The Gooey Chewing-Gum Sculptures of Maurizio Savini

Italian artist Maurizio Savini has spent the last ten years creating amazing sculptures out of thousands of pieces of bright pink chewing gum.

Chewing gum may not be the most common media of the art world, but to 39-year-old Maurizio Savini it’s the most versatile material available. It’s easy to manipulate when warm, and can be cut with a knife, just like clay. Regardless of what many may think, chewing gum sculpting is an established art form, recognized all over the world, and Savini’s artworks are eagerly awaited by critics and connoisseurs, alike.

Disgusting as it may seem to some people, Maurizio Savini uses thousands of chewed up pieces of bubble gum for each of his sculptures. He molds them into the desired shapes and when the whole thing is done, he fixes the sculpture with formaldehyde and antibiotics. The amazingly detailed chewing gum sculptures of Maurizio Savini have sold fro up to $60,000 each.

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California Couple Shares Home with Pack of Wolves

Wolves may no seem like the best choice for pets, but to Paul Pondella and Colette Duvall they are more like members of the family.

This incredible friendship between man and animals began a few years back, when Paul Pondella rescued and adopted Shadow, a female black Alaskan timberwolf hybrid. The result of mating a domestic dog and a wolf, Shadow was welcomed into the couple’s home in Studio City, near Los Angeles. Since living with Shadow proved such an amazing experience, Paul and his partner, Colette, decided to adopt more wolf hybrids. And that’s how Allie and Takoda, together with their seven cubs, became part of the family.

These photos of the couple playing with the wolf hybrids may look cute, but according to Paul, it took several years of training to gain the animals’ confidence, because of their wild nature. Now, they are completely comfortable sharing their home with humans, and slouch on the sofas and even the couple’s bed, as if they were the owners.

Paul Pondella and Colette Duvall are currently involved in a project that seeks to educate children about wolves, their fascinating nature and the plight against them. They often invite people to interact with their wolf hybrids, as they believe there’s no better way to learn than first hand experience.

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Cyckisk – The Bicycle Obelisk of Santa Rosa

California-based artists Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector used around 340 bicycles and a tricycle to built the Ciclysk – a 65-foot-tall version of the Washington Monument.

The newly installed Ciclysk may be perceived as a monument that encourages people to ride bikes instead of driving cars, but its funding actually came from the “1-percent-for-public-art” that Nissan paid to open a big car dealership just south of where the odd obelisk is now located. Santa Rosa currently has a law that requires one percent of every major construction project be donated towards public art.

Although the Cyclisk looks like it’s made of brand new bicycle parts, artist Mark Grieve says he only used parts that beyond being used on a functional bike. All he did was cover his creation in a special coating that will keep it looking nice and colorful for a long time. The bicycle parts were all donated by members of the Santa Rosa community who were excited to contribute to the creation of their city’s newest landmark.

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The Wacky Ice-Cream Graveyard of Vermont

Have you ever wondered where ice-cream flavors go to die? Well, believe it or not, they have their very own cemetery, in Vermont.

The New England city of Vermont is famous for its Ben&Jerry’s ice cream, and the company’s Waterbury factory is the most popular tourist attraction in the whole state. One of the things that makes Ben&Jerry’s special is the wide variety of flavors, but as new ones emerge every year, older and unpopular ones reach the end of the line. To honor their memory, Ben&Jerry’s built a cemetery just for them.

Located on a hill, behind the famous Waterbury ice-cream factory, the Flavor Cemetery features hundreds of plastic tombstones, for every wacky flavor ever launched by Ben&Jerry’s. Each tombstone has an artist-written epitaph and a list of ingredients of the “deceased” ice-creams. Since the birth of Ben&Jerry’s, 200 flavors that have failed to impress customers, ended up pushing daisies in the Flavor Cemetery.

But don’t start crying over the demise of your favorite ice-cream flavor, just yet. According to Ben&Jerry’s, you have the power to bring “deceased” flavors back from the dead, by asking for it on their official website. If a flavor gets enough votes to convince management, it will be exhumed and brought back in the world of the living.

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Sokushinbutsu – Japan’s Self-Mummified Monks

Sokushinbutsu were Buddhist priests who took their own lives in such a way that they became mummies and were revered for their spirit and dedication.

Popular in northern Japan, especially around the Yamagato Prefecture, the practice of becoming Sokushinbutsu is believed to a tantric ritual from Tang China, brought to the Land of the Rising Sun by the founder of Shingon Buddhism.

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Eggcubism – The Art of Painting on Egg Cartons

Using the unique shape and texture of the egg carton to his advantage, Dutch artist Enno de Kroon creates fragmented and multifaceted images. He calls this new art form “eggcubism“.

Enno de Kroon says he has always experimented with distortions of perspective, and has had egg cartons around his studio for a long time, but needed to build up the courage to work with such an unusual art medium. Since the hindrances of the egg carton offer such a different perspective, depending on the angle it’s viewed from, Enno de Kroon was forced to approach painting in a whole new way.

