Honebana – The Detailed Animal Bone Flowers of Hideki Tokushige

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Excavated Neanderthal bones often had traces of pollen around them, indicating that even back then flowers were used to celebrate the deceased. Japanese artist Hideki Tokushige uses animal bones to recreate various flowers, thus honoring the longstanding connection between the two.

“We’ve been creating paintings and sculptures for over 70,000 years and our relationship to bones is just as old,” Tokushige explains. “Everything around us – clothes, nuclear power plants, internet – can be traced back to the structure of bones.” Inspired by the cycle of life and death and the relationship between flowers and death, the Japanese artist started creating stunningly detailed Honebana, or bone flowers. It all started one day, when Hideki Tokushige was coming home from work. He saw a dead raccoon in the middle of the street, and instead of simply ignoring it or throwing it in a waste bin, he took it home, removed the bones and used them as an art medium. Originally trained in photography, Hideki found a way to assemble the bones into intricate floral sculptures that are shockingly beautiful to look at.

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Amazing Model of Matsumoto Castle Made Entirely Out of Corrugated Cardboard

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A Japanese artist known only as “Upunushu”, has created an amazingly detailed replica of Matsumoto Castle, a National Treasure of Japan, using only pieces of corrugated cardboard.

Cardboard is certainly not the easiest medium to work with when trying to recreate an architectural wonder like Matsumoto Castle, but Japanese artist, Upunushu, proves it can definitely be done. According to footage posted on Japanese video sharing site NicoNicoDouga and other media reports, this young master spent an entire week just planning the project, and another six months cutting out all the necessary pieces and assembling them as a model of the famous Crow Castle. It certainly wasn’t the shortest modelling project, but in terms of cost, this stunning piece of art couldn’t have been cheaper. Using cardboard boxes as the main material of her build, the talented artist spent just ¥300 ($2.95) on supplies. Apparently, just getting the castle’s stone base right took Upunushu two months to complete, as she had to glue each cardboard brick individually. The talented Upunushu has been creating incredible cardboard models ever since she was in fifth grade. Now in her mid-twenties, the artist has improves a lot since her early years, and plans to build even more intricate replicas.

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The Ancient Art of Tibetan Butter Sculpting Is Melting Away

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For the last 400 years, Tibetan monks have been using butter from yak milk to create large and intricate sculptures inspired by stories of Buddha, animals or plants and putting them on display during the annual Butter Lantern Festival. Unfortunately, the long and difficult process of making these exquisite works of art has led to a shortage of gifted lama artists.

The art of butter sculpting was born from the Tibetan tradition of giving Buddha everything they got from their domestic animals. Nomadic tribes with large herds of sheep and yaks regarded the first butter from each dri (female yak) as the most precious one and offered it to Buddhist monasteries, where monks shaped it into beautiful colored sculptures and offered it to the enlightened ones. The tradition was passed on from generation to generation, and even today, dozens of Tibetan monks work for months on a single giant butter sculpture that must be ready before the 15th of January, the climax of celebrations of the Tibetan New Year, as it mark the triumph of Lord Buddha over his six non-Buddhist teachers who challenged him in performing miracles. During the day, people pray in temples and monasteries, and as the night comes they head to Lhasa’s Barkhor Street to admire the hundreds of artistic butter sculptures, ranging from just a few centimeters in size to several stories high. This colorful display attracts millions of tourists both from Tibet and abroad.

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Would You Believe These Realistic Sculptures Are Made Exclusively from Wood?

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Arizona-based Tom Eckert would be better off calling himself an illusionist rather than a sculptor. The talented artist somehow manages to turn hard wood into realistic looking objects, from flowing fabrics, to books and fruits.

It’s almost impossible to believe Tom Eckert uses traditional techniques to carve his amazing artworks from wood, but that’s just what makes him so special. Since childhood, I have been curious about and amused by mistaken impressions of reality presented as part of my visual experiences,” Tom says. “One of my earliest recollections, on a car trip, was my perception of the wet, slick highway ahead that turned out to be an illusion, a mirage.  The revelation that I was fooled, visually and intellectually tricked, stuck with me.  This visual deception is now the basis for my creative direction.  “Cloth” carved of wood has much different structural qualities than real cloth. When this idea is applied to my compositions (floating book, floating cards, floating rock) a sense of the impossible happens – for me, magic.” Not just for him, I’m sure.

