Posts By Laura Staugaitis

Custom-Built Coffee Tables Constructed from Original Components of the Golden Gate Bridge

All photographs © Danielle Hankinson

Each rope that suspended San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge from 1935 to the 1970s was made of 229 individual strands arranged in a unique “lay” created at John A. Roeblin’s Sons Company in Trenton, New Jersey. Though these suspender ropes were retired about fifty years ago, the history and strength imbued in them lives on. Strands of History, a Tahoe City, California-based company founded in 2016, focuses on building functional items using the bridge’s original ropes, including a spectacular wood and steel coffee table.

Mary Zimmerman of the Strands of History team explains to Colossal that the company was able to verify the rope’s authenticity by reviewing the original schematics from the Roebling’s company. Every suspension bridge has ropes with a unique lay, which create a sort of finger print for the bridge’s materials.

Once a sufficient supply was in the hands of Strands of History, the company got to work determining a way to showcase the strength, beauty, and history of their chosen material. The incredibly strong rope weighs one pound per inch, and is so dense that only five cuts can be made before a fresh 14-inch abrasive blade is required. Strands of History brought in experts from Bushey Ironworks and Roundwood Furniture to help design the coffee table and wrangle the finicky raw materials. Bushey weighed in with forge welding techniques to stabilize the ropes, and Roundwood suggested a deeply striated Claro walnut wood that is about 80 years old.

In creating something new out of such storied materials, Zimmerman explains, “All of us that work on these projects are committed to the preservation of this historic steel. This required exploring various techniques to maintain [the rope’s] structural integrity, as well as to preserve the unique lay of the wire and its inherent beauty and attraction.”

You can take a look inside Strands of History’s workshop on Instagram, and learn more about their projects with the Golden Gate Bridge suspender ropes on the company’s website. (via My Modern Met)

Photographer Winnie Au Captures the Unique Personalities of Dogs Adorned in Sculptural ‘Cones of Shame’

Photographs © Winnie Au

Any person who’s been within shouting distance of a dog owner has probably heard the term “cone of shame,” a euphemism for the medically prescribed devices that dogs must sometimes wear. The cones, traditionally uncomfortable and made of stiff plastic, keeps dogs away from their post-surgery stitches or uncomfortable skin conditions.

Photographer and dog mom Winnie Au sought to flip the narrative on these puppy-eyes-inducing devices by showcasing dogs in a variety of delightfully frilly and fluffy cones. The photo series, Cone of Shame, complements each canine’s body type, fur, and personality with handcrafted cones by costume designer Marie-Yan Morvan.

Au shares with Colossal that the featured dogs were cast from all over New York, as she and Morvan sought to discover interesting looking dogs, and also match canines to pre-existing cone concepts. The pair worked collaboratively to draw from Au’s loose ideas like “sea urchin” or “cotton candy,” and homed in on feasible designs and materials. Textured cones were formed from feathers, egg shells, and straws, and sleek designs were made with faux flower petals and makeup application wedges.

“When I concepted this series, it was meant to be more abstract and less straightforward portraiture,” the photographer explains. “So when I looked at the dogs, I would look at their fur as one element, the backdrop color as another element, and then the cone style would be the final element. The goal was to put the pieces together like an abstract painting and make sure the colors and tones worked in symmetry with each other.”

Au has just released the “Cone of Shame” images in notecard format, as part of a Kickstarter campaign that supports Animal Haven’s Recovery Road fund. You can follow Winnie Au and Marie-Yan Morvan on Instagram.

 

Photographer Winnie Au Captures the Unique Personalities of Dogs Adorned in Sculptural ‘Cones of Shame’

Photographs © Winnie Au

Any person who’s been within shouting distance of a dog owner has probably heard the term “cone of shame,” a euphemism for the medically prescribed devices that dogs must sometimes wear. The cones, traditionally uncomfortable and made of stiff plastic, keeps dogs away from their post-surgery stitches or uncomfortable skin conditions.

Photographer and dog mom Winnie Au sought to flip the narrative on these puppy-eyes-inducing devices by showcasing dogs in a variety of delightfully frilly and fluffy cones. The photo series, Cone of Shame, complements each canine’s body type, fur, and personality with handcrafted cones by costume designer Marie-Yan Morvan.

Au shares with Colossal that the featured dogs were cast from all over New York, as she and Morvan sought to discover interesting looking dogs, and also match canines to pre-existing cone concepts. The pair worked collaboratively to draw from Au’s loose ideas like “sea urchin” or “cotton candy,” and homed in on feasible designs and materials. Textured cones were formed from feathers, egg shells, and straws, and sleek designs were made with faux flower petals and makeup application wedges.

“When I concepted this series, it was meant to be more abstract and less straightforward portraiture,” the photographer explains. “So when I looked at the dogs, I would look at their fur as one element, the backdrop color as another element, and then the cone style would be the final element. The goal was to put the pieces together like an abstract painting and make sure the colors and tones worked in symmetry with each other.”

Au has just released the “Cone of Shame” images in notecard format, as part of a Kickstarter campaign that supports Animal Haven’s Recovery Road fund. You can follow Winnie Au and Marie-Yan Morvan on Instagram.

 

Dramatically Sweeping Dresses by Pierpaolo Piccioli Resemble Classic Winter Puffer Coats

Winter apparel brand Moncler has partnered with Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Picciolo to create massive gowns that reference classic cold-weather puffy coats. Each gown features the typical quilted style of down jackets, but instead of short form-fitting coats, the dresses sweep across the floors with voluminous hemlines and envelope the wearer’s neck and shoulders in cocoon-like shapes. Typical subdued winterwear colors are swapped out for a riot of jewel tones accented with variegated stripes.

