Craft

Giant Fabric Butterfly and Moth Sculptures Hand-Crafted by Yumi Okita

December 22, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All images © Yumi Okita, shared with permission

North Carolina-based artist Yumi Okita (previously) layers hand-painted fabric, embroidery thread, feathers, and faux fur to create large sculptures of insects. Each handmade moth and butterfly is one-of-a-kind, with coloration and patterning often inspired by existing species.

Okita’s fiber sculptures are designed to be hung from wires or displayed as free-standing works. The fabric wings on the insects measure up to 9.5 inches wide, while the furry creatures stand an impressive 3.5 to 4.5 inches tall. From a distance, they could be mistaken for the real thing, but a closer look reveals an intricate weave of materials and a vibrant array of colors.

The unique creations are sold via Yumi Okita’s Etsy shop, and you check out the growing specimen gallery over on Instagram.

 

 



Art

The Movement of Waves and Currents Illustrated in Glass by Shayna Leib

December 21, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Flux (2012), 16 x 30 x 8 inches. All photos by Eric Tadsen

Artist Shayna Leib (previously) finds inspiration in wind and water for her intricate and delicate glass sculptures. Thousands of hand-pulled canes are affixed into improvised compositions that mimic sea life swept by natural forces. Custom hues accentuate the soft appearance of the sculptures while contrasting the nature of the material and the caneworking process.

As Leib explains on her website, cane pulling involves layering colorants between gathers of molten glass and stretching it into rods. Two of the artist’s latest compositions, “Grotto” and “Harmattan,” get their deep red color from colorants formulated with gold. The rods are then curved using a kiln and molds before being cut into smaller sections. After sorting the tens of thousands of pieces by color and shape, Leib begins the process of arranging them in frames to form three-dimensional works.

“The things I find beautiful have always been fractal in nature,” Leib said in a statement. “I am intrigued by multitudes of tiny little parts- blades of grass all bending in the wind to the same rhythm. As you pan out you have waves of form. Zoom in and you see each individual blade of grass moving to the flow of the wind.” To view more angles of Leib’s dynamic glass sculptures, follow her on Instagram.

Sunset over the Tundra (2013), glass, 22 x 36 x 7 inches.

Sunset over the Tundra (detail)

Harmattan (2019)

Hexacorallia (2019), 36 x 12 x 8 inches

Grotto (2019), 36 x 20 x 9 inches; Stiniva IV (2019), 36 x 20 x 9 inches

 

 



Craft

Using More Than 4,000 Pieces of Paper, Artist Lisa Lloyd Painstakingly Constructs Birds and Butterflies

December 20, 2019

Grace Ebert

Robin. All images © Lisa Lloyd, shared with permission

Employing tweezers to place each bit of paper, London-based artist Lisa Lloyd (previously) meticulously assembles birds and butterflies. Her realistic sculptures feature geometric pieces that are arranged in a pattern by color and then glued in place. Lloyd’s birds are constructed internally with a card, paper, and tissue paper skeleton before they are outfitted with more than 4,000 individual paper pieces that the artist hand-scores and fringes. Wire covered in tissue paper creates the birds’ feet, and the eyes are Filmo with a high gloss varnish. A recent butterfly sculpture posed a particular challenge, the artist says, because each wing had to be perfectly symmetrical, just like the real-life insect.

“Through practice, I’ve learned how to sculpt the paper so they look like they’re titling and turning their heads, which makes them feel more alive. Also, I try to give the wings the appearance that the birds are ruffling their feathers, also to make them seem more alive,” Lloyd shares with Colossal. It took her about two months to make three birds: the robin, the great spotted woodpecker, and the blue tit, which have found their permanent home perched on willow branches in a glass display, thanks to one of Lloyd’s London-based clients. You can add one of the artist’s vibrant sculptures to your own collection by purchasing from her shop, and follow her latest work on Instagram.