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Talented Illustrator Doodles Photo-Realistic Ballpoint Pen Portraits

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Doodling may not seem like the right word to describe Jacob Everett’s detailed artworks, but he does in fact use overlapping elliptical patterns to create incredibly realistic portraits of celebrities and homeless people from the streets of Bradford.

“I am a portrait artist working with biro on paper,” Jacob describes his technique. “I produce large-scale portraits using an intricate technique of overlapping elliptical marks, which gradually build to represent the subtle contours of the face. In common with digital images, my works, close up, appear as thousands of tiny ‘pixels’. When viewed from a distance they reveal the subtleties and nuances of individual character.” Using loops to accentuate the tiniest features of the subject’s face is a time-consuming process, and the 23-year-old illustrator spends several weeks on a single piece, concentrating on one section of their visage at a time. The finished product is always an awe-inspiring masterpiece that viewed from up-close looks like a sea of tiny pixels, but from afar reveals all the subtle contours of the person’s face.

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The Drinkable Masterpieces of a Japanese Anime Latte Artist

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If you’re a fan of coffee and Japanese anime, you’re going to love these amazingly detailed latte portraits of famous Japanese cartoon characters. They are the creations of Twitter user, Sugi, who only started doing latte art a year ago.

I’m a big fan of coffee art, whether it’s executed directly on a cup of joe or on a canvas, using the delicious medium as paint, so when I saw these incredible works of anime art I just couldn’t resist sharing them with you guys. If you thought latte hearts and leaves were cool, Sugi’s designs are probably going to blow your mind. The talented Japanese barista only took up coffee art last April, but she is already able to create unbelievable portraits of anime characters like Sailor Moon or Naruto in stunning detail. Using only toothpicks, chocolate syrup for the dark areas and cocktail syrups for the other colors, Sugi hand-draws two-three of her beautiful artworks every day. So far, she has created over 800 latte masterpieces, and posted photos of them on her Twitter page.

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The Meticulously Woven Mugshots of Joanne Arnett

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American artist Joanne Arnett combines photography and embroidery into an amazing new art form. Using thread and steel wire, she is able to reproduce people’s mugshots in photo-like quality.

We’ve featured some impressive embroidered artworks on Oddity Central in the past, but Joanne Arnett’s masterpieces are in a class of their own. Living and working near the banks of the Cuyahoga River in Ohio, the talented artist hand-weaves every photo onto a canvas made of steel wire. According to The Jealous Curator, “she weaves large scale portraits with wire so the face is visible when light bounces off it. The images shift, like a giant daguerreotype from positive to negative depending on where the viewer stands, or sometimes they completely disappear into the plane of fabric.” It’s simply amazing how she can turn these embarrassing mugshots into something so beautiful, and the fact that she names every work of art after the subject’s sentence just adds to their charm. If you thought weaving and embroidery were just outdated crafts your grandmother used to practice, Joanne Arnett’s stunning artworks will definitely change your mind.

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Sharkskin Designer Gloves Are a Real Pain to Take Off

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If you’re looking for a pair of comfortable designer gloves, stay away from Sruli Recht’s pain-inducing mitts. The Australian designer used an inner lining made of basking shark skin, which features thousands of hook-like scales.

From the outside, Sruli Recht’s Lasting Impression looks like a nice and soft basking shark skin glove, but there’s a thorny surprise waiting inside for would-be wearers. The eccentric designer decided to fit the interior of his creation with thousands of sharp hook-like scales, all directed inward. That means the gloves are easy to put on, but literally a pain to take off. “Should you put your hand in, you will discover that the thorns, all directed to slant inward, will lock your hand in place in the manner of ten thousand fishhooks. Should you attempt to remove it, the thousands of thorns will bite into the skin. You can put the gloves on, but to remove them would mean to cut them off. Gloves for life, or for one wear – the ultimate and final commitment,” Recht writes on his website. Of course, you could always cut it off to avoid experiencing the excruciating pain, but then again, you would be throwing a good $950 right off the window. I say pull the hand out! Yes, you’ll probably faint from the pain, but you will have ripped off most of the spikes, and ended up with a nice, comfortable glove. Plus, you’ll feel like a real man…

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Stunning Japanese Paintings Created in Microsoft Excel

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When it comes to painting, or even digital art, Microsoft Excel isn’t usually the first thing that pops into your head. Yet 73-year-old artist, Tatsuo Horiuchi, has been using it to create stunningly beautiful traditional Japanese artworks.

