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Art

Chairs, Stools, and Coat Racks Carved into Raw Pieces of Wood by Alicja Kwade

March 8, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

"Achairisatreeisachair" (2017), image by Roman März

“Achairisatreeisachair” (2017), image by Roman März

Polish artist Alicja Kwade carves into tree trunks to create 3/4-formed stools and chairs that balance with the support of the unfinished segments of wood. The carved furniture would be simple in its construction if taken out of context, but in conjunction with the tree trunks the pieces exist in a liminal space between design object and source material. Kwade’s carved furniture is currently exhibited with Berlin-based König Galerie at the The Armory Show in New York through March 10, 2019. You can see more of her work, like these sculptural installations that create illusions with tree trunks and mirrors, on her website and Instagram.

Detail of "Achairisatreeisachair" (2017), image by Roman März

Detail of “Achairisatreeisachair” (2017), image by Roman März

"Ein Barhocker ist ein Barhocker ist ein Barhocker" (2017), photo by Roman März

“Ein Barhocker ist ein Barhocker ist ein Barhocker” (2017), photo by Roman März

"Astoolisastoolisastool" (2017), photo by Roman März

“Astoolisastoolisastool” (2017), photo by Roman März

"Astoolisastoolisastool" (2017), photo by Roman März

“Astoolisastoolisastool” (2017), photo by Roman März

Images via @koeniggalerie

Images via @koeniggalerie

"Ein Barhocker ist ein Barhocker ist ein Barhocker" (2017), photo by Roman März

“Ein Barhocker ist ein Barhocker ist ein Barhocker” (2017), photo by Roman März

Current installation of Alicja Kwade's work at König Galerie's booth at the Armory Show in New York

Current installation of Alicja Kwade’s work at König Galerie’s booth at the Armory Show in New York

 

 



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)

 

 



Design

Wooden Credenzas and Cabinets Elegantly Open into Surprising Silhouettes

February 5, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Sebastian ErraZuriz (previously) creates functional storage pieces that double as elegant sculptures for his ongoing series Mechanical Cabinet. His credenzas, cabinets, and other units open in a myriad of creative ways, like a piece that fans out in four different directions, or an unassuming box which opens to reveal nearly two dozen drawers and a mirror.

“We tend to understand reality by constraining meaning into closed and simplified boxes defined by previous cultural conventions,” he explains in a press release for his current solo exhibition Breaking the Box at R & Company in New York City. “We live within these pre-established cognitive borders, where we only tend to see, recognize, and accept as true that which has been previously ordered and defined.” Breaking the Box is on view through March 9, 2019. You can see more of his designs on his website and Instagram.

      

 

 



Art

Willow Branches Shaped into Flowing Abstract Installations by Laura Ellen Bacon

January 25, 2019

Andrew LaSane

"Murmuration" (2015), Flanders Red willow, installed at the Holburne Museum in Bath, UK. Photograph by Nick Smith Photography. All images courtesy of Laura Ellen Bacon.

“Murmuration” (2015), Flanders Red willow, installed at the Holburne Museum in Bath, UK. Photograph by Nick Smith Photography. All images courtesy of Laura Ellen Bacon.

British sculptor Laura Ellen Bacon twists, ties, and knots pieces of willow and other raw materials to create large-scale abstract sculptures which she installs both inside and outside of architectural structures. The pieces often involve several stages of sketching, and weeks of weaving using her hands and few other tools. Bacon’s twisting reddish-brown forms hug and scale buildings, walls, and other existing space and landscapes in interesting and intimate ways.

“My work often ‘grows’ from a host structure as I’m very interested in the tension between built, planned structures, and the ‘unplanned’ organic form that may grow upon it,” the artist tells Colossal. “I’m also very interested in the human scale of handmade structures and have created several woven spaces in recent years that people can enter inside—creating and entering the work can be a very sensory experience.”

Bacon finds interest and inspiration in nature and natural phenomena, like the swirling patterns or murmurations formed by some flocking birds. The visual poetry, scale, and juxtaposition of each piece to its setting can be seen from a distance, but it takes a closer approach to appreciate the seemingly chaotic web of expertly intermingled natural materials.

In addition to developing two very large pieces that will use several tons of stone and willow, the artist says that she will be exhibiting a new work with jaggedart at this year’s Collect: International Art Fair for Modern Craft and Design. The fair opens at London’s Saatchi Gallery on February 28 and runs through March 3, 2019. You can view more of her sculptures by visiting her websiteInstagram, and Twitter.

