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Design

Neko Cup Creates Adorable Napping Cat Sand Sculptures

July 16, 2019

Johnny Waldman

If you’re walking along the beach this summer and you see a group of napping cat sand sculptures, there’s a good chance it’s the work of a Neko Cup (neko is the Japanese word for cat). Neko Cup is the latest product from Japanese design brand h-concept. Made from biomass plastic (bamboo and scallop shells) the hollowed out object creates a silhouette of a napping cat.

It can be used on the beach, in your park’s sandbox and, in the winter, with snow. And when it’s not in use, it also functions as ab adorable little sculpture. Designer Yuka Morii says she loves seeing cats sleeping on the sidewalk and she wanted to preserve that warm feeling she gets when she spots one out of the corner of her eye.

If you’re in Japan you can purchase one from the h-concept online shop. They come in white, beige and black and retail for 2,916 yen ($26.95). (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

 

 



Art

‘Full Page Editorial’ Sand Sculpture by Toshihiko Hosaka Implores Japan to Reduce Plastic

June 3, 2019

Johnny Waldman

May 30 is Zero Waste Day in Japan (The name is derived from the numeric pun for 5 (go) 3 (mi) 0 (zero), which can be read as gomi zero, or zero waste). On this day, the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper ran a full-page editorial made to look like a front-page headline titled “Plastics Floating in our Seas” and highlighting the devastating impact that plastic is having on sea life. Everything from the article headline to the images and text were actually carved into sand on a beach in Japan and photographed from above.

The actual editorial that was carved into sand is the work of artist Toshihiko Hosaka (previously), who specializes in sand sculptures. Hosaka worked with local residents and students at Iioka Beach in Chiba prefecture to create the massive sand sculpture. It took 11 days to complete and measures 50 x 35 m (164 x 115 ft). Below is a brief excerpt from the text:

The sea does not speak. So, I will speak in its place. Currently, the lives of many creatures in the sea are being taken. The cause is plastic. Plastic bags, plastic bottles, styrofoam… 8 million tons of plastic used in everyday life are dumped in places like rivers and the ocean every year, and remains floating as garbage. By swallowing or being entangled in plastic garbage, about 700 species of animals including sea turtles, seabirds, seals, and fish are harmed and killed.

The editorial also calls out Japan as for its addiction to plastic:

We Japanese are also largely responsible. Japan produces the second most garbage per person. In order to rectify this, we have to take a good hard look at what is happening in the ocean. We need to think about things we have been ignoring as a result of prioritizing economic growth, everyday convenience, and such.

You can red the entire text in English here. Below are some behind-the-scenes photos and a video from the “newspaper” being created. (syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

 

 



Craft Design

An Award-Winning Sand Sculpture by Damon Langlois Captures a Crumbling Abraham Lincoln

May 17, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

All images via Damon Langlois

Since 1997, Texas SandFest has attracted thousands of visitors to Port Aransas on Mustang Island. For the 2019 iteration, the three-day-festival awarded British Columbia-based Master Solo competitor Damon Langlois first place for his illusionistic work Liberty Crumbling. The piece portrays Abraham Lincoln in the likeness of the 1920 marble statue in the Lincoln Memorial. However, this one is cracking at its foundation. With his hand to his face, Lincoln appears exasperated as he sits on his crumbling platform.

Other sculptures in the competition also had messages for the audience, although many were environmental. Todd Pangborn’s Out of Sight Out of Mind featured a giant sea turtle next to a coral reef, and Jeff Strong’s Continental Drip displayed an ice cream cone holding a melting Earth. You can see more winners and competitors from the United States’ largest native-sand sculpture competition on Texas SandFest’s website, and view more of Langlois’s sand works on his website. (via Twisted Sifter)

 

 



Art Design

Sisyphus: the Hypnotizing Kickstarter-Funded Kinetic Sand Drawing Machine is Now Available to The Public

April 30, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Sisyphus, the wildly successful Kickstarter-funded kinetic table designed by Bruce Shapiro (previously), is now available to the public via pre-order. The 2016 project raised $1,924,018 and is, to date, the most-funded campaign in the history of Kickstarter’s art category. The coffee table design includes a bed of sand with a magnetic steel marble that continuously traces programmed patterns through the malleable material. Many of the original designs are meditative mandala-like configurations, but it’s also possible to program the marble to create continuous line drawings or custom messages.

