medium /// sculpture

ulla-stina wikander

Discarded household items covered lovingly in discarded cross-stitch embroideries. LOVE. This is the work of Swedish artist Ulla-Stina Wikander, and this is her story behind this body of work:

”For more then 10 years I have collected cross-stitch embroideries and today I have quite a big collection with over 100 different designs. These embroideries have mostly been made by women and is seen as kitsch and regarded pretty worthless. I think that sometimes they are really beautiful and I want to bring them back to life. In 2012 I started to cover ordinary household things from the 70s, like a sewing machine, vaccuum cleaner, electric mixer etc. I find it interesting to see how these objects transforms in a new context; the obsolete, the things we do not want any longer, the old and forgotten things. I give them a second life and although I cut the embroideries into pieces, I still think they look very beautiful, when the objects has been ”dressed up”. 


{found via Create Magazine’s Instagram feed}

“yak friends”

Pink cashmere, cable knit covered deer. Sigh. I have loved the artwork of American artist Rachel Denny since way back in 2009, but today is the first time we’ve ever spoken! I had A LOT of questions, and she had lots of answers. One thing that became very clear very quickly – she is one handy woman! She works with so many materials and does it with ease. Also, she owns four yaks. I realize I sounded like a bit of a Facebook stalker during this episode, but just wait until you scroll down to see not only her gorgeous work, but also photos of her yaks playing hide n seek and tag! Now I want yaks. Anyway, listen right up under those lovely pink bucks, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First, of course, her knit-covered deer trophies:

Ah, and there’s my Rosie – so gorgeous!

Speaking of gorgeous, here’s a peek into Rachel’s studio:

Amazing, yes? There’s the chenille covered moose commission she mentioned, and I’ve also included the turquoise angora-covered rabbit we talked about. Seriously, it’s just all too good.

Also, still living in her studio, this big beautiful blue buck:

Isn’t that beautiful and heartbreaking all at once? Also beautiful – her most recent commission, made for Nita Lake Lodge in Whistler BC. The first shot is in her studio, the second photo shows the deer in their new home:


Ok, and the flattened penny horse that I brought up about 1000 times (?), along with proof of her handiness when using any and all material – from pennies to matches to resin to tiny bits of mirror:

Whoa. That snake. Gorgeous, but if I saw him in my yard I would lose my mind. Here are a few things Rachel sees in her yard every day… YAKS!

Stunning. And there’s the belt bull we were talking about. Isn’t he majestic? The amount of work she puts into each piece is just mind blowing.

Alright, now here’s the non-art related reason for following along so closely on Rachel’s Facebook page! Look at these hairy beauties:

Oh my word, Tsampa in full-on frolic mode! I could look at that photo all day… he’s so happy! And finally, like so many artists, Rachel takes photos of her work, but rarely herself. I did find one, and I have a feeling this is what she looks like most of the time anyway:

Yep, covered in animals! Thanks to Rachel for figuring out Skype so we could chat; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and thank YOU for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Vernissage Gallery, Portland {her show is up until Dec 30th}
  2. Alison Milne Gallery, Toronto
  3. Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek CA
  4. Nanaimo bar recipe! Mmmmm


barbara segal

STONE. Handbags and Jackets carved from STONE. Stunning. This is the work of American artist Barbara Segal. How, when and where did she learn how to turn pink Oynx into a Chanel bag? Here is just a small chunk of her story:

In 1972, while a student at Pratt Institute, NY, Segal resolved to spend both her junior and senior years at the distinguished École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSB-A), Paris, to study stone carving with teachers like René Collamarini with whom she later exhibited at the Musée Rodin. Segal then moved to Italy where she spent time over the next four years in both Pietrasanta and Carrara working at the Studio Sem, the Fonderia Luigi Tommasi and SGF Studio Scultura. She returned to New York City in the late-70s knowing she could create whatever she chose in stone. America’s evolving culture with its pop and fashion icons would prove a continuing source of inspiration.  However, to this day, what Segal chooses to create is personal; her creations provide insight into her passions, struggles and quirky wit.

And with a bio like that, I have to include a photo of Barbara in action:


natalie baxter

What do you do when your artwork causes crazy people to come out of the woodwork? Turn their horrible online comments into soft sculptures, of course! Oh, how I love this new series, titled ALT CAPS, by New York based artist Natalie Baxter. I had her on the podcast last January to talk about her droopy Warm Guns and tassel-covered Bloated Flags, and she admitted both series get some pretty nasty comments from time to time. Well, instead of allowing those rude words to stop her, Natalie decided to spend a good part of 2017 turning those trolly words into a whole new series … brilliant and hilarious. Mic drop.

ps. Natalie is another of the contemporary artists featured in my upcoming book. Seriously, with work like this, how could she not be!?

sheila hicks

Oh my word. This stunning fiber based installation was one of my favorite things at the Venice Biennale this past summer, and yes, it probably has something to do with my current obsession with pom poms. Granted, these are not pom poms at all. They are “pigmented acrylic fibre” wrangled into large soft orbs with some kind of synthetic netting! This gorgeous piece {that you were NOT allowed to jump on even if you really wanted to} was part of the “Color Pavilion” at the Arsenale, and is the work of American-born, Paris based artist Sheila Hicks. Watch the video above to see Sheila talking about this piece… so beautiful on so many levels.

ps. a bit of proof, basically to remind myself that I really was there – because sometimes it feels more like a crazy dream.

francesca pasquali

“Hot Straws” Red, pink and violet straws on wooden panel and metallic frame; “Too Late” colored silicone bracelets on wooden panel and metallic frame; “Spiderballs” blue, red, yellow, fuschia, and gray plastic cobweb dusters, steel cables and metallic nets… whoa. When this is your art supply shopping list, you know something magical is about to happen. And, if you can believe it, these fantastical works are just the tip of the creative iceberg when it comes to the portfolio of Italian artist Francesca Pasquali. Love, love, love!

recheng tsang

Porcelain! Oh. My. Word. I wrote about California based artist ReCheng Tsang a couple of years ago, but today when I came across, what I assumed were dyed textile pieces, well, this post almost wrote itself. Porcelain, acrylic wash and ink … not even close to strips of soft fabric. GORGEOUS.

