Even if you've never played Dungeons & Dragons you may have marveled at the fantasy paintings on the cover or leafed through the Monster Manual to look at the illustrations. From the TSR originals to the latest editions from Wizards of the Coast, art and Dungeons & Dragons have had a close relationship. The Art of Dungeons & Dragons profiles D&D artists, former TSR employees, game designers, authors, and some of the backstories behind the tabletop RPG's most famous pieces.
Even a genius doesn't make a masterpiece every time they sit down to do something. Vincent Van Gogh described his painting "Night Cafe" as his ugliest in a letter to his brother, telling him that although he did what he set out to do, the result was less than what Van Gogh had hoped for. Despite his disappointment, "Night Cafe" is considered to be a masterpiece, and the Nerdwriter has a great take on why it's one of the painter's best.
The Volkswagen Bus pop up camper is one of the most iconic cars ever built — perhaps second only to the VW Bug. Certified LEGO model builders Rene and Pascal built a life-size replica of the VW T2a "Bulli" for the f.r.e.e. travel and leisure fair in Munich, Germany, using more than 400,000 bricks over six weeks.
Fabian Oefner uses scale models for his series of photographs depicting classic cars literally coming apart — down to every last nut and bolt. When a friend told Fabian he was having his Lamborghini Miura completely taken apart and restored, Fabian jumped at the chance to create another of his stunning pieces — this time with the real thing.
In Japan, there was a time that making and developing metal was so expensive that carpenters had to develop an alternative to nails. The solution was miyadaiku. The method uses interlocking pieces of wood that fit together almost like a puzzle. With most of the original buildings now in need of repair, Takahiro Matsumoto has mastered the ancient skill to restore temples and shrines throughout the city of Kamakura.
1200 more pencils and another Fender-style guitar — Burl Art is back with another masterpiece. His first acrylic resin-and-colored-pencil instrument was a Fender Stratocaster, and this time, Burl built the other classic Fender — the Telecaster. Using a slightly different approach, Burl has refined his process and used a limited pallet to give the Tele a waterfall-style fade using white, blue, and black pencils.
Taking what you love about your favorite jeans and dialing it up a notch, the Olivers Passage Pant is aiming to be your new go-to. The performance pants are made from Cordura threads giving them a soft, lightweight yet durable exterior. A four-way stretch makes them comfortable enough for biking or binge-watching while a tailored look and stainless steel Italian hardware dress them up just enough to make it in the boardroom. Each pair is designed and made in Los Angeles.
Presented by Olivers.
The Blundstone 500 Series was originally created over 50 years ago, but its classic styling and sturdy construction have ensured that its legacy is alive and well today. The timeless Chelsea boot design is constructed with breathable, waterproof-oiled leather and a hefty, slip-resistant outsole that works rain or shine. Although, what truly makes these boots stand out from the pack is their comfort. The combination of a cushioned midsole, a shock-absorbing footbed, while being lightweight, allows for all-day wear.
Presented by Blundstone.
You can play Nintendo's classic Super Mario Bros. on just about anything with a screen. But artist Kisaragi Hutae has taken the game somewhere it's never been, recreating it as a stop-motion notebook animation. The entire first level unfolds in this perfect animation at 30 frames per second.
Dieter Rams established the foundation of good design. His "less is better" approach led to iconic products like the Braun ET 66 Calculator and the 606 Universal Shelving System for Vitsoe. Taken from the documentary Rams, Trollback & Co. illustrates the legendary designer's 10 principals using classic items conceived by the master himself.
Migrant Mother is one of the most iconic photographs in American history. Taken by Dorothea Lange, the picture depicts Florence Owens Thompson and her children at a pea-pickers' camp in California during The Great Depression. In this video essay, Evan Puschak explains how Lange captured the historic image.
Generally, bikes are made of titanium, aluminum, or carbon fiber for their lightness and strength. This bicycle takes an unconventional approach by swapping out those modern materials for an all-wood design. From the chain to the wheels, the ride is made entirely from timber.
Jaeger-LeCoultre makes some of the best ultra-luxury watches in the world. At the SalonQP watch show, Jaeger-LeCoultre showed off one of their most impressive pieces — the Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication. 527 parts made from German silver comprise the movement, and the case is crafted from rose gold. With the ability to display the day, month, year, and constellations, the Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication shows why Jaeger-LeCoultre is "the watchmaker of watchmakers".
Brooklyn, New York performance artist Peter Kokis has a knack for turning trash in art. Kokis creates transformer-like robot costumes from found materials, and the garbage is one his greatest sources. His creations can weigh over 100 pounds and delight the crowds when he wears one — proving that not all fine art hangs in a museum.
The city of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, is the time capital of the world. Nestled in the Jura mountains, the area is known as "Watch Valley" and boasts some of the most highly-regarded — and highly expensive — watchmakers on the planet. Companies like Rolex, Patek Phiippe, and Tissot are headquartered here along with a complementary number of professionals dedicated to the intricacies of watchmaking. From the International Museum of Horology to a small shop specializing in restoration, La Chaux-de-Fonds keeps time like no other place on Earth.
Building a guitar was once the province of skilled luthiers, selecting wood for their tonal properties and shaping each piece by hand to create an instrument. Then came Leo Fender, who brought guitar making into the modern age by taking a page from the automotive industry and simplifying the process — and cementing the guitar as the most popular instrument in the world. Fender's production techniques also brought guitar building to the masses and unleashed a massive amount of creativity to the form. This guitar by Burls Art is made of 1200 colored pencils set in epoxy resin and one of the most creative guitars we've ever seen.
