LEGO Masters Create Impressive LEGO Map of Europe

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A team of five LEGO enthusiasts have spent half a year working on an awesome map of Europe made of LEGO bricks.

The idea of building a large-scale LEGO map of Europe was first brought up in 2009, at a LEGO Fan Weekend event, and after months of careful planning, Vanessa Graf, Tanja Kusserow-Kurth, Torsten Scheer, Bruno Kurth and Tobias Reichling decided to actually start working on it. They began laying the first bricks in April 2010, and with the help of LEGO fans from around the world, the quintet managed to complete their masterpiece in September.

The giant LEGO map of Europe numbers an impressive 53,500 bricks, covers an area of 3.84 x 3.84 and features iconic monuments from all around the Old Continent.

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Artist Creates Weird Igloo from 322 Refrigerators

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German artist Ralf Schmerberg has created a bizarre-looking igloo, in the middle of Hamburg, to send a message about the country’s uncontrolled waste of energy.

Entitled “Wastefulness is the biggest source of Energy”, Schemerberg’s igloo aims to raise awareness to the amount of energy people are wasting nowadays. A huge electrical meter set up outside the igloo shows passers-by how much electrical energy the 322 old fridges would consume, and is meant to inspire them to think carefully about how much energy they are wasting every day. According to recent studies, Germany could save up to 40% of its energy, if everyday people would use electricity more efficiently.

The refrigerator igloo was sponsored by a German energy provider and will be exhibited in Hamburg’s Gänsemarkt until November 9th. The bizarre installation is 5.6 meters high and 11 meters in diameter, and was built using 322 old refrigerators and 1,718 meters of wire. On the inside, visitors can admire a funny electrical installations made up of colorful blinking lights.

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Matchstick Master Builds Impressive Matchstick Fleet

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David Reynolds, from Southampton, England, has spent over 10,000 hours gluing 250,000 matchsticks into a veritable matchstick armada of 20 legendary ships.

The 51-year-old retired oil rig worker first made headlines last year, when the Guinness Book of Records acknowledged his oil rig replica as the largest matchstick model in the world, numbering 4,075,000 matchsticks. But the matchstick master didn’t sleep on his laurel after this notable success. He kept on gluing matchsticks and this year he finally completed his amazing collection of 20 famous ships, including Nelson’s HMS Victory, the Cutty Sark, Queen Mary and even the Titanic.

The creator says he was inspired by the city of Southampton and England’s seafaring history, but the fact that his father worked on board the Queen Mary, and his life at sea as an oil rig worker also had something to do with it. He considers his intricate matchstick models a tribute to the men and women who  risked their lives at sea, throughout history.

Asked if he uses official plans from museums, to get every detail right, David Reynolds said that would cost him up to 1,000 pounds for each ship, so he prefers to use whatever photos and models he can find and do his own drawings. Each ship in his matchstick armada has taken between four and seven months to complete, and cost between 300 and 400 British pounds. The entire fleet took him around 10 years to build, and he says the hardest part was recreating the anchors, lifeboats and safety robes, as they take  tremendous patience and time.

Mister Reynolds discovered the art of matchstick model making when his son bought him a kit, when he was housebound after serious surgery. It started off as a hobby, but quickly turned into a passion that continues to bring him worldwide recognition.

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The Bizarre Human Ashes Sculptures of Wieki Somers

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Dutch artist Wieki Somers pushes the boundaries of recycling in her project “Consume or Conserve”, which plays with the idea of turning our loved ones’ ashes into everyday household items.

Instead of burying or cremating a beloved family member, wouldn’t you rather give this person a second life as a vacuum cleaner, or a toaster? This way you could cherish them forever, and they in term could feel useful by helping you with your daily chores. And would having our household items made from someone dear make us more attached to them, instead of quickly throwing them away as waste? That’s basically the idea behind Wieki Somers’ sculptures made from human ashes. Depicting weird scenes featuring toasters and dead birds, vacuum cleaners and dung beetles, and weighing scales and bees, these unusual artworks also come with a plaque stating the name and lifetime of the person they were created from.

For her human ashes sculpture series, Wieki Somers used donated remains and a 3D printer.

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Artist Spends 17 Years Carving Model of the HMS Victory

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Sculptor Ian Brennan has spent 5,000 hours, in the last 17 years, carving a piece of timber into a miniature replica of admiral Nelson’s famous HMS Victory.

60-year-old Brennan, from Warsash, England, only became a full-time sculptor when he was 34, but in just five years time he became a sculptor of the Royal House. That’s how he ended up doing restorative work on the real HMS Victory, for about a year. As recognition for a job well done, Ian Brennan received a piece of timber from the legendary ship, which he later decided to use as material for a small scale replica of the Victory.

