metal

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Art Design

Sprawling Metal Forms Elegant, Sculptural Jewelry by Designer Laura Estrada

July 7, 2020

Anna Marks

Photograph by Christian Soria, model is Jordan Clay, styling by David Stelly, hair by Davontae’ Washington, makeup by Dion Xu. All images © Laura Estrada Jewelry, shared with permission

Los Angeles-based designer Laura Estrada handcrafts sustainable jewelry pieces that are conceptually driven, sculptural adornments for the body and face. She uses ancient metalsmithing techniques to create timeless, wearable heirlooms that merge fashion with art. “From a very young age, I have been building little objects with my hands, ” Estrada explains. “This obsession manifested itself when I took a metalsmithing class in college.”

Metal is the designer’s chosen medium, and she describes it as a fierce, unforgiving, stubborn, resilient, and enduring material. “It reminded me of myself,” she explains. After receiving her BFA, Estrada undertook an apprenticeship with a master jeweler, an experience that refined her skills before she launched Laura Estrada Jewelry in 2018.

The designer finds her inspiration from diverse influences—whether observing nature while out on a hike or the images she comes across in art history books. “My ideas also thrive in a collaborative environment, and my conceptual work often starts with conversations or projects with other creatives, that then evolve into a deeper, more experimental direction for the work,” Estrada explains.

When creating her body-spanning pieces, the designer’s artistic process is sometimes chaotic, and she initially starts working and modeling with metal. “I have found even if I sketch it out before, everything changes when it becomes three dimensional,” she explains. “The metal takes on shapes and forms that I piece together repeatedly until it feels right, then I solder it all together. I work very intuitively and do my best to trust the flow of my creative process.”

Estrada’s jewelry evokes a sense of resilience, empowerment, and confidence. The physical and conceptual construction of her pieces merges the innovation and integrity of ancient design practices with future technologies, and she finds unique methods to harmonize the two. As she explains, “With a focus on the intersection between art, technology, and identity, my recent exploration of masks and face pieces as ritual adornment aim to empower the wearer in their chosen form of identity and individuality.”

A selection of earrings are available in the Laura Estrada Jewelry shop, and to see future collections from the Latinx-owned brand, head to Instagram.

 

Photograph by Christian Cody, model is Salem Mitchell, makeup by Yasmin Istanbouli

Photograph by Elena Kulikova, model is Emily O’Dette, makeup by Chelsea Sinks

Photo by Christian Soria, model is Jordan Clay, styling by David Stelly, hair by Davontae’ Washington, makeup by Dion Xu

Photograph by Sophia Shrank, model is Denise Culbreth, hair and makeup by Anissá Emily

Photograph by Ally Green, model is John Cochran

Photograph by Benjamin Rouse, model is Mary Merritt

Photograph and creative direction by Joelle Grace, model is Julian Green, makeup by Mary Green, styling by Cheryn Moore and Gabriella Arenas

 

 



Art

Barbed Wire, Rusty Knives, and Found Objects Mend Artist Glen Taylor’s Broken Porcelain

July 6, 2020

Grace Ebert

“My grandmother’s china.” All images © Glen Taylor, shared with permission

Artist Glen Taylor solders ridges of metal to porcelain fragments, completing a halved teacup or broken saucer with a range of unusual materials: barbed wire, tarnished silverware, old book pages, and multicolored twine form a portion of the household objects. Each intervention contrasts the pristine, delicate qualities of the porcelain with the visible rust, unwieldy strings, and patchwork metals.

A cabinetmaker for much of his life, Taylor originally worked with pottery but found it limiting until he started breaking his ceramics into pieces. “I had read about the ancient art of Kintsugi and decades before I had learned how to copper foil and solder stained glass windows. All of a sudden I felt the emotional expressive range was infinite,” he writes. A Japanese art form, Kintsugi is the process of fixing broken pottery and celebrating the repairs, rather than try to hide them.

Now, Taylor gathers materials at auctions and estate sales, choosing pieces that spur an emotional response or nostalgia for his childhood, although some objects have a more personal connection. “For years, I have had my grandmother’s dishes in the attic, wondering what to do with them,” he says. “My mother died last year and so I have let the grieving process appear when it needs to. I released a lot of emotions about my mother when I started breaking the dishes that she grew up with.”

The artist tells Colossal that the broken pieces also are symbolic of imperfection. “As I began mending and recreating my broken pottery, the personal therapy and healing became the whole point,” he says. “I reached an age where I began sorting through the emotional baggage of my life, and the elements for my work became apparent.”

For a deeper look into Taylor’s mended works and a glimpse at his process, follow him Instagram.

