Thursday, May 15, 2014

Selçuk Yılmaz

Selçuk Yılmaz made this lion out of 4000 pieces of scrap metal. I like how the pieces come together to form the contours of the lion, as they help to define the musculature and show the strength of the lion. I also appreciate all of the intricate details such as the toes and the tail. The little directional metal pieces give him movement and interest. The artist hand cut and hammered each piece of metal, and the lion weighs 550 pounds! The artist named him Aslan : )

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Oakes Brick and Tile Company

My final post for this semester is about the fact that Iowa's agricultural and industrial heritage, and really that of the entire Mid-West, is inextricably linked to clay. Clay tiling (pipe) was used to drain excess water off of farmland, and also to drain low-lying wetlands in order to convert them to crop land. This innovation, along with tractors and industrial fertilizers, allowed our nation, and world, to keep up with the hunger of a rapidly growing population. Factories that produced field tile and brick were almost as common as grain mills, at the turn of the 20th century, with almost every city or town of any size having at least one.

One of the larger brick and tile factories was the Oakes Brick and Tile Factory in Iowa City, which operated from the 1850's to the 1930's. In their most successful year, I believe around 1890 or so, they 800,000 bricks and 500,000 pieces of field tile. The tiles were 3 inch wide pipes, water would drain from the fields into the cracks where 2 pieces of pipe interlocked. The pipes were made by an industrial scaled extruder, powered by steam engines. The coal that would have powered the engines and fired the kilns as well. The factory would have been located at the corner of Grant and Sheridan (coincidentally the 3 regiments of soldiers Iowa City sent to the civil war trained in the pasture beside the factory). The location was between Longfellow Elementary and Kirkwood's Iowa City Campus, with clay being dug from a quarry adjacent to Longfellow. This location would have been well into the countryside at the time. I imagine the nearby railroad tracks would have brought coal in and brick and tile out.

After World War II ceramic field tile, and load bearing brick, were replaced by cheaper materials. Most field tile today is made of pbc plastic, though I doubt it is anywhere near as durable as ceramic was. 

Baby clay

This is made of polymer clay and looks so realistic that surprised me. It is little but real detail. And the color of the skin is also realistic enough to deceive people. Amazing skill as a whole.

Friday, May 9, 2014

All time favorite artist

One of my all time favorite artist is actually a painter. He is the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. He had a rather unique way of painting especially when catching the essence of light. He also painted a lot of landscapes, and places (inside buildings) where he spent a lot of his time and painted those as well. The way that he painted was kind of like a quick scratchy way where he would just have lines and swirls that would be divided with so much color in one place. Of course one of my all time favorite painting and famous painting would be his "Starry Night". I love the colors and how it swirls together across the whole canvas drawing your eyes into the night sky as his were when he painted it. Did you know that the famous "Starry Night", was actually the second of his starry night paintings? Yes he did one before the famous "Starry Night". It was called the "Starry Night Over the Rhone". This was a landscape view of the Rhone river where there was also a night sky but the flickering lights in the background was of houses that were very far away from the harbor. It shows a couple together walking across the beach sand where the water is washing up along the shore line. It's beautiful and I highly recommend that you take a look at it.


India are more sculptors but they also made clay vessels for their food. They would carve great pieces from the side of a mountain that they would tunnel through. The things that would be in there that are completely carved into the sides of the walls in their tunnels are elephants, their gods, people in everyday life settings and these would also be painted very brightly and elaborately. Then in the very back of the chamber would be the buddha they placed for worship and the tunnels that were carved in the mountains would be a temple. They also carved out/ found large brick sized rocks that they would build up to a form of a pyramid in religious values as well. They essentially created religious art.


Michelangelo the famous painter of the Sistine Chapel and the famous sculptor, which was his actual medium, who did the sculpting of the famous David. Michelangelo studied the human body and practiced in marble and limestone in order study and form the human anatomy and muscles. These were later portrayed in his paintings as well.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Roxanne Jackson

Roxanne Jackson take a different approach to creating her art compared to what most people think to do. Rather than sitting down and brainstorming several ideas and ultimately picking the "best one," she just goes with what comes to her naturally, which can be tough for some. She explains that art has many roles and depicting and creating beautiful objects is not the only role art has. Therefore, Roxanne creates a lot of objects that represent the deceased. For example, she is currently working on a dead white unicorn (crystal formation for the horn) and a life-size bull made out of cement that is also dead. Roxanne states that she gets the majority of her inspiration from the National Geographic magazine, so strongly influenced by theories related to evolution.

The picture posted below is entitled Cadaver Stirrup