Art Craft Design

Precise Details and Architectural Contrasts Highlight Layla May Arthur’s Narrative Paper Sculptures

January 13, 2023

Kate Mothes

An architectural sculpture made of paper.

“Where We All Meet” (2022), paper sculpture, 1 x 1 x 1 meter. All images © Layla May Arthur, shared with permission

Wielding the fundamentals of set design, Layla May Arthur assembles elaborate architectural spaces and visual narratives from paper. The Netherlands-based artist focuses on the interplay between light and shadow in intricate, three-dimensional dioramas that emphasize storytelling in window displays, brand identities, and gallery presentations. In pieces ranging from delicate, individual sculptures of staircases to large-scale, immersive installations, she instills a sense that the viewer is a part of the interactions of figures within each scene.

Since graduating from university in 2021, Arthur has focused on projects that emulate the visual drama of theatrical presentations, setting the stage for products in boutique windows and brand collaborations in addition to museum exhibitions. “I really enjoy being able to handcraft artworks to be used in photoshoots or installations where my work reaches an audience who might not ordinarily seek out art in an art space,” she tells Colossal. “I have had incredible clients so far who have given me huge creative freedom in acting as both art director and artist.”

Arthur emphasizes each incision, angle, and pattern of the meticulously cut pieces of white paper by spotlighting or illuminating from within. “I love being able to create an artistic experience which is part of the everyday and highlights the possibilities of craftsmanship,” she says.

Find more of Arthur’s work on her website, Behance, and Instagram, where she often shares videos of her process.

 

An architectural sculpture made of paper, illuminated from within.

“THE STORYTELLER, THE LISTENER, AND OUR STORY” (2021), paper and light Installation

An architectural sculpture made of paper.

“Where We All Meet” (2022)

Two images of an architectural sculpture made of paper.

Details of “Where We All Meet” (2022)

An architectural sculpture made of paper.

“Shop Window Set Design for Mary Jane Schoenenboetiek” (2021), paper sculpture

Two images of an architectural sculpture made of paper, illuminated from within.

Details of “THE STORYTELLER, THE LISTENER, AND OUR STORY” (2021)

A detail of an architectural sculpture made of paper, illuminated from within.

Detail of “THE STORYTELLER, THE LISTENER, AND OUR STORY” (2021)

A detail of an architectural sculpture made of paper, illuminated from within.

Detail of “THE STORYTELLER, THE LISTENER, AND OUR STORY” (2021)

n architectural sculpture made of paper, illuminated from within. Pictured with two people peering up at it.

Detail of “THE STORYTELLER, THE LISTENER, AND OUR STORY” (2021)

An architectural sculpture of a staircase made of paper, photographed on a teal paisley background.

“Forgotten Places – Remembered“ (2022), paper sculptures, 20 x 20 centimeters

A detail of an architectural sculpture made of paper.

Detail of “Shop Window Set Design for Mary Jane Schoenenboetiek” (2021), paper sculpture

A large-scale papercut artwork featuring a narrative of Jersey.

“Jersey; My Childhood Home” (2019), paper cutting, circumference 754 centimeters x 200 centimeters

The panels of a large-scale papercut artwork featuring a narrative of Jersey.

Panels from “Jersey; My Childhood Home”

An installation view of a large-scale papercut artwork featuring a narrative of Jersey.

Installation view of “Jersey; My Childhood Home”

 

 

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Craft Design

Freewheeling Hares and Bespectacled Kangaroos Hop Into Hugo Horita’s Playful Wooden Menagerie

January 12, 2023

Kate Mothes

A detail of a wooden sculpture carved to look like a sheep with a crocheted sweater on.

All images © Hugo Horita, shared with permission

Although they are carved from timber, the personalities in Hugo Horita’s growing menagerie are far from wooden. An adventurous camel, a sheep in a sweater, and a deer that’s quick on the draw are just a few of the characters the Buenos Aires-based artist has introduced. “I like to bring ideas and shapes to a three-dimensional language, and I chose wood because it is a very noble and warm material,” he tells Colossal.

