everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

LEGO art

I could happily post about LEGO (that’s not me shouting, that’s the proper way to write it – I checked) a few times per week. There are some very clever creative types building amazing things out of little coloured bricks. More than just kids’ stuff, this is genuine art – and not being a real fashionista, it’s my kinda colour blocking. Today, I wanted to share some of the work of Thomas Poulsom. Tom is a LEGO artist/builder based in the UK and he has an amazing collection of his work on Flickr, including a whole range of rare, colourful birdies. ‘Twas Norman, the Northern Cardinal who first caught my eye in the designboom feature post on Poulsom’s work, but I’ve included some other highlights here. Just remember, these are all made FROM BLOCKS. (Ok, that was me shouting that time.)

Stormy the Snow Owl
(c) Thomas Poulsom

Kingsley the Kingfisher
(c) Thomas Poulsom (via designboom.com)

Tiago the Toucan
(c) Thomas Poulsom (via designboom.com)

The Woodpecker
(c) Thomas Poulsom (via designboom.com)

There’s just a taste of Tom Poulsom’s work – you can check out more of his stuff on Flickr here and the designboom feature is here. Poulsom’s birds are also posted on the LEGO CUUSOO site – it’s a pretty cool place, where you can share your LEGO project or product idea and if you more than 10,000 people support it online it will be reviewed by those little men in bowl hats at LEGO HQ and might become an official LEGO product (earning you 1% of total net sales as royalties). How’s that for inspiration to get building, peeps?

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David Mach is amazing.

I was going to make a pun out of his name, but I wasn’t sure if you pronounce it like ‘Mark’ or like ‘Match’, so thought that it could get lost in translation and become confusing. So I’ll just stick to the fact – David Mach is amazing. He’s a Scottish artist and I first saw his work on designboom. Incredible sculptures made from everyday items (things like matchsticks, coathangers, playing cards and dominoes).¬†David says, “When I have ideas I want to make them, and not just some of them, but all of them”. David loves to work with as many different materials as possible and calls himself “a materials junkie”. Ok, enough about what David says, have a look what David does.

Charlie Chaplin, Matchead.
(c) David Mach

 

Stag, made of wire coat hangers.
(c) David Mach

 

“Layed Back” – Snoopy, made of playing cards.
(c) David Mach

And that barely even scratches the surface – it’s well worth checking out David’s website and Facebook page for more of his incredibly creative and quirky works of art. There are some brilliant public art installations, mindblowing Matcheads, pretty scary coat hanger gorillas and an image of the Queen made from greeting cards. I’ll finish as I began – DAVID MACH IS AMAZING! You can check out his website here and his Facebook page here and the designboom post here.

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Bunny with a Toolbelt

Yes, that caught my eye too. Bunny with a Toolbelt is the very cool name of Hilary Pfeifer’s business in Portland, Oregon, where the focus has been ‘making you smile since the late 20th century’. Hilary creates sculptures, animals and wedding cake toppers from recycled wood and other materials. And they are brightly coloured and very quirky. Hilary has also written a couple of books and sells t-shirts and mugs adorned with her work. This Bunny is busy.

(c) Bunny with a Toolbelt

I’ll start with my favourite. This dog is made of painted, upcycled wood and stands about 4 inches tall and 11 inches long. The piece is called ‘Oh Happy Day’. And with this brightly coloured piece of magic in your home or office or classroom or shop, I’m tipping you’ll have a very happy day indeed. If you’re a deep kinda person, you can probably read something into the placement of the clouds, or the fact that the dog is happily supporting three animals of another species, all of different colours. But I just like it because it’s bright and cute.

(c) Bunny with a Toolbelt

If you’re looking for a customised gift for that certain someone, you can help Hilary to design your own Mini Me. You send photos and thoughts about the subject to Hilary and she creates a mini version of them. In brightly coloured monster form. Uh huh.

