The Incredible Wire Sculptures of Ivan Lovatt

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Artist Ivan Lovatt has recreated the faces of celebrities such as Michael Jackson or The Beatles, using nothing but chicken wire.

Ivan Lovatt is one of those artists who are always looking for new media to experiment with, and for him chicken wire proved to be just what he needed. Before starting to mold chicken wire into intricate portraits, Ivan used it to give structure to some of his earlier sculptures. At one point, he began creating wildlife out of the unusual medium, and as his skills developed, he moved to celebrity portraits.

Most of his wire portraits take over a month to complete and about one and a half times larger than life size. Somehow, he manages to twist, bend and pin the wire in such a way that his portraits end up so detailed you can actually see every hair on their head. He became a professional sculptor six years ago, and since then , his works have been displayed in galleries and museums all around the world.

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Ti Jian Zi – The Ancient Art of Shuttlecock Kicking

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One of the most popular traditional Chinese arts, Ti Jian Zi, known in the western world as shuttlecock kicking, requires a great deal of skill and practice.

The game of shuttlecock kicking is believed to have been invented sometime during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) and gradually increased in popularity,  to a point where shops that specialized in the making of shuttlecocks began appearing all over China. The art of shuttlecock kicking reached its climax during the Qing Dynasty, when competitions were held between masters of the game from all over the country.

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The Typewriter Artworks of Keira Rathbone

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British artist Keira Rathbone uses typewriters, instead of brushes and pencils, to create amazing portraits and drawings.

27-year-old Keira Rathbone, from London, first started experimenting with typewriter art, when she was in university. She baought an old typewriter, from a flee market, in the hope that she would soon use it to write something. By the middle of her first year at the university, she hadn’t come up with anything to put down on paper, so she decided to use it as a drawing tool. The first results were promising, and young Keira quickly realized she would be exploring this new art form much further.

Fast forward to present day and Keira Rathbone is an established artist with her very own niche, praised by the entire artworld. She now has an arsenal of 30 typewriters which she has used to create unique portraits of Barrack Obama, Kate Moss, Marylin Monroe, and others.

Keira Rathbone says she simply turns the roller to move the sheet of paper, and uses different characters to create the shapes she wants. It might sound easy enough, but creating detailed artworks from simple letters, numbers and punctuation is definitely not the easiest thing to do.

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Jeremy May Creates Jewelry from Book Cutouts

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We’ve seen books used as an art medium before, but never as material for unique pieces of jewelry. Jeremy May manages to capture the beauty of paper and makes it available to everyone, in the shape of various fashion accessories. His Littlefly jewels are made from hundreds of laminated sheets of paper, covered by a layer of gloss.  As each of his pieces are impossible to replicate, they are all unique.

The pages for Littlefly jewels are carefully selected, and the finish products are shipped with the book they were created from. It’s not like you can read it anymore, but it make a great packaging.

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The Wood Veneer Paintings of Rob Milam

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Using an artform known as “marquetry”, Rob Milam creates beautiful paintings with wood veneer.

Marquetry is defined as the composition of an image using natural wood veneer, cut into pieces and glued on a substrate, sort of like a puzzle. Every one of Rob Milam’s marquetry paintings start with a photograph. He uses Photoshop to create a black-and-white image showing the dark and light values and uses anywhere from four to sixteen different wood veneers to recreate it.

Every species of wood has a distinctive grain pattern and colors range from creamy white (holy and English sycamore), to dark brown (Brazilian rosewood) and even black (bog oak). Though he usually uses only naturally colored wood, Rob Milam sometimes makes use of artificially colored blue and green veneer, for replicating the eye’s iris.

The pieces of wood veneer are cut into pieces by the artist himself, using chisels, knives and saws.

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The Cardboard Cameras of Kiel Johnson

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Cardboard is apparently one of the most popular art mediums of our time, and Kiel Johnson’s cardboard cameras are the latest in a series of impressive cardboard artworks.

From the cardboard-made Cakeland to the wonderful sculptures of Chris Gilmour, I’ve posted my share of cardboard creations, and to help me keep the tradition alive are Kiel Johnson’s amazing cardboard cameras. The American artist has crafted a whole series of cardboard cameras, from the “ancient” 8mm, to point and shoot, Polaroid, and even the latest DSLRs.

