Lunar topography replicated in gorgeous fine art carvings

San Francisco-based artist Craig Dorety has a series of carvings that "represent segments of the moon's surface as found in the topograhical data from JAXA's Kayuga mission."

"Painstaking attention is paid to the relationship of crater groups in the composition of each carving," Craig explains. "Areas of special interest have a natural balance of crater to sea; rough to gentle in texture."

Shown above (and a detail, below): Mare Nectaris and associated topography, south of the moon's "sea of tranquility."

"It is carved in redgum, the wood of Liquidambar styraciflua," says Craig. "This wood has a dynamic coloration that produces strata that interact with the topology carving."

"I received the SF Awesome Grant in May for the lunar carvings and I plan to use the grant to re-fit my CNC router," he tells Boing Boing. "I use both a home-made CNC router and a LaserSaur to craft my objects. The Topography comes from NASA and via the LRO."

If you like this, you may also dig his Animated Light Objects. "The Light Objects animations are derived from still images of natural systems, like fire and water," he says. Craig has a solo exhibition reception in San Francisco that opens this Friday at:

The JellyFish Gallery
1286 Folsom St, SF, CA (at 9th)
7/13/2012 -- 6:30PM - 10:30PM

Below, "Unknown Crater Set." "This work is of an unknown region of the moon," Craig explains. "It is carved from Black Walnut, a common North American wood. It's it is rich and dark brown and has a subtle grain."

Lunar Topography (

(thanks, Rocky Mullins!)


  1. Nice. I’ll likely stop by the show at Jellyfish Gallery (it’s just a half block from my place).

  2. OK, now we are going to judge art on whether or not the data is “real?”

    Nice work, man, just stop talking about it. (seriously)

  3. Had the privilege of helping hang this show. The lunar art is gorgeous. And there are many pieces. But seriously, come check out the Animated Light Objects. They are probably even better. Sophisticated, elegant, wonderful. Jellyfish Gallery is lucky to have him.

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