This is the second of my recent series of Montreal artist portraits, where I’m documenting the work spaces and creative process of artists in Montreal. This one's about wood, wool, and lasers. Meet Ariel. Like Patsy, I met him through the 100in1day Montreal community. He was the resourceful jack-of-all-trades that you could always depend on whether you had a logistics, tech or creative problem. He gets credit for referring me to great podcasts including my favourite, 99% Invisible. He’s a maker and artist among other things. It barely surprised me when I learned that he created Zooratura. That’s not to say I wasn’t impressed! Inspired by the forms and symmetry found in nature, Ariel laser-cuts wood to create intricate lampshades and jewelry. His designs are based off of pre-20th century drawings of microscopic creatures. Some of his pieces are then meticulously painted with watercolour. In others, yarn is weaved in.
Now how does someone learn how to do this kind of stuff? For Ariel it was pretty simple. He bought a laser cutter and taught himself how to use it. I visited his home where he makes these pieces and had the chance to see him create one of his lampshades that he sells as a weave-it-yourself (WIY?) kit. After assembling the wood base, he delicately weaves the yarn through the notches in a fluid motion.
The result is a cool-looking kaleidoscopic lampshade. It’s designed so that you can weave it in different patterns and use different yarn colours when you want to change things up.
There’s no stopping Ariel’s creative brain, so of course he’s currently working on more projects. He’s currently experimenting with 3D printing and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.
Click here to check out the gallery with the other Montreal Artists I've photographed!