Craft

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Art Craft

Bas Reliefs by Rachel Dein Preserve the Supple Contours of Herbs, Flowers, and Plants

March 2, 2022

Grace Ebert

Stinging nettle. All images © Rachel Dein, shared with permission

Soft and fibrous, the leaves of the stinging nettle are infamous for their minuscule hairs that produce burning sensations when touched. The plant, though, is also a striking example of nature’s penchant for structural patterns and texture, with small, serrated edges and delicate ribbed veins. It’s not easy to study or touch these intricate forms without exposing a finger or hand to potential pain, a barrier made less formidable by London-based artist Rachel Dein.

For the last 11 years, Dein (previously) has plucked herbs, flowers, and other foliage from the soil and arranged her findings into new assemblages. She’s an early cultivator of the botanical bas relief technique, which involves pressing the compositions into clay and filling the impressions with plaster, concrete, and most recently, iron powder and resin. The resulting tiles, which have grown in scale from 40-centimeter squares to two-meters-long, preserve the supple shapes of sage, snowdrops, and ripe blackberries, immortalizing their unique contours and network-like systems long after they’ve withered and wilted.

Dein has multiple projects in progress at the moment: one casting Alpine plants from Switzerland and another working with the garden plants at Nunnington Hall in Yorkshire, which will culminate in an exhibition in February 2023. She’s also creating limited-edition embossed prints and exploring additional materials, like glass, iron, and copper. Shop available pieces on Etsy, and keep an eye on Instagram for new releases.

 

Weeds

Herbs

Turquoise snowdrops

Left: Geum. Right: Ribes, leucojum, and muscari

Ferns

Snowdrops

Rosemary, sage, betony, ribwort, astragalus gummifer, and alchemila

 

 



Craft Design

Cats Peek Out from Shirt Pockets in Hiroko Kubota's Clever Embroideries

March 1, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Hiroko Kubota, shared with permission

Cats are known to wedge themselves into tiny spots and generally treat people as human jungle gyms, and artist Hiroko Kubota (previously) translates that lack of spatial awareness into her tiny embroideries. Stitched onto collared shirts, the Nara-based artist’s portraits are cleverly placed to depict furry faces peering over the edge of a pocket and sometimes, attempting to climb out from their garment confines. Since she started the designs about a decade ago, Kubota has embroidered hundreds of characters, each with their distinct personalities and mischievous expressions.

This spring, Kubota is participating in an Osaka cat event with photographers and other handcraft artists and is planning a solo exhibition this fall. She’s paused international commissions for now, but you can stay updated on her work on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Embroidered Sculptures Recreate Lifelike Mushrooms, Lichen, and Fungi in Thread

February 25, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Amanda Cobbett, shared with permission

Amanda Cobbett suspends a singular moment in the fleeting lives of fungi by stitching their likeness in thread. The textile artist photographs and gathers specimens that she brings back to her Surrey Hills-based studio, where she finds fibers to match pale green lichens and golden chanterelles. Using a free-motion embroidery technique on a sewing machine, she then stitches multiple layers onto a piece of dissolvable fabric that, once the organism is complete, is washed away to leave just the mushroom or mossy bark intact. As a scroll through her Instagram reveals, the resulting sculptures are so realistic in color, shape, and size that it’s difficult to distinguish the artist’s iterations from their counterparts.

Currently, Cobbett is preparing a collection that will head to the Artful Craft exhibition at Make Southwest, which opens on April 2. (via Lustik)

 

 

 



Craft Food

Boinggg! Ceramic Vessels Undergo a Playful Remix with Coiled, Undulating Handles

February 24, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Kuu Pottery, shared with permission

Miami-born Kassandra Guzman diverges from the sleek, straight lines of minimalism in favor of squiggles and waves. She’s the ceramicist behind the Seattle-based studio Kuu Pottery, where she creates wide-mouthed vessels and playful vases mimicking bananas and other fruits. Part of her Boinggg! collection, many of the amphora and mugs have classically shaped bases with atypical handles that coil in lengthy runs and create undulating bows.

Guzman has a few projects in the works, including an illustrated series and a new body of ceramics printed with decals. See a larger collection of the artist’s pieces and browse available vessels in the Kuu shop. (via design milk)

 

 

 



Craft

A 320-Page Book Explores the Immense Potential of a Single Sheet of Paper

February 9, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Storey Publishing, shared with permission

We’re continually fascinated by the infinite possibilities of a single sheet of paper, from these dueling origami knights and stately architectural ruins to exquisitely cut depictions of flora and fauna, and a forthcoming book by artist Helen Hiebert devotes its 320 pages to the mediums’ capacity for creativity. Released from Storey Publishing, The Art of Papercraft features 40 projects that elucidate techniques for decorative modifications like marbling and stamping, in addition to more constructive methods like origami and quilling, all done with one sheet. Try your hand at building miniature paper lanterns, assembling whimsical pop-ups, weaving delicate wall hangings by pre-ordering a copy of The Art of Papercraft from Bookshop. (via All Things Paper)

 

 

 



Art Craft

Folds in Recurring Patterns Form the Tessellated Origami Sculptures by Goran Konjevod

February 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Goran Konjevod, shared with permission

Whether folding flat, square tessellations or rounded forms that billow from a central point, origami artist  Goran Konjevod (previously) focuses on the tension inherent in a single sheet of material. His sculptures draw on his background in mathematics and computer science and configure precise geometries, fanned pleats, and small woven pieces that appear to be individual strips threaded together rather than a series of carefully aligned creases. Each form is a meticulous blend of texture, pattern, and dimension that’s translated into elegant, abstract constructions through repetitive folds.

In recent months, Konjevod has shifted to working with paper infused with encaustic paint, although he’s also created an array of knotted creatures, twisted ropes, and small vessels out of thin sheets of copper, other metals, and mesh. You can find hundreds of his sculptures on his site, and take a peek into his process on Instagram.