Using Naturally Dyed Cotton, Artist Sipho Mabona Explores Transformation through Origami

“A Unicorn’s Lower Jaw & Right Front Leg” (2020), indigo, old fustic, weld and iron on cotton and paper. All images © Sipho Mabona, shared with permission

Sipho Mabona (previously) folds, crimps, and puckers sheets of cotton to form geometric artworks. The artist dyes the porous material with natural substances like indigo and Maclura tinctoria (mulberry), which creates organic gradients and alters its texture. He then utilizes Origami creases to transform the cotton’s structure and shape, sometimes working in response to current affairs. For example, the red pieces (shown below) are a response to Black Lives Matter and “also of biographical significance to me having a father that was a politcal activist and refugee from South Africa.” he shares with Colossal.

While my earlier works have smooth monochromatic surfaces in my latest body of work I felt an urge to introduce a painterly gesture and an element of chance to counterbalance the stringent geometrical appearance of the crease-patterns… Both Origami and natural dyeing are techniques that have rarely been harnessed in fine arts that unlock an intriguing field of unexplored narratives.

Head to Instagram to dive further into Mabona’s folded cotton works.

 

“The Dragonflies’ Third Leg” (2019), Maclura tinctoria, on folded cotton and paper, 40 x 50 centimeters

Left: “Untitled” (2018), natural aizome, acrylic and molding paste on folded cotton, 132 x 108 centimeters. Right: “Untitled” (2018), natural aizome, acrylic and molding paste on folded cotton, 132 x 108 centimeters

“We Bled, We Are Bleeding, We Will Bleed”

“The Doves’ Wing” (2019), indigo and old fustic, on folded cotton and paper, 40 x 50 centimeters

Left: “The Cicadas’ Abdomen & Thorax” (2019), Madder on folded cotton. Right: “The Dove’s Wing & Shoulder (I1)” (2020), indigo-dyed, cotton, paper, Tyvek, wood, and nylon

“We Bled, We Are Bleeding, We Will Bleed”

Right: “Untitled” (2018), natural aizome, acrylic and molding paste on folded cotton, 132 x 108 centimeters

“We Bled, We Are Bleeding, We Will Bleed”

“Untitled” (2018), natural aizome on folded cotton and paper


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Textile Artist Creates a Highly Symbolic Traditional Azerbaijani Rug That Looks Like It’s Melting

Azerbaijani artist Faig Ahmed, who previously created a series of handmade traditional Azerbaijani rugs that look digitally distorted, has continued to use this specific textile medium in order to comment on events of the day. One such piece, called “Doubts?”, is a rug that looks like it’s melting off the wall upon which it is hung. The title came from a discussion about the future in the face of a pandemic.

We started the production of this work a month before the whole world plunged into doubts about the future due to the current situation caused by the pandemic. Because of the quarantine, we had to close our textile studio several times and artwork on the loom was waiting for its time. A few days ago, after 7 months, “Doubts?” were cut off the loom. There are no more doubts in this carpet, destroying the geometric intelligible boundaries of the patterns – overflowing they congeal on the floor – this is the limit of doubts.

via Colossal

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Archie McPhee Introduces New Candy Canes That Are Flavored Like Shiitake Mushroom, Pho and Ketchup

The fabulous online novelty retailer Archie McPhee has added three new flavors to their wonderful line of unusually flavored candy canes. The first is a very trendy shiitake mushroom flavored candy cane.

Shiitake Mushroom Candy Canes may seem odd at first, but they’re sprouting up all over the place. How do they taste? Like shiitake. After all, we know Santa is a fungi with a mushroom in his heart for the holiday spirit, so obviously he gives a shiitake about Christmas!

Shitake Mushroom Candy Canes Archie McPhee

Another cane features the distinct flavor of the beloved Vietnamese dish pho.

As much as we love traditional holiday meals, we’d rather be sneaking out and eating a bowl of pho at our local Vietnamese restaurant. Even Santa would probably rather have a spoonful of that rich, herby elixir than a cold glass of milk as he’s delivering presents. While this set of six candy canes isn’t as good as the real thing, it’s a reasonable pho-simile.

Pho Candy Canes

The final cane is ketchup-flavored.

It’s America’s favorite condiment, but for Christmas! Do you know what makes mediocre food edible? Ketchup! So, just imagine how a ketchup-flavored candy cane can take your holiday from meh to magnificent. This set of six candy canes really does taste like sweet, tomatoey ketchup. Ketchup Candy Canes are here to save Christmas from being dry and tasteless!

