Photography Science

An Elegant Timelapse Captures an Oak from Acorn to Tree in 196 Days

July 18, 2022

Christopher Jobson

In this brief timelapse, a single acorn germinates from seed to sapling during a period of 196 days, transferred carefully from vessel to vessel as it sprouts. The simple yet wondrous clip is just one of many plant-growing timelapses produced by the Youtube channel Boxlapse (also on Instagram) where you’ll find a new release almost every weekday. The videos include all manner of plants and fungi captured in interesting ways, including the growth of a mango tree during a yearlong period or the first 113 days of a dragon fruit cactus, seen below.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Realistic Bird Busts and Portraits Slot Pieces of Wood into Jigsaw-Like Sculptures

July 18, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © T.A.G. Smith, shared with permission

Similar to the decorative art of marquetry, intarsia involves compressing cut pieces of wood into a tight, solid structure. Because of the size of the components, the latter technique produces more three-dimensional forms that tend to be fastened with dabs of glue.

British artist T.A.G. Smith employs this assemblage method when sculpting his small bird busts, portraits, and single feathers encased in boxes. Each piece begins with a digital rendering, followed by Smith carving shapes from myriad types of wood, allowing the color and grain of the materials to determine its placement in the final form. The resulting sculptures, which Smith likens to a jigsaw puzzle, combine anywhere from six to more than 600 individual pieces into sleek, realistic depictions of eagles, hawfinches, and puffins.

Currently, the artist is adding to his series of bird portraits, and you can follow his progress on Instagram, where he also shares information about works available for purchase on Etsy.

 

 

 



Art

A Diverse Array of Textures Cloak Abstract and Figurative Ceramics by Artist Carlos Cabo

July 18, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Carlos Cabo, shared with permission

More than form or color, texture is what preoccupies Carlos Cabo as he sculpts. The Spanish artist, who lives and works in Salinas, is drawn to the tactile qualities of clay and the possibilities inherent in its malleability. Texture “is what gives (a work) personality, what individualizes it, and essentially differentiates it from other similar pieces,” he says. “I would dare to say that the texture is more than the skin of the piece. It is the representation of its genetic code.”

From masses of the natural material sourced from the countryside, he shapes tall, slender figures wearing pocked gowns, abstract pieces that twist upward, and minimal owl-like creatures, some with sleek feathers and others with rough, bumpy plumage. Each ceramic piece is carefully molded, fired, and covered in terra sigillata, the lustrous clay slip coating that functions similarly to a glaze while not masking the texture of the sculpture’s surface.

In a note to Colossal, Cabo shares that his desire to vary the tactile parts of his practice stems from his childhood. He explains:

I grew up in a rural environment, in which we children spent a lot of time outdoors, in permanent contact with endless objects that served to accumulate a lot of tactile experiences in my memory. On the other hand, in my town, there was no electricity during the day. This came to the houses when it got dark and, sometimes, well into the night, which forced us to wander around it using our sense of feeling and touch… I came to know all the imperfections of the walls, the geometry of the doors, and the location of things.

To explore more of Cabo’s body of work, visit his site and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Gears and Architectural Structures Emerge from Michael Velliquette’s Meditative Paper Sculptures

July 16, 2022

Gabrielle Lawrence

“The fullness of experience in the emptiness of awareness” (2022), paper sculpture, 12 x 12 x 6.5 inches. All images © Michael Velliquette, shared with permission

One look at Michael Velliquette’s paper sculptures, and you may find yourself lost in the majesty of the construction—feeling the intricate gears, fanning geometric arches, and echoing layers churning inside of you.

A circle is more than it appears in his works as it spirals into a chamber of other shapes. Each interpretation expands its form from the structural foundation to the tip of an accentual cut. As Velliquette (previously) describes: “I start out cutting small concentric shapes and layering them. That becomes the center. I then build more elaborate components that respond to the previous ones and then build out from there. I call it ‘slow-motion’ improvisation.”

Velliquette’s paper sculptures are not all about shape, though. The works’ bronze and metallic colors absorb the viewer’s attention as seen in “My soul is alight with your infinitude of stars,” As Velliquette shares, “color [a]ffects mood,” and since he arrives at the final structure of the piece methodically and organically, hue also guides the meditative experience of his work, imbuing each sculpture with its special character.