Murmuration, photograph by Nick Smith Photography

Murmuration, photograph by Nick Smith Photography

Murmuration, photograph by Nick Smith Photography

Murmuration, photograph by Nick Smith Photography

"Exposed," Flanders Red willow, installed at Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House. Photographer: Laura Ellen Bacon

“Exposed,” Flanders Red willow, installed at Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House. Photographer: Laura Ellen Bacon

Exposed, photograph by Tony West

Exposed, photograph by Tony West

Laura Ellen Bacon installing her work "Exposed" at Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House, photograph by Tony West

Laura Ellen Bacon installing her work “Exposed” at Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House, photograph by Tony West

"Course" (2015), Dicky Meadows willow, installed at Hall Place in London, UK, photograph by Steve Hickey

“Course” (2015), Dicky Meadows willow, installed at Hall Place in London, UK, photograph by Steve Hickey

Course, photograph by Steve Hickey

Course, photograph by Steve Hickey

"Split Forms" (2012), Dicky Meadows willow, installed at New Art Centre in Roche Court, Wiltshire UK, photograph by Laura Ellen Bacon

“Split Forms” (2012), Dicky Meadows willow, installed at New Art Centre in Roche Court, Wiltshire UK, photograph by Laura Ellen Bacon

Split Forms, photograph by Laura Ellen Bacon

Split Forms, photograph by Laura Ellen Bacon

 

 



Art

Pixelated Wooden Faces by Gil Bruvel Reveal Abstract Color Explorations When Exhibited in Verso

January 24, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

"In the Green," all images via Gil Bruvel

“In the Green,” all images via Gil Bruvel

For his unusual figurative sculptures artist Gil Bruvel splits lengths of lumber into manageable sticks which he arranges and paints in bright shades of blues, greens, and reds. On one side, the wooden pieces configure into faces at rest in peaceful expressions, while on the reverse they remain jumbled and abstract. The pixelated sculptures appear like sophisticated pieces of three-dimensional pin art that reveal permanent images of faces, instead of temporary impressions of a nose or hand. Pieces from the series, Bending the Lines, will be on display in Federic Got Gallery’s booth as a part of the LA Art Show from January 23 – 27, 2019. You can see more of Bruvel’s sculptures on his website and Instagram.

In the Green

In the Green

In the Green

In the Green

Equanimity

Equanimity

Equanimity

Equanimity

Symbiosis

Symbiosis

Divided

Divided

Divided

Divided

Symbiosis

Symbiosis

Symbiosis

Symbiosis

 

 

 



Craft Design

Time-Lapse Video of Woodworker Keith Williams Shows How Flat Plywood Boards Become Smooth Patterned Spheres

January 7, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Woodworker Keith Williams of Oddball Gallery in Minier, Illinois creates geodesic spheres that balance math and art. Each sculptural form is created from 170 wood triangles that are then hand-assembled into 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons. Next these shapes are glued together into an angular 180-sided ball that is placed onto a lathe and transformed into a completely smooth sphere.

As Williams removes approximately 1/4″ of wood, natural rings from the plywood are brought to the surface, covering the final piece in a dizzying array of concentric circles. You can watch a behind-the-scenes look at how these objects are made in the video above. FInd more peeks into the Oddball Studio on Williams’ website and Youtube. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Art

Mixed Media Sculptures by Michael Alm Convey the Sinuous Nature of Animal Muscles

January 4, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

"Jack Rabbit (Lepus Californicus)", 2014, wood and glass eyes, 20 x 23 x 7 inches

“Jack Rabbit (Lepus Californicus)”, 2014, wood and glass eyes, 20 x 23 x 7 inches

Seattle-based sculptor Michael Alm forms lifelike animal sculptures from carved and shaved wood, often adding realistic features such as glass eyes to complete the anatomical studies. The works imitate the natural gestures of the animals he sculpts, such as “Jack Rabbit (Lepus Californicus),” which captures the animal mid-stride.

By presenting the animal in movement we are better able to see the tension explored through thin wood strips that gracefully cross over and under each other like muscular fibers. “The gaps in the veneer accentuate the tension in the form while lightening the visual weight of the creature,” he tells Colossal. “In this piece (Jack Rabbit), I’ve highlighted the elements which contribute directly to the animal’s movement and eliminated any excess. As a result, the form looks both strong and delicate much like the animal itself.”

Alm is also a furniture maker by trade, and the byproducts of this work serves as the bulk of the material for his sculptures. After milling wood he has plentiful strips to reuse in his sculptures. “These strips are extremely flexible and when layered up they remind me of muscle and sinew,” he continues. “The more I played with this material, the more I realized the amazing number of ways it could be used.”

You can view more of his work on his website and Instagram and get a behind-the-scenes look at how he constructs his sculptures on Youtube.

"Jack Rabbit (Lepus Californicus)"

“Jack Rabbit (Lepus Californicus)”

"Jack Rabbit (Lepus Californicus)"

“Jack Rabbit (Lepus Californicus)”

 

Creation of "Jack Rabbit (Lepus Californicus)"

Creation of “Jack Rabbit (Lepus Californicus)”

Creation of "Jack Rabbit (Lepus Californicus)"

Creation of “Jack Rabbit (Lepus Californicus)”

“Anatomical Bird Wing”, 2014, wood, 16 x 6 x 2 inches

“Burrow”, 2016, wood, 20 x 24 x 9 inches