Showing posts with label sculpturing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sculpturing. Show all posts

Monday, February 4, 2013

Living Sculptures: 3 Bottle Ecosystem Projects

They're very easy to make, hyper-creative and fascinating and like many other cool things they used to be very popular in the 70's: Bottle Ecosystems, also known as 'terrarium's and 'vivariums', are simple bottles which include the basic ingredients for life to survive: light, dirt, moisture and of course a DNA based organism, or a few of them. The following are 3 bottle ecosystem projects we find particularly inspiring. Think Bottle Ecosystems are cool and want to give it a try? Check out Jenna Consolo's project (below) or just watch this 5:20 min video from Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden that demonstrate how to create a simple terrarium out of a 2L pop bottle and some other easy to find items.

[1] Summer Fun: Ecosystem Edition

It was never her idea for a summer with the kids but some other kids did something similar for a science project and then her friend Michelle posted about how to build an Ecosystem that is "perfectly contained and functions without any outside work or maintenance" describing what she did and show she did it with her children in Alaska. So, Jenna Consolo decided it's time for her and the kids to build their own terrarium.

Here is what you'll need to follow-up on such project with your own terrarium. The process and results (shown above) are described in this blog post on the Cranberry Corner blog:
  • 3 clear 2-liter (empty) soda bottles
  • Clear packing tape
  • Aquarium gravel
  • Water
  • Dechlorinator
  • Rubber band
  • 4" piece of netting (or just cut up pantyhose)
  • Soil
  • Fish, snails or other aquatic life
  • Elodea, duck weed, anachris or other aquatic plants
  • Crickets, pill bugs and earthworms
  • A few dead leaves and small sticks

[2] Clea Cregan's Miniscapes

Started 6 years ago as  as a hobby, Clea Cregan's Miniscapes now merges desktop gardening and design to produce beautiful terrariums they call "miniature gardens" and "living sculptures".

Cregan's creations are usually made for for office receptions, board room tables and studios but also for home environments. Interested? Check out Miniscapes's site or read this interview with Cregan on TheDesignFiles.

[3] Wet Environment Terrarium

Nicole Cammorata, a Boston-based journalist, writer, and editor and a talented photographer published this story in the Boston Globe detailing how to make your own plant terrariums. Sadly, the full story which takes you through the process step-by-step, is behind the Globe's paywall but we still loved the this sequence she posted on Cammorata's blog how to create a terrarium that "favors more of a wet environment". Know any more cool bottle ecosystem projects? Be sure to contact us or post them in the comments thread.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

From Smallpox to HIV: 6 Glass Sculptures of Colorless Deadly Viruses

Deadly viruses such as Smallpox, E.coli and HIV have claimed the lives of hundreds of millions of people but they always seem to have these fantastically vivid colors, right? Well, not exactly. As opposed to what we're used to see on TV and in the movies, viruses are actually colorless as they are simply smaller than the wavelength of light. British artist Luke Jerram thought that's just isn't right, so, since around 2004 he has been making his own representations of viruses, alternative to the artificially colored imagery we are used to receive through the media.

Jerram's sculptures are made in collaboration with glassblowers Kim George, Brian Jones and Norman Veitch and are designed in consultation with virologists from the University of Bristol, using scientific photographs and models. The following are 6 scientifically accurate glass representations of deadly viruses created by Luke Jerram. For more about Jerram and his amazing artwork check out the above BBC video or visit

[1] Smallpox

[2] T4 Bacteriophage Virus

[3] HIV

[4] E.coli

[5] Swine Flu

[6] Untitled Future Mutation

CultHats to IFeakingLoveScience

Monday, June 15, 2009

Manhole Cover Designs: Urban Industrial Artworks under Our Feet

Manhole design has been around for many years, since the era of ancient Rome to be exact, when people began using sewage and drainage systems. An extraordinary ahead-of-its-time book by Mimi and Robert Melnick is most likely, however, to be the first attempt to define and document manhole covers and their place in (American) culture as an urban industrial art. As described by MITpress in the book intro:
"They lie underfoot, embellished and gleaming. They seal off and provide entry to an underground world of conduits, water mains, power lines, and sewers. They appear by the thousands in our cities, but very few people ever look at them or think about them as art. At once completely ordinary and totally unexpected, manhole covers present an infinite variety of design in the commonplace as well as a record of defunct utility companies, forgotten business firms, and obsolete foundries."

