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Art Craft

Meticulous Sculptures by Artist Carol Long Highlight the Curved Lines and Colorful Embellishments Found in Nature

November 30, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Carol Long, shared with permission

Honoring the humble shape of the vessel is at the center of Carol Long’s practice. From her studio in rural Kansas, the artist throws simple ceramic cylinders that she contorts into supple butterfly wings,  curved chrysalises, or vases with embellished handles.“When it comes off the potter’s wheel, that’s just the beginning,” she tells Colossal. “I usually sit for a second and look at the piece and see which way I can push it out or in.”

The resulting forms are evocative of both flora and fauna and traditional pottery, although Long’s sculptures emphasize smooth, sinuous walls and squiggly bases rather than angled edges. She uses slip trailing to add tactile decorative elements to the piece like small spheres, handles, or raised linework. “The relationship between the glazes that are inside the vectors, the shapes made by the slip trailing, are really important in how they’re divided and how they sit next to each other,” she says, noting that the process is particularly meticulous because it involves applying the material to each intricate, ribbed pattern and delicate outline.

Whether a vase or wide-mouthed jar, the whimsical sculptures are brimming with color and textured details. “I love the flowing lines, and I love the idea of framing a picture on my pots. A lot of times I have a focal point like an animal or insect and then I’ve framed it with other designs,” the artist says.

Long is hosting an annual open house at her studio next month and will show a body of work at Charlie Cummings Gallery in July of 2022. Until then, shop available pieces on Etsy—she also has an update slated for mid-December—and follow her latest pieces on Instagram. (via Women’s Art)

 

 

 



Photography

'Beneath the Bird Feeder' Documents the Spectacular Wildlife Visiting a Wintertime Food Source

November 24, 2021

Grace Ebert

A northern cardinal. All images licensed from Carla Rhodes

During the winter months of late 2020 into early 2021, photographer Carla Rhodes cared for a birdfeeder that hung outside of her home in the Catskills of New York. The suspended food source garnered attention from myriad cold-weather adventurers, including a brilliant northern cardinal, numerous pairs of mourning doves, and furry little field mice, who visited the area amongst the snow and frigid temperatures.

Thanks to a camera stationed nearby, Rhodes documented the curious cast of wildlife who wandered into her yard, an endeavor that culminated in the striking photographic project Beneath the Bird Feeder. Comprised of dozens of images primarily shot in low light, the series frames the unique features of the unaware animals, capturing the pearlescent wings of a tufted titmouse or the beady eye of North America’s only venomous mammal, the short-tailed shrew.

Explore more from the collection and find an array of conservation-focused images on Rhodes’s site and Instagram.

 

A tufted titmouse

Mourning doves

A black-capped chickadee

An eastern gray squirrel

An American red squirrel

A deer mouse

A northern short-tailed shrew

A northern cardinal

A dark-eyed junco

 

 



Craft

Vintage Objects and Driftwood Form Minimal Animal Sculptures and Quaint Seaside Scenes

November 10, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Kirtsy Elson, shared with permission

From hunks of driftwood and tins with chipped paint, Kirsty Elson (previously) assembles minimal sculptures of animals, homes, and methods of transportation. The Cornwall-based artist highlights the raw simplicity of her found objects and lets the materials drive the works, manipulating cragged planks or bent hooks just slightly to achieve their intended forms. Presenting her sculptures as full scenes or single creatures, Elson transforms boxes displaying vintage logos into a fleet of trucks, an oil can into a friendly cat, and rusty nails into sailboat masts. She plans to release new pieces on Etsy on November 11, and you can follow future shop updates on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Otherworldly Hybrid Characters by Toco-Oco Consider Human Existence Through Emblems and Myth

November 8, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Toco-Oco, shared with permission

Lara Alcântara and Guilherme Neumann, the duo behind the fantastical figurine maker Toco-Oco, envision an alternate world populated by curious animalistic creatures. Sculpted from a combination of wood, resin, fabric, clay, and wax, the hybrid characters wear garments and masks imprinted with emblems and child-like doodles and express a vast array of emotions that grapple with the strange universe they find themselves in. “It is a world very similar to ours, full of injustices but full of hope,” the pair says in an interview with WePresent. “Our work has reverence for the mystical, natural, and spiritual, trying to rescue this greater connection.”

Based in Brazil, Alcântara and Neumann root each figure in larger narratives often tied to human existence. One character, for example, lugs an oversized, hollowed-out head filled with kindling on its back, a metaphor for a mind overwhelmed by emotion and worries for the future, while smaller busts function as totems with chest cavities and torsos marked by gaping shapes or mythological symbols. A tension between civility and natural instinct is a prominent feature and references “the wild, raw, ruthless, predatory, insatiable, powerful side which is repressed—or worse, is disguised—by the false idea of ​​consciousness,” they say.

Toco-Oco’s sculptures sell out quickly, although they have a pre-sale slated for November 15. Follow updates on that new piece and see more of the otherworldly figures on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



Illustration

Wild Animals Occupy Suburban Nights in Nicholas Moegly's Mysterious Illustrations

November 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

“An Escape Plan.” All images © Nicholas Moegly, shared with permission

In Nicholas Moegly’s shadow-laden illustrations, wild animals descend on backyards and unoccupied streets illuminated by artificial lights. The Cincinnati-based artist largely focuses on the quiet, mundane landscapes of Midwestern suburbia, although each of his works features surreal details that shroud the scenes in mystery: a lamp with no apparent electricity source lies haphazardly on the sidewalk, an empty car veers off a driveway with headlights still shining, and deer nibble on grass strangely close to a small tent.

Nostalgic and born out of urban isolation, the ongoing series contrasts the natural and manufactured and familiar and unknown, themes inspired by the ongoing pandemic. “My career used to primarily consist of creating gig/tour posters for larger bands, but in early 2020 when concerts were all canceled, so was all of my work. With nothing else to do, I began taking nightly walks around my town and the inspiration for my current work was found,” the artist shares.

Prints of the illustrated series are currently sold out, so keep an eye on Moegly’s Instagram for news about the limited-edition work he’ll be releasing in his shop later this month.

 

“A Shiny Object”

“An Ocean Between”

“A Passing View”

“A Momentary Silence”

Detail of “A Shiny Object”

Detail of “An Ocean Between”

“710 Ashbury”

“A Hidden Stillness”

 

 



Craft Design

An Adorably Eccentric Cast of Googly-Eyed Characters Exude Joy and Whimsy

November 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Lidiya Marinchuk

The quirky troupe of characters crafted by Kyiv-based doll designer Lidiya Marinchuk sport a wide range of emotions from surprised three-eyed monsters and gloomy rain clouds to sly foxes in polka-dotted socks. Sometimes leaving them as soft, plush creatures and others painting their bodies to create sculptural forms, Marinchuk instills each with a dose of whimsy and play. You can find more of the wildly emotional cast on Behance, and shop available pieces on Etsy.