Thierry Boltz and Claude Saos of design outfit Boltz & Saos bike daily, so when they set out to make a wooden bike, they weren't messing around with gallery pieces. Their design for the WOOD.b, in fact, utilizes both wood (an ash plywood) for the "tubing" portion of the frame and high quality steel from Italy's Columbus for the bases and fork. The hybrid design, they say, allows the bike to be comfortable, dynamic and sturdy enough to actually use—as well as making it and its mechanical parts easily maintained at a typical bike shop. Currently, they're offering four base models—but the bikes are made to order and customizable.
From the same technology that is used to design buildings, Hot Pop Factory, the jewelry line known for its 3D-printed style, has produced yet another interesting collection. The Boreal collection is made with recycled cherry and polymer wood from the Boreal forest in Canada. The collection is as unique as the forest itself; the chain and closure on each necklace appear exceptionally delicate when paired with the bold design of the wood pendant. There are eight different styles available from $74-$98.
In 2012, Amanda Ghassaei used 3D printing to make her own, playable records from mp3 files. For 2013, she's dug into laser etching technology and used it to create functioning audio recordings (of Joy Division and Velvet Underground) in wood, acrylic, and even paper with a "theoretical precision of 1200dpi." Okay, so they don't sound so great—which perhaps says something for the technology used in making audiophile quality, conventional vinyl records—but she has shown etching "Femme Fatale" on maple can be done and perhaps refined.
You can read more about it on her Inscrutables page for the project which has instructions and code for making your own records.
The proprietors of the Below The Boat store are adamant that they sell carved charts, not carved maps. They're correct. Underwater terrain is shown in a bathymetric chart not a topographic map. Cartography jargon aside, we're still pretty excited about these charts, designed and crafted overseas by a small family-run operation.
The content very much fits the medium. The original bathymetric charts that these pieces are based on have an extremely simple composition: usually just thin black lines on white paper, sometimes with a little blue shading for bodies of water. In this carved version, the precision of the original lines translates to the laser-cut wood forms, and the layering of the thin wood adds another dimension to an image that was, after all, designed to represent depth.
We can vouch for the wooden charts as navigation tools. Rather, Below The Boat sells them with a dark wood frame for wall hanging. You can see if your favorite body of water is currently for sale over at their online store.
The past and future collide in the geometric sculptures of Aaron Moran. The young Canadian artist grew up east of Vancouver, BC, studied at Emily Carr University of Art + Design and Film & Video at Simon Fraser University—recently serving as artist in residence at the Ranger Station Art Gallery in Harrison Hot Springs, BC. His work balances an interest in the fine line between the natural and man-made. He works mainly with reclaimed materials—often found wood from demolition sites—in two- and three-dimensional pieces that look like some kind of future primitive pyramids. Needless to say, we're big fans so we caught up with the artist by email to find out more.
Where do you usually find the wood you work with?
It is almost entirely found from demolished houses. I scour the lots that are being demolished to make way for condos/strip malls before they take it all off to the dump. Aside from that, I just keep my eyes peeled while I'm walking or driving around - I will gladly pick stuff up and carry it back to the studio if I'm out and about.
Do you paint the pieces or are all the colors from the salvaged wood?
It's probably 50/50 - when I do paint the pieces, it is usually to contrast fragments that were found already painted.
The shapes and geometric forms you create are very modern—which artists and influences led you to work with those kinds of shapes?
Kurt Schwitters, Michael Johansen, Juan Gris, Anish Kapoor, Boris Tellegen
What are you working on now?
I *just* finished a collection of pieces for a project with Sperry Topsider that was exhibited in Boston called "The Sea Project." This aside, I am working on a new group of what I would call 'two and a half dimensional' works that will be exhibited in February here in the Fraser Valley.