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The Weird Art of Dimitri Tsykalov

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Dimitri Tsykalov is one of the few artists out there who don’t discriminate between carnivores and omnivores, he creates art for both. The truth is this Russian artist just likes to experiment with a variety art mediums.

In “Meat”, one of the most disturbing art projects I’ve ever seen, Tsykalov  took a bunch of naked models and fitted them with weapons and armor fashioned from bloody pieces of meat. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be covered in nothing but chunks of red meat, but I’ll bet those models took some really long showers after the photo shoot.

His unique skulls, carved in fruits and vegetables, are not as shocking as his experience in the world of meat, but the level of detail and the unconventional medium draw just as much attention.

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Yet Another Awesome Iron Man Suit

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I’m a huge fan of cosplay, and although I’ve already featured a few home-made Iron Man costumes on OC, I just couldn’t help share the metal suit made by Ted Gorzkowski.

Ted is a carpenter by trade, but a talented blacksmith at heart. And since he’s always been a fan of superhero movies, he decided to put his blacksmith talents to the test and create a metal replica of Tony Stark’s famous suit. He spent months molding the pieces of metal, painting it in just the right colors and creating the arc reactors out of hundreds of LEDs, but the final result was totally worth the effort.

This Iron Man suit made by Ted Gorzkowski may not be as detailed as the War Machine replica created by cosplay master Anthony Le, but it’s definitely worthy of our praise. For more photos of this cosplay masterpiece, check out Ted’s MySpace profile.

Thanks a lot, Ted!

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The Bottle Cap Jewelry of Yoav Kotik

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On a quest to change the way people think about trash, Yoav Kotik uses plain bottle caps to create beautiful pieces of jewelry.

The 52-year-old Israeli artist used to work as an industrial designer, and also tested the waters in the insurance industry, before focusing all his attention on the art world. Though many might be tempted to think Yoav Kotik was inspired by environmental issues, he confesses he was simply inspired by the urban environment that surrounds him.

His unique jewelry sets from his “Precious Metal” collection are part precious (metals like silver and gold, as well as precious stones) and part junk (mainly useless bottle caps, bent or carved into unique artworks). The bottle caps are collected from various places and cultures around the world, and moulded into unique masterpieces.

Apart from his jewelry collection, Yoav Kotik has also created various bottle cap artworks, from flowers to chandeliers.

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The Steampunk Insects of Shojiro Yamauchi

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Although he only recently graduated from the Nihon University College of Art, Shojiro Yamauchi is already considered one of the most talented metal sculptors in Japan. His most recent collection, entitled “Inhabitants of a Certain Planet”, features giant steampunk insects, including a cicada with its wings spread, a spider and a number of large ants. You can see the marksmanship of the artist in the detailed photos below.

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Master Modeller Builds Unique Matchstick Armada

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We’ve seen some pretty amazing things built entirely with matchsticks, but Phillip Warren’s matchstick fleet is in a class of its own.

79-year-old Phillip Waren has spent the last 62 years of his life creating incredible ship models out of old mtachsticks and the wooden boxes they used to be packed in. He started building his amazing matchstick models when he was just 17, using the things around him, and since matchsticks were much more common back then, finding large supplies was a very easy task.

The master modeller, from Brandford, Dorset, has created every ship built in the Royal Navy since 1945, as well as 60 other ships from the US navy and other impressive floating fortresses from 18 other nations. One of the largest ships in his collection is the famous USS Nimitz, the largest aircraft carrier in the world.

Throghout his career as a ship model builder, Phillip Waren created over 400 individual ships, as well as 1,200 airplane models that make his aircraft carriers look more real. The average ship in his collection is made using around 1,500 matchsticks and takes about a month to complete, but for his larger creations he used over 5,000 matchsticks and 200 wooden boxes. These took him about a year to complete. All in all, Phillip Waren used around 650,000 matchsticks, to create his entire fleet.

Although many museum curators told him his matchstick creations are worth serious money, Phillip Waren considers them invaluable, and has never once considered selling them. He decided not to ensure them either because he feels “the purpose of insurance is to replace things when you lose them. These can never be replaced”.

