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Starts With A Bang

Weekend Diversion: Paper made from Wood that isn’t Paper

An amazing art project from Randall Rosenthal that you have to see to believe.

Men admire the man who can organize their wishes and thoughts in stone and wood and steel and brass.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Everyone knows that paper is one of the most important media in human history allowing for the widespread dissemination of information. Made from wood, it has a huge diversity of uses, some of which are perhaps unexpected, as Caroline Herring would sing you in her song,

But even though paper is made from wood, one remarkable artist has thought to make art out of wood that looks like paper, only there is no paper.

Image credit: Randall Rosenthal.

What you’re looking at is not the Sunday version of the New York Times, but rather the incredible, original artwork — a single-piece wooden sculpture — of Randall Rosenthal. It doesn’t just looks like a newspaper from afar, but amazingly there’s no discernible difference from up close as well.

Image credit: Randall Rosenthal.

The realism is simply astounding, as you can see by gazing at his box of vintage comic books…

Image credit: Randall Rosenthal.

his envelope full of Canadian currency…

Image credit: Randall Rosenthal.

or his old box full of stacks of $50s and $100s.

Image credit: Randall Rosenthal.

What’s truly amazing is that his works of art — everything you see above and below — is sculpted out of a single, continuous piece of wood! The artistic vision that one has to have, to “see” this in the starting, blank piece of wood, completely blows my mind.

Image credit: Randall Rosenthal.

Of course this work is featured in incredibly high-end galleries, lighting up some delightful places on the internet, and has been featured nationally and internationally in galleries, magazines and more.

Image credit: rh+ art magazine, Turkey, 2012.

But what’s possibly most remarkable about this artwork — something that could only have existed thanks to the internet — is that Randall documents his creative process for the entire world to see!

If you want a real thrill, read through the 15-page thread here, and watch him create masterpieces (and provide commentary) as he explores the new $100 bills,

Image credit: Randall Rosenthal via http://www.sawmillcreek.org/.

explains how he creates his “cigar box” art,

here’s a sculpture i do every year (not exactly the same). its for a charity auction. they give all the artists except me a cigar box to make “art” out of.

Image credit: Randall Rosenthal, via http://www.sawmillcreek.org/.

But my absolute favorite thing you can find is the step-by-step creation of this art! We’re so lucky to get a view of this in action; what follows are a selection of six images of one of his pieces of work in various stages of development. I’ll let it speak for itself.

Please do not confuse him with the other Randall Rosenthal; this is truly amazing, and I’m happy to be able to share it with you this weekend.

Travel the Universe with astrophysicist Ethan Siegel. Subscribers will get the newsletter every Saturday. All aboard!

Hope you’re having a great one, and I’ll see you back here on Monday, as we explore even more wonders of the Universe!


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