rocks

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Art

River Stones with Pouches Unzip to Reveal Hidden Scenes and Objects

July 24, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Japanese artist Hirotoshi Ito’s sculptural works are a surreal contradiction of materials that seemingly shouldn’t exist, and yet here they are. The smooth stones of variable shape and size are each embedded with zippers that open to reveal hidden objects like collections of coins or marbles, while some of his more popular works incorporate a rather sinister toothy mouth. Ito finds the rocks in a riverbed near his home and works with the natural shape of each object to form the pouch and scene inside.

Ito had a solo show last month at Little High Gallery in Tokyo called “Mysterious Stone!” and you can see more of his ongoing stone carving work on Facebook. (via Geyser of Awesome)

 

 



Art

Rock Sculptures Suspended Within Bell Jars by Their Own Weight by Dan Grayber

June 19, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Cavity Mechanism #12 w/ Glass Dome. 2013. Mixed. 23″ x 13″ x 13″. All images via Dan Grayber.

Dan Grayber‘s works exist at the intersection of sculpture and physics, pieces carefully designed to solve the problems created by their own existence. The sculptures each include a rock suspended within a glass enclosure, the rock’s weight perfectly balanced by the mechanisms, systems, and pulleys that surround it.

Grayber relates this play of tension and balance to personal relationships, which serves as another influence to his work outside of visual interests in industrial design, construction machinery, and the children’s game Cat’s Cradle.

Cavity Mechanism #6, from 2009, [seen below] is one of the most obvious pieces to speak about interpersonal relationships that I’ve made,” said Grayber to Venison Magazine. “There are two identical mechanisms inside of a glass display dome, and one small cable that runs between the two mechanisms. This cable holds all of the tension between the two mechanisms, and they both need to remain in place to maintain the tension. I was really thinking about co-dependence when I made the piece. If either mechanism were to slip, or the connection between them to break, it would cause both to fail.”

You can see more of Grayber’s experiments in equilibrium on his Instagram and Facebook. (via Boing Boing and Makezine)

Cavity Mechanism #21. 2016. Mixed. 13" x 14" x 14".

Cavity Mechanism #21. 2016. Mixed. 13″ x 14″ x 14″

Cavity Mechanism #24. 2016. Mixed. 13.5" x 6.5" x 6.5".

Cavity Mechanism #24. 2016. Mixed. 13.5″ x 6.5″ x 6.5″

Cavity Mechanism #18. 2015. Mixed. 11" x 5" x 5"

Cavity Mechanism #18. 2015. Mixed. 11″ x 5″ x 5″

Cavity Mechanism #23. 2016. Mixed. 7.5" x 5" x 5"

Cavity Mechanism #23. 2016. Mixed. 7.5″ x 5″ x 5″

Display Case Mechanism #6. 2016. Mixed. 24.5" x 16" x 11"

Display Case Mechanism #6. 2016. Mixed. 24.5″ x 16″ x 11″

Display Case Mechanism #6. 2016. Mixed. 24.5" x 16" x 11"

Display Case Mechanism #6. 2016. Mixed. 24.5″ x 16″ x 11″

Cavity Mechanism #20. 2016. Mixed. 29.5" x 12" x 12".

Cavity Mechanism #20. 2016. Mixed. 29.5″ x 12″ x 12″

 

 



Art

Glistening Oil Paintings of Minerals and Crystals by Carly Waito

April 13, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Amethyst Mountain. Oil on panel, 14″ x 11″

In these small oil paintings, Toronto-based artist Carly Waito depicts the most minute details of minerals and crystals as they sparkle and glimmer. Waito seems to have a profound understanding of how light affects an object and gives each work an amazing sense of depth and focus. From her artist statement:

As a painter, Waito has continued to pursue this inspiration, with a focus towards geology, geometry, light, and a sense of wonder and curiosity. These themes are uniquely encompassed by the tiny mineral specimens which have become her particular obsession. With each finely detailed painting, Waito focuses the eye on a specimen’s particular qualities, showing the beauty and magic that is present even in nature’s tiniest objects, if one looks closely enough and with a curious mind.

Collected here are a number of paintings spanning 2009-2015, but you can see many more through Narwhal Gallery. (via The Jealous Curator)

Dioptase II 8 x 10″. Oil on panel. 2014

Carly Waito Rhodochrosite II 6 x 8

Tangerine Quartz, 8 x 8in. Oil on panel. 2014

Amethyst VIII, 2015. 8 x 10 in. Oil on wood panel.