Trained as an illustrator, Horita’s work often rests squarely in the digital realm, and he sought a creative outlet that involved using his hands. While some ideas can lead to a new piece in just a few days, sometimes the process takes months, beginning with a sketch on paper or a virtual vector image. He then carves the toy-like sculptures with an emphasis on the details of the grain to accentuate joints and muscles and often incorporates other found elements like pencils. Preferring to use scrap pieces that others have thrown away, which allows for various tones and textures, Horita completes each animal with the cartoonish addition of wheels, spectacles, or skis.

Find more of the spirited critters on Behance and Instagram.

 

A wooden sculpture of a deer with pencils for antlers.

Wooden sculptures of a sheep and a camel. The sheep has a crocheted sweater on, and the camel has mountains for humps and is wearing skis.

Sheep sweater made in collaboration with cAlma mía

Two wooden sculptures of leaping hares.

A wooden sculpture of a joey in its mother's pouch, and both animals are wearing white glasses.

A wooden sculpture of a rocking horse with two horses facing each other on the same rocker.

A wooden sculpture of a moose with a pick comb for antlers.

A detail of a wooden sculpture of a moose.

A wooden sculpture of hare holding wheels.

A wooden sculpture of a sloth laying upside-down in a chair.

A detail of a wooden sculpture of a sloth laying upside-down in a chair.

A wooden sculpture of a deer with antlers made of pencils.

 

 



Art

Ann Weber Elevates Discarded Cardboard Boxes and Staples to New Heights in Billowing Sculptures

January 12, 2023

Kate Mothes

An abstract sculpture made out of discarded cardboard.

“You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows” (2020), cardboard, staples, and polyurethane, 101 x 44 x 20 inches. Photo by Ray Carofano

Exemplifying the possibilities of combining humble materials with a good dose of resourcefulness, Ann Weber’s monumental sculptures find their beginnings in discarded cardboard boxes. The San Pedro, California-based artist parlayed her training in ceramics into a focus on the everyday material, initially inspired by architect Frank Gehry’s cardboard chairs, which transformed utilitarian, heavyweight paper into structurally sound and visually appealing functional objects. Weber echoed a similar intention when she decided to eliminate the inherently cumbersome process and weight of clay in exchange for a lightweight material that could be scaled up.

The artist scours the neighborhoods of Los Angeles for boxes, paying special attention to those with printed surfaces; she carefully considers the colors of graphics and text and incorporates them into the overall composition of each work. In the studio, she begins by building an armature with larger pieces of cardboard to create the silhouette. She then applies layers of strips cut from other boxes and staples them into place in a repetitive, textured pattern.

While the forms billow, bulge, and tower overhead, the artist doesn’t want to obscure the ubiquitous material; instead, Weber invites the viewer to consider the substance in a way they might not otherwise, saying “cardboard has taken on more complex meaning in the 21st century with the hyper-capitalistic proliferation of excess shipping materials.” Paper accounts for more than a quarter of the waste in landfills globally. “The sculptures can be viewed as a critique of contemporary consumerist culture, but that is not my sole intent,” she continues. “They are instilled with a psychological component neither entirely representational nor abstract, but something in between.”

Weber recently wrapped up a major exhibition at Wönzimer Gallery in Los Angeles. Explore more of her work on Instagram and her website.

 

An abstract sculpture made out of discarded cardboard.

“You’re My Butterfly” (2012), found cardboard, staples, and polyurethane, 88 x 30 x 20 inches and 88 x 36 x 23 inches. Photo by Sibila Savage

Abstract sculptures made out of discarded cardboard.

Left: The artist’s studio. Right: “Almost 16 & 15 and 1/2” (2002), found cardboard, staples, polyurethane, and steel base, 182 x 48 x 49 inches and 177 x 38 x 38 inches. Photo by M. Lee Fatherree

A series of abstract sculptures made out of discarded cardboard.

