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13 Sculptures Made Out of Books

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Books are beautiful in their own right, but these artists have managed to improve on perfection.

1. Books to infinity

Flickr

This crazy miracle in a library in Prague was designed by Slovakian artist Matej Kren. There’s a mirror inside so the tunnel of books looks endless when you lean into it.

2. Books as landscapes

Guy Laramee

Montreal-based artist Guy Laramee uses the texture of the pages to give the feeling of earth and rocks in his landscape sculptures.

3. Film Star

Flickr

This piece by John Latham was part of a special exhibition at the Tate Britain in 2005-2006.

4. Sunburst of books

Flickr

This wall-mounted sculpture is by Colombian artist Federico Uribe.

5. The Raven

Jaron James/Su Blackwell

Paper sculptor Su Blackwell makes delicate cut-outs that appear to be rising from the center of the book.

6. OMG LOL

Flickr

This sculpture made from a dictionary is by artist Michael Mandiberg

7. Book ball

Flickr

This sphere made out of books is in Minneapolis.

8. Paging M.C. Escher

Brian Dettmer

This sculptor carves angular pathways into books, making convoluted three-dimensional figures worthy of M.C. Escher.

9. Sunset

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This book is reminiscent of wild, rainbow hair.

10. Creepy-crawlies

BookDust

Robert The unlocks creatures hiding inside books.

11. Color wheel

Flickr

This colorful sculpture is at Kansas City Public Library.

12. Books as canvas

Flickr

Artist Mike Stilkey uses acrylic paint on backdrops made out of books, including this piece on display at the Bristol Museum.

13. Flying books

Flickr

This is the ceiling of a booth made out of books by Jan Reymond for the Geneva Book Fair.

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Dan Bell
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Design
A Cartographer Is Mapping All of the UK’s National Parks, J.R.R. Tolkien-Style
Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park
Dan Bell

Cartographer Dan Bell makes national parks into fantasy lands. Bell, who lives near Lake District National Park in England, is currently on a mission to draw every national park in the UK in the style of the maps in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Kottke.org reports.

The project began in September 2017, when Bell posted his own hand-drawn version of a Middle Earth map online. He received such a positive response that he decided to apply the fantasy style to real world locations. He has completed 11 out of the UK’s 15 parks so far. Once he finishes, he hopes to tackle the U.S. National Park system, too. (He already has Yellowstone National Park down.)

Bell has done various other maps in the same style, including ones for London and Game of Thrones’s Westeros, and he commissions, in case you have your own special locale that could use the Tolkien treatment. Check out a few of his park maps below.

A close-up of a map for Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park in central England
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Cairngorms National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Cairngorms National Park in Scotland
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Lake District National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Lake District National Park in England
Dan Bell

You can buy prints of the maps here.

[h/t Kottke.org]

All images by Dan Bell

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iStock
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Art
The Simple Optical Illusion That Makes an Image Look Like It's Drawing Itself
iStock
iStock

Artist James Nolan Gandy invents robot arms that sketch intricate mathematical shapes with pen and paper. When viewed in real time, the effect is impressive. But it becomes even more so when the videos are sped up in a timelapse. If you look closely in the video below, the illustration appears to materialize faster than the robot can put the design to paper. Gizmodo recently explained how the illusion works to make it look like parts of the sketch are forming before the machine has time to draw them.

The optical illusion isn’t an example of tricky image editing: It’s the result of something called the wagon wheel effect. You can observe this in a car wheel accelerating down the highway or in propeller blades lifting up a helicopter. If an object makes enough rotations per second, it can appear to slow down, move backwards, or even stand still.

This is especially apparent on film. Every “moving image” we see on a screen is an illusion caused by the brain filling in the gaps between a sequence of still images. In the case of the timelapse video below, the camera captured the right amount of images, in the right order, to depict the pen as moving more slowly than it did in real life. But unlike the pen, the drawing formed throughout the video isn't subject to the wagon-wheel effect, so it still appears to move at full speed. This difference makes it look like the sketch is drawing itself, no pen required.

Gandy frequently shares behind-the-scenes videos of his mechanical art on his Instagram page. You can check out some of his non-timelapse clips like the one below to better understand how his machines work, then visit his website to browse and purchase the art made by his 'bots.

And if you think his stuff is impressive, make sure to explore some of the incredible art robots have made in the past.

[h/t Gizmodo]

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