Learn something new everyday: / art

3D Printing the Living

3D printing, with all of its new marvels and creations, has given us amazing wonders to keep our eye upon. Many 3D printers can make almost anything out of some metals or plastics. However, there is a new type of printer that is much more earth-friendly, for it can 3D print the earth itself, or, plants upon the earth.


The project that began the eco-friendly printer was Project PrintGREEN, which has aimed to create on-demand gardens by creating living prints. The “ink” of the machine is where the real magic happens; it is made by a combination of soil, seeds, and water, which can print in the shape of any form or letter. These forms then sprout the desired plants, flowers, or grasses from their shapes. PrintGREEN cleverly uses the slogan “Print, because it is green” as a counter remark to printing on excessive amounts of paper that are often wasted or not recycled properly.


Though this project is not entirely cloning and recreating plants, it is amazing that technology has come so far as to print living organisms. It does make one wonder if the future of 3D printing will have any connection with the technology advancements for cloning as well.

Students of the Faculty of Education Maribor, in the Department of the Fine Arts, worked and created this project. They described one of their projects in detail and the symbolism behind it from its combination of technology, art, and nature. The students shared their view on creating the living design of the “Grass Bowl.” This is a structure that was printed with soil, and turns green with time and the growing of grass. This gives new meaning to the idea of “watching the grass grow”, and pushes us to keep our minds jogging about the combination of technology and nature.


--Jessalyn Kieta

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Adult Artists

Between the craze of new books spanning from Go Set a Watchman to Paper Towns (before the movie comes out), there is still one book—with much less writing—that is still hitting Amazon’s top-selling charts. And this book has nothing to do with reading; rather, it is the adult coloring book rendering beautiful intricate creations of The Secret Garden.

Johanna Basford, the creator of this coloring book, is slaying book preferences from her hand-drawn pictures of flowers, garden scenes, and other peaceful nature settings, selling 1.4 millions copies worldwide so far. Basford’s idea of a coloring book just for adults is hitting home with some other creators too, such as Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom and Richard Merritt’s Art Therapy Colouring Book.


Part of the desire to jump back into coloring books as a grown adult is the meditation and therapy aspect that art can provide for many people. In these books, someone does not have to become frustrated with their lack of talent in an art therapy session. Rather, the drawing comes to life through their careful color choice and creativity for each piece. In some of these books, the backgrounds are already colored in, and it is left to the creativity of the drawer to fill in the rest in books such as Creative Therapy. When Basford was questioned about why the coloring books were so successful, she said, “a blank sheet of paper or an empty canvas can be daunting, but a colouring book acts as a bit of a buffer in this situation.”

The relaxation and therapeutic aspect to these coloring books has revived a new importance and appreciation of drawing or coloring, for its creativity, zen, and anti-stress abilities are needed in adults and in children together. These drawings encourage colorers to focus on the whole photo instead of individual pieces and parts of each drawing, inspiring us to think of our lives in much the same way.



--Jessalyn Kieta

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4 New Learning Tools You’ve Got to Get Your Kids Into!

We know that technology has expanded our levels of learning and given us a reach to so many new ways of teaching our kids; however, the expansion of the Internet has also made good learning sites hard to reach—and find! My compiled list includes not only online tools for learning, but products as well, since a balance of online and hands-on activity is essential for a good learning environment. Check out these learning tools!


  1. Mindomo—This is an online site that offers subject mapping, or rather, it helps kids lay out their ideas, topics, and subtopics to go along with it. They can also hold different media types, such as YouTube videos, photos, and additional notes. These “mind maps” can be collapsed, expanded, focus on one section only, and shared with friends via email. These flowcharts get the creative juices moving and inspire kids to look deeper into their topics they have interest in!
  2. Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Smart Screen LaptopThis toy gives way to playful use of electronics and the “internet” before the age of one! With this faux computer, children can press buttons that will show shapes, letters, numbers, colors, or object names, based on the setting. The baby computer is bilingual as well, so you can begin to teach your child English and Spanish from a young age!
  3. Brainbox STEAM Games: Set of 4—This collection of boxed games have just what you need to get your child interested in subjects such as science and nature, math and inventions, art, and technology! Each game is a memory booster on facts about each subject. Players study the cards with the facts and then try to remember them to answer the same blank questions on the back of the cards.
  1. TILCO’s Educational Shower Curtains—Spice up your bathroom with some learning tools in regular household places! These shower curtains have a range of learning topics from SAT vocabulary, several different languages, and math equations. The shower curtain is a fun, subconscious learning addition to your home space.


--Jessalyn Kieta

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Reflection Perception

In the Bitforms gallery in New York, there is a new kind of mirror that is drawing attention to this museum. Daniel Rozin, the inventor, has created an interactive installation that is made of pieces of black and white fur that move accordingly to your own body movements in front of the installation.

