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Art

Metamorphosis and History Merge in Meticulously Carved Sculptures by Andreas Senoner

November 9, 2022

Kate Mothes

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of two figures covered in white feathers.

“Origins,” walnut and feathers. All images © Andreas Senoner, shared with permission

Seemingly transfixed in time during a mysterious process of transformation, Andreas Senoner’s mixed-media sculptures capture expressive details in human figures and gestures. “I focus my research on a series of main themes, including metamorphosis, heritage, and stratification,” he tells Colossal. The Florence-based artist explores layers of history by working with materials that are rich in cultural significance, incorporating textures like thorns or spikes, insect-bored timber, or saturated paint that induces tension.

Senoner carefully forms the contours of muscles and limbs in response to the natural grain of each piece of wood, and works can take several weeks to complete. “The essence of the wood also has a strong influence; a walnut sculpture, for example, takes twice as long as one made of lime wood,” he explains. Intricately detailed, life-like body parts sprout thorns, mimic a felled tree, or appear from beneath a cocoon-like cloak of organic material. Many reference figures from classical art history in another nod to the passing of time.

“Feathers have a very strong symbolism, and they are an integral part of rituals and celebrations in many cultures, where they represent lightness and freedom,” he tells Colossal. The feathers create layers, “like an intangible and delicate skin or shell that still is able to confine and shield the represented individual from the outside world.” Contrasting textures and associations of materials like ancient walnut, beeswax, or lichen parallels his interest in the dualities of interior and exterior experiences.

Senoner is currently working toward exhibitions in early 2023 in Italy and Belgium, and you can find more on his website and Instagram.

 

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of a hand with thorns coming out of the fingers.

“Fear,” walnut

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of a foot with thorns coming out of it.

“Fragment,” walnut

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of a figure covered in white and yellow feathers.

“Mask (moulting),” walnut and feathers

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of a bust with insect-bored wood.

“Nature doesn’t care,” ancient walnut

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of a bust with insect-bored wood.

“Nature doesn’t care”

Two images of sculptures by Andreas Senoner featuring two arms connected in a U-shape with feathers, and two figures with red legs wearing white feathers.

:eft: “Shapeshifter,” walnut and feathers. Right: Rear view of “Origins”

A torso and lower legs on its side made out of wood by Andreas Senoner.

“Regrowth,” painted walnut

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of two figures whose legs are sticking out of a covering made of green lichen.

“Origins,” wood and lichen

 

 

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Animation Design

In Clever Stop-Motion Tutorials by omozoc, Wooden Boards Slice Like Sticks of Butter

June 1, 2022

Kate Mothes

Stop-motion animator omozoc (previously) has a knack for making complex and labor-intensive processes look remarkably effortless. In a new series called Stop Motion Woodworking, planks of wood are sliced with kitchen knives, cookie cutters carve mortise holes like dough, and a bench scraper shapes tenons for the joints with the smoothness of a blade through a stick of butter. Satisfying chopping and slicing sounds accompany the construction of a small stool that is just the right size to hold a milk crate, which features in its own tutorial video.

Find more animations by omozoc on YouTube.

 

 

 



Craft

Unique Knots From Dozens of Different Trees are Showcased in a Hand-Built Geodesic Sphere

November 15, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Keith Williams (previously) has a knack for wowing viewers with his time-lapse woodworking videos. One of Williams’ recent projects entailed using offcuts that contain knots. In his hands, the geodesic dome becomes a multi-faceted showcase for the unique patterns, colors, and textures formed by these organic irregularities.

“In the 27 years of my woodworking business, I have never thrown away a knot,” Williams tells Colossal. “Many people see knots as a defect, but to me knots are the visual representation of a trees struggle to thrive. Not all little limbs become big branches, but their combined efforts on behalf of the tree as a whole should be celebrated.”

Step inside Williams’ Oddball Gallery workshop and see more in-progress projects on his YouTube channel.

 

 

 



Design

Little Tree Library: A Clever Twist on the Donation-Based Community Library Gives New Life to a Big Old Stump

January 7, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Thanks to the nonprofit Little Free Library, chances are you have encountered a small house-like structure on a public thoroughfare, with a front door that opens to allow passersby to give or take a free book. The program exists in 88 countries, with over 75,000 registered Little Free Libraries. In addition to the goodwill-fueled, donation-based libraries, one of the charms is that each one is customized. Many sport unique paint jobs or even entirely off-the-wall architecture, like the Swedish flag-bedecked Library in the shape of a water tower, which pays homage to the real structure, a beloved fixture in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago.

One family in Idaho took their Library design to the next level with a “Little Tree Library,” carved out of a 110-year-old cottonwood tree stump on their property. Sharalee Armitage Howard, you’ll not be surprised to learn, works as a librarian and previously studied bookbinding, according to her Facebook profile. She spearheaded the complex installation on her front lawn, including dentils that, upon closer inspection, are actually miniature books complete with titles. The Library also features interior and exterior lighting, to give the space an extra-homey glow, as well as a “roof” over the top of the stump to help prevent its weathering away.

KREM, the local news station in Coeur d’Alene made a video (below) to give those outside the small town a closer look at the Howard’s new addition. You can find a Little Free Library near you on the organization’s website, which also offers premade kits if you don’t have any large stumps on hand.

 

 



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. Take more peeks into the Oddball Studio on Williams’ website and YouTube. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Art

Artist Transforms a Fallen Redwood Tree into A Gigantic Eight-Tentacle Sea Creature

September 25, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Washington-based woodcarver Jeffrey Michael Samudosky has been creating elaborate figural works from a variety of Pacific Northwest trees since he started his company JMS Wood Sculpture in 1998. One of his most recent projects is a replica of an Enteroctopus dofleini, or Giant Pacific Octopus, carved from a fallen Redwood given to him by Redwood Burl. The cephalopod’s tentacles curve and twist their way across areas which Samudosky left natural, including the entire back of the trunk which gives the illusion that the octopus is on top of the tree, rather than a part of it.

Samudosky has previously carved deep sea diving helmets, rams, and bears twice his size. You can explore more of the self-taught woodworker’s pieces on his website and Facebook. (via Laughing Squid)