“Gothic on Grand” (2018), found cardboard, staples, and polyurethane, 98 x 166 x 14 inches. Photo by Ray Carafano

An abstract wall sculpture made out of discarded cardboard.

“Happiest Days of Our Lives” (2018), found cardboard, staples, and polyurethane, 96 x 124 x 10 inches. Photo by Ray Carofano

An abstract sculpture on a plinth made out of discarded cardboard.

“Hallelujah” (2016), found cardboard, staples, and polyurethane, 30 x 46 x 10 inches. Photo by Ray Carofano   

An abstract sculpture with yellow stripes made out of discarded cardboard.

“Pedro Boogie Woogie” (2019), cardboard, staples, and polyurethane, 104 x 48 x 28 inches. Photo by Ray Carofano

An installation view in a gallery space of abstract sculptures made out of discarded cardboard.

Installation view at Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco (2012). Photo by Sibila Savage

Ann Weber, artist, standing with a series of abstract, white sculptures made out of discarded cardboard.

 

 



Design

Discarded Scallop Shells Combine with Recycled Plastics in the Waste-Reducing ‘Shellmet’

January 12, 2023

Kate Mothes

A shell-shaped helmet made from recycled plastics and discarded scallop shells.

All images © Quantum and TBWA\Hakuhodo

The village of Sarufutsu in Hokkaido, Japan, is known for bringing in some of the country’s biggest hauls of scallops. Unfortunately, when the bivalves are processed for the food industry, they generate about 40,000 tons of discarded shells annually. The village teamed up with product design startup Quantum and plastics manufacturer Koushi to tackle the ever-mounting quantities in local landfills. Along came Hotamet—a portmanteau of “hotate” (which means scallop) and “helmet”—alternatively known as Shellmet. The marine-inspired, eco-friendly safety accessory incorporates discarded, crushed scallop shells into a protective covering.

A main component of seashells is calcium carbonate, a compound also found in hard materials like eggshells, pearls, and some rocks and minerals. Combined with recycled plastic, the substance produces a tough material that Quantum and Koushi could form into headgear. “Based on the idea of biomimicry, Shellmet incorporates a special rib structure in its design that mimics the structure of scallops, which are part of the material. As a result, we have achieved a strength approximately 33 percent greater than normal,” Quantum says.

Originally designed as a protective hat for the fishing community, Shellmet will also come in handy when Japan mandates that all bicyclists must wear protective headgear starting in April this year. You can find more information on the company’s website. (via Spoon & Tamago)

 

A row of shell-shaped helmets made from recycled plastics and discarded scallop shells.

A collection of shell-shaped helmets made from recycled plastics and discarded scallop shells, photographed on a beach.

A mound of scallop shells.

A detail of a shell-shaped helmet made from recycled plastics and discarded scallop shells.

A shell-shaped helmet made from recycled plastics and discarded scallop shells.

A group of three fishermen wearing shell-shaped helmets made from recycled plastics and discarded scallop shells.

 

 



Craft Food

Crocheted Toasts, Ramen, and Turkey Dinners Are Prepared with Rich Fibers by Maria Skog

January 11, 2023

Grace Ebert

A photo of crocheted toasts

All images © Maria Skog, shared with permission

Maria Skog guarantees her orange slices, turkey, and eggs won’t spoil. She crochets fiber-based creations with preservation in mind, ensuring that every berry and bagel stays as fresh as the day they were made.

Based in  Närpes, Finland, Skog began crafting the fare for her two daughters about 12 years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The practice was meditative and calming. “If I wouldn’t survive, I wanted the girls to have living memories of me, and I thought that they would remember us playing together with the food I crocheted myself,” she says.

Skog sells her toasts and other treats, along with patterns for each piece, which you can find more about on Instagram.

