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The beautiful woodpile mosaic owls are the work of Gary Tallman, an 82-year-old Montana resident who turns the chore of stacking firewood into an art form. Over the years Tallman has learned the many colors found in various types of cordwood and uses them as his palette.

“Everybody doesn’t notice how many tones in the wood there are,” Marilyn Tallman said of her husband’s eye for the subtleties of wood. “He sees beauty in all kinds of things.”

“Generally speaking, we can find almost all the colors and tones in the woods that we harvest,” Tallman said of his woodpile mosaic. “Except for black,” he confessed. “We don’t have any ebony around here so I do color the ends of some of the black ones. But the others are pretty much just the way they come out of nature.”

Tallman’s ongoing owl theme is based on the birds who live in the trees around his home in Montana’s Little Belt Mountains. Each piece begins with a sketch drawn on graph paper. After first chopping and splitting the wood, Tallman sorts the various hues into separate piles. Then the process of stacking begins. He estimates that it takes him about 20 hours to stack one of his mosaics.

Click here to learn more about Gary Tallman and his firewood mosaics.

[via Bored Panda and the Great Falls Tribune]

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The Ancient Art of Stone:Couple Creates Beautiful Rock Wall Art Installations

 Ancient Art of Stone | Facebook

Andreas Kunert and Naomi Zettl, a married artist duo based in Vancouver, create beautiful flowing wall installations out of rocks, pebbles, and other decorative elements.

I am passionate to give stone an articulated form. This involves finding the right stones – listening,” explains Kunert, who takes commissions through a website called Ancient Art Of Stone that he runs together with Zettl.

For those not planning major interior remodeling work any time soon, the couple also sells prints of smaller detailed and colorful work that they create specifically for this purpose. Due to their smaller size, these pieces can incorporate colorful stones and elements that just wouldn’t work in their larger installations. Take a look!

Via boredpanda

Stunning Mosaic Floor Revealed in Amphipolis Tomb

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Archaeologists have publicized photos of a stunning mosaic floor recently excavated within the ancient tomb of Amphipolis in northern Greece.

According to the Greek Ministry of Culture, the beautiful mosaic was discovered in the second chamber of the tomb, the site of the Caryatids‘ discovery. The colorful floor was laid with white, black, grey, blue, red and yellow pebbles and depicts a chariot in motion. Hermes, the messenger of the gods, is pictured in front of the chariot.

“The central theme is a chariot in motion, pulled by two white horses and driven by a bearded man, crowned with a laurel wreath,” the Ministry said in a statement. Read more.

An ancient ghost story by Pliny the Younger (61-113 AD)

(The image is of the Roman skull mosaic from Pompeii, c. 30 BC - AD 14. An explanation of the mosaic can be found here. Pliny the Younger witnessed the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD, which destroyed Pompeii. Pliny’s uncle, Pliny the Elder actually died during the eruption.)

The following spooky story is from Pliny the Younger, Book 7, Letter 27:

"There was in Athens a house, spacious and open, but with an infamous reputation, as if filled with pestilence. For in the dead of night, a noise like the clashing of iron could be heard. And if one listened carefully, it sounded like the rattling of chains. At first the noise seemed to be at a distance, but then it would approach, nearer, nearer, nearer. Suddenly a phantom would appear, an old man, pale and emaciated, with a long beard, and hair that appeared driven by the wind. The fetters on his feet and hands rattled as he moved them.
     Any dwellers in the house passed sleepless nights under the most dismal terrors imaginable. The nights without rest led them to a kind of madness, and as the horrors in their minds increased, onto a path toward death. Even in the daytime—when the phantom did not appear—the memory of the nightmare was so strong that it still passed before their eyes. The terror remained when the cause of it was gone.
     Damned as uninhabitable, the house was at last deserted, left to the spectral monster. But in hope that some tenant might be found who was unaware of the malevolence within it, the house was posted for rent or sale.
     It happened that a philosopher named Athenodorus came to Athens at that time. Reading the posted bill, he discovered the dwelling’s price. The extraordinary cheapness raised his suspicion, yet when he heard the whole story, he was not in the least put off. Indeed, he was eager to take the place. And did so immediately.
     As evening drew near, Athenodorus had a couch prepared for him in the front section of the house. He asked for a light and his writing materials, then dismissed his retainers. To keep his mind from being distracted by vain terrors of imaginary noises and apparitions, he directed all his energy toward his writing.
     For a time the night was silent. Then came the rattling of fetters. Athenodorus neither lifted up his eyes, nor laid down his pen. Instead he closed his ears by concentrating on his work. But the noise increased and advanced closer till it seemed to be at the door, and at last in the very chamber. Athenodorus looked round and saw the apparition exactly as it had been described to him. It stood before him, beckoning with one finger.
     Athenodorus made a sign with his hand that the visitor should wait a little, and bent over his work. The ghost, however, shook the chains over the philosopher’s head, beckoning as before. Athenodorus now took up his lamp and followed. The ghost moved slowly, as if held back by his chains. Once it reached the courtyard, it suddenly vanished.
     Athenodorus, now deserted, carefully marked the spot with a handful of grass and leaves. The next day he asked the magistrate to have the spot dug up. There they found—intertwined with chains—the bones that were all that remained of a body that had long lain in the ground. Carefully, the skeletal relics were collected and given proper burial, at public expense. The tortured ancient was at rest. And the house in Athens was haunted no more.”

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Realistic Portraits Made From Paint Chips by Peter Combe

San Francisco-based visual artist creates three-dimensional artworks using household paint swatches as his prime matter, usually hand-punched into small disks. He then fits these disks into bevel-cut grooves on a specially prepared archival material in order to create his pieces, ranging from abstract pattern-based colour compositions to realistic portraits of people. Apart from producing portraits commissioned by collectors, Combe also likes to work with images found on social media, especially Instagram

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