Sisyphus started taking pre-orders this weekend via their website. The table is available in two styles (coffee table or end table) and a variety of metallic and wood finishes. You can also follow the brand’s progress on Facebook and Instagram.

 

 



Art

The Incredible Sand Sculptures of Toshihiko Hosaka

May 16, 2017

Johnny Waldman

Toshihiko Hosaka began making sand sculptures in art school and has been using beaches and sand boxes as his canvas for almost 20 years. His work defies what we typically think of as sand art as he sculpts and carves the loose, granular substance as if it were some malleable form of clay.

There is no core, mold or adhesive ever used throughout the process: just sand. The only trick Hosaka uses (and this is commonly accepted) is a hardening spray applied to his sculpture only after it’s been completed, in order to prevent wind and sun from eroding it for a few days.

Earlier this month Hosaka competed in the Fulong International Sand Sculpture Art Festival along with 22 other international professional sand sculptors. The theme for the contest was “Hero” and Hosaka spent 3 days sculpting a figure of Musashi Miyamoto, which was awarded 1st prize on May 6th. Hosaka depicted the 16th century expert Japanese swordsman seated down in a calm position, sword tucked under his belt.

The artist continues to be active in and around Japan. According to an interview, he’ll be at the Sakaide Minato Matsuri on May 18th creating a salt sculpture (which will go on view on the 27th). Then on July 15th he’ll be at the Ishikarihama Sand Park. He’s also available for group workshops where he’ll teach you everything there is to know about sand sculpting.

In the ultimate display of pursuing perfection, Hosaka even collaborated with a Japanese chemical company to create his own environmentally friendly Sand Art Glue, that substance he uses to spray on his sculptures once they’re complete. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

“Musashi Miyamoto” received 1st prize at the Fulong International Sand Sculpture Art Festival.

 

 



Art

Lines in the Sand: Artist Jim Denevan Turns Beaches into Temporary Geometric Artworks

March 27, 2017

Christopher Jobson

For well over a decade California artist Jim Denevan (previously) has made his mark in the sand, etching elaborate geometric artworks on beaches around the world using little more than a rake or found stick. The pieces last only a few hours, or begin disappearing even as he works, as the tides quickly erase each design leaving only a memory or a photograph. Great Big Story recently visited Denevan and shot this brief profile of the artist as he created a number of pieces.

 

 



Art Design

New Modernist Sandcastles Constructed by Calvin Seibert

November 17, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Artist Calvin Seibert spent part of the summer on Rockaway Beach in Queens where he made quick work of erecting several of his trademark geometric sandcastles that we’ve admired for years here on Colossal. Seibert is a professional sculptor who relishes the challenge of building these temporary sand structures inspired by brutalist architecture and aspects of modernism. He shares about his process:

Building “sandcastles” is a bit of a test. Nature will always be against you and time is always running out. Having to think fast and to bring it all together in the end is what I like about it. I rarely start with a plan, just a vague notion of trying to do something different each time. Once I begin building and forms take shape I can start to see where things are going and either follow that road or attempt to contradict it with something unexpected. In my mind they are always mash-ups of influences and ideas. I see a castle, a fishing village, a modernist sculpture, a stage set for the oscars all at once. When they are successful they don’t feel contained or finished. They become organic machines that might grow and expand. I am always adding just one more bit and if time allowed I wouldn’t stop.

Seen here are a number of his designs from the last year but you can explore hundreds more over on Flickr. (via Laughing Squid, Adam Savage)

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