s knits permanently display fervid grins and facial contortions to those she passes on the street or stands next to in the grocery store. The Iceland-based designer has been crafting grotesque knitwear with the intention of warding off anyone who gets too close through a series of monstrous features. Unruly mouths evoke Medusa, oversized lips grin too eagerly, and a lengthy tongue proves an impossible feat as it licks the designer’s eyeball.

Despite their effective scare tactics, Jóhannsdóttir won’t be wearing these in public because she says they’re not designed to guard against COVID-19. Even so, follow her unorthodox facial coverings and check out her similarly outlandish apparel on Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 

 

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