If you’re going to use software for artistic purposes, why not use something like the powerful and popular Adobe Photoshop, right? Well, Tatsuo Horiuchi’s explanation sort of makes sense – he says graphics software is too expensive, while Microsoft Excel came pre-installed on his computer. Plus, although he had never used it himself, before he retired from his job he often saw his colleagues using it to create graphs, so he thought the program could be used to draw art as well. In his early pension years, Horiuchi decided he wanted to try something new, so he bought a computer and began experimenting with digital painting. At first, he tried Microsoft Word, but he experienced problems with determining the canvas size to fit the printing paper, so he ultimately turned to Excel, which had a neat feature that automatically reduced the worksheet size to fit his A4 printing paper. Painting in a spreadsheet application was hard at first, but the ambitious Tatsuo managed to hone is skills, and during the last 10 years he has established himself as an original artist, with exhibitions all over Japan.

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The Mind-Blowing Wooden Wristwatches of Valerii Danevych

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Valerii Danevych, a wood-crafting master from the Ukraine, has dedicated his life to making functional wrist-watches entirely out of wood, with the sole exception of a metal spring needed to propel the movement.

We’ve posted our share of unique wristwatch creations on Oddity Central, from the bombproof Kaventsmann Triggerfish Bronze A2 to the amazing wristwatch part motorcycles of Jose Geraldo Reis Pfau, but nothing quite like the wooden marvels of Valerii Danevych. Coming from a long line of cabinetmakers, the Ukrainian craftsman has always had a fascination for wood. He started making miniatures in his early school days, including an impressive 3cm guitar with human hair strings, but as he grew up and his skills improved, restoring wooden objects and creating tiny artworks just didn’t give him any satisfaction anymore. He just couldn’t get the idea of creating complicated mechanical things out of his head, so in 2005, without having any training as a watchmaker, he began working on functional wooden wristwatches. It took a while for Valerii to determine which type of woods were most suitable for the tiny parts needed, and  for him to learn the basics of watchmaking, but by 2008, he had completed his first functional wooden pocket watch.

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Food Artist Creates Edible Beyonce Portrait from 3780 Oreo Pops

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To celebrate Beyonce’s recent return to a UK stage, after the Glastonbury festival in 2011, Oreo commissioned food artist Michelle Wibowo to create a tasty portrait of the popular singer from nearly 4,000 Oreo pops.

For those of you who don’t yet know about Oreo pops, they’re are delicious treats made from crushed Oreo cookies mixed with Philadelphia cream cheese. Michelle enlisted the help of former Atomic Kitten member Jenny Frost and her son Casper to celebrate Beyonce’s return by making a scrumptious portrait of her from 3780 Oreo pops of different consistencies. The edible artwork required six weeks of careful planning, and crushing the cookies, mixing them with the cream cheese, rolling every single pop by hand and placing them at the exact right place to create the detailed image needed another eight hours of work. The five foot by eight foot portrait numbered  2244 dark pops and 1536 lighter pops. “When I was asked to create a pop icon portrait using just Oreo pops, new mum and superstar Beyoncé seemed the natural choice,” Michelle Wibowo said about the project. “It took a long time to map the exact position for each pop and create a recognizable likeness, but the hardest part of the process was trying not to eat it!”As a huge Oreo fan, I can relate…Beyonce however, can’t. The former Destiny’s Child lead singer is said to have banned junk food from her global tour, as she turned to healthy snacks such as almonds and oatcakes to maintain her tone figure. More junk food for the rest of us, I guess…

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Detailed Urban Landscape Images Are Actually Ultra-Realistic Paintings

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Nathan Walsh is an English realist painter who specializes in urban landscapes. He pays tribute to some of the world’s most beautiful cities, like New York, Chicago or London, through photo-realistic paintings of various urban locations.

