animals

Posts tagged
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Art Craft

Precise Replicas Cast Wildlife and Plants as Delightfully Tiny Sculptures

July 14, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Fanni Sandor, shared with permission

Fanni Sandor (previously) melds her background in biology with a decades-long enthusiasm for miniatures by creating an adorable menagerie of minuscule wildlife. Based in Hungary, she sculpts 1:12 scale models of leaping squirrels and multicolor tree frogs from clay and soft fibers and more recently has ventured into larger ecosystems populated by speckled mushrooms, ferns, and the tiniest tulips. Sandor’s biologically accurate models are sold out on Etsy right now, but keep an eye on shop updates by following her on Instagram.

 

 

 



Craft Design

A Cleverly Designed Chameleon Conceals a Six-Foot Measuring Tape in Its Mouth

July 14, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Coppertist.Wu

Chameleons are known for their color-changing abilities, but this coiled lizard from Coppertist.Wu takes that gift for camouflage a step farther. Made from brass and manganese steel, the cleverly designed creature disguises its extraordinarily long tongue as a skinny measuring tape, which scales upward of six feet when fully extended. The playful gadget tends to sell out quickly, although there are a few currently available from Etsy and the Coppertist.Wu site.

 

 

 



Photography

Gripping Portraits Capture the Tender Bonds Between Transylvanian Shepherds and Their Herds

July 2, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Istvan Kerekes, shared with permission

In much of the Western world, mentioning Transylvania tends to evoke sinister imagery of dimly lit Gothic castles and notoriously blood-thirsty vampires. The region in central Romania has long been tied to the horrors of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, an association that overshadows the area’s rich history.

Hungarian photographer Istvan Kerekes has spent the last 15 years upending that literary connection by documenting the shepherding communities that have farmed Transylvania for centuries. Bordered by the Apuseni and the Carpathian mountain ranges, the hilly landscape is ripe with greenery and open pastures for sheep, cattle, and other livestock to graze. “When walking in some parts of Transylvania one would often feel that you have traveled back in time,” he says. “There is hardly any sign of modern technology here. It is as if time had stopped, while beauty and nature are preserved”

Kerekes’s portraits and wider landscape shots capture the grit and determination of those who devote their lives to attending to their herds. Shot entirely in black-and-white, the photos glimpse the mutual bonds between the animals and their caretakers and the ways the traditional mode of living is passed from generation to generation.  They’re powerful and raw, showing the tender embrace of a weathered man as he cradles a lamb in his coat or the way a child wraps one of the animals around her neck.

All of the images shown here are part of a virtual exhibition at All About Photo, which is up through August. They’re just a fraction of Kerekes’s larger collection, though, and you can see more on his site.

 

 

 



Art

Found Silverware and Scrap Metal Are Welded into Lively Sculptural Creatures by Matt Wilson

July 2, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Matt Wilson

Wide spoons become muscular hind legs, pointed handles fan out into wings, and fork prongs curl around a branch like talons in Matt Wilson’s wildlife assemblages. Using found flatware and other metal objects, the Charleston-based artist (previously) welds sculptural renditions of birds, insects, and other small animals that appear lifelike and primed for movementt. He mounts the metallic sculptures on pieces of driftwood or smooth plaques—many of which are handcrafted by his friend Jacob Kent—that contrast the shining metal with the natural, grainy material.

Wilson has spent the last few years broadening his practice and working on multiple birds simultaneously, allowing for more cohesive, well-rounded flocks. His next collection launches at 9 a.m. EST on July 9 in his shop, and his works sell quickly so keep an eye on Instagram for early looks at the 100 creatures set for release.

 

 

 



Art Craft Illustration

Whimsical Illustrations and Motifs Dyed with a Traditional Wax-Resist Method Cover Caroline Södergren's Eggshells

June 22, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Caroline Södergren, shared with permission

Formally trained in glassblowing, Stockholm-based artist Caroline Södergren transfers her experience working with a delicate, fragile material to an ornately illustrated collection of eggshells. She adapts the traditional Ukrainian craft called pysanky, a wax-resist method that involves drawing a design on a clean, empty chicken, turkey, goose, or ostrich egg with hot beeswax. The shell is then dipped in multiple baths of dye and the seal washed away with oil to reveal the colorful, layered design—you can watch the entire process in the video below.

The technique often is combined with folk art, although Södergren illustrates her own botanical motifs, beetles, and mythical creatures that stray from traditional designs. “You have to think before you start a pattern as the different color layers must come in the right order,” she says. “If you make a mistake with the wax, it is not possible to change, and a written line is where it is. A constant challenge that makes it so fun to work with!”

Konsthantverkets Vänner, an organization dedicated to supporting Swedish arts and crafts, just awarded Södergren a scholarship for her batik designs. Browse available eggs in her shop, and find a larger collection on Instagram. (via Lustik)

 

 

 



Art

Flora and Fauna Converge as Fantastic Hybrid Creatures in Jon Ching's Oil Paintings

June 7, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Mother Mycelium.” All images © Jon Ching, shared with permission

Artist Jon Ching strikes a balance between texture and color in his meticulously detailed oil paintings that make fantastic creatures—owls with plumes of mushrooms and fuzzy molds, seahorses sprouting leafy twigs, and fish with striped tulip fins—appear natural in their environments. This vague distinction between the realistic and surreal saturates Ching’s body of work, which imagines a magical ecosystem that visualizes the symbiotic relationships between flora and fauna. “I am inspired by the worldview of many Indigenous cultures that revere the natural world and see god in every aspect of our living world,” he tells Colossal. “I believe that perspective is key to their sustainable societies and one that must be reawakened in our colonized societies.”

While he dreams up the hybrid forms, the Los Angeles-based artist still roots each piece in the existing world. He has a keen sense for finding the enchanting and unusual in his own experiences, whether from watching David Attenborough documentaries or spending his childhood in Kaneohe, Hawaii. “My more surreal creatures, where the line between flora and fauna are blurred, is in part my attempt at depicting some of this unseen magic,” he writes. “By placing them in a realistic setting among species we’re familiar with, I’m envisioning them into the real world. Maybe if we look close enough or long enough, we’ll catch a glimpse of them and my work won’t seem surreal anymore.”

You can see Ching’s paintings at Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles starting August 14 and find prints, stickers, and postcards in his shop. Check out his Instagram for glimpses into his process and the real-life animals and plants that shape his works. (via Iain Claridge)

 

“Sheila Ann”

“Razzle Dazzle”

“Sprite”

“Aquaria”

“Homestead”

“Nectar”

“Chasing Summer”

“Puhpowee”

 

 

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