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Craft Design Photography

Paper Is Creased and Twisted into an Elegant Three-Dimensional Typographic Series by Reina Takahashi

June 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Reina Takahashi, shared with permission

Artist Reina Takahashi transposes the expressive, refined flourishes common in calligraphy into an exquisite series of paper type. Set against solid backdrops, the three-dimensional forms are shaped with crisp lines, twists, and wide-mouthed cones sometimes made with a single strip. Takahashi tells Colossal that she created each letter and number with the final photo angle in mind, ensuring that the “floating planes, pop-off-the-page ribbons, and precarious balancing acts of paper” all cast the proper shadow to complete the character. See the entire collection, which she designed as part of the popular 36 Days of Type challenge, along with some of the Oakland-based artist’s commercial projects for companies like The New York Times, Wired, Medium, and on her site and Instagram.

 

 

 



Craft

This Folded Paper Book Opens Up to Reveal 31 Layered Storage Compartments

May 7, 2021

Grace Ebert

Tuck away your coins and small mementos for safekeeping in this nested storage book. Comprised of 31 compartments, the design features layers of folds, meaning that the 16 flowers on top and the pockets supporting them open up to reveal small compartments that vary in size. Originally, the paper books, which are called zhen xian bao, were used to hold thread and other embroidery materials—this article dives into the history behind the traditional Chinese practice—and would unroll in multiples from a single binding. Watch the tutorial above for folding basics, and check out the written companion for instructions on scaling up the design to 127 pockets.

 

https://fuckyeahchinesefashion.tumblr.com/post/646278082813165568/this-thing-is-called-%E7%99%BE%E5%AE%9D%E5%A4%B9bai-bao-jiathe-chinese

 

 



Art

Moonlit Forests, Fish, and Branches Populate Kirie Silhouettes Cut from a Single Sheet of Paper

April 20, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Kanako Abe, shared with permission

From a single sheet of white paper, Kanako Abe (previously) carves exquisite silhouettes of children and young adults who are awash in seas of fish or occupied by quiet campouts. She utilizes the traditional Japanese art form called Kirie—which translates to cut picture—a technique that Abe begins with a sketch before slicing the delicate material with a variety of knives. “I don’t have a chance to change the design once I start cutting, so I find it challenging,” the Seattle-based artist says. “I have to think of the right patterns, controlling negative space, and make sure all the lines are connected so the art won’t fall apart once it’s finished.” A single piece can take anywhere from six to 60 hours to complete.

Abe shifted to full-time in 2020 and now balances her practice between commissions and ongoing personal projects, a few of which she’ll be sharing soon on Instagram. No matter the context, each artwork reflects a broader connection to nature and its ability to provide an escape from the complications and heartbreak of the current moment. “I find the process of art-making is a way for me to meditate on everyday thoughts and emotions, and it’s much easier for me to express complex feelings or emotions visually than verbally,” she tells Colossal. “The cycle of nature teaches us about the power of letting go or accept things as they are and that there’s a silver lining in everything.”

If you’re in San Francisco, you can see Abe’s intricate portraits at her September solo show at Rare Device. She’ll also be included in a group exhibition at Today’s Gallery in Ehime, Japan, which opens in December.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Hundreds of Minuscule Paper Cranes Perch in Bonsai Trees in Naoki Onogawa's Sculptures

April 5, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Naoki Onogawa, shared with permission

Using just his hands, Tokyo-based artist Naoki Onogawa folds scores of origami cranes with wingspans that never top a single centimeter. He then fastens the minuscule birds to asymmetric tree forms, creating bonsai-like sculptures engulfed by hundreds of the monochromatic paper creatures.

Onogawa tells Colossal that he began crafting the tiny birds following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake that devastated parts of southern Hokkaido and Tohoku, which the artist visited the next year. As he walked around the city of Rikuzen Takata, he spotted 1,000 paper cranes at the site of a school demolished by the tsunami. “I found myself in terror of how powerless we humans are in the face of nature’s wonder; yet at the same time, I felt empowered by the power of life, vitality, that shined so brightly in the aftermath of its wrath,” Onogawa says. He explains further:

It was like witnessing the result of a desolate ritual where people channeled their unsettled feelings into these cranes. And here they exist, spirited with prayers that they would go back and forward to and from a world beyond here. I struggle to find the words to describe it, but I think that maybe the cranes that I fold now come from that place of solemn prayer.

Onogawa’s cranes are on view at the Setouchi City Museum of Art alongside Motoi Yamamoto’s sprawling salt installation through May 5. Browse available artworks on Picaresque, and explore a larger collection of his pieces on Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Art Craft

A New Book Highlights an Eclectic Collection of Paper Works by 24 Artists Defining the Medium

March 31, 2021

Grace Ebert

JUDiTH+ROLFE. All images courtesy of Gingko Press, shared with permission

A celebration of contemporary paper art, a new book gathers a wide-ranging collection of collages, quilled portraits, and intricately cut landscapes from 24 artists and studios around the globe. Published by Gingko Press, Paperists: Infinite Possibilities in Paper Art spans 256 pages that explore the unexpected ways the medium is used today and features work from a slew of artists featured on Colossal, including Estudio Guardabosques (previously), Makerie Studio (previously), Yulia Brodskaya (previously), and Zim & Zou (previously), to name a few. Grab a copy of the forthcoming volume on Bookshop.

 

Pippa Dyrlaga

Makerie Studio

Left: Pippa Dyrlaga. Right: Ale Rambar

Zim & Zou

Left: Diana Beltran Herrera. Right: Sam Pierpoint

Zim & Zou

Hazel Glass

 

 



Craft

Fantastical Plants and Hybrid Characters Form a Strange Menagerie Crafted by Cat Johnston

March 19, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Cat Johnston, shared with permission

A moth-human hybrid, striped coral, and a smoking frog sporting a tracksuit inhabit Cat Johnston’s fantastical ecosystem crafted from paper, textiles, and sculpy or epoxy clay. The playfully bizarre creatures are inspired by monsters, mythology, and folklore, evoking deities and magnifying the strange qualities of plants and animals. Johnston created many of the lifeforms shown here shortly after moving to San Francisco and exploring the environment. “I was blown away by all the strange and lovely cacti and succulents and the animals I saw there (hummingbirds and pelicans and raccoons!) and wanted to create a landscape of plants and creatures that felt as alien and magical as California did to me,” she says.

Currently living and working in Portland, the illustrator and model maker first worked with paper for a stop-motion animation she did with Andersen M and Tundra studios and has been creating with the material since. She’s in the process of crafting two more characters, which she’ll be sharing soon on Instagram. You also might enjoy Roberto Benavidez’s piñatas and the felt storybook creatures by Cat Rabbit.