Watch this artisan make a gorgeous ring with walnut and crushed opal

Ian Schramm from Tempest Rings makes lovely videos of his work handcrafting rings from unusual materials, like this beauty made of walnut burl and inlaid with crushed blue opal. Read the rest

Watch this artist create photorealistic embroidery portraits

Verso is a lovely documentary about embroidery artist Cayce Zavaglia (previously), who creates beautiful portraits via embroidery. Read the rest

Model of Manhattan made from recycled electronics

Zayd Manck constructed this incredible model of midtown Manhattan entirely from recycled electronic components. The astounding diorama is 165 x 80cm (5'5" x 32"). (via Neatorama)

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Incredible collection of 3D drawings that appear to rise out of the paper

Hungarian illustrator Sándor Vámos is a master of anamorphic illusions, 3D drawings that emerge from the paper. Don't miss his time-lapse videos either.

(via Laughing Squid)

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Spirograph in a tin, just like you remember

I gave my daughter a spirograph for Valentine's Day.

I spent hours doodling with a spirograph as a kid. My set came in a tin pretty much just like this one.

It is tempting to wallpaper her room with individual spirograph doodles.

Spirograph Design Tin Set via Amazon Read the rest

James Brunt arranges beautiful rock mandalas in the wild

Yorkshire artist James Brunt uses rocks and all sorts of other natural objects like sticks, leaves and nuts to create lovely symmetrical mandalas for strangers to find while out and about. Read the rest

Interactive sound pendulum evokes stream of consciousness

Denim Szram created Gedankenpendel, a speaker-ball that plays a continuous spoken thought, but when it's touched or moved, other thoughts begin to play simultaneously. The effect is quite disconcerting. Read the rest

Dozens of museum collections turned into coloring books

The New York Academy of Medicine has organized #ColorOurCollections, in which various member libraries take images from their holdings and put 'em online as high-end coloring-book material.

The image above is from the NYAM's coloring book itself, but there are dozens more; some of my faves include the Carnegie Hall Archives book ...

... the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library ...

... the University of Adelaide ...

... the Shangri-La Museum of Islamic Art ...

... and the Ricker Library of Art and Architecture: Read the rest

Cool visual processing experiment with particles

Justin Lincoln creates lots of interesting little tidbits of visual ideas, like this particle capture experiment that is kind of unsettling. Read the rest

A huge trove of vintage movie posters from the University of Texas's Ransom Center archive

The University of Texas's Ransom Center (previously) has posted a gorgeous selection of digitized movie posters from its Movie Poster Collection, from the 1920s to the 1970s. Read the rest

An installation artist created a massive balloon sculpture for the New York City Ballet

Installation artist Jihan Zencirli, also known artistically as Geronimo, created an ambitious massive balloon installation at Lincoln Center for the New York City Ballet. Read the rest

Latte artist takes it to the next colorful level

Most latte art is a monochromatic palette of rich browns and creams. Korean art professor Kangbin Lee has taken his Creamart works into the rest of the spectrum. Read the rest

Programmer/artist creates algorithmic portraits composed of a single line

LinesLab is "an experimental design studio established by Sergej Stoppel that explores algorithmic art and robotics." Among his cool works are these single-line portraits. Read the rest

This art piece generates a wall of big bubbles

This is really fun. With Japanese artist Rintaro Hara's latest piece, visitors can make giant bubbles simply by pulling on a rope. By doing so, her Projection Wall raises a grid of ropes that have been dunked in a soapy solution. Then, as it's rising, eight fans blow through to create a rainbow-y wall of extra-large bubbles. And, who doesn't love a wall of bubbles?

The concept behind the piece, she writes, "dates back to the representation of water created by Computer Graphics of SF movie "Abyss" by James Cameron (1989)":

In the Hollywood movies since the 1990s, computer graphics became an indispensable image technology, shooting taking advantage of analog until now was superseded by digital, and it became possible to express images that were impossible to realize. "Projection wall" inquires about the difference between analog and digital by reducing the expression born by the evolution of the video to an analog method daringly.

More of Hara's work can be found at her website and on Vimeo.

(Colossal)

photos via Rintaro Hara Read the rest

Hearing impaired dancers become a 'thousand armed' goddess

Now this is beautiful.

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Quiz: pancake or moon?

Pancakes are delicious, and they can also look a lot like moons, as proven in Alternative Moons by Nadine Schlieper and Robert Pufleb. I tried my hand at making a few lunar flapjacks and gathering up some mouthwatering moons. Answers in the comments! Read the rest

The tech business's favorite illustration style

Khoi Vinh noticed that tech marketing adheres a very specific, somewhat infantilized illustration style. I call it safety minimalism—Vinh sees in it the rise of a monoculture.

In my experience, the vast majority of them are quite similar in their aesthetic: the colors range from primary to bright pastels; the figures are cleanly drawn and almost always rendered with vectors; the details are highly abstracted and shading is geometric if it appears at all; the compositions are generally minimal and only occasionally feature very limited background elements. ... It probably wouldn’t be far off-base to assume that a lot of these illustrations were done not by professional illustrators but by product designers who also have some illustration talent themselves.

Just as likely is the genre's systemic occupation of cheap stock illustration sites, which aggregate semi-skilled hackwork into a convenient business-to-business service.

Either way, Vinh poses an important question about "the prevalence of a single, monocultural aesthetic" by every startup, tech firm and personal brand monster: surely some other voice, or even another "modulation" of the same style, would be more appropriate for at least some?

UPDATE: First comment from Moosemalloy points out some important art history: "I submit that this style is redolent of and still influenced by the flattist pastel-y images that Adobe Flash tended to produce and that hence proliferated in early-to-mid web history. Flash is discontinued but still, I suspect, casts its shadow (or lack of shadow!) over web imagery generally, and this is a manifestation of same." Read the rest

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