Tag Archives: sculpture

Summer Sand Castle Challenge

Summer Sand Castle ChallengeAre you looking to spend a lot of time outdoors this summer? Do you want to combine fun, physical activity with creative art projects? Have you thought about visiting a beach?

Building sand castles is the epitome of summer fun. If you think sand castles are child’s play, think again. Some adults make the most of this summer hobby by taking time to create sandy sculptures of fine art. With advice from a pro, you too can use sand as an art medium.

This year, challenge yourself to create the biggest and best castle you can. Use this article to help you combine summer fun and creative expression. Let’s first get some advice from a professional sand artist.

Kirk Rademaker – Professional Sand Artist

Kirk Rademaker is a carpenter by trade. He made his living by working with wood but spent his weekends building massive sand sculptures for fun. The longer he worked at his hobby, the more impressive his sculptures became.

These days, Kirk earns his big paychecks by creating one-of-a-kind sand sculptures. He designs unique sculptures for private parties, business events, and birthdays. Some of his unique art has even been used for Hollywood movie premiers and contracted by famous people like Dustin Hoffman.

Tips for Building Your Own Sand Sculptures

You may not be a master like Kirk Rademaker yet, but if you are inspired by his story, and interested in creating unique sand sculptures, here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Always use moist sand – sand from the tide line is suggested.
  • Create a mound of densely packed wet sand – there is no such thing as too much water.
  • Work from top to bottom – it is easier to take sand away then to add it.
  • Purchase a sand castle kit – this will include the tools you need to carve fine detail into your sculptures.

If you live near a beach or plan to travel to a tropical climate, try taking on the summer sand castle challenge. Segmation is interested in seeing pictures of your sand castles. Be sure to snap a shot with your phone or camera and share it with us on Facebook.

In the United States there are many official sand castle competitions that take place throughout the year. Attending one of these shows is an excellent way to expose yourself to unique art.

Where have you seen creativity expressed this way? What did you think of artwork made from the medium of sand.

Summer is the season to be outside, active, and creative.  Whatever art projects you take on this season, be sure they are one of a kind.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Creative Summer Activities:

From Sand Castles to Sand Sculptures

Beach Fun

Create Fun, Everyday Art by Tie Dying

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Image made available by  Joe Dsilva on Flickr through Creative Common Licenses.

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Ancient Egypt Arts

Ancient Egyptian art is highly symbolic and merges abstract style with naturalism. This post serves as an overview of the many phases and transitions of ancient Egyptian art, mostly concentrating on styles of art between 3000 BC and 300 AD.

At this time, art was not just a compliment to function. The main motive for art creation was to assist survival. In this sense, it was a tool for explaining life and teaching survival skills to those who lived in a time before written words.

One of the best examples of survival art comes from ancient Egypt. Painting, sculpture and architecture mostly originated along the Nile River, where quality of life was dictated by the river. To simplify this: life was good when the river flooded and bad when it dried up. The effects of these conditions were evident in various art forms of ancient Egypt. Stories about prosperity and famine were told through hieroglyphics that were either carved or painted onto walls.

Painting

Hieroglyphics are also called pictographs. They were carved into walls, sandstone, quarts, and granite. In other circumstances they were drawn onto papyrus, the Egyptian form of paper.

These markings were symbols of the unfolding history in Egypt. In fact, artists worked with the intention of preservation, in addition to making survival tactics known.

However, these pictures were unique in the sense that they often merged animals and people. For some time, ancient Egyptian art showed humans as stick figures but put much detail into depicting animals. This heighten state of symbolism allows researchers and historians to better understand the psychology of ancient Egyptian culture.

Sculpture

One insight about art from ancient Egypt is that there is a “form follows function” mentality. While detail was important in engravings, works of sculpture were abstract. Objects of focus were more geometric.

For instance, in some of the earliest sculptures, women were often shaped round because of their status as “child bearers.” Men took on a more true-to-life look because of their ability to hunt, gather and lead.

In both types of sculptures, a subtractive method of carving was used, meaning the objects had no faces or just simple features. This is especially apparent in later sculptures which made men and women indistinguishable.

Ancient Egyptian sculptures weren’t about the represented object; they served as history records as well as symbols of eternity. In fact, the “ka statue” was crafted with the intention of being a resting place for the spirit of an individual after he (which was more common than she) past onto the next life.

Architecture

Many Egyptian artifacts exist today, but one of the most significant surviving masterpieces of ancient Egyptian art are the pyramids. They were built during the time of the Old Kingdom, but lacked a stability necessary to keep thieves away. However, not only were the structures fascinating, they were also decorated with symbolic carvings on the outside walls.

Another form of architecture after the pyramid was the funerary temple. Because of it’s geometric form and use of columns, these were considered innovative works of art. Also, many temples had frescoes painted on top of dry (and sometimes wet) plaster to make the art and structure more durable.

