Artwork – Scientific, botanical, silhouettes….
So touching on the whole “interior decorating” aspect of the (neo) Victorian loveliness, I was reading the Steampunk Home and it pointed me in the direction of botanical and natural scientific artwork, From there I got thinking about Victorian silhouette artwork as well.
To start off, I found the link to the Design*Sponge post on pressed specimens intriguing – I remember being a kid and absolutely LOVING doing pressed flowers. I’d then glue them to things, and cover them with clear contact paper… This is the slightly more grown-up version! Of course, loving ferns definitely wins me over on this idea as well. I think the grouping also makes this work; just one would look skimpy. (Mind you, then I was reading another entry that started to ‘pick on’ groupings of botanical prints as looking too ‘designer-trendy’ which kind of shot down my thoughts. Boo.)
Silhouette artwork was another Victorian trend, and I absolutely love the artwork done by http://killhouettes.com/ How cool are these – morbid, gothic, creepy silhouette artwork! I’d love to post a picture here, but the artist has a pretty serious “don’t reproduce” notice on his front page, so I’ll skip for now… However, there are a number of free clipart sites with silhouette artwork, for craft projects and things like that (though nowhere near as amazing as killhouettes!)
Making silhouette artwork wearable – I am ridiculously loving these laser-cut stainless steel jewelry items from an Etsy seller in Seattle – Fable & Fury. Not only are they cool silhouettes, but there are lots of gothic and creepy elements (much like the aforementioned killhouettes) that sneak in which I adore. I really think that something from here is going to make my Etsy wish-list in a moment…
There is also an Etsy artist named Pretty Faces who does custom silhouette artwork based on customer photos. This is really neat – I remember seeing this a long time ago, and just thinking it was fantastic. It is a digital print, not a paper-cut, but still once framed, really similar. On a similar note, the Happy Heathan has a cool DIY project using silhouette clip art to do votive candle holders. When I started looking even further, I also found Mon Petite Fantome – doing actual paper-cuts, Rural Pearl (again, with real paper-cuts), and Paper cuts by Joe. More silhouette project ideas – Family Portrait on Design*Sponge, Wooden Portraits for a shift in the material, Custom paper cutting DIY, Silhouettes on patterned paper (I think it’s slightly less successful than plain, but I can see the cute-appeal for a little girl.)
Next on the adgenda, mixing these two ideas (pressed botanicals and silhouette artwork that is)…. David Stark has a cool idea, taking printed paper (text) and cutting out the shapes of pressed botanicals, and framing them. Very cool! I could see this with a textured scrapbook paper for instance.
Not too different from silhouette artwork is this cool project that I found on Design*Sponge. The artist has taken various items, plus punched paper, and what not, spray painted them all monochromatic (black in this case, though other colours would work, just as long as it was all the same) and arranged them to imply a different object all together. Terribly clever! She’s called this an “Uncommon Valentine” and you really need to click through to see the close-up photos. I love this idea… my first thought is mini anatomical hearts, arranged in the shape of a heart, or baseball bats in the shape of a flying bat.. or anything else rather punny, with a slightly morbid/gothic twist. Hmm something for my thinking cap….
Back to Etsy, another seller (Damn French Desserts) uses some great creepy old-feeling, anatomical-feeling, Victorian-esque artwork on cool papers and stationary. Very cool ideas, very cool artwork… all of it says “hurrah” to me!
Next up, pinhole artwork. I think this is cool (and is similar to what I want to do with my copper candle holder when I get bored with it as it is now). Again, I first saw this in a book of Victorian Christmas Ornaments, but the Design*Sponge website had a cool tutorial too – how convenient! In this case, the author has taken colouring book images, and used them with lush heavy paper to create something really cool.
Next, back to those scientific or botanical prints… I was over at Graphics Fairy a while back and LOVED some of the images, for just this purpose… and then found this cool “tutorial” (really.. it’s print it out and frame it, but whatever) on Lost & Fawned. I think it looks great, and yeppers, those bats were one of the images I was drawn to! Along with the Graphics Fairy – Artforms of Nature has free-for-use (Creative Commons) images from 1904. Gorgeous! But what to do with these that aren’t predictable or boring? Plus, I really don’t have a lot of extra wall-space kicking around. (If I did, I’m sure all of those Lawren Harris prints that are behind my closet doors right now would be up instead!) Not predictable or boring – blowing up the images super-huge, like on this apartment therapy post. In particular, check out the huge bat in image #4.
With more anatomical, botanical or otherwise scientific prints there’s also an Etsy seller I stumbled upon called SlinkiMalinkiCat who has a number of prints available – she’s from Latvia which is a bit far away – but I imagine there are others that are closer! I’ve also seen the ‘artwork’ from Black Baroque coming up regularly – although instead of being real printed pages from antique or vintage books, these are scanned from vintage books, resized, and then printed on pages from other books or sheet music. It’s somewhat clever, but IMO overdone, and I’d rather do something myself frankly. Plus, either way, I don’t really relish the idea of ripping apart an old book just for the artwork or sheets of paper inside. It reminds me of when dad had an old antique book (early 1800’s I belive) and although parts of it were in rough shape, other parts were still ok, and he sold it to someone who was basically going to rip it apart, and re-purpose the gorgeous illustrations as artwork.
Since I finally finished off my bathroom (apart from the vacuuming) yesterday, and realize that I have two spots for some artwork, so since the ‘under the sea’ pieces that I had done before aren’t really going to work with the new bathroom – I have the opportunity to introduce something new! Now, the only choice is ~what~? The bathroom has a somewhat vintage-French feeling to my eye, with the wedgewood blue paint, and vintage-inspired taps and what not. I’m thinking of old French purfume or absinthe ads… something vaguely art nouveau, although, with my current interests in things more neo-Victorian would be a much more appropreate answer for the time being…
Oh, and for the “omg, how cute is this” file, check out these mini French bistro chairs made from champagne cages. I have no idea what in the world I’d do with such a thing (hmmm perhaps put it in a terrarium? ) but it’s insanely cute!