While you may think centuries old wood would be easier to carve, this particular piece of timber was as hard as concrete, and Ian had to much more work into it than expected. 5,000 hours, throughout 17 years, to be exact, during which he went through several pairs of overalls and cut himself countless times. Just like the original HMS Victory, Ian’s replica features 104 guns, 37 sails, flags bearing Nelson’s inspirational signal ‘England expects every man to do his duty’, as well as 200 feet of intricate rope.

Ian Brennan knew he only had one chance at doing something like this, as he would never again get another piece of timber from the original HMS Victory, so he made sure his 47-inch replica was just perfect. His family has been very supportive throughout the 17 years of work, although I’m sure his wife Suzanne wished her husband spent more of his free time with her.

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American Sculptor Carves World’s Biggest Halloween Pumpkin

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You might think you had your hands full with this year’s Halloween Pumpkin, but American sculptor Scott Cully had to carve his way through a 1,800-pound giant pumpkin.

Scott Cully has made a name for himself by carving overgrown pumpkins, and he even held the previous record for the world’s largest jack o’lantern, but this year he managed to beat his own record and get another mention in the Guinness Book. It took him two days, working at a pace of 100 pounds per hour, to work his way through the giant pumpkin, grown by Chris Stevens, from Wisconsin, but he managed to do it just in time for the big Halloween party. The event took place at the New York Botanical Garden, and it’s probably still on display, so you can check it out, if you’re in the Big Apple.

Scott Cully started carving pumpkins in 1988, when he and his wife got his hands on a 400-pound pumpkin, and, inspired by a few bottles of quality English hard cider, they began carving it into a jack o’lantern. Then he just kept on creating new designs, into bigger and bigger pumpkins. Using just a handful of kitchen utensils, Scott stays true to the tradition of creating jack o’lanterns, by creating scary Halloween pumpkins, with big mouths that kids can slide their heads through, and big threatening teeth.

Believe it or not, Scott Cully absolutely hates pumpkin pie. Ironic, isn’t it?

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Zhang Dexuan – The World’s Only Hair-Woven Portraits Artist

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While  Zhang Dexuan’s hair-woven portraits may by just slightly bigger than a fingernail, but their incredible detail require weeks, sometimes months of work.

66-year-old Zhang Dexuan, from China’s Sichuan province, claims he is the only artist in the world able to create detailed portraits from strands of human hair. Using just five simple tools and a magnifying glass, Zhang manages to created incredible portraits, from hundreds of hair strands collected from members of his family. Judging by the tools used, you might think the art of weaving hair is pretty simple, Zhang Dexuan claims he is the only hair weaving artist on Earth, and has practiced it for the last 54 years.

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Man Builds Wooden Replica of the Ferrari 365 Engine

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An Australian wood sculptor has created an amazing wooden replica of the Ferrari 365GTB V12 engine and is now selling it on eBay.

I couldn’t find much info about this one-of-a-kind wooden masterpiece, other than it’s entirely handcrafted from wood, including the manifold, and it weighs approximately 25 kilograms. It’s roughly the same size as a Ferrari 365GTB V12 engine, and unlike it the original, all it needs is care and love to run for a lifetime.

Most of us will probably never get to own a real Ferrari engine, let alone a whole sports car, so this wooden replica of the engine could be the closest you’ll ever get to owning an Italian wonder of engineering. The asking price is $6,000 and the owner is willing to ship it anywhere around the world.

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Shain Erin’s Creepy Mummy Doll Series

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Shain Erin was drawn to art since childhood, making amazing works of art in painting, sculpture and digital media over the years. But Erin’s true passion have always been the mummies, which, according to him, are like “time capsules of ancient cultures and the lives of individual people. They are like books waiting for an audience.”

The artist has studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and he received not long ago the title for the Bachelor of Fine Arts. In the last years, Erin created several series of small figures that have been exhibited in the U.S., Australia, England, Norway, France, Germany and Canada.

Shain Erin was very pleased using dolls as an art medium and, while traveling around the world with his works of art, he challenged conventions and preconceptions about art and art-making. The artist also claims that his work won’t stop because there is an infinite array of expressive possibilities for the mummy dolls. Erin used Paperclay and fabric to create the dolls which are fashioned as zombies, skeletons, ghosts, monsters, mummies and not only.

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World’s Largest Toast Portrait Is Best Birthday Card Ever

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Trying to come up with an original birthday present for mother in law, a museum curator managed to set a new world record for the world’s largest toast mosaic.

27-year-old Laura Hadland, a museum curator from Leicester, wanted to offer her mother-in-law a really special gift, on her 50th birthday. Together with 40 friends and volunteers, Laura spent six hours toasting thousands of bread slices and arranging them into an amazing mosaic of the woman she calls not only a great mother-in-law, but also one of her best friends.

The world’s largest toast mosaic was created using a set of ten bread toasters and measures 32 feet 8 inches by 42 feet 3 inches. Its made up of 9,852 slices toasted to varying degrees of brown, which add up to about 600 bread loafs.