{These stunning works are available via Uprise Art, NY}

desire obtain cherish aka jonathan paul

Mmmmm, sticky. Oh how I love these huge, melty lollipops by LA based artist Desire Obtain Cherish (DOC), aka Jonathan Paul. So, obviously giant, shiny, colorful candy art is lovely to look at, but the story behind this “Cherry Meltdown” is even better. This is an excerpt from an interview DOC did with Artsy:

“The idea for the series came to me after I had dinner with a friend years ago. She told me she was breaking up with her boyfriend. I asked what was wrong, and she said, “Nothing’s wrong, I’m just kind of bored. Onto the next!” Many people look a the sculptures of my Blow Pops and feel that I make art about candy. The truth is, I make art about us. If you look carefully, it’s a sculpture of a perfect candy discarded, in fact, barely even tasted. Almost brand new, just melting in the sunlight. Simply discarded, as if our attention span was that of a child’s.”

Love it! Oh look, an excuse to show the scale of this 9 foot blow-pop one more time… here it is standing proudly beside the Grand Canal at the 2015 Venice Biennale:

Si, si, si!

*Venice images via UNIX Gallery, NY.

“crashing the kiln”

Piles of broken vintage glass, milky colors, and lots of fire. Today I’m asking ALL of the questions – I need to understand how Philadelphia based glass artist Amber Cowan does what she does!? So many teeny tiny bits of glass, assembled into gorgeous sculptures, wall hangings and installations. Also, I had to find out if her neck hurts. Spoiler alert: it does. You can listen right up there under “Rosaline Ombré Bouquet”, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First, a few of my favorite pieces that I’ve written about before. The detail… IS… INSANE…

Right?! Ok, let’s get into this. Right off the top we talked a lot about this recent, super duper green, piece titled “Bridesmaids Forest”

The snail … 

Oooh, and look at this! Talk about finding a gem… this is a photo from Amber’s Instagram feed at her favorite source for old glass {note the pile of milky blue shards in the background}

Wow. I want to go to there … and I don’t even work with glass!

Next, this is a peek at “Ginny’s 16 Piece Snack Set” made from, yep, a 16 piece snack set just like this one…

A stunning transformation, again.

Oh look, here’s another one. This is the piece Amber read the note about… the broken blue candy dish that a complete stranger sent to her.  “Sky Mountain with Coy”

Gah! Gorgeous! Please note all of those teeny tiny little glass balls that Amber painstakingly makes. Seriously cannot get over that. I suppose that’s why these quick, melty bud vases are necessary in her practice…

Love. I also love that her cat made it into this shot. They always do that, don’t they?

I asked if she ever combined those super quick melts with her very intricate little pieces, and she has in fact. These are two pieces, from 2013. They are part of her “Wedding Compote” series …

And now, onto the green “Hands and Handkerchiefs”, some of her newest work…

Ah, so good! I had to show these in-progress shots too, again from Amber’s Instagram feed. Fingers being melted into their new ‘handkerchief’ holding positions. I also thought that shot on the right showed the scale nicely – I didn’t realize they were this big!

And here we are, back to that little green snail from the beginning, but now, Amber OWNS the mold…

Ah-mazing. I predict many many many snails in Amber’s future. Just a hunch.

And finally, here she is in ‘flame-working’ action. And ps., she was right… I don’t consider this a “small flame”!

Oh boy, that was so good. Thanks so much to Amber for sharing all of her thoughts, insights and advice! If you want to send her old glass just reach out to her right here. Oh, and if you want to sign up for her class in Venice next spring, the link to the school is right here, and listed below. Thank you to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and giant high-fives to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Send Amber vintage glass
  2. Amber on Instagram
  3. Heller Gallery, NY
  4. Art Miami
  5. Salisbury University, Maryland
  6. Michiko Sakano
  7. Corning Museum of Glass
  8. Paul Stankard
  9. Pilchuck Glass School, Washington State
  10. Oprah article about Amber
  11. Abate Zanetti Glass Courses, Murano Venice
  12. Glasstress 2017, Venice
  13. Recipe for PIECAKEN! … you’re welcome.


yuni kim lang

“Comfort Hair”… Wow. This is the stunning work of Korean born, US based artist Yuni Kim Lang. This gorgeous series is referencing Korean gache, wigs that women of high society used to wear… and the bigger, heavier, and more adorned the better – obviously! Now, I’m sure you’re wondering if this is actual human hair :

[Lang] … creates sculptures, photographs and wearable art that explores themes of weight, mass, accumulation, hair and cultural identity. She creates sculptures out of rope and synthetic materials where it transcends its materiality and become bodily. She is fascinated by what people give power and meaning to, along with our obsession with adornment. 

Ah-ha! It is in fact synthetic rope that she buys from the hardware store and then manipulates until it becomes a braided, shiny, glorious – and unbelievably HEAVY – piece of art. LOVE!