 

A photo of crocheted produce

A photo of a crocheted turkey

A photo of crocheted berries

Four photos of crocheted food

A photo of a crocheted bagel with lox

A photo of crocheted bagels

 

 



Art Photography

Watercolor Accentuates the Surreal and Metaphorical Nature of Annalise Neil’s Cyanotypes

January 11, 2023

Grace Ebert

A cyanotype composite of flora and fauna

“State Change” (2022), watercolor and cyanotype on Arches Aquarelle paper mounted on wood panel, 10 x 10 x 1.5 inches. All images © Annalise Neil, shared with permission

A “pursuit of the unknown” grounds Annalise Neil’s practice. An enduring curiosity and a desire to find answers shape both her approach to and the form of her works, which layer watercolor accents atop cyanotypes. The pieces depict the unassuming and magnificent, “the tender yet muscular emergence of mushrooms from soil, the brittle and also supple curve of a snail’s shell, the translucent husk of a crinoid on the beach.”

Constructed with hundreds of hand-cut negatives, the composites veil flora and fauna in shades of blue, evoking the color’s ubiquity within the natural world and the mysteries humans have yet to uncover. Lined with yellow or rusty-colored pigments, the works feature familiar subject matter with positions and scale that veer toward the surreal: large hands descend upon an arid desert landscape, birds escape from a trio of shapes that evoke a mushroom cloud, and flowers, butterflies, and dewy spores encircle a central bloom.

These unearthly pairings allow “for a re-thinking of the human’s relationship to reality and our surroundings,” Neil shares, an impulse that also informs her desire to reconsider and better understand change and possibility. “I believe metaphor is the most effective illuminator of new concepts and is an excellent midwife for empathy. One of the most fecund qualities of the human mind is our ability to ask questions, be curious, and make adjustments.”

Neil’s solo show Holobiont is on view through March 30 at Herrick Community Health Care Library in La Mesa, California, where she lives. The artist is currently preparing for a February residency at Playa Summer Lake and will open an exhibition at Sparks Gallery in San Diego this summer. Until then, explore an archive of her cyanotype series on her site and Instagram.

 

Two cyanotype composites of flora and fauna with rust watercolor details

Left: “Recalibration” (2022), watercolor and cyanotype on Arches Aquarelle paper mounted on wood panel, 24 x 18 x 1 inch. Right: “Vivify” (2022), watercolor and cyanotype on Hahnemuhle Sumi-e paper mounted on wood panel, 7 x 5 x 1 inch

A cyanotype composite of flora and fauna and large drops

“San Diego/Sequoia National Forest/Cleveland National Forest: Chandelier Drops, Salp, Velvetleaf Pods, Wood Knot, Son, Sierra Tiger Lily, Corn Lily” (2020), watercolor and cyanotype on Arches Aquarelle paper mounted on wood panel, 11 x 14 x 1 inch

A cyanotype composite of flora and fauna with a red line through the center

“Latitudinal Flow” (2022), watercolor and cyanotype on Arches Aquarelle paper mounted on wood panel, 6 x 6 x 1.5 inches

A cyanotype composite of flora and fauna

“Propulsive Molt” (2022), watercolor and cyanotype on Arches Aquarelle paper mounted on wood panel, 10 x 10 x 1.5 inches

A cyanotype composite of flora and fauna with chains connecting three bowls

“Ancestral Accretion” (2022), watercolor and cyanotype on Mohachi Shikishi paper, 11.5 x 9.5 inches

A detail of a cyanotype composite of flora and fauna

Detail of “Dynamic Mutuality” (2021), watercolor and cyanotype on Arches Aquarelle paper, 8.75 x 16.75 inches

A cyanotype composite of flora and fauna with yellow details

“Extremophile Corridors” (2022), watercolor and cyanotype on Hahnemuhle Sumi-e paper mounted on wood panel, 11 x 14 x 1 inches

A cyanotype composite of flora and fauna

“Dynamic Mutuality” (2021), watercolor and cyanotype on Arches Aquarelle paper, 8.75 x 16.75 inches

 

 

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