Within the vast arena of Japanese sculpture there’s a small niche category known as jizai okimono. The craft involves carving realistic animals whose bodies and limbs are all animated through joints just like the real living thing. Some common subjects are birds, fishes, snakes and insects. It’s a craft that originated in the late-Edo period (late 1700s) when metalsmiths and armor makers, faced with a decline in demand for armor, found themselves with plenty of time on their hands. But ever since it’s modest beginnings, the lobster, with its numerous joints and undulating back, has been considered to be the most difficult and challenging subject.
Ryosuke Ohtake, a young 25-year old sculptor, caused quite a stir recently when he boldly took on the challenge and created an immaculate and animated lobster from wood. What stunned many was that not only was the piece carved from wood (which is considered far more difficult than using copper) but the fact that this was Ohtake’s first official jizai okimono. The lobster was part of a wooden sculpture exhibition at Tokyu Department Store in Tokyo this April. Watch the video to see exactly how realistically this lobster moves.
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Artist Piotr Bockenheim Puts Your Easter Egg Decorating to Shame with His Intricately Carved Goose Shells
Unless you spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours with a tiny electric drill carving intricate patterns into eggshells the last few months, you may have yet to reach your Easter egg decorating potential. One person who clearly has is artist Piotr Bockenheim who uses a reductive drilling technique to transform goose eggs into slithering tangles of string and various geometric or floral patterns. You can see much more of his work here.
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