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Design

Islands of Wood Float Amidst Sea of Glass in New ‘Archipelago’ Furniture by Greg Klassen

November 13, 2019

Christopher Jobson

We’ve long marveled at the masterful craftsmanship on display in furniture maker Greg Klassen’s wood and glass creations. The artist’s name has become synonymous with the elegant aesthetic of merged wood and glass that originates from his Pacific Northwest studio, one piece at a time. Since first launching his river table series back in 2014, Klassen has produced nearly 250 tables, desks, and art objects, refusing to grow beyond his one-man studio despite a waiting list that once extended to nearly two years. Lately he’s focused on creating larger bodies of watery glass and the irregular shapes of islands as evidenced in this new archipelago series. He shares with Colossal:

My new Archipelago Series is inspired by islands seen from above. I’ve discovered a growing fascination with the point that the water meets the land and my archipelago pieces really let me highlight this point of inspiration. Whenever I’ve been lucky enough to fly over Seattle’s Puget Sound or the Hawaiian islands, I’m that 38 year-old kid in the window seat, with his face pressed up against the plexiglass looking down with wonder at the islands below. We are so fortunate to live in a time where we get to see our earth from above! Whether it be from a plane, or images capture by a drone, we get to see our earth with a fresh set of eyes.

Five percent of Klassen’s sales are currently being diverted to Charity: Water where he’s is helping to fund a new well for a community that cannot afford one. Several of his pieces most recently appeared at SOFA Chicago, and you can see much more of his recent work on his website, as well as Instagram and Facebook.

 

 



Art Craft Design

Hand-Carved Wood Sculptures by Jui-Lin Yen Capture Cartoonish Facial Expressions

November 4, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Taiwanese woodworker Jui-Lin Yen (previously) creates charming sculptural characters using traditional techniques. Silky-smooth finishes, expert inlay, and careful joinery are used to create cartoonish figures. Yen’s initial foray into woodworking resulted in fully-formed characters with distinct heads, torsos, and limbs. His recent projects have been more abstract, focusing on facial expressions.

Though many of his initial creations were gifts for his children, due to interest in his work Yen has also started offering some of his pieces for sale online. Alongside the whimsy and charm of his creations, Yen also incorporates functionality: ducks double as serving platters, freestanding birds hold air plants, and many of the works shown here are meant to be installed on walls and used as hooks for clothing or keys. Peek into Yen’s studio via Instagram and keep up with new projects on Facebook.

 

 



Design

Augmented Reality and Old-Fashioned Woodworking Techniques Forge a Sinuous Sculpture in Tallinn

October 18, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs by Peter Bennetts unless otherwise noted

A slate of new public structures have overtaken the Estonian city of Tallin for the 2019 Tallinn Architecture Biennale. Steampunk, created by SoomeenHahm Design, Igor Pantic, and Fologram, merges forward-thinking technology and old-world woodworking techniques in a sinuous sculptural pavilion.

“Computer aided manufacturing and robotics have given architects unprecedented control over the materialization of their designs, but the nuance and subtlety commonly found in traditional craft practices is absent from the artifacts of robotic production.” the design team told dezeen.

To form the swooping structure, the designers created digital models that were then projected using augmented reality. These projections functioned as guides for the construction team, who used steam-bent hardwood and hand tools to build Steampunk.

Explore more of the Biennale on Instagram and Facebook, and if you enjoy Steampunk, also check out the artful public structures of THEVERYMANY and Matthias Pliessnig’s steam-bent furniture. (via dezeen)

Photograph: Tonu Tunnel

Photo: Tonu Tunnel

 

 



Design

Hand-Painted Wood Offcuts Form Colorful Dovetailed Chairs and Benches by Donna Wilson

October 4, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Textile designer Donna Wilson’s newest body of work is a collection of colorful chairs and benches called Abstract Assembly. The designer, who you may be familiar with through her quirky plush characters like Rita Radish and Lenny Leopard, debuted her new venture into hard goods at this year’s London Design Festival.

The vibrant, multi-part chair backs are translated from Wilson’s watercolor paintings and use offcuts of oak, beech, and Douglas fir wood. Each design is a limited edition of ten. All components are hand-painted by Wilson and then dovetailed together (she partnered with Jon Almond on production). Design Milk quoted Wilson’s creative exploration that sparked the Abstract Assembly collection:

A year ago I embarked on a new direction with the main purpose to satisfy my creativity. I finally managed to stand back from what I was doing with my company and see what I needed to do. With no idea where it would take me, I started drawing and painting in the evenings. The next step was for me to bring these abstract doodle to life and start working in wood, I wanted to make hand-assembled pieces using traditional carpentry techniques and luckily my partner Jon was able to help me develop these pieces into a collection of chairs and mirrors.

See more from the Scottish designer on her website, where you can pick up a chair of your own, or peruse the wide array of Wilson’s fabric-based designs. You can also follow the company on Instagram and Twitter. (thnx, Kate!)

 

 



Design

Upcycled Scaffolding Planks Form Functional Ribbons of Steel and Wood in London’s Broadgate Neighborhood

September 19, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Mark Cocksedge

As part of the 2019 London Design Festival, Paul Cocksedge’s ‘Please Be Seated’ has taken over Finsbury Avenue Square in the city’s Broadgate neighborhood. The undulating sculpture is comprised of concentric wooden circles that ribbon up and down to create functional spaces to socialize, rest, and walk through. Cocksedge collaborated with White & White to fabricate the massive steel and upcycled scaffolding wood installation, which the designer described as “walk[ing] the line between a craft object and a design solution. It occupies the square without blocking it.”

With Joana Pinho, Cocksedge co-founded his namesake Studio in 2004. In a statement on their website, the Studio shares their design philosophy: “The key feature of the Studio’s work, in everything from product design to architectural projects, is a focus on simplicity and imagination in order to create unique people-centered designs.” Explore more of the Cocksedge Studio portfolio on their website, and if you enjoy this piece, also check out Yong Ju Lee’s Root Bench, which was installed in South Korea. (via designboom)

 

 



Art

Miniature Castles Emerge from Burled Wood in Carved Kinetic Sculptures by Uli Kirchler

September 6, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Woodworker Uli Kirchler’s “very hidden castles” are nestled within gnarled tree burls. The Portland, Oregon-based artist originally hails from Italy, and works with unique pieces of wood with textural surfaces and variegated colorations. He has developed a process of carving multi-story towers that telescope in and out of the wood with the flick of a wrist. The stacked, castle-like towers appear to be built on the rocky hillsides emulated by the knots, burls, and twists in the wood’s natural shape. Kirchler frequently shows his kinetic sculptures at the Portland Saturday Market You can see more of his designs in action on Instagram. (via Art Insider)

 

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Art Craft

Driftwood Animals and Beach Homes by Kirsty Elson Give New Life to Elements From the Sea

August 21, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Multi-media artist Kirsty Elson uses the bits of driftwood, shells, and other seaside scraps in her home in Cornwall, England to produce unique sculptures that imitate the surrounding seaside homes. Elson recreates the quaint cottages with minimal paint, utilizing bottle caps for lighthouse roofs, rusted nails for chimneys, and metal washers for decorative lifesavers. “The great thing about driftwood is that each piece is very different,” she explains in an interview with Studio Wallop on her website. “I tend to let the materials lead me, rather than having an idea in my head and trying to find a piece to fit my idea… I let the materials do the work really.” The artist studied illustration and printmaking at the Cambridge School of Art. You can see more of her reclaimed sculptures on Instagram. (via #WOMENSART)

 

 

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