The collaboration, which is part of Moncler’s Genius program, engaged Picciolo, as well as designer and model Liya Kebede, to dream up the unusual shapes and patterns. This is the second rendition by Picciolo, who last year drew inspiration from Renaissance paintings. (via designboom)

Upcycled Lobster Shells are Transformed into Functional Planters and Packages

Four designers from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College have found a second life for the lobster tail you might’ve splurged on for Valentine’s Day. The project team, dubbed Shellworks, created a bioplastic by combining vinegar with chitin, a fibrous substance that is the main component of crustacean’s shells, as well as fungi cell walls. Though there is currently a commercially available version of chitin, called chitosan, it is extremely expensive.

The Shellworks team created five of their own machines, named Shelly, Sheety, Vaccy, Dippy and Drippy, to manipulate the chitin-based materials with varying stiffness, flexibility, thickness, and translucence. The resulting range of potential products includes self-fertilizing planters, pill blister packs, and food containers, and can be recycled or composted. By making this process more accessible and affordable, Shellworks hopes that their innovations might allow for larger-scale replacement of the plastic we use every day. You can learn more about the project in the video below, and on the Shellworks website and Instagram. (via dezeen)

A range of material properties that can be created from chitin without any additives

Upcycled Lobster Shells are Transformed into Functional Planters and Packages

Four designers from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College have found a second life for the lobster tail you might’ve splurged on for Valentine’s Day. The project team, dubbed Shellworks, created a bioplastic by combining vinegar with chitin, a fibrous substance that is the main component of crustacean’s shells, as well as fungi cell walls. Though there is currently a commercially available version of chitin, called chitosan, it is extremely expensive.

The Shellworks team created five of their own machines, named Shelly, Sheety, Vaccy, Dippy and Drippy, to manipulate the chitin-based materials with varying stiffness, flexibility, thickness, and translucence. The resulting range of potential products includes self-fertilizing planters, pill blister packs, and food containers, and can be recycled or composted. By making this process more accessible and affordable, Shellworks hopes that their innovations might allow for larger-scale replacement of the plastic we use every day. You can learn more about the project in the video below, and on the Shellworks website and Instagram. (via dezeen)

A range of material properties that can be created from chitin without any additives

Everyday Consumer Goods Are De-Produced Into Rectangular Prisms of Raw Materials

Volkswagen Beetle. Photograph by Ronald Smits

Dutch design team Studio Drift (previously) codifies the complex mix of materials that are used to create modern consumer goods in their newest series, Materialism. The collection reduces down recognizable items ranging from light bulbs and pencils to bicycles and even a Volkswagen Beetle. Raw materials like graphite, copper, rubber, polyurethane, and aluminum are shown as perfectly sliced blocks, emphasizing the original substance rather than the abstracted functional shape (like a rubber bicycle tube or graphite pencil core).

In a statement about the collection, Studio Drift describes the lofty goals of Materialism: “To make the essential nature of the world visible. If humankind could somehow perceive this connection to materials, to our collective consumption and the earth it impoverishes, it would be a leap in our social evolution, in building an awareness that we must somehow become better stewards of our future.”

Materialism was recently displayed with Pace Gallery at the Frieze Art Fair in Los Angeles, California. You can see more from Studio Drift on Facebook and Instagram. (via dezeen)

De-produced bicycle. Photograph by Gert Jan van Rooij

De-produced pencil. Photograph by Ronald Smits

De-produced light bulb. Photograph by Ronald Smits

Colorful Quilts by Bisa Butler use African Fabrics to Form Nuanced Portraits

“Three Kings”, detail

Artist Bisa Butler draws from an array of vibrant patterned fabrics to create portraits of everyday people. She eschews representational colors, favoring layered jewel-toned hues to form the skin of her Black subjects, and often groups figures together into strong silhouettes.

“I have always been drawn to portraits,” Butler explains in a statement on her gallery’s website. “I was the little girl who would sit next to my grandmother and ask her to go through her old family photo albums. I was the one who wanted to hear the story behind every picture. This inquisitiveness has stayed with me to this day. I often start my pieces with a black and white photo and allow myself to tell the story.”

Butler studied fine art at Howard University. In a video interview by BRIC TV, the artist explains that she began using fabric in her paintings in college, and then converted to quilting as a way to continue her dedicated art practice while protecting her young daughter from toxic materials and fumes.

The artist was born in Orange, New Jersey, and now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She is represented by Claire Oliver Gallery. You can see more from Butler on Instagram. (via #WOMENSART)

“Three Kings” (2018), quilted and appliquéd cotton, wool and chiffon, 95 x 72 in / 241.3 x 182.9 cm

“The Mighty Gents” (2018), quilted and appliquéd cotton, wool and chiffon, 67 x 78 in / 170.2 x 198.1 cm

“The Mighty Gents”, detail

“The Mighty Gents”, detail

“Anaya with Oranges”

“The Safety Patrol” (2018), quilted and appliquéd cotton, wool and chiffon, 90 x 82 in / 228.6 x 208.3 cm

“The Safety Patrol”, detail

L: “The Unconquerable Lyric” R: “I Want To Smell The Flowers”

“Black Star Family, first class tickets to Liberia” (2018), cotton, silk chiffon, satin, silk and lace, 79 x 85 in / 200.7 x 215.9 cm