Manhole cover design varies greatly from city to city, with each municipality particular approach for budget versus art. According to, a website dedicated to Fine Sewer Art and Manhole Cover Photography - some cities, such as Seattle, opted for a clever street map design on their covers while others go for city logos or seals. A few cities, such as Vancouver, Seattle, New York and Tokyo, went even further and pursued commissioned designer covers. Furthermore, in competitions to find the best designs, these cities have had their communities actively participating in waste awareness. Above: "In Direct Line With Another & The Next", taken in Downtown, New York by Jenna, via Jason Eppink.

With their own astonishing variety depending on locality, utility type and manufacturer but often including a symbol specific to an area or town as part of the overall design, Japanese are considered amongst the most extraordinary manhole covers. In Kyoto, for example, a turtle symbolizing wisdom and longevity is the main motif. In other cases local landmarks, festivals or flora and fauna are used ( Above: manhole cover in Himeji by tickle_tickle. The following are a few of the most interesting cover designs as photographed and collected by people in Japan, USA, Germany, Canada and Mexico. If you have any photos of other interesting manhole covers from around the world please send them over or post their links here as a comment. Enjoy!

Manholes in Japan

Kobe (1), Japan
By Alexis Lê-Quôc [Source]

Kobe (2), Japan.
By Janne Moren [Source]

Kobe (3), Japan.
By Janne Moren [Source]

Takaoka, Japan.
By Trane DeVore, Troutfactory [Source]

Fukuoka, Japan.
By Trane DeVore, Troutfactory [Source]

Toshogu, Japan.
By Trane DeVore, Troutfactory [Source]

Fire hydrant cover at Hanahaku park with the character from the flower exhibition in 1990.
By Janne Moren [Source]

Manholes in USA

Seattle, USA.
By JR Conlin [Source]

San Francisco, USA.
By mr.nunez.sfo [Source]

East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, USA
By Nick Sherman [Source].

Manholes in Germany

Berlin, Germany
By Ted Stevens [Source]

Freiburg i.Br., Germany
By madcrow [Source]

Manhole in Canada

Vancouver, Canada.
By Fecki [Source]

Manhole in Mexico

Unknown, Mexico
By Avi Dolgin [Source]

Manhole Collections

Host, aka Puppenspieler
Janne Moren aka Jannem
Trane DeVore, aka Troutfactory (Also see Japan’s beautiful manhole covers)

Top montage

Left: "In Direct Line With Another & The Next", taken in Downtown, New York by Jenna, via Jason Eppink, Manhole in Mexico by Avi Dolgin [Source], Manhole in Freiburg i.Br., Germany by madcrow [Source], Right: Manhole in Takaoka, Japan by Trane DeVore, Troutfactory [Source].

Friday, March 6, 2009

Inspiration 3! An Open Call for Art from the Streets of Tel Aviv

if you are a regular reader on CultCase you may already know that Israeli street-art and graffiti scenes have been gaining strong International momentum recently. Much of this trend is attributed to talented immigrants from former U.S.S.R. countries, Europe and North America. INSPIRATION 3! - the third art exhibition produced by INSPIRE COLLECTIVE and Israeli street-artist and media activist idiotthewise – is one more example to how alive Israeli street-art scene really is. Focusing in posters, print works and clothing, this year's show is already in production and a "call for action" has been published:
"There is such a feeling of impending seasonal change here in Tel Aviv. Inspiration comes in with the spring & for the third year, the INSPIRE Collective asks you to show off some inspiration! It’s during these pre-spring months, for the last few years, that we really get working and organized in order to time the show with these weather and seasonal changes as a type of metaphor for inspiration..."

As the two previous Inspiration exhibitions the show is open to artists from all over the world, not just Israel so verity is accordingly. For pictures of the first Inspiration Art Exhibition at the Barbur Gallery in Jerusalem see here. For pictures of the second show at the Legal Action Gallery / Casco Urban Lab in Tel Aviv see here. The following are a few selected works already submitted to the INSPIRATION 3! project.