Aside from that it was a place where the pharaoh would go to worship his (or her) god. When that individual passed away, others would go to that temple to worship the late pharaoh.

The art of ancient Egypt ushered in a time of reigning power in Greece, which continued to influence art in culture, allowing paintings, statues and architecture to further evolve.

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Exploring Chicago’s Sculptures

Is there anything more majestic than a sculpture? Many people would agree that sculptures have the perfect combination of beauty, balance, stateliness, and solidity. Rich in art and culture, Chicago has one of the most impressive arrays of sculptures of any location on earth. Let’s explore Chicago’s sumptuous offering of sculpture art.

Located in Chicago’s Jackson Park, the Statue of the Republic was created in 1918 by Daniel Chester French. The 24 feet high sculpture was crafted of gilded bronze and made in celebration of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition’s 25th anniversary. Funded by Benjamin Ferguson, the Statue of the Republic is fondly known by most Chicagoans as “The Golden Lady.”

Fountain of Time, a sculpture nestled in Washington Park, was created by Lorado Taft and dedicated to Chicago in 1922. Molded of concrete reinforced by steel, Fountain of Time features various figures being hovered over by Father Time. The celebratory sculpture was created after Great Britain and the United States had experienced 100 years of peace.

The Bowman and the Spearman, sculpted by Ivan Mestrovic, are located in Grant Park. Two separate sculptures, The Bowman and the Spearman have been watching over Congress Plaza since 1928. The pieces of art were designed to honor Native Americans and their unique struggles. The Bowman and the Spearman were cast in Yugoslavia and later brought to the United States to be settled in Chicago.

Ceres, the mythical Roman goddess of grain, was crafted of aluminum by John Storrs and has been a permanent fixture atop Chicago’s Board of Trade Building since 1930. Ceres clutches a sack of corn in her right hand and a sheaf of wheat in her left. Storrs masterpiece weighs 6,500 pounds and signifies the commodities market.

The Picasso, a sculpture created by Pablo Picasso himself, was settled in Chicago’s Daley Plaza in 1967. Surprisingly, the Picasso is not a hands-off piece of artwork. Chicagoans often use it as a slide or something to climb on. The Picasso weighs an astounding 162 tons.

While Chicago boasts numerous exquisite pieces of priceless artwork, its presentation of sculpture art is perhaps the most grand of all its attractions, drawing in visitors from all over the world. Have you explored Chicago’s sculptures lately?

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Art in Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptian art is highly symbolic and merges abstract style with naturalism. This post serves as an overview of the many phases and transitions of ancient Egyptian art, mostly concentrating on styles of art between 3000 BC and 300 AD.

At this time, art was not just a compliment to function. The main motive for art creation was to assist survival. In this sense, it was a tool for explaining life and teaching survival skills to those who lived in a time before written words.

One of the best examples of survival art comes from ancient Egypt. Painting, sculpture and architecture mostly originated along the Nile River, where quality of life was dictated by the river. To simplify this: life was good when the river flooded and bad when it dried up. The effects of these conditions were evident in various art forms of ancient Egypt. Stories about prosperity and famine were told through hieroglyphics that were either carved or painted onto walls.

Painting

Hieroglyphics are also called pictographs. They were carved into walls, sandstone, quarts, and granite. In other circumstances they were drawn onto papyrus, the Egyptian form of paper.

These markings were symbols of the unfolding history in Egypt. In fact, artists worked with the intention of preservation, in addition to making survival tactics known.

However, these pictures were unique in the sense that they often merged animals and people. For some time, ancient Egyptian art showed humans as stick figures but put much detail into depicting animals. This heighten state of symbolism allows researchers and historians to better understand the  psychology of ancient Egyptian culture.

Sculpture

One insight about art from ancient Egypt is that there is a “form follows function” mentality. While detail was important in engravings, works of sculpture were abstract. Objects of focus were more geometric.

For instance, in some of the earliest sculptures, women were often shaped round because of their status as “child bearers.” Men took on a more true-to-life look because of their ability to hunt, gather and lead.

In both types of sculptures, a subtractive method of carving was used, meaning the objects had no faces or just simple features. This is especially apparent in later sculptures which made men and women indistinguishable.

Ancient Egyptian sculptures weren’t about the represented object; they served as history records as well as symbols of eternity. In fact, the “ka statue” was crafted with the intention of being a resting place for the spirit of an individual after he (which was more common than she) past onto the next life.

Architecture

Ancient Egyptian ArchitectureMany Egyptian artifacts exist today, but one of the most significant surviving masterpieces of ancient Egyptian art are the pyramids. They were built during the time of the Old Kingdom, but lacked a stability necessary to keep thieves away. However, not only were the structures fascinating, they were also decorated with symbolic carvings on the outside walls.

