Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Incredible Science and Nature Art (By Other People)

Obviously the Vengeance Team has posted many things on our own artistic endeavors, including some things for sale at our store (BUY THEM WE NEED BEER WE MEAN CONFERENCE MONEY). Sometimes other people do awesome artistic things, too, and we thought that we'd take a moment to share some of our favorite science and nature themed artists and art.

Riusuke Fukahori of Goldfishing
This is not a box of real goldfish. This is an incredible 3D painting. Riusuke Fukahori paints layer upon layer of goldfish in different layers of resin, giving them an incredible 3D shape in their "liquid" suspension. Some of these things are huge, or have goldfish pouring out of one resin mold into another. See more here, or at his website.

Chris Maynard of FeatherFolio
Chris Maynard carves amazingly gorgeous and intricate things out of feathers. Feathers are beautiful and amazing things in and of themselves, but this artist takes that and makes it a baseplate for some masterpieces of silhouette art. All the feathers he uses are either turkey or grouse (legal game birds not protected under the Migratory Bird Act) or are from zoos, and are all naturally shed. Check some more of his art out here and at his website!

Bobby Jabber of Porcelainia

Science pottery! Bobby Jabber used to teach chemistry to high schoolers, now he teaches through artistic renderings of chemicals. These may not be the most accurate chemicals we've ever seen, but they're way prettier than the typical ball-and-stick models we had to play with when we were in high school.

Michael Grab of Gravity Glue

Yes, this guy just balances a bunch of rocks on top of each other. But that is way, way cooler than it sounds. If you've ever spent a lot of time trying to make a hoodoo out of rocks, you know that there are something that are easy, and some things that seem just impossible without glue. Michael Grab does those last things.

Nick Brandt's Calcified Corpse Art

Yeah, we know, this sounds like it would be right up our alley... and it is. Nick Brandt spent 2 years photographing dead animals in Tanzania's Lake Natron. This particular lake is incredibly alkaline, and birds that fall in become salt-encrusted and preserved. Nick Brandt posed them around the lake and took amazing shots of them for his book Across the Ravaged Land

Cake Boss's Indricotherium Cake
This is a pastry gone horribly, horribly right. This is the caliber of cake the Vengeance Team wants at their weddings, birthdays, and funerals. Take note, everyone: Prehistoric Baking = Coolest Ever.

Ok, also Rhiannon's Planet Cakes
Look, some of us have a weakness for scientific baked goods. Particularly ones as accurate as these. Check out the great cake eye of Jupiter!  (Thanks to Win Mclaughlin for the tip!)

A very large metal fire ant colony cast.
Nope, that is not an overly-bedazzled Christmas tree. That is the cast of a very active nest of fire ants! This artist pours molten aluminum into ant nests to cast the nest, which creates these amazing structures of tunnels and chambers. Though these are primarily intended as art pieces, there are scientists who use this technique to study termite mounds, which are otherwise somewhat hard to excavate. 

We featured these amazing pieces in the very first blog post we ever did, as a cheap shot at an endangered species that wasn't as useful for the jewelry business (cuz cheap shots against animals are the easiest of cheap shots). Caddisfly larvae construct little homes for themselves out of pebbles on the river or lake bottom, which means if you put them in a tank and give them pieces of gold, they'll make jewelry for you! Of course, you have to give them the right size: they are very particular (as is any true craftsman).

Floral Raccoon Skull by aranea-designs

We've done our own versions of this with glitter puff paint, but we have to admit that our work is maybe a little amateur hour when compared to the beautiful skulls on this site. This particular artist also does skull carvings, which are pretty magnificent. Perhaps even more amazing is that they manage to decorate skulls that, if placed in your house, would not make you automatically a suspect in any murder investigation in a 100 mile radius - a hard task to accomplish with carved and painted bones, but that's how classy this shit is.

Savannah Olroyd's Stuffed Animal Art
Last on this list is our own former classmate Savannah Olroyd. Savannah is a paleoartist with a particularly unique medium: stuffed animals. This makes her art our favorite because not only is it gorgeous and intricate, it is also really cuddly.

The cutest Mylagaulid (horned gopher) that ever went extinct!

Do we want to carry our stuff in it, or do we want to cuddle it? DECISIONS ARE HARD.
Here she is both the artist AND the art, in heLongisquama insignis costume at the 2013 SVP conference.

Jeholornis, one of the first and now most adorable birds.

We imagine that right about now, you are having a nerdy mental breakdown because of how goddamned cool and cute that Jeholornis was. "I want my own!" you might be shouting, alone in your office/parent's basement (we have low expectations for our readers, but that's only because of the google search terms you use to get here). "I want to cuddle that, and I want to cuddle it all the time!"

Provided you are not actually speaking about Savannah herself (again, real low expectations for you guys), you can do just that! Savannah is now taking commissions for her paleo stuffed art. Tired of the typical Triceratops you see at every museum? Interested in a gorgeous fluffy reconstruction of Styracosaurus  or a prickly-yet-hugable Psittacosaurus? Savannah is ready to fill all your highly-specific hipster paleontologist needs. You can email her at solroyd at uoregon dot edu to talk to her about designs and pricing.

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