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Art Design

Thousands of Used Tea Bags Assemble in Ruby Silvious’s Delicate Full-Size Garments

December 2, 2022

Kate Mothes

A child's dress made from tea bags.

All images © Ruby Silvious, shared with permission

When we steep a cup of tea, we typically toss out the bag once it has served up its brew, but for Ruby Silvious, this humble sachet provides the basis for a distinctive artistic practice. Known for her miniature paintings that use tea bags as canvases, she has expanded her use of the material by employing it as a fabric for larger-scale works that are inspired by her family history and an interest in fashion. “It gives me a chance to do large scale work, the antithesis to my miniature paintings,” she tells Colossal. “It’s only natural that my art has always been inspired by fashion. My maternal grandmother was a brilliant seamstress. I was only 20 years old when I migrated to the U.S. from the Philippines, and my very first job was at Bergdorff Goodman in New York City.”

Silvious began making garments in 2015, spurred by an ongoing fascination with the various methods of printing, staining, and assembling the deconstructed segments together. “I have accumulated bins of used tea bags,” she says, “not just from my own consumption but also from friends and family who have generously contributed to my growing collection.” She has made more than ten full-size kimonos, each requiring up to 800 used bags to complete. Pieces in her most recent series, Dressed to a Tea, average approximately 75 to 125 sachets, each one emptied out, flattened, and ironed before being glued together into shirts, slips, or child-size dresses. “Some tea bag pieces have monoprints on them, and the simpler designs are assembled with plain or slightly stained, used tea bags, giving them a more delicate and fragile look,” she explains.

A number of pieces from Dressed to a Tea will be on view in a weeklong exhibition at Ceres Gallery in New York from December 5 to 10. Her work will also be featured in a solo exhibit at the Ostfriedsisches Teemuseum in Norden, Germany, from March 4 to April 29, 2023. You can find more of Silvious’s work on her website and Instagram.

 

A shirt made out of tea bags.

A kimono made from tea bags.

Slips made out of tea bags.

Two images of a kimono made from tea bags, shown front and back. A child's dress made out of tea bags.

Two dresses made out of tea bags.

A kimono made from tea bags.

 

 

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Art Design History

Industrial Materials Reconstruct Local History on a Monumental Scale in Public Sculptures by David Mach

November 30, 2022

Kate Mothes

A sculpture of a train made out of bricks.

“Brick Train” (1997) in Darlington. All images © David Mach

Known for sculptures and assemblages that utilize everyday objects like bricks, coat hangers, and matches, Scottish artist David Mach has embarked on numerous large-scale, public projects that draw inspiration from local history. In his monumental “Brick Train” in Darlington, he taps into regional heritage through the use of red brick and the depiction of a life-size steam locomotive. The industrial revolution of the 19th century spurred a need to move materials like coal and steel around the country, and the first railway to use steam engines to transport passengers also originated in the area. In the U.K., red bricks have prevailed as the most popular building material, constructing long rows of terraced homes that characterize the urban landscape.

Further north in Edinburgh, the architectonic “Temple at Tyre” was constructed from dozens of shipping containers and over 8,000 tires (or tyres) in the port of Leith, a critical international shipping hub. It was installed for a month and illuminated at night to rival the city’s major landmarks, like the neoclassical National Monument on Calton Hill. The containers, which are also the focus of a proposed building in an Edinburgh business park, are immense reminders of the trade and commerce that the city is built upon.

Mach currently has additional projects in the works in London, Mauritius, and Syria. Heavy Metal, a solo exhibition opening at Pangolin London in January will highlight ongoing work in a showcase of maquettes and prints. You can find more of the artist’s work on his website.

 

A public sculpture of a row of telephone boxes tipping over like dominoes.

“Out of Order” (1989) in Kingston-upon-Thames. Photograph by Mike Longhurst

A neoclassical facade made out of brick.

“Temple of Bricks,” maquette, 93.5 x 111 x18 centimeters

A photograph of a sculpture of a train made from bricks, covered in snow.

“Brick Train”

A digital rendering of a contemporary building made out of a pile of shipping containers.

Render for Mach1, Edinburgh Park, Edinburgh

An installation in a port of dozens of shipping containers with a neoclassical monument on top made out of tires.

“The Temple at Tyre” (1994) installed at Leith, Edinburgh

A sculpture of a row of telephone boxes that are falling onto one another like dominoes.