 

“Release the pain”

“Spoonkintsugi”

“Paperkintsugi”

“Nest in china”

“Broken cups and saucers”

“Babies plate”

“Plate of chains”

“Tinplate”

 

 



Art

Human Metamorphosis Embodied in Rosemary Holliday Hall’s Oxidized Chrysalises

May 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Rosemary Holliday Hall by Aron Gent, shared with permission

Chicago-based artist Rosemary Holliday Hall envisions transformation through Encyclia Imagosis, a sculptural series that brings the physical processes of insect metamorphosis to a human scale. The four artworks consist of oxidized fabric stretched across metal structures, creating a translucent form that highlights the spacious shape of the wireframe. Similar to insect chrysalises, the meshy works serve as a symbolic site for change. “Encyclia Imagosis investigates various ways we make sense of the world and relate to ourselves and others through imagination, metaphor, and material,” the artist writes.

Holliday Hall envisioned the project as merging her own physicality with the metamorphic processes of “microbes, insects, pollinators, and decomposed, who construct and deconstruct our world, for inspiration into ways of being,” she says. “I made these sculptures to imagine what it would be like to be a caterpillar in a self-made structure, whose purpose was to hold my disintegrated body as it transforms into another body.”

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Holliday Hall says Encyclia Imagosis has become more immediate and visceral.

Some days, becoming unrecognizable to myself, it seems the world and our systems are slushy slop in individual COVID chrysalises, amidst a painful collective metamorphosis… Now, more than ever, we are faced with the fragility and interdependence of our own bodies and the systems we inhabit. I keep returning to the chrysalis, for both solace and inspiration in that, the chrysalis is a messy, painful, and disorienting space, but within the mush there are imaginal seeds for transformation.

For more of the artist’s projects that merge natural processes and art, check out her Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Mimicking Architectural Sketches, Artist David Moreno Forms Sculptures of Countless Metal Strips

April 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © David Moreno

Rotterdam-based David Moreno (previously) prefers his spatial pieces to oscillate between initial sketches of architectural projects and fully-realized constructions. His steel sculptures are comprised of lengthy metal strips and piano strings that are arranged to form building complexes, cathedrals, and steep flights of stairs. Despite being three-dimensional artworks, they mimic an architect’s outlines with their swooping lines and grid-like qualities. Moreno shares a plethora of his imaginative projects on Behance, in addition to some progress shots on his Instagram.

 

 



Art

Enormous Metal Sculptures by Selçuk Yılmaz Embody Chaotic Effects of Climate Change

January 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Selçuk Yılmaz, shared with permisison

By hammering and welding more than 20,0000 metal pieces together, artist Selçuk Yılmaz (previously) creates massive sculptures that manifest the energy of the natural world as it becomes more damaged by humans and climate change. The Turkey-based artist’s latest project, Blue Planet, took almost two years to complete and features a human figure in addition to Yılmaz’s usual animals, like a nearly 10-foot-tall lion that weighs approximately 220 pounds.

Yılmaz tells Colossal he wanted the project to speak to environmental destruction, so he placed a human hand at the bottom of the arranged piece to signify it being the root cause. A lurking vulture waits nearby, hoping to eat the other animals after they die. “The woman holds her hand on a blue planet as if (to) save everything. It’s like a chaos,” he says. For more of the artist’s imposing creations, head to Behance or Instagram.

 

 



Art

Finely Wrought Metal Flowers and Leaves Form the Bodies of Mammals and Birds in Sculptures by Taiichiro Yoshida

September 10, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Taiichiro Yoshida’s metal sculptures (previously) are so meticulously crafted and impossibly delicate that one could be forgiven for thinking they are digital renderings. However, Yoshida is an accomplished metalsmith who uses silver, bronze, and copper to form the leaves, flowers, and butterflies that cover the bodies of each mammal or bird. Every petal, leaf, and wing is hand-formed, with the coloration created by heating and cooling the metals at specific temperatures. The 29 year-old Japanese artist earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in metal carving at Tokyo University the Arts. He has exhibited widely and most recently had a solo exhibition at Gallery Kogure in Tokyo. See more of Yoshida’s sculptures on the artist’s website.

 

 



Art Design

Sculptural Metal Jewelry by Ewa Nowak Helps Wearers Avoid Being Tracked by Facial Recognition Technology

August 26, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Several methodologies have been tested to try and thwart growing facial recognition technologies, however perhaps none are as elegant as Polish designer Ewa Nowak’s metal jewelry. Her project, Incognito, was born out of her own uneasiness about the global state of privacy, and was tested using Facebook’s DeepFace algorithm to ensure its success.

The implement is worn like glasses, with arms reaching around the wearer’s ears. Two round pieces of metal cover each cheek, and an elongated piece extends upward between the eyes, creating a trifecta of polished objects that help deflect software used IRL in security systems and public cameras, and online through social media.

Incognito recently won the Mazda Design Award at the Łódź Design Festival. You can see more of her projects, including a reflective mask also used as a way to keep one’s anonymity, on her website and Instagram. (via Plain Magazine)