Barbed Wire, Chains, and Shears Cleave Through Delicate Pottery in Glen Taylor’s Profound Sculptures

Far from dainty, Glen Taylor’s teapots, cups, and saucers (previously) tap into the contrasts and contradictions of human nature. Soldering industrial implements like barbed wire, shears, and chains to broken pieces of porcelain and pottery, the artist draws on our associations with aging, decorum, and everyday wear and tear.

Influenced by kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken ceramics with metallic seams to highlight the object’s history, the sculptures allude to our inner experiences and emotions. 

Featured Image © Glen Taylor

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Slouching Ceramic Vessels by Philip Kupferschmidt Ooze with Heavy Drips and Gloopy Glazes

From his studio in Chino, California, Philip Kupferschmidt (previously) fashions cavernous ceramic vessels that drip and ooze with vibrant glazes. After throwing a piece on the wheel, the artist warps, stretches, and crushes the walls of a vase or pot that he later covers with thick droplets or chunky globs. Many of the sculptures appear to slouch under the weight of the liquid, their sides folded and creased into skewed shapes.

Kupferschmidt has been creating drip-covered works for several years and recently began a series of Supergloops, vessels with more pigments and material variances than his typical one- or two-toned works.

Image © Philip Kupferschmidt

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Fungi, Feathers, and Insects Spring from Carol Long’s Art Nouveau Vessels

Midwestern flora and fauna are the foundation for Carol Long’s lavishly adorned sculptures, which elegantly meld Art Nouveau embellishments with natural motifs. The Kansas-based artist (previously) continues her process of pushing and pulling the sides of a thrown vessel to achieve exaggerated proportions. Bublous bases, thin, curvy handles, and wobbly openings are characteristic of her ceramic sculptures, which she garnishes with slip-trail textures evoking fungi gills or bushy bunny tails.

Image © Carol Long

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Step Inside Artist Dale Chihuly’s Stunning Seattle Studio, Filled With an Epic Antiques Collection and His Otherworldly Glass Forms

I have always been fascinated by the small glass blowing studios in the Chicago area. Based in Washington state, Dale Chihuly is an American artist renowned for his innovative and groundbreaking work in glassblowing and sculpture. His works are a testament to his mastery of the medium and his unparalleled creativity, which has earned him a place among the most influential artists of our time.

Post featured image: The Alley at the Boathouse, Dale Chihuly’s Seattle studio. Photo by John Gaines, ©2023 Chihuly Studio. Second image: Dale Chihuly chandeliers and paintings, as well as giant papier-mâché masks and an Algonquin Tribe hand-carved birch canoe, over a 85-foot-long Douglas fir table in the Evelyn Room at the Boathouse, the artist’s Seattle studio. Photo by Nathaniel Willson, ©2023 Chihuly Studio.

Bold, organic forms, vivid colors, and intricate detail characterized Chihuly’s unique style when I first noticed his work nearly two decades ago. He has created many sculptures, installations, and other works displayed in museums, galleries, and public spaces worldwide. His pieces range in size from small, delicate glass orbs and spectacular intricate chandeliers to massive, multi-ton installations that fill entire rooms.

What sets Chihuly apart from other artists is his ability to push the boundaries of what is possible with glass. He has developed new techniques for manipulating glass, allowing him to create works that are thought impossible. His bold use of color and willingness to experiment with form and texture have also been significant factors in his success.

Unforgettable, Chihuly’s works are inspired by nature, and he frequently incorporates natural elements like plants, flowers, and water into his installations. Chihuly’s illuminated skill gives his pieces a sense of organic beauty that is both breathtaking and awe-inspiring.

Overall, Dale Chihuly’s work is a testament to the power of art to inspire, challenge, and transform us. His creations celebrate life, beauty, and the limitless potential of human creativity.

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Mesmerizing Metal Sculptures of Disintegrating People Visualizes the Ephemerality of Beauty and Life

South Africa-based artist Regardt Van Der Meulen transforms metal into seemingly fragile and delicate works of art. His lifesize sculptures depict human figures that appear to be eroding before the viewer’s eyes. The durable material unwinds, crumbles, and disintegrates from the body, capturing the ephemerality of life.

Each of these works portrays a figure that is falling apart. While part of the body is rendered intact and seemingly “correct,” a larger portion is intentionally sculpted in such a way that it looks as though the body is deteriorating. The method in which the figures are decaying varies—at times, resembling threads that are coming undone and others appearing more like torn paper—but they all share a similar melancholy with their fate. When Van Der Meulen leaves the face of the sculptures intact, they seem to be at peace with death, even wearing serene expressions.

