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Design

Custom-Built Coffee Tables Constructed from Original Components of the Golden Gate Bridge

February 27, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Danielle Hankinson

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.”

You can take a look inside Strands of History’s workshop on Instagram, and learn more about their projects with the Golden Gate Bridge suspender ropes on the company’s website. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Art

Intricate Metal Root Sculptures by Sun-Hyuk Kim Take Human Form

February 17, 2019

Andrew LaSane

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)

 

 



Art

The Human Figure Takes Shape in New Steel, Graphite, and Gypsum Sculptures by Emil Alzamora

September 19, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

The human figure is the through line of sculptor Emil Alzamora‘s emotive work previously covered both here and here. The body’s many poses and positions are explored in his multi-material practice which uses gypsum, graphite, stainless steel, and more to create his often life-size works. “I like to explore both material and form as well as the seemingly infinite sculpting processes to discover new visual narratives about life and art,” he tells Colossal. “Sometimes I will distort the figure, or encapsulate it or erode it depending on the material and the feeling am looking to capture.”

Alzamora is a British citizen born in Peru, who was raised in the United States and Spain and now lives and works in New York City. He will have upcoming solo exhibitions with Pontone Gallery in London next May, and Krause Gallery on New York City’s Lower East Side in the fall. You can see more of his sculptural works on his website and Instagram.

 

 



Design

An Inflated Steel Archway Provides a New Cultural Nexus on a Polish Island

July 24, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Last year Polish designer Oskar Zieta unveiled the NAWA pavilion, an inflated steel passageway intended to bring cultural activity back to Wrocław’s island of Daliowa. This structure’s reflective, bloated surface makes it look like a weightless mylar balloon despite the fact that is constructed from 35 polished metal arches. Using a technology which Zieta calls FiDU, he inflates the metal by pumping air into the cavity between the arches’ steel sheets which produces a form that is larger and more organically shaped.

Zieta first used this process for the Plopp stool for the design brand Hay in 2008, and has continued to develop his technique on more advanced projects. Durability tests on this particular piece proved that a stool weighing just under ten pounds could withhold a load of approximately 2.6 tons, equivalent to two adult elephants. He hopes to implement the FiDU technique into much larger architectural projects, which would provide structures with a greater durability, even in ultralight constructions.

The reflective NAWA sculpture will remain on the island as a permanent installation as a part of revitalization effort for the previously neglected area. “Today, many people cannot imagine this place without NAWA, which has become part of the surroundings and a point on the map of many tourists from the country and the whole world,” the artist explained. You can learn more about the history of the design, and view more images of the inflated gateway, on Zieta’s website. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Art

Hollow Figurative Sculptures by Park Ki Pyung

March 24, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

South Korean sculptor Park Ki Pyung creates hollow human works from resin and steel, pieces that appear to express an extreme melancholia with bowed heads and resigned body language. The life-size sculptures are held upright with rebar, and are built to reflect Pyung’s deep existential musings. By stripping the figures’ cores he points towards his own inner turmoil, presenting figurative shells, rather than completed human forms. You can view more of his hollow steel sculptures on his Instagram. (via iGNANT)

 

 



Art

Monumental Splashes of Stainless Steel Calligraphy by Zheng Lu

October 5, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Water Dripping – Splashing, 2014. Sundaram Tagore Gallery

Chinese artist Zheng Lu has long been fascinated by the properties of water, from its amorphous shape when flying through the air to the quality of light that glints across its surface. Lu also grew up in a literary family where the art of Chinese calligraphy played a meaningful role in his upbringing. In his large-scale stainless steel sculptures, the artist merges the two unrelated interests to create gravity-defying waves of calligraphy that twist and splash dramatically through the air.

To make each artwork Lu begins with with a plaster base to which he gradually adheres thousands of laser-cut Chinese characters. The final pieces can sit either freestanding on a pedestal or installed as numerous suspended parts that are linked in space to fill an entire gallery.

One of Lu’s largest sculptures from his water series is currently on view at Sundram Tagore Gallery in New York through October 10th, and you can see more of his work on Artsy and at Fabien Fryns Fine Art.

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Sundaram Tagore Gallery

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Water in Dripping No.7, 2013. Fabien Fryns Fine Art

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Sundaram Tagore Gallery

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Sundaram Tagore Gallery

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Sundaram Tagore Gallery

 

 



Art

An Ornate Truck Spot-Welded from Thousands of Reflective Steel Disks by Valay Shende

March 10, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Transit is a 2010 sculpture by Mumbai-based artist Valay Shende depicting a life-size work truck that carries figures of 22 people. Created over a period of 18 months, the piece was constructed from thousands of reflective stainless steel disks that have been individually spot welded together. Shende conceived of Transit as commentary on a dramatic rash of farmer sucides in India over the last decade. The truck’s rearview mirrors display video footage of roadways in London, Mumbai and Dubai, as if the vehicle is moving from the perspective of the driver’s seat but in reality it remains stationary. Transit is currently on view at the Mumbai City Museum, and you can read more about it on Indian Express. Images courtesy Sakshi Gallery. (via Jeremy Mayer)

 

 

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