 

Velliquette spends 300 to 500 hours on each sculpture using mainly basic straight-edge scissors and X-Acto knives. He says:

​​For me, there is a difference between ‘patience’ and ‘concentration’. Patience arises when there is something unpleasant I have to endure, which is rarely the case when it comes to making my work. However, most artists I know develop good concentration skills, which is the ability to sit in a focused state for a long period of time. So, yes, my work has helped me gain an ability to concentrate, and it isn’t uncommon for me to work for six to eight hours straight on a piece without feeling too stressed or fatigued.

There is a parallel in something like paper, a material that exists somewhere between strength and fragility, and the kind of play that triggers concentration. Both are vulnerable: paper in its duality and concentration in that it massages the subconscious in its meditative state. All energy is channeled into working on the task at hand, and at the same time, especially with art, something deeper on the inside is being stretched, worked out, and unbuttoned. Where nothing (or very little) is happening, so is everything.

For example, in “The fullness of experience in the emptiness of awareness,” the eye-level view is an astounding accomplishment. Its structure evokes mythical qualities, and it tugs at the imagination. However, it’s the aerial view—the inner workings—that evoke trance and wonder, the vastness of concentration and deep observation, the reminder that bodies will breathe all on their own. When all is said and done, something beautifully intricate will come of our simple and everyday efforts.

Find more of Velliquette’s work on his site and Instagram.

 

“I have hymns you haven’t heard” (2022), paper sculpture, 
20 x 20 x 2 inches

“
Everywhere transience is plunging into the depth of being” (2020), paper sculpture, 12 x 12 x 9 inches

Left: “I have hymns you haven’t heard” (2022), paper sculpture, 
20 x 20 x 2 inches. Right: “My soul is alight with your infinitude of stars” (2021), paper sculpture, 12 x 12 x 3 inches

Detail of “The fullness of experience in the emptiness of awareness” (2022), paper sculpture, 12 x 12 x 6.5 inches

Left: “You create yourself in ever-changing shapes that rise from the stuff of our days” (2022), paper sculpture
, 20 x 20 x 2 inches. Right: “The love that would soak down into the center of being” (2020), paper sculpture, 20 x 20 x 8 inches

“It rises up in wordless gentleness and flows out to me from the unseen roots of all created being” (2021), paper sculpture, 16 x 6 x 6 inches

 

 



Art Photography

Mystery and Disquieting Stillness Pervade the Surreal, Conceptual Photos by Oleg Oprisco

July 15, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Oleg Oprisco, shared with permission

Throughout Russia’s war, photographer Oleg Oprisco (previously) has remained in his native Ukraine creating works that reflect the unjust aggression and its devastating effects. Oprisco is known for his conceptual shots that involve elaborately constructed props and scenes that capture his distinct sense of surreality. Relying on neutrals and subdued tones rather than a bold color palette, the mysterious, dreamlike images tend to center on a single figure within a quiet and unoccupied landscape.

In one recent photo directly addressing the war, a woman stands in the center of a deserted cobblestone street, her architectural backpack glowing with light. The poignant shot references the millions of people who have been forced to flee their homes in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion, and a similar image of a figure sheltering a dog from the rain speaks to the countless animals now struggling to survive without their human companions.

All of Oprisco’s works are available as prints. For a behind-the-scenes glimpse of his process and sets, check out his Instagram.

 

 

 



Design

Cosmic Cliffs Infinite Galaxy Puzzle Features New Imagery from the James Webb Space Telescope

July 14, 2022

Grace Ebert

All photos courtesy Nervous System, shared with permission

This week, the first images from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope amazed and daunted us with their inordinately deep looks at the cosmos, particularly the shot of the glimmering star-forming region known as the “Cosmic Cliffs” of the Carina Nebula. The team over at the Catskills-based studio Nervous System translated this galactic masterpiece into a new, similarly expansive infinity puzzle intended to be tiled continuously, with no predetermined shape, start, or end. Similar to its other designs, this iteration includes four whimsy cuts in the shape of an astronaut, a shooting star, a satellite, and the gold mirrors of the groundbreaking telescope itself. Try your hand at puzzling together distant galaxies by picking up the 264-piece jigsaw from the Nervous System shop.