“Out of Order.” Photograph by Mike Longhurst

An installation in a port of dozens of shipping containers with a neoclassical monument on top made out of tires.

“The Temple at Tyre”

 

 



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

 

 



Design

A Kinetic Glass Greenhouse Blossoms into a Massive Open-Air Terrarium

November 29, 2022

Grace Ebert

An aerial image of an open glass greenhouse

All images by Hufton + Crow, courtesy of Heatherwick Studio, shared with permission

A kinetic design by Heatherwick Studio transforms a sleek glass enclosure on the Woolbeding Gardens property into an elegant flower in full bloom. Situated at the edge of the West Sussex estate, “Glasshouse” protects a melange of sub-tropical flora from southwest China, particularly those found along the Silk Road. A hydraulic mechanism opens the 10 panels of the aluminum-and-steel structure during warmer temperatures, allowing for ventilation within the 141-square-meter terrarium and transforming the architectural form into a blossoming botanical.

Heatherwick Studio is responsible for an eclectic array of designs, including a silo-turned-art-gallery and a honeycomb vessel for pedestrians, and you can follow the latest on Instagram.

 

A photo of a glass greenhouse

An aerial photo of a glass greenhouse

A photo inside a glass greenhouse

A photo looking toward the sky through a glass greenhouse

A photo of an open glass greenhouse

An aerial photo of a glass greenhouse

 

 



Design History Music

Diagrams of Turntables and Amps Chart the History of Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Rock and Roll

November 23, 2022

Grace Ebert

A screen printed diagram with musicians and band names in gold

All images © Dorothy, shared with permission

How do you visualize the history of hip-hop? Or jazz? Questions of origin and influence are common for artists, and the inventive team behind the U.K.-based design studio Dorothy (previously) goes gold as they painstakingly map out the history of music genre by genre. Plotted onto the circuit board of a guitar amp, the diagram of a 1950s phonograph, or that of a turntable, the latest editions in Dorothy’s Blueprint series chart the pioneers and greats who transformed rock and roll, jazz, and hip-hop in gilded screen-prints. The trio of metallic designs, plus three more devoted to alternative, electronic, and dance music, are available in the Dorothy shop.

 

A detail image of a screen printed diagram with musicians and band names in gold

A screen printed diagram with musicians and band names in gold

A detail image of a screen printed diagram with musicians and band names in gold

A screen printed diagram with musicians and band names in gold

A detail image of a screen printed diagram with musicians and band names in gold

 

 



Animation Art Design

Thousands of Structures Populate a Growing Whimsical Metropolis in Charles Young’s Miniature Cities

November 16, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of dozens of colorful miniature buildings and transportation

All images © Charles Young, shared with permission

After picking up a copy of Japanese artist Sanzo Wada’s A Dictionary of Color Combinations a few years ago, Charles Young decided to divert the course of his otherwise monochromatic body of work. The Scottish artist, who is currently based in Edinburgh, has accumulated an extensive archive of tiny buildings, transportation, and public architecture all created in white paper. The stark structures number well into the thousands and together, sprawl into massive miniature metropolises. They’re now joined by similarly sized creations in full color.

Published around 1930, Wada’s reference manual groups pigments into complementary combinations of two, three, or four, and Young uses these pairings as the foundation for his latest models of office buildings, churches, factories, and stations. He finished all of the four-color studies back in 2021 and has since moved on to those with three, a set he plans to wrap up in the new year. “The whole project is like a journal or sketchbook, and not much planning goes into each piece before I start work,” he says. “The project is really about the process and the massing of individual parts rather than each individual building.”

After formulating a general idea of the intended piece, Young prints each hue onto a single sheet of watercolor paper. “I’ll choose one of the colours to be the main feature, used in the walls, and others as accents or for the roofs. It’s a kind of intuitive process where there just seems to be a right way to do it,” he shares. Once cut and assembled into their final three-dimensional shapes, the works are either left as standalone structures or animated in whimsical, stop-motion movements, like a train spinning on its platform or an excavator dipping its bucket.

As mentioned, Young’s three-color studies are ongoing, and you can follow his progress on those on Instagram.

 

An animated image of a train entering a station and turning on its platform

Four photos of tiny structures and transportation vehicles

An animated image of an excavator dipping its bucket

Four photos of tiny buildings and bridges

A photo of dozens of colorful miniature buildings and transportation

An animated image of an arm turning a wheel

 

 

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