Stencils on water cylinders in the City Bowl. Cheers to Warren Lewis, also known as worldwarwon, a visual artist working from Cape Town, South Africa who will be exhibiting this enlightening work simply-titled Beer. More works from worldwarwon here.

Israeli match 1 and 2

Israeli match 1 and Israeli match 2 are two powerful art pieces by another interesting artist from Cape Town, South Africa named senyol. It's hard to think of a more appropriate image to express the reality in Israel at the moment. Other than being a sharped-eye artist and running an active Flickr account, senyol also run his own blog. For more mathcstick art by senyol see here.

The Kotel

We are usually not very big fans of holy places here at CultCase yet this fabulous piece by Jehan King is just too interesting to ignore. Kotel fits just well with how King describes her own work – energized, vibrant, colorful, raw and bold. King is a self taught abstract contemporary artist from USA. Check on her Etsy store here.

The Beach

The Beach is a vector-graphics styled painting by Yael Reshef from Tel-Aviv, Israel. As opposed to senyol's Reshef's images somewhat focus on images of how Israel could have looked like.

State is A Fear of Mind

We love simply implemented statementual conceptual creations such as this stencil work from Melvin Design also known as melvind from Birmingham, UK. Made with reused materials.

For more information about Inspiration 3! or to submit your own works go to

Friday, January 16, 2009

20 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Cartons (in Pictures)

20 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Cartons (in Pictures)

Did you know the egg carton was invented in 1911 in British Columbia in an attempt to solve a dispute between a farmer and a hotel owner who kept on blaming one another when the farmer's eggs often arrived broken? Probably not. But approximately 100 years later, egg cartons are obvious items in almost every modern house and a significant portion of the trash we generate. Yet, from modern art and high-class lighting sets to beds for cats, seed starters and toys - there are countless of ways egg cartons can be reused and otherwise useful. CultCase has photo-listed 20 of them here, but we know there are more. If you know of any others and have some photographs please do feel free to drop us a line anytime and we may publish them here.

1. Eggcubism Village Party

Completed in December 2008 and titled Village Party this new monumental masterpiece by Dutch artist Enno de Kroon is sized 154 x 209 x 24 cm and made of acrylic and egg cartons. If you are a regular reader at CultCase you may have already stumbled The Art of Junk: 7 Creative Approaches to Trash Reuse and met De Kroon. From his studio at Rotterdam, The Netherlands, De Kroon leads a new wave in reuse art and helps taking cubism into the 21st century. (Re)using ordinary egg crates for canvas De Kroon makes spectacular "two-and-a-half" dimensional paintings in a style he defines as Eggcubism. Above: A frontal view studio shot of Village Party. Below: details (cut by the artist).

According to De Kroon:
"The egg carton works came about out of my previous work where I find the relationship between the viewer and the piece as an object to be of great importance. I've always played with distortions of perspective, which puts the viewer on the wrong foot and makes them conscious of their manner of observing. The way we see things is so conditioned and decides what our minds eventually see in something. The egg cartons had been lying around my studio for some time ready for me to be painted upon, but it took some courage before I could take the plunge. It also took a while to come up with a product I was satisfied with."

No textual explanations had been made available about Village Party so far but, since we asked, De Kroon did provide us with a few words of clarifications about the inspirational roots of it. "Village Party was inspired by open air dinner parties that take place in the village streets of Provence in the south of France." Says De Kroon "it is a mixture of different perspectives one can have of such parties and the special social relations they involve. Someone has described my technique as "exploding" perspective. I don't know about that but they are related to Pieter Breugel works."

According to De Kroon he did not use any real photos of the described village party dinners but he did send us a snapshot of the painting 'Peasants Wedding' by Pieter Brueghel the Elder.

2. Heart

Patricia Zapata is a mom, wife, graphic designer, author and an avid blogger at where she shares and explores new ideas and projects. Zapata's paper craft book "Home, Paper, Scissors" will be published in August in 2009. Above: Recycle project no. 11 - egg carton turned into a heart.

