Using materials such as polymer clay, wood, and paper, artist Sean Chao creates intricate, fantastical dioramas. The miniature sculptures depict landscapes—including dense forests and oceans—as well as bizarre creatures such as cat-controlled robots. Each hand-crafted scene feels like it’s a moment frozen in time, and Sean’s attention to detail begs you to pore over his wonderful handiwork.
Itching to see Sean’s work in person? Right now, he has a piece in the Flower Pepper Gallery’s 4th Year Anniversary Show, which is open now until January 19, 2016. If you’re local to Pasadena, California, be sure to check it out!
Discarded books have found a new life with the work of Isobelle Ouzman. Her intricate, sculptural illustration carve into the publications’ pages, creating mystical landscapes that tell a whole new story—separate from the book’s original tale. Many of her compositions feature pen and ink drawings, but sometimes she’ll accent areas with watercolor paints.
Ouzman sells her altered books through her Etsy shop. She occasionally takes commissions, too. Wouldn’t this be perfect for the book lover in your life?
Ann Wood and Dean Lucker are the duo behind Woodlucker, a studio that creates interactive mechanical sculptures and botanical paper creations. I’ve been on a paper flower kick for a while now, so that’s what I was instantly drawn to when looking at their beautiful Instagram. Each petal, wing, and stem is crafted with care, and this attention to detail is evident in every facet of the work, including the tiny brush strokes that adorn paper’s surface.
If you’re local to Minneapolis, you can visit the Woodlucker studio and see these gorgeous pieces in person. They open their work space to the public at least a couple of times a year. Find out more here. Otherwise, admire them from afar, just like me! (H/T Perrin)
September is one of my favorite months. Not just because of the cooler temperatures, but because it’s my birthday, too! (I suspect that many people chose their birthday month as their favorite, too.) First on my gift wish list? These plush dolls by Cat Rabbit (previously)! They are totally adorable and the detailing is, as always, impressive—especially with the small accessories.
All of these characters were created for Cat Rabbit’s show Return to Twinkle Plaza at the Brisbane-based Outré Gallery, which is based on her recent travels. “I used materials and supplies that I sourced in all of those amazing craft stores you find everywhere in Japan,” she writes on her blog, “including wool from bricoleurs in Sapporo and lovely traditional fabric from Nippori Fabric Town.”
If you’re local check out Cat Rabbit’s show until September 7. Buy works from the show on the Outré Gallery website.
Aren’t these the cutest? I think I’m in love. Melbourne-based MIMAW (short for Micro.Macro.Workshop) created these character bowls, which double as delightful pencil holders and planters. They have 3D-printed bodies and hand-painted details (like those smiling faces!). MIMAW uses biodegradable PLA (Poly Lactic Acid), which is used in food packaging and containers. It’s strong, durable, and won’t shatter like porcelain.
MIMAW is passionate about combining emerging technologies and traditional methods of working, producing functional pieces that “inject delight and embed itself in the everyday.”
Now, the big question is… which one do I pick?
Martin Tomsky is a London-based illustrator who creates brilliant relief sculptures with layers of laser cut stained plywood. They range in size from small accessories to larger, more intricate artworks. Martin hand-assembles each piece and sells them in his Etsy shop, Tomsky Store.
The amount of detail in these 3D illustrations is remarkable. The fish, for instance, includes more than a simple skeleton. It features fanciful flourishes with tiny creatures that are hidden amongst them. Take a close look and you’ll see all of Martin’s clever additions. It’s not what’d you expect from wood.
Artist Elin Thomas makes moldy petri dishes look cute and cuddly. Using a combination of embroidery thread, crochet, and needle felting, she creates unique textile pieces. The fuzzy felt produces the effect of tiny hairs sprouting from the yarn spores.
If something has mold on it, I’m usually grossed out. But not with Elin’s work! She’s able to make these science projects into appealing brooches, rings, and art for your home. Check out more of her accessories on Etsy.
Years ago, on Pinterest, I saw this Monster Skin Rug designed by Joshua Ben Longo and fell in love. It’s a clever take on those bear skin rugs you see in the movies, except more fun and a lot less cruel. They’re made of 50% wool / 50% polyester felt scales that are then sewn to a felt silhouette and stuffed with polyester. Plus, they plastic teeth!
It turns out Longo had been making the rugs by hand for years, but at a very high cost for the consumer. Now, he’s turned to Kickstarter to help with the cost of production and produce Monster Skin Rug in volume. For $425, you can own this delightful piece of decor.
If $425 is out of your price range, Joshua has other monster-related items you can own. Finger puppets, totems, and other soft sculptures are all available.
And, a little extra. Another creation by Joshua!
Two Fridays ago, I had the pleasure of attending the MFA Illustration Practice (MFA ILP) Thesis Exhibition at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). I was really excited to see the show, as I graduated from the program in 2013 (the first class!) and wasn’t as familiar with this year’s work.They didn’t disappoint! I was really impressed with everything I saw, and I admire how they’ve pushed the boundaries of what illustration is/can be. (This idea is the cornerstone of the MFA ILP program.)
So, without further ado, here are some pictures of the exhibition, but this is by no means a comprehensive look. If you’re local to Baltimore, stop by the show before it closes on April 12!
Check out more pictures from the exhibition on my Flickr. (Beware – they’re unedited.)
Il Sung Na
I’ve had my eye on Il Sung Na’s work since the end of 2014. I bought one of his adorable ceramic creatures at MICA’s Art Market and totally want more of ’em. He had a bunch of throughout his space, and I wish he had them for sale at the opening!
Look at all of these tiny pieces of paper! French illustrator and paper designer Mlle Hipolyte created these gorgeous animals masks that are awe-inspiring in their intricate details. Seriously. Just take a look at the individually-folded pieces of paper layered on top of one another. They build a colorful, tactile form that mimics fur.
Mlle produces 2D illustrations, too. Check out their Behance and Facebook for more.