The piece is circular and contains exactly 928 pieces of faux black and beige fur. The fur pieces are each attached separately to motorized objects so that the furs can move forward and backward accordingly. The installation also has a motion sensor in facing forward, which allows the installation to project your furry silhouette across its surface as you move. As you move around in front of the PomPom Mirror, the beige fluffs are replaced with black ones in the shape of your body.


The PomPom Mirror is part of a collection of other moving installations including wooden pegs, trash, or folding fans that all have the ability to track movement. Rozin commented that he has long been trying to find a combination of soft materials and fabrics with technology, since many mechanical objects are hard, cold, and rigid. He was happy to make a breakthrough with the use of the pom poms, which can squeeze in between tight spaces (like other pom poms) and then retain their shape when they move forward again.


Rozin’s intellectual idea of a soft integration of technology is a great representation to the world we are slowly becoming accustomed to; there is much structure and rigidity in the way that we go about our lives with so much technology surrounding us. This new installation is suggestive of holding on to the “softer” emotional and delicate features of society in order to maintain a healthy balance.


--Jessalyn Kieta


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"Graffiti Grannies"

Street art has been making a tough entrance into the art world, from being called garbage, dirty, unartistic, or strange; however, your grandmother is here to tell you that you’re wrong! The new breakthrough of street art is reaching a vast group of senior citizens in Lisbon, Portugal, who have began interactive clubs promoting and practicing their graffiti skills.


The club is called LATA65, meaning “can”, and the age of the participants in the group. Though the average age is 74 years old, some of their members are also 92 years old. The group promotes hands-on practice of public art for senior citizens by providing them with the paint, stencils or stencil-creating materials, gloves, and facemasks. Before they take out on their journey, the senior citizens learn about the history of street art that grew in Europe, and then learn how to use their tools. They also learn about tagging and stenciling.


LATA65 is breaking barriers of young and old by connecting them through hands-on art. Not only is this art a great therapeutic advantage for senior citizens, but it also gives them opportunities to remain active and connected with younger generations in the community. LATA65 also hopes to prove that the stereotypes that come with street art can be broken, allowing the artwork to be more appreciated.


As street art is becoming more accepted, it is being seen more often throughout cities and encouraged by stencilers who make more cut out, refined designs throughout the cement jungle of many cities. Street art has served has a great way for people within the city to express their communities, their emotions, and their way of life. Now, these great motives of expression are being opened up to an older community who possibly would not have had this opportunity otherwise.


--Jessalyn Kieta

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Un-Bee-lievable Art

Art and nature cannot get much closer than being the same exact thing! New artists have been using honeycombs made by bees for creating or enhancing their art sculptures. There are a few artists that have gone about this tactic in different ways. Let’s take a look at their different uses and styles for honeycombs in art.


Tomáš Libertíny

He is a Slovakian designer that has used bees as sculptors by giving them a rough shape to work with. He creates a shape, like a vase or a body, which is coated in wax and encased to house the bees. The bees are released into the structure to go to work on the wax, building their honeycomb structures.



This man created a vase/bottle shaped sculpture with a similar tactic to Tomáš, but his motive was to create an advertisement for whiskey that had a new honey flavor. He used over 80,000 bees to shape this sculpture.


Aganetha Dyck

Dyck took on a more unique spin to her sculptures; instead of the sculptures being entirely shaped by the honeycomb design in a shape, she let the honeybees go to work on sculptures she had already created. She has used porcelain figures, shoes, sports equipment—any sort of medium—to serve as a base for the bees to do work their wonder. The figurines or mediums are coated lightly wit honeywax to promote honeycomb building, but the bees have free reign on what shapes take place. Dyck’s work is great metaphor for the close connection between nature and society.


Ren Ri

Ri has collaborated with bees to make more surreal pieces, and what’s more impressive, world maps. Ri manipulates the way that he bees form the honeycombs, and where, by placing the queen bee in the middle of the box, and rotating the box weekly; that way, the bees would work around her at all times.


-- Jessalyn Kieta

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Three-Dimensional Sound Waves

Reify is a new company that has harnessed the art of making the intangible, tangible. With their new technology, they have created sculptures that are pulsing animations of our favorite songs. They are able to do this through using special software to capture the nature of the sound waves in a song, and print these sound waves into a sculptural shape using a 3-D printer. The printer can make the sculpture out of copper, plastic, even coconut husk.



Reify has also created an interactive app to be used in tandem with their unique sculptures; when you open the Reify app and point your smartphone screen at the sculpture, it is able to read the sound wave sculpture and play the song back to you.

Allison Wood, the CEO of Reify, was able to develop this technology through the New Museum-led incubator called NEW INC. They now have gained enough attention to have their own studio, but have plans of continuing collaboration with NEW INC.

Reify’s musical sculptures are planning to become more advanced in the future by 3-D printing full albums, poems, and other audio sources that could produce interesting and unique coffee table art.



--Jessalyn Kieta

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