Seeking to provide a new use for China’s enormous surplus of bike-share bicycles, LUO Studio recently designed a mobile library in the shape of a winged beetle. The studio’s founder Luo Yujie was inspired to create “Shared Lady Beetle” by a friend who teaches young children and often needs to educational supplies around. In a statement on the studio’s website the Shared Lady Beetle is envisioned as a “beneficial insect walking on the urban leaf.”
To create the mobile library, LUO Studio equipped a standard bicycle with two back wheels and an additional load-bearing wheel to accommodate the extra length of the design. Discarded iron sheets from automobiles form the library’s exterior, and the “wings” open to reveal three partitioned shelves that can accommodate books or other creative materials for kids.
The studio describes their mission as being “committed to creating more durable, friendly and quality space through creative thinking, craftsmanship spirit of devotion and caring for nature.” Luo is also the director at the Sustainable Village Studio of China New Rural Planning and Design Institute. Discover more of LUO Studio’s innovative and sustainable designs on their website, which features project descriptions in both Chinese and English. If you enjoy this project, also check out Weapons of Mass Instruction by Raul Lemesoff and Juan Martinez’s bicycle animals. (via designboom)
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Mixed media bespoke sculptor Yasemen Hussein explains that her art career was originally pointed in the direction of glass, but she found her passion for metalwork while working toward an MFA at Illinois State University. Now well established in her metal practice, Hussein uses copper electrical cable to form elaborate and sinuously lifelike hairdos. The video below, from London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, takes a look inside Hussein’s studio as she created wigs used by the V&A for their exhibit Opera: Passion, Power and Politics.
Hussein works in a coverted stable house in south London, where she manipulates the thin metal cables to simulate elaborate styles ranging from carefully coiled curls to the sweeping fan-like shapes of a geisha’s coif. Rather than creating exact replicas of realistic hair in every wig, Hussein incorporates artistic license to suggest the volume and gesture of each historical look.
In addition to her dramatic wigs, Hussein also creates geometric sculptural installations and delicate copper feathers. You can explore more of the sculptor’s work on her website.
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Stainless Steel Razor Blades Compose Sculptures of Garments and Household Objects by Tayeba Begum Lipi
Bangladeshi artist Tayeba Begum Lipi recreates memory-laden objects by connecting thousands of razor blades, transforming the sharp metal tools into tennis shoes, wheels for strollers, sewing machines, sensuous fabrics, and more. Lipi’s sculptures address female marginality and speak most specifically to violence facing women in Bangladesh. The razor blades also references her memories of witnessing the birth of her nieces and nephews as a child growing up in the small town of Gaibandha, where the tool was often used during delivery.
In addition to being an artist, Lipi also founded the Britto Arts Trust in 2002 with her husband Mahbubur Rahman. The organization is dedicated to creating opportunities for other Bangladeshi artists through exhibitions, residencies, and educational activities. Her solo exhibition This is What I Look(ed) Like with Sundaram Tagore Gallery in New York will present several new razor blade sculptures in addition to photography and video works. The show opens on May 2, and runs through June 1, 2019. You can see more of Lipi’s razor blade sculptures, in addition to her collection of safety pin sculptures, on Sundaram Tagore Gallery’s website.
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Each rope that suspended San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge from 1935 to the 1970s was made of 229 individual strands arranged in a unique “lay” created at John A. Roeblin’s Sons Company in Trenton, New Jersey. Though these suspender ropes were retired about fifty years ago, the history and strength imbued in them lives on. Strands of History, a Tahoe City, California-based company founded in 2016, focuses on building functional items using the bridge’s original ropes, including a spectacular wood and steel coffee table.
Mary Zimmerman of the Strands of History team explains to Colossal that the company was able to verify the rope’s authenticity by reviewing the original schematics from the Roebling’s company. Every suspension bridge has ropes with a unique lay, which create a sort of finger print for the bridge’s materials.
Once a sufficient supply was in the hands of Strands of History, the company got to work determining a way to showcase the strength, beauty, and history of their chosen material. The incredibly strong rope weighs one pound per inch, and is so dense that only five cuts can be made before a fresh 14-inch abrasive blade is required. Strands of History brought in experts from Bushey Ironworks and Roundwood Furniture to help design the coffee table and wrangle the finicky raw materials. Bushey weighed in with forge welding techniques to stabilize the ropes, and Roundwood suggested a deeply striated Claro walnut wood that is about 80 years old.
In creating something new out of such storied materials, Zimmerman explains, “All of us that work on these projects are committed to the preservation of this historic steel. This required exploring various techniques to maintain [the rope’s] structural integrity, as well as to preserve the unique lay of the wire and its inherent beauty and attraction.”
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South Korean artist Sun-Hyuk Kim (previously) cuts, welds, melts, and curves pipes and wires into structures that are part human anatomy and part twisted plant root systems. The branch-like metal blood vessels create the outline of limbs, abdomens, and heads, as well as the trees that appear to have sprouted from them. Made entirely of stainless steel, the sculptures are meant to signify our imperfect and incomplete existence in relation to the natural world.
“My art is a tool to discover the truth and remind myself [and] viewers through various media,” Sun-Hyuk told Colossal. From large head-shaped root sculptures connected at the nose, to full body works with large trunks protruding from the head, back, and torso, the sculptures are often dramatic depictions of the human experience and what the artist considers truth.
New sculptures and drawings will be shown at Sun-Hyuk’s upcoming solo show at the Suhadam Art Space in South Korea from June 7 through August 5, 2019. To see more of his current and future works, you can also follow the artist on Instagram. (via Ignant)
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Forged and Filed, a transfixing new video by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based filmmaker Jesse Beecher showcases the talents of metalsmith Seth Gould. In the five minute-long documentary short, Beecher not only highlights the technical prowess of Gould’s complex design and construction skills, but he also transforms the percussive sounds of the metal workshop in to a lively soundtrack. The banging of hammers, crumpling of paper, and sizzling of flames amplify the hand-forged nature of metalsmithing. Forged and Filed follows Gould’s progress as he creates an incredibly detailed lock box, shaping every element completely from scratch.
Gould graduated in 2009 from Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine with a degree in metalsmithing and jewelry. Over the last decade he has shown his work widely and shared his knowledge as a visiting artist and lecturer around the country—most recently at the prestigious Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina.You can see more of the metalsmith’s works on his Instagram and website, including these creative interpretations of hammers.
In addition to his personal projects, Beecher works as the Director of Photography for Northern Light Productions, a Boston-based company that creates media for cultural institutions, and has also produced work for PBS, Netflix, and Comedy Central. You can see more of Beecher’s projects on his website.
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Editor's Picks: Art
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.