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Art Documentary

Life in Miniature: Medical Devices and Pre-Packaged Foods Immortalized in Tiny Sculptures by Kath Holden and Margaret Shaw

April 2, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Kath Holden constantly daydreams about the everyday objects she can transform into tiny sculptures. Even during doctor’s appointments, the U.K.-based miniaturist glances around the room to investigate which medical devices she can cull for inspiration. Holden runs Delph Minatures with her business partner and mother Margaret Shaw, a fellow miniature maker who specializes in food-related items such as pre-packaged steaks, baskets of fruit, and trays of brownies.

The pair was recently profiled in Life in Miniature, a short film by Ellen Evans which delves into the women’s studios and their opinions on the world of miniatures. Holden explains that she views other miniaturists as often being stuck in the past. She doesn’t understand the desire to recreate Georgian and Victorian houses, when you could produce objects for ordinary people, and produce objects relevant today. “I like to represent now,” she explains in the film. “The era I life in. If we don’t do miniatures of what we do now, how will it be represented in the future?”

The film premiered at the Sheffield DocFest in June 2018 and was in the official selection for Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Hot Docs, Aspen ShortsFest, and several other festivals. You can view the short documentary in the video above, and learn more about the Holden and Shaw’s wide range of contemporary miniatures on their website.

 

 



Design Food

Dizzying Geometric Pies and Tarts by Lauren Ko

February 7, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Lauren Ko brings mathematical precision to her baking, using elaborate intertwined patterns to form transfixing patterns to the top of her homemade pies and tarts. The Seattle-based amateur baker has been piecrafting for just a couple of years, she tells Mic, and if you’re wondering, this is her favorite pie crust recipe. Ko combines classic crusts with colorful fillings like blueberries, kumquats, purple sweet potatoes, and pluots to create her visually striking sweets. You can follow her on Instagram.

 

 



Design Food

Stairstep Chocolates Designed by Universal Favourite Stack into Cubes of Complementary Flavors

January 5, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Anyone who’s looked down and realized their plate is all beige has felt the full force of the role of color in what we eat. Universal Favourite takes the visual element to another level with their modular Complements chocolate. The Australian design studio created the project as a client gift and developed it into a collaboration with sweets experts Bakedown Cakery. Each modular staircase-shaped chocolate (blackcurrant, cherry, cookies and cream, fairy floss, lemon, matcha, pistachio, shortbread, single origin dark, strawberry, vanilla, and watermelon) fits together with a complementary flavor to form a very visually appealing cube. Bakedown also shares their handiwork on Instagram, as does Universal Favourite. (via Ignant)

 

 



Photography

Aerial Shots of the Bright and Colorful Goods Sold by Street Vendors in Vietnam by Photographer Loes Heerink

October 26, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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Fascinated by the colorful arrangements of flowers and fruits strapped to the bikes of street vendors in Vietnam, photographer Loes Heerink began climbing onto different bridges around Hanoi to capture these pops of color on the streets. Heerink loved that each of the vendors creates a new piece of art everyday, and that the collection of goods they bring into town differs each morning. This act prompted the series “Vendors from Above,” a collection of these street vendor photographs she shot while living in Vietnam.

In order to commemorate these workers, who are often female migrants, Heerink is hoping to expand the project to create a photobook through her new Kickstarter campaign which will bring her back to Vietnam. You can see more series from the now Netherlands-based photographer on her website and Instagram. (via My Modern Met)

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Art Photography

Futurist Architecture Formed From Neatly Stacked Chewing Gum by Sam Kaplan

April 18, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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All images provided by Sam Kaplan

Commercial photographer Sam Kaplan‘s latest project, Unwrappedtransforms sticks of chewing gum into monumental structures, stacking the sticky treat in shapes that imitate architectural forms. Hundreds of pieces of gum criss cross and stand upwards to create pyramids, columns, and arches—held tightly together with support from super glue. Each image within the series received minimal editing, the final image coming from a single shot rather than one that was digitally combined.

Kaplan was initially interested in finding a way to manipulate a material into a 3D pattern, rather than finding a way to photograph gum. “I wanted to find a material that could be both repeatable and remain uniform,” said Kaplan. “I also wanted a high level of malleability and after a lot of trial and error I landed on gum. I have always been interested in futurist and Mayan architecture, and this project was a way to combine both of those to make new forms.”

For Kaplan the most difficult thing about the shoot was having to unwrap nearly 500 individual pieces for each image. You can see behind-the-scenes videos and more of Kaplan’s two and three dimensional patterns on his Instagram. (via Under Consideration)

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Art Food

Glass Cross Sections of Fruit and Other Foods by Elliot Walker

August 26, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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London-based artist Elliot Walker uses molten glass to create a stunning variety sculptures including these arrangements of eating utensils, vessels, and cross sections of food. The stark outer surfaces of the surrounding objects contrasts with the vibrant interiors of the edible pieces, not unlike the effect of a cut geode. Walker currently has work at the Peter Layton Glass Blowing Studio as part of their current exhibition titled Essence that runs through the end of the week. You can see more photos of his work on Facebook.

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Art Food History Science

A 17th-Century Stanchi Painting Reveals the Rapid Change in Watermelons through Selective Breeding [Updated]

July 30, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Giovanni Stanchi (Rome c. 1645-1672). Oil on canvas. 38 5/8 x 52½ in. (98 x 133.5 cm.) / Courtesy Christie’s

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Old master work paintings are frequently cited for their depiction of historical events, documentation of culture, or portraiture of significant people, but there’s one lesser known use of some paintings for those with a keen eye: biology. One such instance is this Renaissance still life of various fruits on a table by Giovanni Stanchi painted sometime in the 1600s that shows a nearly unrecognizable watermelon before it was selectively bred for meatier red flesh.

Horticulture professor James Nienhuis at the University of Wisconsin tells Vox that he’s fascinated by old still life paintings that often contain the only documentation of various fruits and vegetables before we transformed them forever into something more desirable for human use. You can read a bit more about the science behind the changes in watermelons over the last 350 years here. (via Kottke)

Update: Greg Cato writes: “The painting depicts a rare outcome of sub-par growing conditions, known as ‘starring.’ It’s perfectly normal, still happens, and is not the result of selective breeding (although it would be cool if it were).” You can see an example here.