Gravity-Defying Objects Created With Magnetic Clay

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Dutch designer Jolan van der Wiel creates unusual ceramic sculptures using the conflicting properties of metallic clay and magnets. His latest project “Magnetism Meets Architecture” features a number of fantastic gravity-defying architectural models and explores the possibility of using magnetism in architecture.

The process of making such sculptures starts by mixing clay with water to create a slip, a mixture with the consistency of cream. Then he adds metallic powder like iron with the ratio typically being 90% clay, 10% metal. The whole blend is then transferred to a nozzle similar to the one confectioners use for cake icing. Carefully building layer after layer, van der Wiel allows surrounding magnets to pull them into various shapes resembling a drip sand castle (passing a magnetic field through the material provides an opposing force to gravity, thus the clay is pulled upwards and suspends in its place).

Van der Wiel is fascinated with the idea of using magnetism in architecture.

“I’m drawn to the idea that the force would make the final design of the building – architects would only have to think about the rough shape and a natural force would do the rest. This would create a totally different architectural field.”

According to the artist, he got the inspiration from Catalan architect Gaudi who used gravity to calculate the final shape of his famous building La Sagrada Familia: “I thought, what if he had the power to turn off the gravitation field for a while? Then he could have made the building straight up.” (via Wired)

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Dutch photographer Teun Hock’s photographs are clever, eye-catching, and surreal. Consistently using himself to convey a peculiar character, he depicts a middle-aged man who is perpetually trapped in self-depreciating and humorous situations. He is stuck in the middle of an ice floe while his bag, hat, and umbrella are carried away on separate pieces; he hangs from a swinging chandelier; he is blindfolded and wearing a birthday hat while walking on the moon, and using a ladder to measure the night sky.

His process is very labor intensive and his work extends far beyond the traditional boundaries of photography. As explained by the artist:

“…There’s a big backdrop that I paint or build, or whatever’s needed, and I stand in the middle of that. Then I take a picture of myself in black and white and enlarge it. I do it myself in the darkroom with a little bit of help. Then I tone the picture sepia. And later I add oil paint. I color everything, but it’s transparent, so that you can see the picture underneath.”

In addition to his work in photography, he was commissioned to design and paint stained glass windows for the Grote Kerk of Dorecht, a medieval church located in the Netherlands.

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Sabi Van Hemert is a Dutch artist who creates sculptures that are fusions of children and animals. Van Hemert likes to play on  the idea that the viewer has his or her interpretation on what they see. Because it is not immediately obvious what you see, the relationship between the spectator and the image is more complex, which is what Van Hemert strives to get from her work. Van Hemert says she has developed a rhythm to her work: precision, and the material she uses, help gives her work its alienating yet sensual, tough yet vulnerable character.

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Awesome paper sculptures from Dutch artist Karen Sargsyan.

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Dutch photographer Bas Princen is interested in capturing desolate landscapes throughout the world. Shooting in China, the US, and elsewhere, Princen seeks out areas where man has attempted (and usually failed) to shape a stark and harsh natural environment into a more livable space.

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“Dushi” is the title of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman‘s current exhibition, on display until July 4th, 2009 at Gallery West in the Hague, Netherlands. The show is comprised of gigantic stuffed animals “where the change of scale completely changes their function and feeling.” The giant animal motif is not a new one for Hofman, as you’ll see after the jump.

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Iris van Herpen

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We usually don’t post about emerging fashion designers, but Iris van Herpen is definitely an exception to this rule. Her designs, handmade with lace, leather, wire gauze, and gold brass, are sculptural masterpieces! Excellently crafted and textured, her designs are fierce, futuristic, and feminine (yay, alliteration!). The Dutch fashion designer only graduated from the ARTEZ School of Arts in Arnhem in 2006, but her unique, avant-garde fashions are already being showcased at Amsterdam’s International Fashion Week!

 

More photos after the jump!

 

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