Inspired by famous cubism masters like Picasso and Braque, who showed everyone how to take an object, a person or landscape, and show it from various angles, Enno de Kroon made looking at his artworks an interactive experience, where viewers had to discover the perfect viewing angles. But unlike traditional cubism, where there is just one right angle to an artwork, eggcubism features various viewing options, that turn a beautiful smiling lady into a five-eyed freak.

Check out more of Enno de Kroon’s amazing eggcubism masterpieces on his Flickr stream.

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The Suitcase Architecture of Yin Xiuzhen

Chinese artist Yin Xiuzhen creates her Portable Cities by carefully arranging discarded clothes and other pieces of fabric, in suitcases.

One of the most original artists of our time, Yin Xiuzhen says she first got the idea for her amazing Portable Cities while she was traveling. Looking at the conveyor belt, in an airport, waiting for her baggage, she felt like she was actually traveling with her home, and decided to use this idea in her art. According to Yin Xiuzhen, her Portable Cities represent the ease with which the modern man is able to travel from one city to the next.

In the expert hands of Yin Xiuzhen, old clothing articles worn by everyday urban citizens become unique pieces of architecture. So far, the artist has created some of the cities she’s visited throughout the years, including Berlin, Vancouver, Seattle and her home city of Beijing.

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Cascamorras – The Dirty Festival of Granada

Every September 8th, the Spanish towns of Baza and Guadix host the Festival of Cascamorras, an event unique to the Granada region of Spain.

According to legend, the origin of “La Fiesta del Cascamorras” can be traced back to 1490, when Don Luis de Acuña Herrera decided to built the Church of Mercy in the town of Baza, where a Moazarabic mosque had previously been erected. While chiseling a block of plaster, Juan Pedernal, a worker from the nearby town of Guadix, heard a soft, soothing voice coming from inside a cavern, which said “Have mercy!”. Upon examining the cavity he stumbled upon a statue of the Virgin Mary, that came to be known as “Our Lady of Mercy”.

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The Incredible Wire Sculptures of Ivan Lovatt

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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Belgian Cook Sets New French Fries Making Record

Chris Verschueren, a 53-year-old French fries maker, from the Belgian village of Kastel, has set a new world record after cooking and selling French fries for 83 consecutive hours.

Verschueren turned on his deep fryer on Friday morning and didn’t stop frying potato chips until Monday evening. During this cooking marathon, the tenacious chip-maker only took a 100 minute break to shower and do some stretching. After cooking up 1,500 kilograms of potatoes, Chris Verschueren had this to say: “My fingers are burnt, my feet are sore and my wrist is painful, but it doesn’t matter, I’m going to party now.”

Although he couldn’t reach his goal of selling 1,500 bags of French fries, the national Belgian dish, Verschueren managed to break the old record for non-stop French fry making, of 72 hours, set in 1987 by a British cook.

Apart from his passion for making French fries and the desire to have his name mentioned in the record books, Chris Verschueren took on this challenge to raise funds for a children’s hospital.

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Ti Jian Zi – The Ancient Art of Shuttlecock Kicking

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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Robosteel Creates Awesome Replica of Bumblebee

After they took the Internet by storm, last year, with their stunning replica of Optimus Prime, the guys at RoboSteel have done it again. This time, it’s Bumblebee.

RoboSteel came up with the idea for a steel replica of Transformers hero Bumblebee, at the MPH Top Gear Show, back in 2009, where their 2.5 meters-tall Optimus Prime made an appearance. Looking at a gorgeous yellow Camaro, the boys just thought it would be a great challenge, and that good ol’ Optimus deserved to be reunited with his long-time partner.

The 2.2 meter-tall replica of Bumblebee was created from pieces of recycled steel, and weighs a whopping 400 kilograms. While it may not be as awesome as the life-size Bumblebee showcased at the 2010 Cybertron Annual Meeting, in Shanghai, this is one of the coolest Transformers replicas I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a few.

As for what Robosteel is planning for the future – they’re giving the Decepticons a chance for a change, with a replica of Megatron.

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The Typewriter Artworks of Keira Rathbone

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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Fisherman Catches 1,000 Different Species of Fish

47 -year-old Steve Wozniak, a lure fisherman from California, has traveled the world over, in his quest to catch as many different species of fish as possible. So far he managed to catch 1,000 species, from a colorful Threadfin Butterflyfish to a 410 kilogram shark.

Believe it or not, Steve Wozniak has spent the last 10 years, and $75,000 traveling to 63 different countries in the search for new species of fish to put on his list. He flew over 1 million air miles, and spent over 20,000 hours holding his trusty rod and hoping for a bite. But all his efforts paid out when he finally caught his 1,000th fish species, a Norwegian coalfish, and set a new world record.

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Jeremy May Creates Jewelry from Book Cutouts

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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