30 Hand-Cranked Machines Comprise Amusing Series of Miniatures by Artist Federico Tobon
June 12, 2020

Similar to Lalese Stamps’s personal challenge to create 100 ceramic mug handles, a Los Angeles-based artist has crafted an amusing series of hand-cranked automatons in just 30 days. Federico Tobon, of wolfCat Workshop, used popsicle sticks, metal clips, paper, and scrap material for One Month of Small Machines, a four-week-long project that generated different, moveable figures and animals each day. “The A-HA moment from these projects was when I discovered that using paper gives these machines a very organic feel,” he said. More Continue reading

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Autumn Leaves Crackle and Writhe Like a Flame in Short Film by Animator William Crook
June 8, 2020


In “Stickmatch,” a new short film, a matchstick-like twig lands onto the screen, and with one long strike, it spontaneously ignites flames. These sparks don’t manifest in their usual form, though. The flames are replaced with leaves from various trees that are colored all the hues of autumn, from bright green to amber yellow. 
Created by William Crook, a London-born animator who now lives in Zürich, “Stickmatch” was an undertaking at a residency at Sasso in Italy. More Continue reading

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Mid-Century Modern Perches Offer a Minimalist Haven for Backyard Birds
May 15, 2020

Accented with wood-slatted porches and bright water dishes, these mid-century modern birdhouses by Douglas Barnhard give avian neighbors with particular aesthetic sensibilities a reason to flock home. Barnhard, who’s behind the Santa Cruz-based company Sourgrassbuilt, builds the succulent-studded abodes from bamboo, cedar, teak, and glossy laminate. With clean lines and angular features, they emulate the architecture pioneered by Joseph Eichler, Frank Lloyd Wright, and the Bauhaus.
To offer your feathered companions a modern upgrade, see which works Barnhard has available on Etsy, and check out the home he renovated into a miniature art gallery on Instagram. More Continue reading

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Two Curious Gerbils Visit (and Chew on) a Miniature Art Museum Made by Their Quarantined Owners
April 7, 2020

Stay-home orders around the world have inspired people to fill their time creatively—think the recreations of well-known artworks and “Coronavirus Tourism Bureau” posters we mentioned last week. But rather than fashion a mock art exhibition for themselves, this London couple thought a little bit smaller. Filippo and Marianna created The Gerbil Museum, a miniature gallery space for their two 9-month-old gerbils, Pandoro and Tiramisù.
Complete with cardboard benches and scribbled museum labels, the wood-floored gallery houses humorous versions of iconic works. More Continue reading

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Delicate Flowers of Carved Wood by Yoshihiro Suda Spring Out from Cracks
February 28, 2020

Concerned with the ways artworks relate to their surroundings, Yoshihiro Suda often tucks his naturalistic flowers inside small cracks and holes where they’d grow naturally. While his pieces are remarkable comparisons to living florals, though, their compositions differ: Suda carves each African violet, rose, and morning glory completely out of wood.
The Japanese artist includes intricate details like leaf veins and small punctures in the petals, adding to their realistic qualities. “I think art can change our perspective and ways of thinking. More Continue reading

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Upcoming Group Show at Beinart Gallery Celebrates the Intricate Art of Miniatures
February 22, 2020

Melbourne, Australia’s Beinart Gallery is gearing up for an exhibition of small scale paintings, scratch-built models, and tiny sculptures. Co-curated by artist Joshua Smith (previously), the Miniature Art Group Show features impressive works by a group of around 30 artists from around the world.
Close-up photos of the architectural models and other miniatures in the show highlight the level of detail that the artists pack into every square inch. More Continue reading

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Sheets of White Paper Layered into Dense Cityscapes and Forests by Ayumi Shibata
February 19, 2020

Japan-based artist Ayumi Shibata (previously) constructs intricate paper cities and natural landscapes that both fit in the palm of her hand and are expansive enough to pass through on foot. Using dozens of layers of paper for a single project, Shibata carves miniature houses, clouds, and tree-filled forests that eventually are illuminated in glass vessels, stored safely in a book, or erected in large-scale installations.
The artist tells Colossal that she doesn’t use pencil outlines, in part because the white paper isn’t durable enough to be erased if there’s an error. More Continue reading

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Pocket-Sized Notebooks Hold Miniature Paintings of Angela Mckay’s Travels
February 18, 2020

Paging through a photo album detailing every moment of a friend’s poolside vacation might not be a riveting activity, but flipping through Angela Mckay’s sketchbooks filled with tiny paintings of her travels certainly is. The Brooklyn-based pattern designer and illustrator of Okhii Studio documents the lush scenery, cavernous waters, and hilly villages she sees on the streets of Lagos, Calamosche Beach on Italy’s southern coast, and in Joshua Tree National Park. Mckay generally positions her miniature paintings against the real-life backdrop, juxtaposing the two depictions that she then shares on Instagram. More Continue reading

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Minimalist Ceramics by Amy Victoria Marsh Exude Positivity and Playfulness
February 10, 2020

Relying on a simple color palette, Amy Victoria Marsh crafts minimalist ceramics meant to inspire positivity and humor. The Manchester-based artist creates playful pieces ranging from supine women reading to others wrapped up on a sushi bed to her “Happy Poo” collection. Her pastel fortune cookie even comes in an illustrated package with an uplifting saying stuffed inside.
Marsh tells It’s Nice That that much of her lighthearted work has been inspired by a 2016 visit to Japan. More Continue reading

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LEGO Releases 864-Piece International Space Station Set That’s Out of This World
February 1, 2020

On February 1, LEGO launched a new Expert Creator that’s on a mission to explore outer space. Comprised of 864 pieces, the International Space Station set is equipped with a robotic arm for satellite deployment, a miniature dock, and two astronauts ready to traverse the built-in spacewalk. It also has eight movable solar panels, three cargo spacecrafts, and booklet detailing the history of the design. Fully built, the realistic model stands more than 7 inches high, 12 inches long, and 19 inches wide. More Continue reading

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Miniature Creatures Made of Felted Wool by Nastasya Shuljak
January 31, 2020

Moscow-based artist Nastasya Shuljak transforms packs of wool into sculptures of small animals and other whimsical creatures. Plants sprout from the heads of smiling trees and other natural spirits. Polar bears, foxes, hares, and other critters stare through inquisitive eyes applied to their tiny woolen faces. Shuljak’s toys are an exercise in the flexibility of the material and also a way to bring joy to all who meet them.
Shuljak, a former theater artist and art teacher, tells Colossal that the practice of making creatures began when friends gifted her some wool. More Continue reading

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Snails Paint the Town in Miniature Scenes Crafted by Aleia Murawski and Sam Copeland
January 17, 2020

Illinois-based Aleia Murawski and Sam Copeland have a knack for creating miniature—and slimy—worlds just big enough for their tiny acquaintances to glide through. The creative duo is known for constructing realistic domestic settings featuring plastic covered furniture and a messy painting studio occupied by snails for its stills and short films. Now, though, the artists are pushing the critters beyond their comfortable homes for a fun night out. The snails are shot sliding up to a limo, basking under the glimmer of a disco ball, and gobbling up a cheeseburger in a quaint diner. More Continue reading

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