“Beautiful mold” may sound like an oxymoron, but it’s an apt way to describe the hand-crocheted adornments on this Felt Moldy Moleskine Journal Cover by textile artist Elin Thomas. Intricate tufts of orange and wispy bursts of yellow are inspired by observational nature studies of mold, lichen and fungal formations.
“Crochet is repetitive so it promotes regularity and neatness," Thomas says. "This has to be constantly disrupted to create anything remotely ‘natural’ looking.”
Her store ELIN features many more whimsical conversation pieces that might have you looking at the forgotten cheese in your fridge in a whole new light.
Inspired by the vein structures that carry fluids through organisms, the 3-D-printed Hyphae lamps by Nervous System look as if they were plucked from the floor of a futuristic forest. The lamps are the creations of Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg, who met as undergraduates at MIT while Jesse was studying math and computer science and Jessica was studying architecture and biology.
To create their unique designs, Rosenkrantz and Louis-Rosenberg write computer programs based on processes and patterns found in nature. Each lamp is one-of-a-kind. “There is no definitive, final product, instead the many designs created allow for mass customization,” they say. Their source code is available on their website for those who wish to dabble in their experimental algorithms.
This Uterus Brooch by Betsy Salzman of Science Bee is sure to turn a few heads, and illicit a few giggles — especially with its hidden glow-in-the-dark feature. But, for artist Betsy Salzman, it's about combining the playful with the meaningful.
“I think a major cornerstone of science is making visible the things that are invisible,” says Salzman, who is also a researcher at the University of Michigan, where she received a Masters in Human Genetics. “Bringing significant pieces of wearable science art definitely keeps me doing what I do,” she says.
Salzman’s work has been worn by ovarian cancer survivors and others who have faced significant health challenges. Making meaningful connections with others inspires Salzman to keep on crafting.
This Yale graduate’s playful pillows feature everything from light theory to human anatomy to this colorful eukaryotic cell, complete with mitochondria, Golgi apparatus and every other organelle you had to memorize and have likely forgotten.
Artist Rebecca Rodriguez, of dirtsa studio, made her first batch of science diagram pillows for her best friend, who is a middle school science teacher. “They were such a hit that I decided to make more to sell,” she says.
Rodriguez encourages you to make this pillow the “nucleus of your room.” But, those with a green thumb can also opt for a plant cell pillow instead.
In the age of smart phones, having a charger on hand at all times is a must. Modeled after a human umbilical cord, this Grow Cable keeps you connected in a way you haven’t been since the day of your birth.
Artist Mio I-zawa says the cable, which undulates while your phone charges, is meant to represent people’s dependence on their iPhones, just as a growing baby depends on its mother. If you’re intrigued, you better act fast; I-zawa only has one cable available for sale.
Zombie fans and anatomists alike will appreciate this handmade Human Kidney Lollipop Chocolate Candy Mold by Concepts in Candy. The creation of husband-and-wife duo Richard and Phyllis Drimmer, this fun kitchen accessory is perfect for the adventurous foodie or chef with a penchant for educational edibles.
“I come from an educational background, having worked as a speech pathologist for over 33 years,” Phyllis Drimmer says. “Occasionally I would employ the molds during speech therapy sessions — utilizing chocolate on occasion, and for the younger students I would often use Play-Doh.”
The Drimmers also offer a skeleton set (top and bottom) that are perfect for your next Halloween party.
Not your ordinary embroidery, you won’t find these colorful cross-stitch creations at the local craft store. Created by artist Alicia Watkins of Watty’s Wall Stuff and Cross Stitchery, these handcrafted microbes and germs are based on real scientific images of a variety of unpleasant maladies including rabies, tuberculosis, syphilis and the common cold.
“The first comment I often hear is that they are ‘cute,’ followed by the observation that the diseases themselves are obviously anything but cute,” Watkins says. It is this juxtaposition that interests her the most. Watkins hopes her work inspires discussion about “what modern culture means by ‘cute’ and ‘feminine’ and ‘crafts’ as well as questions about how science is or can be integrated into our everyday lives and homes.”
Pick five of your favorites for this customized set.
The brainchild of artist Emily Stoneking, aKNITomy will bring back memories from high school biology class and the dissection activities you either loved or loathed. Though we all probably tried our hand at untangling the inner workings of a frog or worm, this Knitted Lab Rat DIY Kit lets you roll up your sleeves without as much of a mess.
“I love to explore the places where art and science intersect,” Stoneking says. “I am also interested in using cuddly materials (like cozy knitting) to create objects that many people are usually squeamish about.”
Inspired by the specimens she used to collect in biology class, the items in Simmone Spring’s store Your Organ Grinder offer an artful glimpse inside the human body.
Teratomas are weird tumors which can contain hair, bones and, as seen here, teeth. But though a toothy tumor might not be at the top of your list of desired accessories, this unusual brooch is surprisingly popular and uplifting. “I've been told so many teratoma stories, some tragic, others heartwarming and fascinating,” Spring says. “People tell me their disease stories and that is quite special — to be invited into someone's life when they are experiencing illness.”
If you’re in the market for something more mainstream, you can opt for a set of felt lungs or kidneys.
Made using an actual animal CT scan, this 3-D-printed Cat Skull Necklace by Scott Camazine is the perfect way to honor your favorite feline.
Having worked for years as a honey bee pathologist and behavioral biologist, Camazine brings an attention to detail and appreciation for scientific accuracy to this unique art form. “CT scans provide an exquisitely accurate rendering of skeletal structures,” he says. “Thus, my sculptures display the minute details of an actual individual animal as a representative of its species.”
His store offers a variety of animals including monkey, llama, alligator and giraffe. Or, send in your own CT scan for a personalized piece. “Each of my sculptures is in effect a ‘memento mori’ or remembrance of the death of the individual and of the species,” Camazine says. “Being mindful of death is of course a way to celebrate life, both of the individual and the species.”
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