As a museum curator, Laura Hadland has had plenty of experience working with ancient Roman mosaics, and admits she was thrilled to create a modern mosaic out of her favorite food. Her mother-in-law says it’s a bit weird seeing her face recreated from pieces of toast, but at the same time very flattering.

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Fred Conlon Turns Old Army Helmets into Beautiful Sculptures

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Old army helmets seem pretty useless in these modern times, but artist Fred Conlon has found a pretty good use for them, and it doesn’t involve a museum.

Growing up in small Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Fred Conlon was always fascinated by art, but it wasn’t until he graduated from the University of Utah, with a degree in Public Communications, that he decided to open a pottery shop. With only his family’s support and 15 credits in pottery classes, Fred fulfilled his dream and opened Sugar Post Pottery, in Salt Lake City. Throughout the years, he discovered his passion for working with metal, old war gear in particular, and his original helmet sculptures are just some of his wonderful creations.

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Carl Warner’s Mouth Watering Foodscapes

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London-based artist Carl Warner creates amazing food landscapes he refers to as foodscapes. They are totally edible, but why would anyone want to ruin such masterpieces simply to satisfy their hunger?

Inspired by the work of American landscape photographer Ansel Adams, and literary works like The Wizard of Oz and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Carl Warner began creating his own unique landscapes out of food. Whether he uses vegetables, various bakery products or meat, his incredible foodscapes look absolutely mindblowing.

While he likes to get involved in setting up the foodscapes, Carl admits he often asks for the help of model makers and food stylists to create his sets. The process usually starts with him drawing a sketch of the foodscape, then the set is created, and finally, he takes photos of it and retouches them on his Mac. It sounds simple enough, but the foodscapes are photographed in different layers, a laborious process that can take up to a few days. He also spends a lot of time staring at vegetables in the supermarket, which may sound weird, but finding the right looking veggies for a foodscape is very important to him.

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Zac Freeman’s Incredible Junk Portraits

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Looked at from up close, Zac Freeman’s artworks look like common piles of junk, but take a few steps back and you’ll discover amazingly detailed portraits.

You know that stuff most of us throw away after a while, things like old buttons, LEGO bricks, keyboard keys? That’s exactly the kind of material Zac Freeman uses to create his unbelievable portraits. He began gathering junk and found objects in 1992, and started gluing them to pieces of wood, creating various portraits.

In the words of the artist:

“I was interested in communicating through visual representation in apparent 2-dimensional space and through the actual objects used for the medium in 3-dimensional space. It is very important to me that I incorporate the actual objects into the art as opposed to a picture or rendition of it because it better expresses the intention of the artwork. I feel the junk is more powerful being present. It is an actual thing to be reckoned with that existed in this time and place and carries energy in and of itself.”

I was thinking about how many artists use junk as an art medium these days, and then it hit me: it might seem like a peculiar thing to use in art, but junk is everywhere around us, and so easy to come by, so it’s no wonder artists use it in their artworks.

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The Food Packaging Fashion of Katell Gelebert

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French designer Katell Gelebert has created a line of clothes, made from various food packaging, that expresses her position as an environmentalist and human rights activist.

By using the packaging of everyday foods like pasta, frozen vegetables, coffee and even cat food, Katell Gelebert has created some pretty amazing pieces of clothing that have great potential for re-use and are also esthetically pleasant. Using only low-tech means, the French artist managed to combine design and reusable materials, without creating more waste.

If you’re interested in more packaging artworks, check out Jason Clay Lewis’ rat poison packaging art.

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Vietnam’s Ceramic Road Sets New World Record

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Stretching 3.95 kilometers, along Hanoi’s Red River, Ceramic Road has been declared the world’s longest ceramic mural, by the Guinness Book of Records.

Ceramic Road was a massive art project, initiated by artist Nguyen Thu Thuy, out of love and passion for Hanoi, and as a special way to celebrate the city’s 1000th anniversary. She first got the idea for a record-breaking ceramic mural in 2003, when she discovered ancient bricks and ceramics from the Ly dynasty, and other artifacts from the Tran dynasty, at an archeological site. She thought about the long history pf these findings, and decided a mural would best reflect the patterns of Vietnamese history.

Nguyen Thu Thuy reached out to fellow Vietnamese, as well as international artists for help in realizing her dream, and mural masters from all around the world started coming to Hanoi, to leave their mark on Ceramic Road. Some created contemporary design patterns, others used Vietnam’s history as inspiration, and even recreated famous paintings out of ceramic tiles. Nearly 100 artists, from countries like Mexico, Brazil, France, Denmark and many others participated in the creation of Ceramic Road.

The whole thing was completed on September 25, and on October 5, a representative of the Guinness Book of Records inspected Ceramic Road and acknowledged it as the longest mural in the world, spanning over 7,000 square meters. A window into Vietnam’s fascinating history, and an unbelievable artwork, Ceramic Road is set to become one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist attractions.

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