carving

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Design

Carved Gemstones Embed Intricate Patterns from Ancient Symbols, Architecture, and Nature

September 28, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images by Jeff Mason, © Bryan D. Drummond, shared with permission

Fractals, grids, religious symbols, and ancient architecture are among the eclectic patterns translated into elaborately engraved gemstones by Bryan D. Drummond. The Las Vegas-based artist carves naturally occurring motifs and geometric designs into jewels like blue topaz, citrine, and tourmaline, adding depth to the glimmering surfaces.

Whether displaying the hexagonal configuration of honeycomb or imagery referencing the sun’s rays and stars, most of Drummond’s patterns are produced with custom equipment—he modified a 16th-century-style woodworking machine designed to carve rosettes and epicycloids so that it handles the precious materials, for example. The artist shares that the surface area and color help to determine the motif, which once carved, embeds the light-catching jewel with additional layers of shadow.

Currently, Drummond is cutting Californian amethyst and sunstone from Oregon that he mined himself. See more of his designs in his shop and check out his process on Instagram.

 

 

 

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Art

Deceptive Stone Sculptures by Hirotoshi Ito Unzip to Reveal Surreal Scenes in Miniature

June 15, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Hirotoshi Ito, shared with permission

Stone isn’t naturally malleable, and yet, Japanese artist Hirotoshi Ito (previously) carves his sculptures to make the material appear as if it can be unzipped or sliced with a butter knife. Using rocks he finds near his home in Matsumoto City, Ito chisels tiny caverns that he lines with clasps or simple fasteners. He then tucks miniature objects like teeth, a collection of seashells, and futuristic scenes into those pockets, creating surreal and intriguingly deceptive scenarios in the span of a few inches.

Ito’s family has worked in stone sculpting since 1879, and although he planned to take over the business, his experience studying metalsmithing in college prompted him to begin an art practice instead. Some of his sculptures are on view through the end of the month at Tokyo’s Gallery Little High, and keep an eye on his Instagram for news about upcoming shows.

 

 

 



Craft Design

Nature and Geometry Blend in Beguiling Symmetry in Oliver Chalk’s Voluminous Timber Vessels

May 31, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images © Oliver chalk, shared with permission

Only two years ago, Canterbury, U.K.-based artist Oliver Chalk began creating bold, geometric vessels out of wood. Having worked previously with fabric to design and produce large-scale installations for events, his interest in experimentation with new materials and techniques led to using found timber.

Carving detailed forms from the hulks of trees found in the local countryside of Kent, the artist considers the practice of turning and whittling sculptures to be a means of communication and an expression of self through symmetrical shapes and striations. The process of repetition often produces a state of mindfulness. “Imparting my mark through gouging hundreds, if not thousands, of seemingly arbitrary fissures by hand is a profoundly personal journey,” he tells Colossal.

The sustainability and local sourcing of the materials is an important part of Chalk’s approach. All of the wood he gathers comes from native species that he collects from local arborists or forages close to his workshop, finding cuts from trees that have been felled by storms or are partly decaying. The shapes he chips into each piece reflect a merging of nature and the human-made. “Being self-taught, I am still very much listening and learning about the material,” he says. In each vessel, he highlights the natural gradations of color, growth rings, knots, and fissures, emphasizing the relationship between organic form and geometric precision.

Chalk’s work is included in the exhibition Linear Expression at Gallery 57 until June 25. You can find more information on his website and Instagram. (via Lustik)

 

 

 



Art

Carved Organic Patterns Highlight the Natural Wood Grain of Carbonized Mahogany

November 22, 2021

Grace Ebert

By any other name” (2021), carbonized mahogany, 27 x 2 inches. All images courtesy of TERN Gallery, shared with permission

In Splinters and Shards, artist John Beadle enriches the beauty of wood’s natural grain with a series of gouged dots, line carvings, and smooth, supple curves. His small, circular sculptures and vertical towers accentuate the texture and subtle gradients of carbonized mahogany through etched patterns that reveal the pristine reddish hue peeking through the charred surface. Always highlighting the potential of the raw material, Beadle, whose background is in painting and printmaking, evokes these mediums through layering dimension and motif in a single work and drawing on the subtraction inherent in carving into a blank woodblock.

Splinters and Shards is on view at the new TERN Gallery in Beadle’s hometown of Nassau, The Bahamas, from December 11, 2021, to January 22, 2022. Until then, check out the artist’s Instagram for a look at his process.

