crystals

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Photography

Massive Ice Formations Crystalize in Incredible Photographs by Paxson Woelber

February 25, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Paxson Woelber, shared with permission

Anchorage-based creative Paxson Woelber has captured stunning photographs that illuminate the massive ice formations he recently stumbled upon in an Alaskan cave. Part of Castner Glacier in the Eastern Alaska Range, the expansive chamber is replete with glimmering crystals that jut down from the ceiling in some areas and coat the walls in others.

Woelber shares with Colossal that he visited during a deep freeze that saw temperatures below -30 degrees Fahrenheit, and discovered that the cave was formed by a stream that opened near the back. Geothermal heat warms the interior, causing the higher temperature of the inside to meet the drier, cold air from the outside near the cave’s mouth. This interaction causes moisture in the air to condense, creating the giant formations.

The artist described the experience as feeling as if he were exploring the inner portions of an asteroid. “Near the mouth of the cave, branching tree-like crystals hung down over a foot from the roof of the cave,” he says. “Toward the back, the crystals were smaller and more tightly-packed, like the crystals on the inside of a huge geode.” Head to Woelber’s Instagram to check out footage from his visit.

 

 



Art

Eroded Replicas of Iconic Sculptures Reveal Crystal Formations in New Sculptures by Daniel Arsham

January 5, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Blue Calcite Eroded Moses” (2019), blue calcite and hydrostone, 102 3/8 x 46 7/8 x 49 3/16 inches. All images © Daniel Arsham and Perrotin, shared with permission

Artist Daniel Arsham (previously) re-envisions some of the most well-recognized sculptures of classical antiquity in Paris, 3020, his recent series of replications marred with lightly pigmented crystals. Both “Vénus de Milo” and Michelangelo’s “Moses” find their heads, arms, and torsos eroded in patches by blue calcite.

The New York-based artist spent a year inside the Réunion des Musées Nationaux – Grand Palais, a 200-year-old French studio known for reproducing iconic European works, where he gathered molds and scans of busts, sculptures, and friezes from the collections of the Musée du Louvre in Paris, Acropolis Museum in Athens, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, and the San Pietro in Vincoli. Arsham cast each recreated work in hydrostone—similar to wax casting—in order to produce the nearly exact replicas. The artist then chiseled the pieces, adding in his signature crystallization with volcanic ash, blue calcite, selenite, quartz, and rose quartz.

Paris, 3020 portrays Arsham’s exploration of the relationship between time and historically significant artifacts. “Making use of classical and ancient objects, this new body of work experiments with the timelessness of certain symbols,” said a release from Perrotin, where the exhibition will be on view from January 11 to March 21, 2020. Each sculpture is surrounded by series of graphite drawings depicting Ashram’s process in order order to “compress time, at once referencing the past, informing the present, and reaching towards a crystallized future.” Find more of Arsham’s time-warping projects on Instagram.

“Blue Calcite Eroded Venus of Milo” (2019), blue calcite and hydrostone, 85 1/16 x 23 5/8 x 25 9/16 inches, about 330 pounds

“Blue Calcite Eroded Venus of Milo” (2019), blue calcite and hydrostone, 85 1/16 x 23 5/8 x 25 9/16 inches, about 330 pounds

Daniel Arsham with “Blue Calcite Eroded Venus of Milo” (2019), blue calcite and hydrostone, 85 1/16 x 23 5/8 x 25 9/16 inches, about 330 pounds

 

 



Illustration

Elaborate Chiaroscuro Tattoos by Makkala Rose Burst With Ripe Fruit and Blossoming Flowers

November 15, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Tattoo artist Makkala Rose creates dramatic botanical designs on her clients’ skin, incorporating richly toned flower blossoms, unctuous fruits, and life-like animal portraits. One recent commission involved completely covering a client’s back with a chiaroscuro “painting” featuring three burning candles, reflective glass and crystals, piles of ripe fruit, and a hanging bat on an inky black background.

Rose’s first love was painting, the artist tells Colossal. “One of my first memories was smearing bright purple paint from the pot onto a fresh sheet of paper stuck to an easel, and my love and fascination with art and creating has never ended.” Now that Rose spends most of her time tattooing, her background as a painter has come into dialogue with her ink work. “The feel and the mood brought through by my color palette and my style of tattooing is influenced by the way I like to paint and now vice versa as I spend a lot more time tattooing, they lend interestingly to each other,” says Rose.