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Sculptor Breathes New Life Into Thousands of Scrap Metal Parts

Discarded materials find new life in the art of Brian Mock. The Oregon-based creative collects scrap metal parts like screws, nuts, and bolts and fuses them together to create striking metal sculptures of different animals. Bears, dogs, cats, and many more are reimagined as futuristic life-size statues.

What makes these pieces so mesmerizing to look at is that Mock’s handiwork is completely evident even in the finished product. In fact, these sculptures encourage viewers to look closer, so that they can see the hundreds, if not thousands of individual pieces that were welded together. This approach also gives Mock’s artwork a unique style that is both realistic in terms of size and shape, but also somewhat surreal in its finish and texture.

Dogs are among his most popular subjects, and Mock demonstrates his understanding of animal behavior by creating sculptures in a variety of poses. Some canines are depicted mid-run with a tennis ball in their mouth, while others are sitting expectantly like they are begging for attention. Mock has also tackled his share of challenging projects, like a 6-foot-long lion. In this case, he manipulated numerous pieces of metal to mimic the texture of an impressive mane. The uncanny blend of unorthodox materials and meticulous realism is a head-turner in every sculpture.

Scroll down to check out some of Mock’s scrap metal sculptures and keep up to date with the artist’s latest work by following him on Instagram.

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Lethargic Sleepyheads Loaf in Pajamas in Ikuo Inada’s Meticulous and Contemplative Sculptures

“Night Head,” resin and acrylic

Embodying the bleary-eyed feeling of an early morning, insomnia, or a long, lazy day at home, artist Ikuo Inada’s meditative sculptures personify sleepiness. The Japanese artist’s meticulously carved, realistic figures clutch feather pillows, envelop themselves in comforters, or stand drowsily in soft hoodies. His ambiguous subjects, often half-hidden in a sweatshirt or a blanket, are usually between one and three feet tall and carved from a single block of wood, allowing the natural grain to complement the delicately chiseled hem of a shirt, a drawstring, and slender fingers and toes. Influenced by the expressive wrinkles and folds of Renaissance carvings, the sculptures crystalize relatable, emotional moments of solitude.

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Music, Magic, and Machines: Exquisite Details Unfurl From Chris Millar’s Phantasmagoric Sculptures

Detail of “ADIT 42.” Photo by Jacques Bellavance

Worlds within worlds emerge from the kaleidoscopic visions of Canadian artist Chris Millar, whose meticulous sculptures encompass a range of materials, mechanisms, and sound. Using clockmaking components along with cast resin, electronics, styrene, acrylic paints, and other materials, he constructs science fiction-inspired microcosmos in which enigmatic narratives unfold.

Through painstaking attention to detail, Millar creates each piece entirely from scratch. “Eclipse at Arc Valley,” the artist’s first exploration into work accompanied by music, took one-and-a-half years to complete and includes a handmade music box, bells, and gongs. “‘ADIT 42’ was started when I moved to Montreal and took two-and-a-half years to complete,” he tells Colossal. “It’s a kinetic sculpture that opens a vault door to reveal an entryway to a phantasmagorical otherworld.”

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Countless Astonished Faces Emerge from Driftwood in Expressive Sculptures by Marc Bourlier

“Portraits de Fétiches” (2019), driftwood, wallpaper, and drawing, 50 x 40 x 6 centimeters

Characterized by elongated noses and tiny, punched eyes and mouths, Marc Bourlier’s expressive figures gather in a perpetual state of curiosity and surprise. The artist scours the beaches near his home in Normandy for driftwood, gathering an incredible variety of sizes and shapes to take back to the studio. He complements the weathered grain with carefully whittled heads and long, limbless bodies, packing the individuals tightly together on platforms or organizing them into compartments.

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Artist Abby Donovan Pursues the Unnameable

Installation view of Abby Donovan: THE COLORS ARE LIKE WORDS THAT ARE NOT WORDS BUT COLORS at the Shirley Fiterman Art Center

When I was growing up in Boston, my parents often took me to the Museum of Science and the Museum of Fine Arts. After a few minutes of walking around the exhibition Abby Donovan: THE COLORS ARE LIKE WORDS THAT ARE NOT WORDS BUT COLORS at the Shirley Fiterman Art Center, organized by Lisa Panzera with assistance from Lilly McEachern, I felt the work could be shown in both institutions. At one point I even felt that Donovan’s sculptures, made of colored sheet glass and lead solder, and her projection devices (made with Tom Hughes), would not look out of place in the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, which is devoted to preserving artist-built environments by self-taught and vernacular artists, and they could easily be shown alongside Emery Blagdon’s Healing Machines (1956–86). Both artists seem interested in capturing something we cannot see or name.

I cannot think of another artist whose work can sit comfortably in these three very different museums. Donovan does more than question the boundaries dividing aesthetic and scientific experience into separate categories; she reminds us that divided thinking leads to sequestered conclusions.

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