And then there are the elephants that Hilary created to illustrate her first alphabet book – Elephabet. As you might expect, it’s no ordinary alphabet book. Y is for Yippie-ki-Yayiphant, S is for Sushiphant, R is for Radiophant. But my favourite is probably this guy: V is for Vice Versaphant.

(c) Bunny with a Toolbelt

Oh, and the wedding cake toppers – not normally even remotely my kind of thing, but these have a quirky style. Granted, they won’t suit every couple, but for some people, I think they’re probably just perfect…

Like that really tall couple that you know.

(c) Bunny with a Toolbelt

Or those two IT geeks who fell in love in the server room.

(c) Bunny with a Toolbelt

Or that couple that took forever to make it down the aisle.

(c) Bunny with a Toolbelt

And with more than 60 varieties, there’s plenty more where those came from! You can check out the Bunny with a Toolbelt website here and the etsy shop here. Love your work, Hilary!

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The Art of the Brick

Nathan Sawaya is a Brick Artist. That’s his trademarked title, according to his website. And no, it’s not a fancy name for a builder or labourer, it reflects that Nathan makes his art not with charcoal, or paint, or even sprinkles, but with LEGO bricks. Nathan currenly has over 1.5 million bricks in his New York studio – you can see some of them in this pic from his website, colour coded and boxed in a way that would put even the neatest parent of a toddler to shame.

Nathan’s work is incredible. Like this amazing man-inside-a-man (clearly not its official title, but my own) featured on Nathan’s Facebook page. I think this is why Nathan’s so clever – he can use the brightly coloured bricks of our childhood to make a giant dinosaur (currently on exhibit in Taipei) or rainbow hearts or giant bodies. And then, he can use Lego bricks to make a sculpture like this more serious and muted man shuffling along living a sort of half-life in his corporate suit, while inside of him is that lively, passionate red man just trying to get out. At least, that’s how I see it – there’s always the chance that it’s just an alien themed sculpture of the red people overtaking the humans. Either way, I like it!

If you’re an Elvis fan – or even if you’re not – you’ll appreciate the detail of this life-size (height, anyway) Elvis creation of Nathan’s from 2011, to commemorate 34 years since the King’s passing. (Alleged passing, I should say.)

There are so many amazing brick sculptures in Nathan’s collection, it’s tough to choose what to include here. So I’ll finish with this, which is surely the dream bedroom of many children (lack of comfort aside, it would totes impress other little people who visited). Nathan was “commissioned to create a display of how a bedroom would look entirely out of bricks” – not one to do anything by halves, the drawers open and the brick pillow is removable. Oh yes, and that’s a Lego cello there, against the wall. And a Lego model of The Thinker. Just because.

If you want to check out more of Nathan’s work – and it is well worth a look – his website is here and his Facebook fan page is here.

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It’s a shoe-in

I like shoes. Not as much as Imelda Marcos and Carrie Bradshaw, to be sure, but I do appreciate a nice pair of kicks. I’m not fancy – they don’t need to cost a bzillion designer dollars or elevate me to dizzy heights. And the quirkier the better, I say. Well, that’s what I used to say, ’til I stumbled across Robert Tabor’s shoes on trendhunter.com. Like this cherry pie shoe with a forked heel.

I dug a little deeper and it turns out that Mr Tabor doesn’t really design shoes – he designs “fantasy shoe creations” or “shoe sculptures”. I think that’s code for shoes-so-crazy-not-even-Lady-Gaga-would-wear-them.

From the sandwich thongs (or jandals or flip flops, if you prefer), to the shoe made with hair (relax, it’s synthetic), to the Chinese dragon, to the aqua fish, these shoes scream Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Well, that or Important Meeting at Work. Or Parent-Teacher Night at School.

Granted, most of these boots aren’t really made for walkin’, more for decorating the hall table, but I do think that hair shoe looks kinda comfortable. And I have a red handbag that I think could work well with the dragon heels (it’s the Dragon’s year in 2012, after all). With a plain black dress or suit, of course.

If you would like to brighten up your shoe collection or just marvel at the many shoes of Robert Tabor, you can view the Trendhunter post here or the designer’s website here.

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