Ketchup Candy Canes

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Quirky Characters Anthropomorphize Patterned, Pastel Vases by Ceramicist Sandra Apperloo

All images © Sandra Apperloo, shared with permission

Sandra Apperloo infuses her love for pastels and tiny freckles into a playful crew of characters. Shaped to hold a single flower stem, the anthropomorphized vases display a range of emotions and together, form a series humorously named Weirdo Bud Vases. Their lengthy bodies are covered in polka dots, floral motifs, and stripes, and while some stand straight up, others twist around a similarly dressed figure. “I hope my works make people laugh and daydream. I hope they distract from daily businesses, leave warm feelings, and tickle imaginations,” she writes.

Based in the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands, Apperloo works under the moniker The Pottery Parade and creates planters, mugs, bowls, and other vessels through a mix of hand-building and wheel-based techniques. She doesn’t plan each piece in advance, instead favoring a method that involves “finding what feels good at that moment. This is the case for every part of the process: shaping, sculpting, choosing the colors, and painting the patterns. It helps me to stay open-minded and try out new things, which I feel is really important in my work,” she says.

To snag one of her pieces, which includes a forthcoming series of holiday ornaments, follow Apperloo on Instagram, where she often shares announcements about shop updates.

 


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Detailed Macro Footage of a Perfectly Camouflaged Debris-Carrying Insect Larva

While at Parc National d’Andasibe Mantadia in Madagascar, wildlife photographer David Weiller (previously) captured detailed macro footage of individual insect larvae that had a coat of debris that acts as effective camouflage against predators of any kind.

This debris-carrying bug larva has evolved the perfect camouflage defense to deter attacks from birds and other predators.

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips

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How to Make a Spooky DIY Halloween Candy Slide That Keeps Six Feet Between You and Trick-or-Treaters

Propmakers Jaimie and Jay of Wicked Makers, both of whom are big fans of Halloween, shared how to make a wonderfully spooky candy slide that keeps you and the trick-or-treaters who come to your door a safe six feet apart. It’s a simple DIY build of PVC pipes that you can decorate to your own taste.

In the time of COVID-19, everyone is worried how much Halloween will be affected. A lot of towns and even some states are recommending people don’t go trick or treating or at best, stay socially distanced from other people when they do. That’s why we came up with a simple DIY Halloween prop that’ll help let you enjoy the night from a safe 6 feet away.

Halloween Candy Slide

via POPSUGAR

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An Amusing Chicken Enrichment Exercise Wheel Made of Hanging Cucumbers and Corn That Rotate in a Circle

Alison McNeice of the Featherheads Bird Rescue in Hobart, Tasmania, created an amusing chicken enrichment exercise wheel. This merry-go-round of sorts featured hanging cucumbers and ears of corn that rotated in an endless circle, which kept the birds motivated to keep moving in pursuit.

Here is a chicken exercise wheel that I made last year. Chicken enrichment is important, too!

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Amusing Footage Dives Underwater to Capture Flamingos’ Strange Eating Methods



In the last few months, underwater footage has transported us into the depths of the previously unexplored Ningaloo Canyons and glimpsed the stunning blanket octopus as she unfurls her iridescent web. Now, the San Diego Zoo dives below the surface to capture the unusual ways flamingos eat.

Their pink-feathered heads plunge underwater to suck up mud and other debris from the sandy bottom. Filter-like plates called lamella trap shrimp and other aquatic creatures before dispersing the rest through the sides of their bills. Make sure you turn the volume up to hear the ungainly birds’ equally strange noises.

Check out a variety of amusing videos featuring baby lemur twins, penguin drama, and other animal antics on YouTube. (via PetaPixel)

 


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How the Nebulous Concept of Time Became Impossibly Distorted During the Worldwide Pandemic

In a brilliant report for Vox, filmmaker Sindha Agha takes a look at the incredibly nebulous concept of time as it existed in the past and how the pandemic has distorted time to such an extent that it’s become unrecognizable in a way that we aren’t able to process. Agha compares this distortion to the phenomenon of “impossible colors”, which are intermediate hues within the spectrum that don’t appear in ordinary visual functioning. She also cites the use of metronomes as being too structured for counting out this new fuzzy perception of time.

Time resembles color in other ways, too — we can only access the smallest sliver of both spectrums. Non-linearity and relativity remind me of ultraviolet and red-green — what scientists call the “Impossible Colors,” colors we can measure, but can’t actually see. And like color, time is continuous. …Maybe we’ve been too fixated on fixing our metronomes when what we need most is vocabulary for these new colors of time.

How the pandemic distorted time

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Turtle Gives Alligator an Underwater High Five As They Pass Each Other in a Florida Lake

Florida resident Crafty captured amusing footage of a turtle she named Harold giving an alligator named Tabitha an underwater “high-five” as they passed each other in the lake outside of Crafty’s house.

Harold gets high fives from all his friends.

As it turns out, these two vastly different reptiles appear to have become unlikely but rather good friends.

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