Nathan is definitely not the only artist in the world who can create amazingly-realistic images using simple tools like a pencil and paintbrush, but the painstaking process he employs to reach his goal is very different from the way other hyper-realist masters work. Painters who use photographic sources for their artworks use a variety of techniques, including loose sketching of their subjects or transforming the canvas into a grid and painting box by box, but Nathan Walsh takes things to a whole new level by relying on elaborate drawings that look a lot like architectural blueprints to achieve the awe-inspiring level of realism visible in the images below. Before picking up the paintbrush, he draws up to 100 different sketches of a single urban scene, a time-consuming process that can take up to three or four months.

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Artist Uses Powerful Airplane Engine as Paintbrush to Create Jet Art

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Florida-based artist Princess Tarinan von Anhalt creates abstract works of art by hurling cans and bottles of paint into the air and letting the strong winds produced by a jet engine splatter it onto a canvas. It’s probably the most expensive paintbrush ever used, but clients will often pay as much as $50,000 just to watch her work.

Jet Art, characterized by using a jet engine’s air currents to create abstract shapes on a canvas, was invented in 1982, by Prince Jurgen von Anhalt of Austria. After he passed away, his legacy was kept alive by his wife, Princess Tarinan von Anhalt, who became the first woman to use the unusual painting technique, in 2006. She has been using Jet Art to decorate pieces of clothing including sportswear, swimwear, luggage, and jeans, which she presents at various fashion shows, but using the power of a jet engine to create unique artworks remains the most impressive use of this intriguing yet dangerous practice. Last week, the artist was invited to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Learjet, a private airplane brand, by painting 101 canvasses in just two days. Believe it or not, that’s a lot tougher than simply throwing paint into the air and letting the engine do the rest. Princess Tarinan von Anhalt has to endure winds several times stronger than a hurricane and temperatures that can reach 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

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The Wonderfully Artistic Tattoos of a French Skin Art Master

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If you’re going to get a tattoo, why not go for something truly beautiful instead of the usual tribal, heart, dragon or those tacky Chinese characters that people seem to love so much. Five years ago, French tattoo master Xoïl aka Loïc adopted a new artsy style called the “Photoshop Style”, which really gives “skin art” a whole new meaning.

Xoïl was born in a very small village in Southern France, where his father worked as a mason, creating beautiful things out of stuff other people just threw away. Watching his father at work inspired him to leave the rural life behind and start making cool stuff himself. He never had a formal apprenticeship under a tattoo artist, because they all had these “old-school crazy ideas” he just didn’t recognize at the time, so he simply hung out at tattoo shops picking up the basics and developing his unique style. And it shows in his current artworks. Xoïl’s style is so distinct from other skin artists’ that you can recognize one of his pieces on sight. Combining clients’ ideas with stamp-like textures, typewriter-inspired fonts and geometric patterns, the French master creates incredibly beautiful works of permanent body art that have caught the attention of tattoo enthusiasts around Europe and the US.

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Artist Creates Sculpture Smaller Than a Blood Cell on a Hair Stubble

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Renowned microsculptor Willard Wigan MBE has created the world’s smallest ever work of art by carving a motorcycle on a hollowed-out hair stubble, by hand, in between his heartbeats. The tiny masterpiece measures just 3 microns and is only visible through a microscope.

55-year-old Willard Wigan MBE was already famous for his tiny pinhead sculptures, but he wanted “to go beyond human expectations” and “personally challenge himself” to create something even more amazing that the world hadn’t seen before. So one day, while brushing his face after a shave, he noticed a tiny hair stubble embedded in his fingerprint and decided that was going to be his new canvas. The Birmingham-based artist somehow managed to hollow out the hair fragment and armed with a special tool featuring microscopic diamond fragments he painstakingly sculpted a golden chopper motorcycle, working 16-hours a day for five weeks. Why would such a small work of art take so long to create, you ask? Willard explains that his microscopic chopper is smaller that a human blood cell and so fragile that even the pulse in his finger could have crushed it completely, so he was forced to work in between heartbeats.

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