Sadly, his collection isn’t going to grow much bigger than it already is, not because Phillip Waren is getting to old, but because the wooden boxes used as packaging for the matches have been replace by cardboard ones, and his stockpile is running low.

Take a look at Mr. Waren’s detailed collection and prepare to have your mind blown:

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Epic Gundam Statue Made from Left-Over Plastic Runners

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If you thought those plastic grids that come attached to most plastic model parts were just a bunch of useless junk, prepare to be amazed. A group of Gundam fans used a whole lot of these frames (usually called runners) to build an awesome RX-78 replica.

As if you needed any more proof that nothing even remotely related to Gundam is junk, a group of Gundam fans managed to build a 10-foot tall statue of the RX-78 model almost completely out of left-over model runners. It took over 250 man-hours to complete, over the course of 95 days.

The photos below offer a pretty good view of the RG (recycle grade) Gundam model, but if you’re in Tokyo these days, you can check it out first at hand, at the Dengeki Hobby booth, at the Chara Hobby Show.

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Skull Artist Creates Skull Out of Human Brain Slices

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Noah Scanlin, the skull artist of Skull-A-Day.com was allowed to play with around 400 human brain slices, at the ever-creepy Mutter Museum, in Philadelphia.

Last month, Noah Scanlin visited the Mutter Museum, and was asked if he could create one of his famous skull artworks, right there, in the museum. Honored by the request, Noah accepted, but was worried he was going t work with fragile mediums, like glass jars. Luckily, the Mutter Museum had just acquired a few hundred slices of human brain encased in acrylic.

The skull artist was allowed to set up the sturdy pieces of acrylic in a room of the Mutter, on a couple of big library tables. Over the course of two days, he arranged the brain slices, constantly going up and down a ladder, making sure he arranged every piece right.

In the end he used 375 brain slices and a few pieces of fabric, for his brain-made skull. Impressive job!

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Zhou Mingdi – The Ultimate Calligraphy Artist

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Writing just as pretty with both hands is rarely possible, but 63-year-old Zhou Mingdi, from China’s Hunan province can write just as good with different part of his body. The old calligraphy master is able to right just as beautifully whether he’s holding his brushes in his hands, feet, mouth, nose, or even strapped on his back.

What’s even more fascinating about Zhou Mingdi is that he’s able to write with up to eight calligraphy brushes at the same time, and still get better results than the average man.here are some photos of him showcasing his art in front of a public audience, back in 2005.

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The Pearl Carpet of Baroda – An Embroided Masterpiece

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The most incredible carpet ever created by human hand, the famous Pearl Carpet of Baroda is a diamond-and-pearl-encrusted treasure.

“The most wonderful piece of embroidery ever known,” as Sir George Birdwood, a connoisseur of Indian jewelry, called this incredible carpet, gets its name from Maratha Princely State of Baroda, one of the four Princely States of the Maratha Confederacy, that was ruled by the Gaekwar dynasty since 1740. It was commissioned by Gaekwar Khande Rao, and took around five years to complete.

Gaekwar Khande Rao, was Hindu ruler, but he was fascinated by Islam and its teachings, and ordered the carpet in order to fulfill a vow. He wished to cover the tomb of the Holy Prophet of Islam with this amazing carpet covered with pearls and diamonds, and thus show his respect to Islam, and his Muslim subjects. But Gaekwar Khande Rao died before the pearl carpet could be delivered and was kept as a state treasure.

The Pearl Carpet of Baroda is 2.64 meters long, 1.73 meters wide, and is made from a mixture of silk and deer hide. Its design was inspired by the Indian Mughal period and the Safavid period of Iran, but its motifs could easily be ignored, if it weren’t from the millions of precious stones covering it.

Most of the Pearl Carpet of Baroda is covered with colored glass beads, and an estimated 1.5 to 2 million natural seed pearls harvested from the coasts of Qatar and Bahrain. In the middle of the carpet there are three large rosettes made of 2,520 table-cut and rose cut diamonds, placed in silver-topped and blackened gold. Over 1,000 cabochon rubies and 600 Colombian emeralds can be found on the carpet.

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