Another form of architecture after the pyramid was the funerary temple. Because of it’s geometric form and use of columns, these were considered innovative works of art. Also, many temples had frescoes painted on top of dry (and sometimes wet) plaster to make the art and structure more durable.

Aside from that it was a place where the pharaoh would go to worship his (or her) god. When that individual passed away, others would go to that temple to worship the late pharaoh.

The art of ancient Egypt ushered in a time of reigning power in Greece, which continued to influence art in culture, allowing paintings, statues and architecture to further evolve.

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Glass Art

Robert Kaindl Giant Ostrea Bowls Glass Art

Many beautiful art sculptures are not found in marble or formed from clay; glass blowing is an art technique that creates three-dimensional masterpieces all its own.

In addition, other forms of glass art include stained glass, bead-making, and casting (or molten glass molding). Some of the most dramatic and imaginative pieces, however, are 3-D studio glass work.

Studio glass is more than a technique; it was an art movement in the 1960s. The studio glass movement started when a ceramics professor and chemist came together at the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. Together they presented the idea of melting glass in a small furnace. These furnaces were so small that artists could have them set up in their personal studios. This allowed the individuality of artists to thrive within a technical art form.

However, glass blowing is not an easy task. It can take up to 3 furnaces, a number of tools and years of practice to perfect the art. To put it simply, forming the fragile substance involves inflating molten glass that has been heated to a liquid and then gathering it on a long wand. That extended tool is used to blow the glass into a workable bubble. After that, special tools shape the glass.

To make the piece dynamic, color is added. Most commonly, glassblowers (also known as gaffers) start with clear glass and add a colorful piece of glass to create the final product. This occurs after the bubble of glass is blown and shaped. A separate colored glass is fused to become apart of the whole piece. Another way to add color is by dipping or rolling clear glass into broken-shards of already colored glass. Although individuals have different techniques to how they create their works of art, this is the basic methodology.

In fact, the art of glass blowing has changed numerous times since its invention over 2,000 years ago. The creative art form began in the 1st century B.C.E. in the Roman Empire. Such advanced technology, as the creation of 3-D glass art motivated the spread of dominance because of this and other intelligence. It was encouraged in most areas of Rome, especially on the eastern borders of the Empire. Remnants of the earliest glass workshops are believed to have been found in modern day Lebanon, Israel and Palestine, as well as nearby Cyprus.

To this day, art blowing is used to create art and other objects for daily use. Some of these useful decorations include vases, lamps, bowls and ornaments. It’s not uncommon to see art exhibits that feature blown glass in a variety of shapes and colors. When considering the technique, it becomes clear that no two pieces of glass art are alike. The process and artist make each final product unique.

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Sea Urchins have left the Beach to Inspire Art

Inspired by mythology, animals and Ernst Haeckel, Jennifer Maestre has created a beautiful, intricate and somewhat dangerous art design .

This talented artist builds 3-dimensional art with colored pencils. In fact, the South Africa native is internationally known for her creative use of these and other objects like beads, nails, and pins too.

Her color pencil designs are especially captivating because of her unique interpretation of familiar animals and plants seen in nature. She reveals how she builds the sculptures on her website. In short, she uses hundreds of pencils that are cut into 1-inch sections. Then she drills a hole in each piece, making them resemble beads. After sharpening the points she sews them together with a peyote stitch.

While this is all very interesting, there is another element to Jennifer Maestre’s art that is astounding: Her inspiration. In a statement about the sculptures, Maestre notes that the form and function of sea urchins sparked and fueled her idea. She talks about the paradox that exist between the beauty of a colorful sea urchin that invites an individual’s touch and the danger of the sharp points on its shell. With this in mind, she set out to create art with that same tension.

Maestre dose a wonderful job with this because sea urchins are dangerous yet alluring, and have sharp but beautiful shells. In fact, did you know that every ocean has sea urchins? They are known to travel in groups, with other sea urchins and those in the same echinoderm phylum family. This kin has a lot of room to move around ocean waters, considering they travel as low as 13,000 feet below sea level.

Visually speaking, the most catching characteristic of a sea urchin is its spiny shell. An interesting fact about these creatures is the name “Urchin,” which was once a common name for hedgehog. But the sea animal has dull colors and a globular form. This is makes for a clear distinction from the shrew.

In the same fashion, Jennifer Maestre’s pieces are quite different from her original source of inspiration.  Perhaps the reason why this is so, is because, as the artist says in her own words, “I’m inspired by animals, plants, other art, Ernst Haeckel, Odilon Redon, mythology. In fact, it isn’t easy to specify particular sources of inspiration. Sometimes one sculpture will inspire the next, or maybe I’ll make a mistake, and that will send me off in a new direction.”

Get a better view of Jennifer Maestre’s work on her website: www.jennifermaestre.com

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