3. Mona Lisa

This interesting pixel-like piece is made of cut-out egg cartons and paint. It was first sketched with a pencil and then ("slowly"…) painted. "Took a long time to fully visualize the look of it". We love it! Via niveakpl

4. Dubrovnik

This sculpture is named "Not Montenegro, but Dubrovnik in Croatia" and made from egg cartons. via Greenwich Photography

5. Volkswagen Trucks Ad

"Volkswagen Trucks. For every kind of load" is a print advertising campaign by advertising agency from Sao Paulo, Brazil named ALMAPBBDO. Copywriter: Eduardo Andrietta. Art Directors: Marcus Kawamura, Ary Nogueira. Photographer: Hugo Treu. Via publicidad21

6. Lighting sets

This fellow was feeling guilty for buying the blue egg carton "because it contained eggs from caged hens" which he usually does not buy.

Handsome guilt!

And here you can learn how to make your own egg-carton flower fairy lights.

The original intention here was to show local artisans how reusing materials could become a source of income. Yet, this quickly turned into a passion for Salvadorean designer Eugenio Menjivar. Dancer includes three shades made from egg cartons. The shades sit slightly askew, dancing, on a recycled iron base and held in place with recycled iron rods. You can get your own Dancer in three different colors including violet, lime and black. Via

Egg Carton Flower Pendant Light is a DIY Lighting project. Made from paper pulp egg cartons, this pendant light is promised to give off a soft, beautiful ambient light. Via

7. Cat beds

Flickred by cieraphotography this wild animal looks very much and comfortably asleep where 12 chicken eggs used to reside. We are guessing he is dreaming about the chickens.

After a few days out of the box, Flickr user Kimberly Jennery was already used to finding those three clumped together in the "human bed". The other day she came home and found them all clumped in an egg carton. Goofies indeed.

Please meet Toby, (staring) on his very own egg carton.

And this is Alice who think egg cartons are "irresistible, especially when they're precariously balanced atop the recycle bin".

And this one is another, slightly smaller, wild cat in the same carton. "I assure you that no human intervention was involved in these poses. Last 2 by jiffy from

8. Footstools

This versatile Good Egg footstool by award-winning industrial designer Inna Alesina is handmade from recycled paper pulp egg cartons and colored with water-based fabric dye ("no varnish or lacquer is used"). It can be used upright or on its side for a relaxing rocking motion and is also designed to make a sturdy base for a coffee table. Alesina is an award-winning industrial designer who looks to "keep the spark of invention alive in each of us." Via

9. Seats

A cool seat made mainly of egg cartons. Not for heavy folks. Via Grynster

10. Seed starters

Egg cartons are perfect as seed starters. Just fill each cup with potting soil and plant some seeds. Cut each cup from the tray and plant it after seedlings sprout. Above: Tomato sprouts

Sowing Coriander and Chives

This one also has a sense for shapes.

11. Flowers

Colored egg carton flowers. Via munchkinmay

12. Dozen figs containers

Someone gave Marilyn Blanche's mom - a genius mom - a dozen figs. We digg you Miss Blanche!

13. Concrete slabs

The above shanty shack concrete slabs are made with egg cartons.

An egg carton "detail" poured into a porch slab.

14. Bulletin Boards for office

This may actually work.

15. Toy Cameras

Daniel takes a picture with his creatively reused egg-carton-and-water-bottle camera.

16. Toy Potties and Toilets

Via deanj

17. Costumes

T-rex Costume

Frog eyes egg carton mask

18. Proofing sound

Experts say Egg cartons are not very good as sound proofing devices but this is still one of the most common ways to reuse them. Shown above is journalist Abdourahmane Toure in a studio lined with egg cartons to improve sound quality at Radio Pindjiguiti in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau. It might not work so well but admit it looks pretty cool.

Sources: dontbesostubborn, swimvixen2, poligraf

19. Apparel

Not exactly made from the classic carton type but this nice dress was once containing eggs, that is for sure.

20. Organizers

Flickred by willowpoppy, a "Klutzy, creative, spirited British lass" from California, U.S.A, this is titled "favorite activity".

Have any photos of other cool usages for egg cartons? please let us know.