Colossal, the Department of Incredible Insects recently encountered more photos of the fascinating work of French artist Hubert Duprat and his industrious Caddisflies (previously featured here).

"Right now, in almost every river in the world, some 12,000 different species of caddisfly larvae wriggle and crawl through sediment, twigs, and rocks in an attempt to build temporary aquatic cocoons. To do this, the small, slow-moving creatures excrete silk from salivary glands near their mouths which they use like mortar to stick together almost every available material into a cozy tube. A few weeks later a fully developed caddisfly emerges and almost immediately flies away."

Since the 1980s Duprat has been collecting caddisfly larvae from their normal environments and transporting them to aquariums in his studio. There he gently removes their own natural cocoons and puts the larvae in tanks filled with materials such as pearls, beads, opals, turquoise and pieces of 18-karat gold. The insects still do exactly what comes naturally to them, but in doing so they create exquisite gilded sculptures that they temporarily call home. If you saw them out of context, you’d never guess they’d been created insects.

Visit Colossal for additional images and video of Hubert Duprat discussing these amazing insects and their shiny, shiny creations.

Meet Dewi the Dragon, awesome guardian of Harlech Castle located in Harlech, Gwynedd, Wales. Classed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, the castle is a medieval fortification built atop a spur rock beside the Irish Sea by Edward I during his invasion of Wales between 1282 and 1289. Dewi came along much later.

In 2010 artist Anthony Peacock from Marche Studios in Shropshire, England, was commission to create a magnificent dragon. 78 square meters (~840 square feet) of steel sheets were cut down into scales and then welded on to a frame, polished, and then coated with 12 coats of lacquer to form Dewi the Dragon, who measures 16 feet long, 11 feet high and 10 feet wide. The project took 800 hours of work to complete. Dewy now stands guard below Harlech castle near the entrance to Min-y-Don Holiday Home & Touring Park.

Photos by El Civ, Harry and Rowena Kennedy, Eddie Evans, and Huw Harlech respectively.

Visit Kuriositas for additional images of Dewi and to learn more about the history of Harlech Castle.

New York City-based artist Zoë Williams creates awesomely strange felted wool sculptures of spectral creatures that look like species you’d encounter if you were magically dropped into one of Hayao Miyazaki's films such as Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke. Most of Williams’ sculptures are created using white wool, which heightens their otherworldly feel. She speaks to this on her website with an apposite quotation from Melleville’s Moby Dick:

"Symbolize whatever grand or gracious thing he will by whiteness, no man can deny that in its profoundest idealized significance it calls up a peculiar apparition to the soul."

Williams has been creating her singular sculptures for over seven years now, so the pieces pictured here barely scratch the surface of her unearthly oeuvre. Be sure to visit Zoë Williams’ website, Flickr page or Instagram account to check out more of her fantastic felt creatures. Although most of her work is shown in gallery exhibitions, she also has an Etsy shop where she sometimes makes her pieces available for purchase.

[via Laughing Squid]

Less talk, more awesome monkey selfies!

A few years ago we featured an unforgettable photo of a Black-crested macaque in in North Sulawesi, Indonesia who snapped her very own beaming self-portrait using photographer David Slater’s camera.

Shapeways member Pete Rossdale just created this fantastic 3D-printed sandstone sculpture based on the famous monkey selfie. Available here.

[via Super Punch]

Gold Insecta Lamp, 2013 by Choe U-Ram from U-Ram Choe on Vimeo.

This awesome metal creature, called the Gold Insecta Lamp, is the work of South Korean artist U-Ram Choe. It’s a delicate and wondrous biomorphic kinetic sculpture that functions as a lamp. Although it looks like a magical object, the device is made of metal, magnets, machinery, electronics and LEDs. Choe made an equally beautiful silver version as well.

Visit U-Ram Choe’s website to explore more of his otherworldly creations.

[via Faith is Torment]

Check out these awesomely cute and sleepy pieces of topiary in the Jardin des Plantes de Nantes, a botanical garden located in Nantes, France. Created by French artist and children’s book author Claude Ponti, they’re part of the “Journey to Nantes" (Le Voyage à Nantes) art festival. These delightful topiary sculptures are just one stop on the festival’s 10-mile-long trail of public artwork on display throughout Nantes.

Photos by Molaire & Tentacules, Les petits nantais, Jean-Sebastian Evrard and Big City Life Nantes respectively. (The sleepy bird in the bottom image is from the 2013 festival.)

[via Neatorama]

Summer means spectacular sand sculpture season. Here we see an international team of sand sculptors work on various large and elaborate sections of the 2014 Yokohama Sand Art Exhibition in Yokohama, Japan. This year’s theme is ‘Culture City of East Asia’ and the exhibition producer, sand sculptor Katsuhiko Chaen, invited artists from around the world to help create sand sculptures of World Heritage and historical buildings located in China, Japan and South Korea.

The sculptors are using sand taken from the Tottori Sand Dunes, Japan’s largest coastal dunes. So much sand has been brought in for the exhibition that they even had some for visitors to play with. The largest piece measures nearly 53 feet long by 10 feet tall. That’s an awesome amount of sand.

Photos by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Visit Design You Trust for additional images.

Today the Department of Beguiling Book Art explores the exquisite work of New York-based artist Brian Dettmer, a self-described Book Surgeon, who uses knives, tweezers and surgical tools to transform old books into amazing, multi-layered sculptures. Taking one page at a time, Dettmer painstakingly carves out illustrations and text from old medical journals, dictionaries, atlases, encyclopedias and other beautifully illustrated books. Nothing is ever added or rearranged, only removed. The pages and spines of the books are manipulated to further shape the book sculptures. He also combines multiple books, folding, bending, rolling and stacking them to create larger and even more complex sculptural forms.

Dettmer views his artwork as an intensive collaboration with the existing material:

“Images and ideas are revealed to expose alternate histories and memories, ” explains Dettmer in the artist’s statement. “My work is a collaboration with the existing material and its past creators and the completed pieces expose new relationships of the book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception.”

Visit Brian Dettmer’s website to check out more of his astonishing book book sculptures.

[via Beautiful/Decay and Demilked]

Less talk, more awesome LEGO monkey warriors!

Behold Tyler Halliwell's fantastic LEGO depiction of Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, a main character from the 16th century Chinese mythological novel Journey to the West. He possess amazing strength, speed and the ability to transform himself into a wide variety of animals and objects.

Halliwell’s LEGO sculpture features the Monkey King seated in the lotus position while wielding his trademark staff.

This is quite a large build, at 40”x15”x21” overall. I took influence from multiple Asian cultures in the design, especially with the Japanese samurai armor but with added Chinese and Korean influence.

Building the piece took about 100 hours over the course of two months and used roughly 1500 LEGO bricks.

Head over to The Brothers Brick for an interview with Tyler Halliwell about creating his mighty LEGO Monkey King.

[via The Brothers Brick]

Canadian artist Maskull Lasserre (previously featured here) has recently been “re-carving” mass-produced wooden souvenir sculptures and decoys to reveal intricate an skeletal system beneath each sculpture’s wooden skin.

These fascinating reworked wooden sculptures remind us of the dissected sculptures created by New York-based artist Jason Freeny (previously featured here).

Visit Maskull Lasserre’s online portfolio to check out more of his amazing artwork.

[via Colossal]