The rise of digital fabrication has changed the way we make our products and our buildings. The incorporation of tools like 3D printers and laser cutters has simplified the process of making complex things, and the same applies to works made for artistic purposes.
Oakland, California based artist Gabriel Schama (previously) demonstrates this new axiom well, producing mind-bending wooden artworks, made out of thin layers of laser-cut wood. These are some of his latest pieces, which are more complex than ever.
Schama started out with cutting paper with Exacto knives, working odd jobs to support his artistic inclinations. But after reaching out to the public via a crowdfunding campaign a few years ago, he was able to upgrade to a laser cutting machine (which he has affectionately nicknamed "Elsie"), capable of slicing through wood. He now works on art full-time, selling his wooden works online.
Schama typically uses thin plywood, which is cut according to his designs, layer by layer, and then glued into the final three-dimensional form.
Schama's sophisticated motifs are inspired by Buddhist mandalas, Art Nouveau, Islamic architecture and patterns found in nature. This incredible work, titled After Haeckel, depicts something similar to the protozoic microorganisms rendered by the famed German biologist and naturalist Ernst Haeckel.
The slight touches of colour in some of these works adds yet another dimension to their layered complexity.
There's something lively and alive in these meticulously made works, inviting us to gaze upon or touch them. Their abstract forms allude to the ever-present forces of nature and chaotic order that permeate our world, reminding us that there's more to the universe than meets the eye. More over at Gabriel Schama and his shop.