We’re thrilled to welcome Canadian artist Amanda McCavour (previously) for our next Colossal Workshop. During our live two-hour session, McCavour will teach students her process for creating delicately embroidered sculptures using one of her own botanical drawings. Attendees will work with water-soluble stabilizers and learn to hand-embroider texture, pattern, and line with running stitches, chain stitches, couching stitches, french knots, and seed stitches to create a vibrant textile work with collaged threads.
Register here and gather your supplies for the January 14, 2023, session, and if you’re a Colossal Member, be sure to use the code in your account for $5 off. Ten percent of the proceeds for this workshop will benefit Plant Chicago.
Share this story
Along the contours of roads, property boundaries, and shorelines, English artist Ed Fairburn draws inspiration for his detailed cross-hatched portraits. As an avid map collector, he is fascinated by the urban landscape and cartographic design. “The more maps I collect, the more I want to create,” he tells Colossal, sharing that transportation routes like roads and bridges can be likened to the veins or arteries of the body.
Fairburn’s intricate drawings directly respond to the layout of the original map. “I allow the composition of each map to inform the composition of each portrait,” he explains. An interest in the body as metaphorical landscape and vice versa also informs how he approaches each piece. “In a wider sense, I hope that my work pushes viewers to think about those similarities, and perhaps offers a reminder that we’re shaped by the landscape around us, which we in turn are also shaping.”
Share this story
This year on Colossal, we published hundreds of articles across disciplines, and as we look back at those in the design world, we’re finding that readers gravitated toward stories about the world’s largest sheet of chainmail, geometric pastries, and tiny homes for bees. Be sure to take a look at 2022’s top articles across art and craft, and check out our favorite books of the year. You can always take a trip back in time by diving into the Colossal archive.
English YouTuber and educator Tom Scott visits the largest sheet of chainmail in the world in a short documentary that reveals how the uniquely designed mesh structure has become a landmark of sustainability.
Ukrainian pastry chef Dinara Kasko brings a healthy dose of geometry to her meticulously designed cakes.
Conceived by Detroit-based architect and educator Catie Newell, this project reworks the iconic framework of an aging farm building to allow light through an unexpected aperture.
A tiny mollusk with a big personality, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On captivated audiences more than a decade ago with his quirky antics and endlessly entertaining use of human-sized objects. The adorable character returned this summer for a feature-length mockumentary with brilliant world-building by Liz Toonkel.
A bold, conical structure by the studio of artist Olafur Eliasson and architect Sebastian Behmann casts a vibrant kaleidoscope of 24 colors underneath its canopy.
In April of this year, Swedish architect and artist Ulf Mejergren and Finnish artist Antti Laitinen gathered fallen branches from a forested area outside of Nykvarn and wove a structure around a tree, building a cozy refuge among the thawing spring landscape.
An innovative creation of Cornwall-based Green&Blue, Bee Bricks are designed to establish homes for fuzzy, winged insects.
Every year in Wellington, dozens of extravagant garments explode onto the stage for three weeks as part of the World of WearableArt competition.
Artist Noritaka Minami documented the icon of Japanese Metabolism, the Nakagin Capsule Tower, that stood in the Ginza neighborhood of Tokyo from 1972 until it was demolished earlier this year.
Share this story
19 Princelet Street in London’s East End boasts a richly diverse history that’s emblematic of the neighborhood. The modest brick building once housed Huguenot silk merchants, Irish weavers, and Jewish tailors who fled persecution and struggles within their home countries. Today, the Museum of Immigration and Diversity inhabits the space, securing its legacy as a welcoming, communal environment for people in need.
A profound, meditative short film by Anita Bruvere reflects on this history through intimately crafted stop-motion scenes. Aptly titled “Home,” the animation peers in on the families who occupied the Princelet Street rooms, portraying the two-dimensional figures on acetate. Weaving and sewing practices occupy much of their time and connect each group as the textiles seamlessly flow from one to the next, which Bruvere describes in an interview:
I was interested in how people of different times and generations, coming from different cultures and backgrounds, are connected through the places they occupy and the experiences they share. I wanted the film to be quite poetic, telling the story from the perspective of the house using fabric: the common trade shared by the area’s many immigrant communities.
An immigrant herself, Bruvere conveys a heartbreaking relevancy to such a historic narrative. “It was startling to discover that the public discourse around the issue of immigration hasn’t really changed that much over the last 300 years,” she says.
Watch the film above, and find more of Bruvere’s projects on Vimeo.
Share this story
For the last four years, Tbilisi Mural Fest has facilitated more than 40 public artworks around the Georgian capitol, and the 2022 event brought a spate of new projects to the city. Given the nation’s proximity to Russia and that country’s groundless war against Ukraine, festival organizers highlighted renowned Ukrainian muralist Sasha Korban who painted a large-scale portrait of a woman in customary clothing facing the Russian embassy. Other works include celebrations of Georgian culture and history, like a large-scale tablecloth with traditional motifs by Chertova Tina and Mohamed l’Ghacham’s dreamlike rendering of the living room of Georgian thinker and author Ilia Chavchavadze.
See some of the 2022 additions below and those from previous years on Instagram.
Share this story
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.
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.
Artist Larysa Bernhardt creates colorful moth sculptures embroidered with vintage tapestries, often portraying historical people, animals, and delicate botanical forms on their wings.
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.
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.
Intricate linework and trippy, geometric motifs flow through the minuscule glass-blown serpents by Ryan Eicher.
The vibrant embroideries of Sew Beautiful capture the awe-inspiring breadth of the outdoors within a tiny wooden hoop.
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.
Ukrainian artist Diana Yevtukh draws inspiration from her surroundings by carefully situating cornucopian floral arrangements made of thread in the hollows of trees.
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.
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.
Share this story
Editor's Picks: Design
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.