Great spotted woodpecker

Countryfile butterfly

A blue tit (top), great spotted woodpecker (left), and robin (right)

Blue tit

Blue tit

Robin

 

 



Photography

Crates Stacked in Beverage Yard Form Color-Coded Rows in Aerial Photographs by Bernhard Lang

December 19, 2019

Grace Ebert

All images © Bernhard Lang, shared with permission

Munich-based photographer Bernhard Lang (previously) is known for his aerial shots that capture the inexact repetition and geometry of everyday life. His latest project, “Crate Stacks,” focuses in on a German beverage production yard, a facet of an industry that employs about 60,000 people in more than 500 companies in the country. Captured in November 2019 while Lang was flying in a small plane over the area, the series shows thousands of crates sorted by color and assembled in long lines. Tiny squares and circles comprise the lengthy rectangular rows, highlighting the height differences of each stack. The artist says the shots remind him of “the computer game Tetris or graphic bar diagrams.” More of Lang’s prized work can be found on his Instagram and Behance, and some pieces are available by request on his site.

 

 



Design

Zero-Waste Packaging for Liquids is Made Entirely of Soap

December 19, 2019

Grace Ebert

In an effort to reduce plastic use, product designer Jonna Breitenhuber has conceived of Soapbottle, a zero-waste container for liquids. The colored packaging is made of soap that will degrade over time. It leaves no waste, unlike traditional plastic vessels, which often contribute to the truckload of waste that’s dumped into the ocean every minute. Each bottle features a hole near the top for a string to pass through, providing a simple and reusable storage method. When the liquid is gone, the bottles can be grated and used for body wash or detergent. Follow Breitenhuber’s eco-friendly designs on Instagram. You also might like these soap toiletry containers. (via Kottke)

 

 



Animation

Clay Faces Twist and Warp on Human Bodies in Mixed-Media Film by Sam Gainsborough

December 18, 2019

Grace Ebert

Animation director Sam Gainsborough’s new mixed-media film contorts and melts characters’ faces, altering and shaping both how they see and how they’re viewed. Facing It depicts a man struggling with relationships to his family and friends, his social anxiety, and his fear of being isolated from those around him. Throughout the film, dripping, swirling, and rippling clay faces mask those of the human bodies.

Gainsborough tells Directors Notes that he shot the characters’ claymation faces against a green screen before transferring them frame-by-frame to fit separate footage with actors, combining stop-motion and live-action techniques. Each face is roughly double life-size, and in total, the film’s creators used more than 1,100 pounds of plasticine. Adding human bodies to the work creates a “visible layer of reality” that stands in contrast to the feelings shown on the animated faces.

He feels that his parents are these emotionless rock-like characters so they’re animated to look like gargoyles. Whereas he sees everyone else in the world as being effortlessly happy so they’re animated fluidly with lots of colour. But at the end of the day the feelings he has are false, what lies underneath that is reality, real people (with painted hands for some reason!).

The goal of the work, the director says, is to push viewers to question whether they’re living how they want to. He and writer Louisa Wood wanted “a main character who would be seen to bottle up their emotions rather than living true to themselves. We wanted to make a film that celebrates everyone’s flaws and internal struggle, no one’s perfect after all.”

Facing It was produced in the same space that Nick Park first created Wallace and Gromit – A Grand Day Out, the director says. “It was really cool for me to be working in the same room that saw the creation of a film I found so inspiring as a child.”

Gainsborough is based in London and graduated from the National Film and Television School. His future plans, which you can follow on Instagram, include employing a similar technique but with stop-motion puppets.

 

 



Craft

Clay Shapes Bound to Fabric Create Multi-Layered Embroidered Works by Justyna Wolodkiewicz

December 18, 2019

Grace Ebert

All images © Justyna Wolodkiewicz, shared with permission

Using small polymer clay shapes, Justyna Wołodkiewicz (previously) creates embroidered works that extend beyond the fabric within the hoop. The Poland-based artist molds clay into tiny colorful pieces that she punctures with holes, positions at various angles, and binds with multi-colored thread. “What you see in my embroideries is highly filtered visual and sonic information'” Wolodkiewicz tells Colossal. “It travels through my eyes, brain, and hands, landing in the physical world again, this time in the shape of my hand-stitched pieces.”

The artist’s choice of color, composition, and texture are crucial components in her “micro-worlds” because “they convey a strong emotional message innate to human beings. They suggest very complicated nets of relationships. The upward stitches symbolize the way people are bonded with all that surrounds them,” she says.

Many of Wolodkiewicz’s three-dimensional creations are available for purchase, and you can stay connected with the artist on Instagram.