Craft

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Craft Design

Dive Into the Process Behind Crafting a Kinetic Humpback Whale That Swims with a Hand-Crank

April 13, 2022

Grace Ebert

Floating atop swirls of whimsically cut wooden waves, a miniature humpback springs to life with the help of a simple hand-crank. The kinetic whale is part of a growing marine menagerie designed by Sylvain Gautier, who whittles and assembles the mechanical sculptures from his workshop near Toulouse. This particular creature is carved from basswood, with a walnut frame and acacia base, and is named “Wooden Migaloo,” “after the albino humpback whale often seen on the coasts of Australia,” he writes. Get a glimpse at Gautier’s process in the short making-of video above, and head to YouTube for more of his aquatic automata. (via The Kids Should See This)

 

 

 



Craft

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

April 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Guardabosques, shared with permission

Evoking the biological illustrations of Ernst Haeckel (previously) and photographic portraits of Merlin Tuttle, an ongoing project explores the incredible diversity of bats through geometric paper sculptures. Juan Nicolás Elizalde, who is half of the creative team behind the Buenos Aires-based studio Guardabosques (previously), began the series in 2019 after discovering variances in the animals’ ear shapes, fur patterns, and other distinctive characteristics. He’s since crafted 88 different species with scored and folded paper and is currently in the process of photographing each piece, from the wide-eyed flying fox to the speckled Cuban flower bat.

Titled Amiguitos de la Oscuridad, the collection has a dedicated Instagram account, where Elizalde is in the process of sharing every portrait and additional information about the species. “The project is called Little Friends of Darkness because they are nocturnal animals that I want to be friends with,” he writes, “but also because they helped me to spend the nights of the last few strange and dark years, with a little anxiety about what was happening.”

 

 

 



Craft Design

Sculptural Candles by Greentree Shape Dyed Beeswax into Organic Designs

April 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Greentree

From its Catskills studio, Greentree creates sculptural candles in hues from sage and celadon to terra cotta and lilac. The company, helmed by artist Jennifer Green, hand-pours and finishes collections of feathery partridges, pinecones, clean-cut gemstones, and sets of vintage bottles that are equally design objects as they are functional goods. Each unscented candle is made of pure beeswax, meaning it burns cleanly and emits a naturally sweet smell as melts. In addition to the whimsical creations shown here, Greentree also sells angular pillars, tapers with spiraling edges, and other elegant designs in its shop. (via INHABITAT)

 

 

 



Art Craft

Daily Activities Are Interwoven into Rural Landscapes in Ágnes Herczeg's Lace Sculptures

April 11, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images © Ágnes Herczeg, shared with permission

Strands of silk thread are delicately intertwined to create inviting pastoral scenes in miniature needlework sculptures by Ágnes Herczeg (previously). The Hungarian artist has recently begun to incorporate found driftwood into her pieces, foraged from the shores of the nearby Danube River where floodplain trees dot the riverside. Drawing inspiration from her surroundings, Herczeg’s subjects include animals, trees, landscapes, and women performing tasks like pouring tea, weaving, or taking a walk.

Fascinated by natural materials and the process of embroidery, Herczeg carefully shapes the outline of each scene with metal wire, then builds up tiny webs of fiber using a needle lace technique. Once she has carved the wood and the mesh is complete, each is colored in earthy blues, greens, and browns and bound together with thread.

You can find more of Herczeg’s work on her website, and follow updates on Instagram. Pieces available for purchase can also be found in her online shop.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Skeletal Lace Patterns Define the Copper Wire Vessels of Artist Suzanne Shafer-Wilson

April 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Suzanne Shafer-Wilson, shared with permission

At once malleable in material and secure in shape, the vessels that comprise Suzanne Shafer-Wilson’s body of work are intricate studies of texture, pattern, and space. The Illinois-based artist loops and twists lengths of wire into intricate baskets that range in size from 20 inches tall to the width of a fingertip. Using a technique similar to the one employed by sculptor Ruth Asawa to create her rounded, metallic forms, Shafer-Wilson works with an Italian needle lace method designed for fibers like wool and silk. She intertwines brass, copper, or sterling silver in place of textiles and fashions porous vessels with wide, gaping bodies and elaborately constructed outer walls.

If you’re in Chicago, you can see some of Shafer-Wilson’s sculptures at Vale Craft Gallery. Otherwise, head to her site to explore an archive of her works.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Classic Cartoons Suspend Tense Moments of Sabotage in Embroidery

April 5, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Performance Anxiety.” All images © Peter Frederiksen, shared with permission

From Looney Tunes and Mickey Mouse to The Simpsons, cartoons have a long history of imagining the most ridiculous, chaotic moments possible and dramatizing them into absurdity. The animated characters and their hijinks are rooted in humor, and yet, as artist Peter Frederiksen recognizes, they also have a more sinister side. “Violence is a shorthand for conflict, confrontation, fears,” he tells Colossal, noting that many iconic cartoons were created post-war or have been produced during times when “violence was in the ether… I don’t put guns in embroideries because I like guns. I put guns in embroideries because they’re an escalation. They’re overcompensation. They’re anxiety and fear.”

Frederiksen has spent the last few years zeroing in on the antagonism in these classic scenes and preserving their short-lived nature in dense embroideries. He renders knives piercing a closed door, tied bedsheets pulled taught as they drop out of a window, and hands twisting into knots while attempting to play the piano. Tightly stitched onto a canvas with a machine, the works are true to their original source in color and style, although Frederiksen precisely crops each scenario from its surroundings.

Decontextualized and infused with action, the nostalgic works are simultaneously familiar in their imagery while unrecognizable in the scope of a larger narrative. “They tell a story in as ominous a way as I’m aiming for, maintaining the sort of tension I’m building with a scene,” he says. “I also enjoy thinking about rendering these tight little scenes as a mirror to what I’m physically doing, using my hands in small little ways to make something happen.”

The Chicago-based artist has a number of shows scheduled for this year, including at Postmasters Roma in May and a solo exhibition at New York’s Massey Klein in September. Until then, follow his work on Instagram. (via The Guardian)

 

“Set Up For Failure”

“Won’t Hold Forever”

“You Don’t Need a Reason”

“Some Time Outside”

“The Trap Has Been Set”

“What Have I Done?”

“It’s Exactly As Bad As You Think”

“All My Suspicions Confirmed”

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Sailing Ship Kite