The artist also has a strong personal connection to flowers and gardens (Rose tells Colossal that floristry would be her backup career), and she seeks to imbue her tattoo work with the joy that blossoms bring her. She spends time perusing different bouquet designs, photographing flowers in public gardens, and researching new plants and flowers to expand her repertoire, though peonies and blackberries are perennial favorites.

To create her most recent backpiece, shown above, Rose explains that she personally collected all the materials for the composition, from individual flowers to pitchers and crystals. She then arranged everything in a composition (minus the bat) and worked with a friend to take documentation photos in preparation for the tattoo design.

Rose hails from New Zealand, and travels frequently for her tattoo work, most often across the U.S., U.K., and New Zealand. See more of her designs on Instagram. Rose is usually booked several months out, but you can find out where she’ll be next on her website. If you enjoy Rose’s designs, also check out Esther Garcia’s inkwork.

 

 



Art

Crystal Hearts and Translucent Tongues Shaped Into Sculptural Works by Debra Baxter

August 12, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

“Cross My Heart” (2019), Glass, Crystal Geode, 4.5″ x 5″ x 3″

Santa Fe-based sculptor and jewelry designer Debra Baxter combines glass, bronze, crystal, wood, and found objects to create ghostly sculptures of human forms. In one piece titled “Cross My Heart” (2019), a purple heart sits on top of a rough cluster of geodes, while in ‘First Taste” (2017), a glass tongue protrudes from a slab of quartz crystal.

For many of her recent works Baxter, shares with Roq Larue Gallery that she drew inspiration from the phenomenon of the “Ghost Heart.” In this medical procedure, a heart is cleansed of all of its blood cells and then injected with hundreds of millions of new blood steam cells which cause the heart to begin beating again. Baxter is interested in how this concept explores the complexity of existence, walking the line between life and death.  You can see more of her sculpted hearts and wearable artworks on her website and Instagram.

“Crystal Brass Knuckles (Aura Blow)” (2017), Aqua Aura Crystal and White Rhodium Plated Bronze, 7″ x 5″ x 2″

“Ghost Hand” (2019), Glass, Smoky Quarts, 13″ x 11″ x 12″

“First Taste” (2017), Glass and Quartz Crystal, 6″ x 8″ x 4″

“Silver Heart” (2019), Silver, Quartz, 3″ x 3.5″ x 5.75″

“I’m Your Venus” (2017), Cast Glass, Bronze, 5″ x 5.5″ x 2.5″

“Wind Knocked In” (2017), Amethyst, Bronze, Mopany Wood, 9.5″ x 15″ x 6.5″

“Heart of Gold” (2019), Bronze, Thunder Bay amethyst, 3″ x 3.5″ x 5.75″

 

 



Art Craft

Shimmering Collages and Installations by Sara Shakeel Bring Bedazzled Glamour to Everyday Scenes

July 26, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Chicago-based artist Sara Shakeel used to have a career as a dentist. But she’s traded in pearly whites for a shiny new medium: crystals. Shakeel incorporates a combination of collage and original photography in her glittering work, and focuses on food, landscapes, and female figures as her primary subjects. Shimmering crystals stand in as skyscraper windows, the chocolate in an ice cream twist, and snake scales. “The Great Supper,” her recent solo show at NOW Gallery in London, afforded Shakeel the opportunity to work in three dimensions. A dining table and chairs laden with plates, dishes, food, and candlesticks were all completed covered in crystals.

The self-taught artist has no formal training, and shared in an interview with Forbes that she has always been creative, but was discouraged from pursuing art school in favor of a more pragmatic career. Despite her meandering route—she tells Forbes she loved being a dentist—Shakeel has found her bedazzled own path to success. You can see more of Shakeel’s work on Instagram, where she shares new images with nearly 1 million followers. (via Hi-Fructose)

 

 



Design

Empowering Messages and Site-Specific City Names Grown from Salt Crystals and Succulents by Danielle Evans

June 18, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Columbus, Ohio-based typographer Danielle Evans uses her studio as a garden and lab. Previously she has planted hundreds of shrubs and succulents to spell messages of kindness, and grown text-shaped crystals as an ode to poet Nayyirah Waheed’s book of poems titled Salt. Recently while in Reykjavik, the designer arranged ice lettering around the city and the southern Golden Circle as a way to experiment with typography and the variables in Iceland’s topography. You can see more of Evans’s experiments with paper, lemons, dirt, jello, and more on her website, Instagram, and Behance.