Dioptase. 10 x 9 in. Oil on Masonite 2011

Vesuvianite. 8.5 x 11 in. Oil on Masonite 2011

Amethyst Mountain III . 16 x 13″. Oil on panel. 2014

 

 



Design Music

Rock Band: An Electromechanical Sound Machine That Makes Music With Rocks

March 15, 2017

Christopher Jobson

A rolling stone gathers no moss as they say, but this collection of stones manipulated by electromechanical devices are capable of performing George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun” thanks to artist Neil Mendoza. Titled Rock Band, this kinetic sound art installation is actually four different instruments including a xylophone, a buzzing base, two spinners, and a pair of slappers. Mendoza describes how each device works:

Xylophone: Inside each of the tubes is a small pebble. When the Teensy receives a note for this instrument, it triggers a solenoid (electromagnet), to launch the pebble up a tube and strike a key. For the design of this piece, I wrote a piece of software that calculated the size each key needed to be to produce the appropriate frequency and then cut them out using a water jet cutter.

Bass: This is the small marble circle in the front. When the Teensy receives a note for this one, it causes the plunger of a solenoid (electromagnet) to vibrate at the frequency of the appropriate musical note against the rock.

Spinners: These are the two large objects on either side and are percussive. Inside each of these, there are two magnets attached to each end of a shaft. On the outside, there are two magnetic rocks, Hematite, that are attracted to the magnets on the inside. When a note is received, the shaft spins and one of the rocks is guided away from its magnet and launched through the air. It lands on a piece of marble that has been cut to size to fit in the machine.

Slapper: These slap the rocks with pieces of fake leather and provide some light percussion.

All of the machines were built at Autodesk’s Pier 9 workshop in San Francisco as part of their artist in residence program. You can see more of Mendoza’s mechanical works on his website.

 

 



Art

Stones Carved to Appear Like Wrinkled Fabrics by José Manuel Castro López

December 13, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Artist José Manuel Castro López works with rocks both large and small to transform hard surfaces into gentle fabric-like creases. Each sculpture begins as a regular piece of quartz or granite which he delicately grinds down to reveal peculiar wrinkled shapes, as if the rock had always existed this way. You can see many more of his recent works in this gallery.(via Ignant)

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Amazing Art

The Japanese Museum of Rocks That Look Like Faces

November 14, 2016

Johnny Waldman

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In Chichibu, Japan, two hours northwest of Tokyo, there’s an odd museum; perhaps the only one of its kind. It’s called the Chinsekikan (which means hall of curious rocks) and it houses over 1700 rocks that resemble human faces.

The museum houses all kinds of jinmenseki, or rock with a human face, including celebrity lookalikes like Elvis Presley. And according to a 2013 post on Kotaku, there are also movie and video game character rocks like E.T., Donkey Kong and Nemo.

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“Elvis Presley”

According to the Sankei, the museum is currently run by Yoshiko Hayama, the wife of the original owner who passed away in 2010. But it was his rock collection that started it all. An avid collector, the late Shozo Hayama spent 50 years collecting rocks that looked like faces. His only requirement was that nature be the only artist.

There are currently so many rocks on display that some don’t even have names. So the owner occasionally invites visitors to name the rocks. The Chichibu Chinsekikan (Gmap) is a 10-min walk from Kagemori Station. However, it’s recommended that you call ahead if you plan to visit because the museum is known to unexpectedly close for personal reasons. You can explore more photos on Yukawa.net. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

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Photo courtesy Sankei Photo

Photo courtesy Sankei Photo

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Head curator, Yoshiko Hayama.

 

 



Art Design Science

A Kinetic Artwork that Sorts Thousands of Random River Stones by Age

May 19, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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Performing the role of a scientist, Benjamin Maus and Prokop Bartonicek’s kinetic machine Jller selects and sorts pebbles found on a 6 1/2 x 13 foot platform into a grid organized by geologic age. Without assistance, Jller analyzes the stones’ appearance to understand their correct placement, then transports them to the correct location.

All of the rocks for the project were extracted from a German river of the machine’s own name, pebbles that are either the result of erosion in the Alps or have been transported by glaciers. Because the history of this sample location within the river is known, it is a relatively straightforward process to assign each stone its geological age. To do this, Jller first analyzes an image of the stone it selects, extracting information like dominant color, color composition, lines, layers, patterns, grain, and surface texture. The machine then places the stones in alignment of age and type by sucking them into an industrial vacuum gripper and dropping them in the correct location within the grid.

The project is part of ongoing research in the field of industrial automation and historical geology, and was presented last December as a part of the exhibition “Ignorance” at Ex Post in Prague. The full video of the project can be seen below.

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A Colossal

Highlight

Sailing Ship Kite