Showing posts with label sculpture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sculpture. Show all posts

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

I Don't Like Mondays by Ben Turnbull

"Guns are Forbidden Fruit"  In 2009 at west London's Eleven gallery, artist Ben Turnbull from London UK put on an exhibition of seven pieces entitled  'I Don't Like Mondays'. Controversially these were images of a variety of guns carved into old school desks.
Lesson 1, 60 x 120 cm/24 x 47 in (carved desk), 2009

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Matchstick Men by Wolfgang Stiller

In 2013 German artist Wolfgang Stiller had been experimenting with art materials leftover in his studio from a movie production in china while he was residing in beijing.  This is when he began his matchstick project with moulds of Chinese faces and bamboo.

Sunday, 25 January 2015


Family business in Colorado Springs specialise in turning the profile image of you or your loved ones into unique wooden keepsakes.

Turn Your Head is a family run business based in Colorado Springs U.S. who cleverly use the  'Face versus Vase'  illusion to create a permanent profile portrait of your loved ones.

Monday, 14 July 2014

The Swimmer by Stephanie Rocknak

This amazing piece was completed by Stephanie Rocknak in 2007. It was carved from a single piece of basswood and is slightly larger than lifesize. It is part of a 3-piece commission, The Triathlete. The other two pieces include The Biker and The Runner.

Each Triathlete piece shows a sense of movement. As Rocknak tells us, "These days, I am not very interested in sculpted figures, or real people, that 'strike a pose.' I am much more intrigued by folks who are on their way to or from somewhere. They seem more genuine to me."

Friday, 2 May 2014

Piano Tree

California state University, Monterey Bay  "Piano Tree"  in a forested area on their Disc Golf course.  A living installation by artist Jeff Mifflin.

Although the piano itself is believed to be just a stage prop which was cut apart then placed around the tree behind the California State University music department by artist Jeff Mifflin, the tree carried on growing and parting the timber of the piano for some time until a drunkard decided to smash it up.
Watch a video of an interview with Jeff Mifflin here.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Rosary Bead, Carved in Boxwood

Rosary bead, carved in boxwood Bequeathed to the British Museum by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild

A rosary bead (sometimes referred to as a 'prayer nut' or 'paternoster bead') is characteristic of the minutely detailed, small-scale boxwood carvings used for private devotion. These types of delicate and complex objects were owned by members of the nobility or wealthy merchant classes in northern Europe, and were highly prized as masterpieces of carving and invention. A complete rosary, bearing the arms of England and probably dating to the first third of the sixteenth century, survives in the collections of the Dukes of Devonshire.

Renaissance jewellery was both decorative and functional. Rosary beads were used as memory aids for saying a series of prayers dedicated to the Virgin Mary. When not in use, they could be worn around the neck or waist. Even very religious people who shunned bodily adornment approved of rosary beads. During the Reformation, the practice fell out of favour in the Protestant countries but it remained popular among Catholics.

This spherical bead from the Waddesdon bequest in the British Museum is carved on the outside with Gothic architectural detail, while the interiors are carved variously with scenes from the Old Testament and the New Testament. This boxwood rosary bead is only 2 5/8 inches (6.7cm) in diameter

The upper half is fitted with two doors, carved on both the inner and outer panels, which open to reveal the Crucifixion, crowded with miniscule figures in high relief. 

The Crucifixion

The lower half is fitted with one door, carved on both sides and opening to reveal a complex scene showing the Bearing of the Cross.

The Annunciation
The Bearing of the Cross

The achievement of these perspectives in both low relief and in high relief attests to the great skill of the craftsman, who probably had to work using a magnifying glass.

The word, ‘rosary’ is derived from the Latin rosarium, meaning a ‘garland of roses’ or ‘rose garden’, and denotes a set of prayer beads or the devotional prayer itself. A rosary provides a physical method of keeping track of the number of prayers said and is used in many religions for this purpose and also for meditation and even to relieve stress.

With kind permission from The British Museum

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Giuseppe Penone: The Hidden Life Within

The image below is one I have skipped past many times while surfing for 'woody wonders' but have only just got round to investigating further.

“My artwork shows, with the language of sculpture, the essence of matter and tries to reveal with the work, the hidden life within.”
–Giuseppe Penone

Giuseppe Penone (born April 3, 1947) is an Italian artist. Penone started working professionally in 1968 in the Garessio forest, near where he was born. He is the younger member of the Italian movement named "Arte Povera", Penone's work is concerned with establishing a contact between man and nature.

Guiseppe Penone carves out a young tree within an older tree to reveal its past, showing us what once grew inside so that it may now "live in the present." Inspired by the quiet slowness of growth in the natural world, the artist asks us to take a moment to stop and think about the concept of time and how there's a common vital force in all living things.

Penone has carved out the wood to reveal its past, showing the tree that grew inside so that it may “live” in the present. Rather than imposing a form, the artist — in contrast to the architect of this space — draws out an existing form.

The next image of  Guiseppe working within the space of this massive tree in my mind captures the enormity of the artists devotion to this piece.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Chinese Leaf Carvings

Meticulously Handcrafted Chinese Leaf Carvings

What you see below are custom crafted, hand-cut illustrations on dried and treated Chinar leaves. The process involves removing the thin layers of leaf while keeping the vein structure intact.

As the name suggests, leaf carving consists of literally carving an image on to a tree leaf, specifically the leaf of the Chinar tree, a tree native to India, Pakistan and China that bears a close resemblance to the leaf on the maple tree.
"This is a relatively new art form according to Dean Prator, a man in Los Angeles who sells customized carved leaves online. And that's amazing, considering art has been around since the dawn of humanity and trees have been around even longer. "As far as I can tell, it goes back to 1994, when an artist name Huang Tai Shang created this and got in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Creating leaf art is a long and complex process. Leaves are put through a 60 step process such as, manually cutting and removing the outer surface of the leaf while leaving the leafs veins intact which add detail into the subject matter of the carving. Pressing, curing and dying are also just a few of the steps needed to prepare the leaf. 

After special processing, the leaf blade forms a natural permanent pigment, so the colour is stable, and corrosion resistant. An anti-aging treatment helps the leaves exceed the durability of thick paper. The size of these leaves vary since no two leaves are exactly the same. Each leaf is approximately 8 to 10 inches in size. The finished product is strong, durable, natural and beautiful.


Thursday, 23 January 2014

Randall Rosenthal and 'Cold Hard Cash'

When you study the work of Randall Rosenthal you can't help but be in awe of this mans talent, the way he emulates a stack of paper from solid blocks of wood reminds me of Livio De Marchi's carving skills when creating his wooden clothing.  Lets start off by taking a look at:

'Cold Hard Cash'   2012 , acrylic and ink on one block of Vermont White Pine, 14 x 14 x 10" 

It doesn't matter how long you look at this piece you cannot convince yourself it is carved from one solid block of white pine then diligently painted. Here are some great shots of the work in progress.

Randall Rosenthal.

BORN:           1947 New York, New York
EDUCATION:  1965-69 Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

A personal favourite of mine is 'Cutting Board'  because of the variety of materials he has so successfully copied.

'Cutting board'  in progress.

And here, a selection of some of Randall's other pieces, it's hard to remember these are all carved from solid blocks of wood !

If you wish to fully explore the weird world of Randall Rosenthal check out his website:

Other sources:

Randall's forum posts of  'Old Money' on