Builder Tim Sway always wanted to create a musical instrument without using any wood in its construction. So he set about crafting a fretless bass guitar from a thick sheet of clear acrylic and aluminum. Despite some challenges along the way, the finished result looks amazing.
Art & Design
Stormtroopers have been with us since the first moments of A New Hope back in 1977. With the original saga coming to a close in The Rise of Skywalker, director J.J. Abrams and other members of the Star Wars production team provide a brief history of these blindly loyal soldiers, and their various permutations over the years.
In the words of Hannibal Chew in Blade Runner “I just do eyes.” As creator of visual effect contact lenses for movies and TV, that’s exactly what Eyeworks for Film does too. Insider shows us how they handmake these wild prosthetic lenses to help actors dramatically transform their look.
A few years back, we learned about musician and artist Andy Thurlow’s collection of unique musical instruments, known as The Anarchestra. Documentarian Daniel Wolverton of Special Head returns to visit with Andy and check out some of the strange and wonderful noise makers he’s built in the past few years.
Jigsaw puzzle fanatics develop an acute sense of color, recognizing subtle nuances to spot the right piece and click it into place. Those skills are useless with this daunting but beautiful puzzle. The monochrome 736-piece Krypt Black comes from Ravensburger, the world’s oldest jigsaw puzzle maker. Also in silver or gold.
A bible for discriminating audiophiles and and industrial design junkies, Hi-Fi: The History of High-End Audio Design traces the evolution of all things audio, from the 1950s birth of specialty equipment to today’s cutting-edge design. Phaidon’s 272-page book has 300 images and the expertise of Gideon Schwartz, founder of Audioarts.
Annette Labedzki’s paintings are more like temporary sculptures. She molds models of various objects out of thick, frozen layers of paint, then destroys her creations by mixing them down into a new color of paint for a wonderfully soothing type of performance art.
YouTuber HMS2 is known for creating impressively accurate miniature versions of real-world objects. This build is a spot-on, Lilliputian replica of an aquarium complete with gravel, rocks, plant life, and a weensy little school of fish floating in its simulated water.
Brooklyn art studio BREAKFAST’s interactive artwork uses arctic temperature data to visualize climate change in real time, displaying above average temperatures in gold, and below average in blue. It also changes appearance when you approach to represent the impact climate change has on all of us.
Artist Darian Mederos creates incredible portraits that appear to have been painted behind a sheet of bubble wrap. In fact, every individual bubble – and the light, shadows, and distortion that come with them, is hand-painted. Check out some of his works and process on Instagram.
Today’s computers and gadgets are built from molded plastics and precision-cut metals, while vintage objects had so much character because of their use materials that can be imperfect. DIY Perks decided to build himself a unique PC that looks amazing because of its use of more traditional materials.
Created to celebrate The Rise of Skywalker, unique Star Wars and Coca-Cola collectibles have one of two light-up lightsaber designs, both illuminated by a custom-cut, flexible OLED light source. Sadly, they’re only destined for Singapore at this point, with just 8000 bottles being randomly distributed to 45 secret locations.
These fun-looking marble tracks mount on magnetic surfaces like some whiteboard and fridges, letting you create Line Rider-style courses that take full advantage of gravity. Available tricks will include a spinner, bell, launcher, catapult, a motorized lift and more. Launching soon on Kickstarter.
Zach Both was looking for a way to pursue his dreams of traveling the country and developing his filmmaking career, so he set out to make the ultimate live/work mobile office – a fantastic vehicle which started out as a simple white panel van. Learn to DIY with The Vanual.
VXD presents a truly unique deck and display case combo. Limited to just 499 pieces, each set includes a deck of Frozen Metal playing cards, a matching anodized aluminum card box, and an acrylic “ice” cube for display. The cards feature wintry holographic patterns which appear as you tilt them in the light.
This mind-bending creation is a full color, 3D-printed spherical object that’s been layered with a full-color 360° panoramic image. If you don’t have a full color 3D printer handy, there are a couple of options for these on the market including Scandy Spheres and the less expensive Snapspheres.
In the earliest days of animation, characters had movements which seemed stiff and unnatural. Vox explains how an invention came along that allowed animators to draw movements atop live footage, creating much more believable motion. If you haven’t seen it Minnie the Moocher has been impeccably restored.
Spiral staircases offer a stylish way to add access to another level without taking up too much space, though they’re made in a very different way than traditional stairs. How It’s Made shows us the modern way of making these staircases using metal platforms and wood decks. The railings look like the trickiest part.
Normally, basketballs are made from rubber. But DIYer Cammie’s Garage works in wood, so he decided to see if he could make one by turning layers of maple into a sphere instead. It didn’t take the stain perfectly, but it’s still pretty cool. He previously made a sweet wooden football.
Il Buono’s fun LEGO Ideas submission looks like one of those old-timey safes you might find in a movie about the wild West. The 548 part model has a smooth SNOT (Studs Not On Top) construction, a working combination lock, and various props, including some LEGO gold bars to store inside.
Photographer Chris Pritchard’s vibrant time-lapse film takes us inside of one of the world’s busiest airports. If you’ve ever traveled through Los Angeles International, you know it’s a sort of organized chaos that moves an incredible 63 million people per year through its terminals and gates. Looks amazing in 4K if your display supports it.
A while back, Vincent Brady created an otherworldly time-lapse video featuring night skies captured via a special 4-camera rig. He since remastered the clip in 4K, added new effects, and improved its visual fidelity. Be sure to check out the 360º/VR companion piece.
Theory11 teamed up with illusionist Derren Brown to create this beautifully-detailed deck. Victorian-inspired imagery adorns their fronts and backs, and their green and gold boxes resemble antique books. For a special gift, check out the leather-bound box set, which includes two decks and a letterpressed note from Derren.
Working with molten hot sugar is one of the most daunting tasks in the kitchen, but international pastry instructor Amaury Guichon makes it look easy, as he shows off the technique he uses to create a perfectly smooth dome of the sweet stuff. Also, check out his incredible, edible samurai.
Fumbling around in the dark for door knobs is no fun. Pin & Tumbler’s clever knob design automatically illuminates as you approach, casting a cool geometric pattern on your door, and helping to light your way. Designed for indoor use only, it runs for up to a year on a single coin-cell battery.