Craft

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Craft Design

Scenes From Award-Winning Literature Crafted With Hand-Cut Paper by Zim & Zou

April 30, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Paper artists and collaborators Zim & Zou (previously) were invited to create miniature worlds inspired by previous Nobel Prize winners in Literature. The tolerance-themed traveling exhibition Sharing Worlds was organized by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation. The French duo built pieces based on Kristin Lavransdatter written by Sigrid Undset (published in 1920), and One Hundred Years of Solitude written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (published in 1967). Using their own classic style, the pair created colorful scenes packed with geometric details. Their interpretation of Kristin Lavransdatter was created as an ode to 14th-century Norway with a technicolor city set between a pair of deep burgundy mountains. The other work, One Hundred Years of Solitude, features a verdant home nearly hidden from the world by a lush pink and green garden.

The exhibition closed last month, but you can take a virtual tour of it on the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation website. You can follow more of Zim & Zou’s recent work on their Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Art Craft

Graceful Figures and Shimmering Peacocks Embroidered on Tulle are Inspired by Haute Couture

April 27, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Moscow-based fabric artist and designer Katerina Marchenko stitches brightly colored threads into tulle to form elaborate embroidered images of animals, portraits, and anatomical studies. In their hoops, Marchenko’s pieces work as framed thread paintings. Bird and angel wings appear to have dimension and human eyes pop thanks to the artist’s attention to color harmony and shading.

Marchenko skips the sketching phase and starts each new piece with contours before allowing improvisation and the process itself to dictate what the final design will look like. The artist explains to Colossal that her aesthetic and techniques are inspired in part by fashion and haute couture. A 2016 sewing course inspired her to create an embroidered tulle blouse, and the following year she took an embroidery course at Ecole Lesage School in Paris.

“Embroidery is a meditative process which helps me to calm down and gather all my thoughts,” Marchenko tells Colossal, adding that the images she chooses are ones through which she can express her emotions. To see more of Katerina’s colorful creations follow her on Instagram, and browse her online shop if you want to take one of the works home.

 

 



Art Craft

Claws and Teeth Emerge From Otherworldly Ceramic Vessels by Gregory Knopp

April 25, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

While many designers focus on enhancing the cuteness of small air plants, ceramic artist Gregory Knopp highlights the otherworldly qualities of these popular plants. His hand-built clay vessels feature gaping mouth-like holes surrounded by curling claws or winding appendages that draw attention to the spindly air plants. Knopp, who works under the name Tooth and Snail, explains that he begins each piece with a concept sketch and then develops the work instinctively with clay in hand. “This is such an intuitive and malleable medium, it allows for images and ideas that might not be conscious to come through and take shape.”

Knopp immigrated as a child with his family from Russia to Brooklyn, where he currently lives and works. The artist shares with Colossal that he has always been fascinated by deep sea life forms. As a high schooler he volunteered at the Coney Island Aquarium, where he was drawn to corals and octupuses over the more popular sea otters and dolphins. Knopp’s interest in science continues today, and the artist finds inspiration in readings on anatomy and evolutionary biology. “Living forms have much order and purpose in their constitutions, but are at the same time ludicrous and whimsical,” he explains. “I try to capture some of that with these sculptures.”

Knopp’s unusual sculptural ceramics, including dramatic interpretations of cacti, are available in the Tooth and Snail online store and at pop-up markets around Brooklyn. The artist also shares updates on Instagram.

 

 



Craft

Candy-Colored Plants and Animals from the Imagination of Hiné Mizushima

April 23, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Vancouver, Canada-based textile artist Hiné Mizushima (previously) brings a cuddly, colorful approach to creepy-crawly plants and animals. Fungi, insects, and single-cell organisms get a felted makeover in pastel hues with embroidered, stitched, and crocheted details. Mizushima often optimizes her works for display either by allowing them to be worn as brooches or by affixing them to plaques or in bell jars to showcase at home.

In addition to her stationary creations, Mzushima also creates animations, including a recent music video commission for They Might Be Giants, which engages the traditional Japanese needlework technique kogin. You can see more of Mizushima’s felted flora and fauna on Behance and Instagram, and purchase prints of various pieces on Etsy.

Commission for The New York Times Canadian web campaign

 

 



Art Craft

Rare and Endangered Butterfly Species Recreated in Glass by Laura Hart

April 20, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Attacus Atlas

Glass artist Laura Hart (previously) uses a range of techniques to translate her love of plants and animals into meticulously crafted sculptures. For her “Butterflies” series, the artist has recreated rare species and subspecies from around the world with bright colors and symmetrical designs that perfectly mimic their natural muses.

Never recreating the same species twice, Hart casts the bodies of her one-of-a-kind insects using the lost wax molding and pate de verre kiln casting processes. Each delicate sculpture is around 18cm wide. A glass fusing method is used to make the realistic wings in stages, with intense hues and translucent sections outlined in black. The sections form tiny stained glass windows, altering the light that passes through and reflecting onto the tables and display stands. Sterling silver pieces are added to complete the sculptures, forming the legs, antennae, and proboscides of the colorful creatures.

To see more of Laura Hart’s glass works, check out the artist’s Facebook page.

Kaiser-i-Hind

Large Tree Nymph

Queen Alexandra Birdwing

Scarce Swallowtail

Spanish Moon Moth

Yellow Swallowtail

Zebra Swallowtail

 

 



Art Craft

Forgotten Household Objects Cloaked in Needlepoint by Ulla Stina-Wikander

April 16, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Sweden-based artist Ulla Stina-Wikander (previously) continues her signature needlepoint interventions on domestic objects. Items traditionally associated with women’s housekeeping, like electric mixers and sewing machines along with hammers, wrenches, and axes, are cloaked in tightly fitting decorative designs. Stina-Wikander sources the needlepoint samples from flea markets and vintage stores, and is attracted to their connection with the now-anonymous people who made them. “These embroideries have been made by women and are often seen as kitsch and regarded as pretty worthless,” she states on her website. In using them in her interventions, the artist gives the abandoned textile works a new life. Explore more of Stina-Wikander’s work on Instagram.

 

 

 



Craft

Confused Cats and Bewildered Bears Formed From Needle Felted Wool by Lindsey Thomas

April 12, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Charmingly bewildered animals are the subject of choice for UK artist Lindsey Thomas. The London-based artist carefully felts wool to shape pudgy animals with plaintive expressions that belie their cartoony cuteness and party-ready accessories. Wide-eyed bears ride tricycles with balloons and a donkey with strong side-eye sports a flamingo pool floaty.

Thomas graduated from Middlesex University with a degree in illustration, where she also experimented with mixed media. In an artist statement on her website, Thomas explains, “As a child, I was forever drawing animals and imagining what they would be like if they could peel themselves from the paper. Now I know!”

You can see more delightful felted characters on Thomas’s Instagram and Facebook, and find select creations available for purchase in the artist’s online store. (thnx, Mark!)