 

“Fruit & Texture one” (2021), carbonized mahogany, 28.5 x 2 inches

“Artifact II” (2020), carbonized mahogany and metal, 52.25 x 11.875 x 2 inches

“Fruit & Texture” (2021), carbonized mahogany, 27 x 2 inches

“Eclipse” (2021), carbonized mahogany, 52.75 x 2 inches

“Well Rooted” (2020), carbonized mahogany and metal, 69.5 x 7 x 2 inches

“What’s left behind” (2021), carbonized mahogany, 27 x 2 inches

“Before the chaos” (2021), carbonized mahogany, 27 x 2 inches

 

 



Art

Contemplative Artworks of Cicada Wings, Hair, and Thorned Branches Evoke Rebirth and Change

December 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Velo de luto (Mourning veil)” (2020), magicicada wings, sewn with hair, 32 x 47 x 2 inches. Photo by Robert Chase Heishman. All images © Selva Aparicio, shared with permission

Woven throughout Selva Aparicio’s cicada veils and fringed floor coverings are the complexities of rebirth, transition, and beauty’s ability to endure. Organic ephemera—human hair, thorned branches, scavenged wings—become poignant installations and smaller artworks that ruminate on a myriad of global issues, including the climate crisis and the infinite failures of the medical establishment.

Aparicio shares that her explorations of life and death began during childhood when she watched the natural world cycle through growth and decay in the woods outside of Barcelona. This lasting fascination has crystallized in the artist’s body of work, particularly in pieces like “Velo de luto (Mourning veil),” which sews together 1,365 seventeen-year cicada wings with strands of hair taken from two generations of women. The shrouds typically are worn to honor a spouse who’s died, and Aparicio notes the material and form exemplify that “as the fragility of the veil of wings decay so does the patriarchal veil of history that it represents.”

 

“Childhood Memories” (2017), hand-carved rug into utility oak wood floor, 657 square-feet. Photo by the artist

Overall, the artist says that her “practice has evolved beyond the individual to encompass environmental, social, and political activism and evoke the change and rebirth I witnesses in nature.” “Childhood rug,” for example, merges personal memory and a domestic object with larger themes of covering and exposing trauma.

Similarly, Aparicio cites her own experiences in “Hysteria,” an installation that surrounds an antique gynecological table with a curtain of thorned branches. Commenting broadly on the unjust power dynamics inherent within traditional healthcare, the artwork draws a direct correlation between the invasive and painful processes of medicine for women and their ability to bring new life into the world.

Although she spends half her time in Barcelona, Aparicio is currently in Chicago and has work on view at two locations: her piece “Hopscotch” is part of MCA’s group exhibition The Long Dream, while her solo show Hysteria is at the International Museum of Surgical Science, where the artist is in residence. Both are slated to close on January 17, 2021. Head to Instagram for glimpses into Aparicio’s process, as well.

 

“Velo de luto (Mourning veil)” (2020), magicicada wings, sewn with hair, 32 x 47 x 2 inches. Photo by Robert Chase Heishman

“Childhood Memories” (2017), hand-carved rug into utility oak wood floor, 657 square-feet. Photo by the artist

“Hysteria” (2020), thorn branches woven with ligature and Hamilton obstetric table from 1931, 9 x 4 x 6 feet. Photo by Robert Chase Heishman

“Hysteria” (2020), thorn branches woven with ligature and Hamilton obstetric table from 1931, 9 x 4 x 6 feet. Photo by Robert Chase Heishman

“Velo de luto (Mourning veil)” (2020), magicicada wings, sewn with hair, 32 x 47 x 2 inches. Photo by Robert Chase Heishman

“Hysteria” (2020), thorn branches woven with ligature and Hamilton obstetric table from 1931, 9 x 4 x 6 feet. Photo by Robert Chase Heishman

“Hysteria” (2020), thorn branches woven with ligature and Hamilton obstetric table from 1931, 9 x 4 x 6 feet. Photo by Robert Chase Heishman

 

 



Art

Granite and Quartz Stones Are Carved to Appear Like Fabric and Clay by José Manuel Castro López

October 26, 2020

Christopher Jobson

All photos © José Manuel Castro López.

Spanish artist José Manuel Castro López (previously) transforms nondescript chunks of granite and quartz into squished and dough-like objects, as if each object morphed from solid to liquid and back again in the sculptor’s capable hands. López seems to delight in convincing the viewer that he works with stone as if it were clay. Lately, he’s begun to introduce additional objects that seem to stitch, clamp, or stretch the stones in various ways. While the pieces are obviously not as complex as a Bernini or Michelangelo, they do function as unusual and often humorous studies of various stone carving techniques. You can explore a steady stream of work old and new on his Facebook timeline. (via My Modern Met)

 

 

 

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