There aren't many shoes that are versatile enough for a formal occasion but also look great with a pair of jeans. But The Newton is up for both occasions and plenty in-between. Each pair is Goodyear welted for flexibility and maximum durability and they're lined with leather for increased breathability, and have a comfortable footbed and a leather outsole that's built to stand the test of time. And even when that outsole wears thin, they can be easily re-soled by a repair service -- extending the life of your favorite pair. Available in black and oak leather.
Presented by Moral Code.
Just because you didn't get enough sleep last night doesn't mean everyone has to notice. This Wake Up Eye Stick from Oars + Alps helps you look well rested and now you can pick it up at Target if you can't wait a few days for it to ship. It's made with caffeine to reduce dark circles and aloe to keep under-eye puffiness at bay. Each stick contains all natural ingredients and is free of parabens, sulfates, and cruelty. Apply during your bathroom routine in the morning, or midday for a quick pick-me-up. Find it at select Targets.
Presented by Oars + Alps.
Two years in the making, master metalsmith Seth Gould has completed a masterpiece. This intricate lockbox requires two keys and a series of turns, presses, and hidden compartments to open. Each piece — from springs to screws — was forged, filed, lathed, and otherwise handmade by Gould. "Forged and Filed" captures the process of creating the lockbox, all set to music with percussion provided by the sounds of Gould's workshop.
From car parts to airplanes to bridges, 3D printing is the manufacturing process of the future. For those of us with the vintage car bug that don't have the funds to buy our dreams, 3D printing offers a great way to have a scaled-down version of any car you could imagine. Konstantin Bogdanov created this scale model of a 1961 Dodge D100 pickup completely from scratch — using scale drawings found on the internet, modeling the truck in 3D, and then printing and painting the parts for an amazing, life-like model.
The Big Apple isn't the first place you'd think to look for someone hammering away at molten steel, forging knives the old-fashioned way. Frank Sausto was a contestant on the History Channel's Forged in Fire, going up against other smiths on national television. The New Yorker sat down with Sausto to see how he created his take on the classic kukri, a blade that originated in the region around Nepal on the Indian subcontinent.
Banksy has released his official holiday card. Rather than mailing them, the street artist sent his season's greetings on the side of a South Wales garage. The double-sided mural uses a small child catching what looks like snowflakes to draw attention to Port Talbot's ongoing dust problem.
Shanghai is known for is modern towers but if you look below its skyline, there's a wealth of Art Deco treasures. Defined by its geometric forms and gold accents, the architectural style rose to fame in the 1930s and was the epitome of glamor and luxury. Take a tour of two of the city's most notorious Art Deco buildings, the Grand Theatre and the Paramount.
So it isn't technically a paper airplane, being made from polystyrene, but the design is from a scaled-up paper airplane drawing. Measuring just over 10 feet from nose to tail, this massive glider traveled over 320 feet on its longest flight. Watch how The Q designed and built this behemoth and then launched it on its maiden voyage.
For 700 years, the Japanese musical theater Noh has been performed, unchanged, since its inception. Michishige Udaka is the last Noh performer in the world who also carves his own masks worn in the performance; each mask can be handed down over generations. Udaka talks about his lifelong study of Noh and the spiritual connection he feels to the high art.
Tiny and complex, watches have an almost mythical quality to them and the people that make them. As technology has improved, mechanical watch movements have become even more complex, far beyond what was possible even a few short decades ago. WIRED magazine sat down with professional watchmaker Ryan Jewell in his New York City shop to watch him disassemble two watches from Carpenter — one with a Japanese movement and one with a Swiss movement.
Bringing order out of the chaos around us is one of the defining characteristics of being human. Nothing represents this quite like the watch — ticking away the moments that make up a day, segmenting them into quantifiable chunks that we can order our days around. For one man, this is his life's work, bringing order to the chaos of broken watches.
Charles and Ray Eames have designed a number of iconic pieces of furniture and one of them is their Molded Fiberglass Chair. First produced in 1950, the chair was designed for Herman Miller and is still being produced today. While methods may have changed a bit, this short film The Fiberglass Chairs: Something of How They Get the Way They Are takes a look back at how the legendary seat was made.
For those confined to a wheelchair, swimming in the ocean might be a far-fetched dream. British artist Sue Austin is defying that presumption with her specially-designed underwater wheelchair that allows her to swim as well as those without a disability. Austin first unveiled the chair as a part of the 2012 London Olympic ceremonies with the goal of inspiring others to follow their dreams.
Using thousand-year-old techniques, Hidaka Washi Ltd. is crafting paper as thin as human skin. The Japanese company makes their delicate product out of woven mulberry fibers rather than wood pulp, resulting in translucent sheets. The material is then sent to museums and libraries across the globe to restore and repair precious artifacts.
Originally designed for Girl Skateboards, the Nike Diamond Dunk became a sensation before it released in 2005 — thanks to some unintended marketing that was a harbinger of today's use of social media. Founder of Diamond Supply Co. Nick Tershay talks about how he ended up with the shoe and the 20th anniversary edition Diamond and Nike are about to drop.
No art gallery? No problem. A group of young artists in Santa Fe couldn't get their foot in the door of the art world — so they made their own. And to get the building to house their dream, they enlisted the help of author George R.R. Martin who bought the building. The Truth is stranger than fiction. The story of the Meow Wolf collective comes to theaters November 29, 2018.