DEMILKED

When nature meets art, who would have thought the source would be glowworms?! Well, welcome to the limestone caves of the Waitomo area of New Zealand, home to a very special kind of glowworm.  These impressive little creatures emit a phosphorescent light that turns the nooks and crannies of the caves into incredibly impressive natural light shows. Thanks to photographer Shaun Jeffers, we can enjoy the beautiful “installations” without personally having to make the trek to the underworld of New Zealand (though who would complain about that task). The images range from having between 30 second to 6 minute exposures - requiring Jeffers to stand in cold water for over 6 hours a day to capture! Read here for more info and to check out the photos.

Bowls out of leaves? Doesn’t sound possible, but Japanese American artist Kay Sekimachi has made them a reality. Using the skeletal structure of a leaf, she added Kozo paper (a type of thin Japanese paper made from kozo trees), watercolor and Krylon coating to create these delicate, wafer-thin bowls. The materials used make it look extremely light, fragile, and natural. Just the sort of thing one would expect elves, fairies and sprites to use. Read more

If zeitgeist had a body, it would be drinking sweet, overpriced coffee in a plastic-lid cardboard coffee cup. And a Californian company called Reduce. Reuse. Grow. has a solution to coffee-cup related environmental issues: biodegradable cups that can be planted to grow into trees and flowers! The secret is in the seed embedded in the cup. The only thing that a consumer needs to do is unravel the cup, soak it in water for 5 minutes and then plant it. Or, if you’re terribly lazy, throw it away – it’s either going to grow into something, or just decompose after 180 days.

The idea has merit. Coffee cups are consumed in quantities that overshadow even the complaints about misspelled names on them. They’re obviously made from trees, and if you have not heard about the connection between deforestation and a variety of environmental issues, well, then you’re probably our only 5 year old reader. And the trees (or flowers) that will sprout from cups won’t be random, either: the cups will come with seeds native to whatever region they’re sold in. And if a cup makes its way into a RRG trashcan, the company will make sure that it is transferred into the hands of an organization which knows places in need of trees.

It might not be the decisive solution to deforestation, but it sure is deciduous.

Renowned 83-year-old photographer Ken Heyman was taken by surprise when he found a box full of black and white photos of mothers and their children around the world that he took 50 years ago. Labeled “Mothers,” the box had been hiding beautiful photos that were taken as part of a project for a Pulitzer-nominated book called “Family” that Heyman co-wrote together with anthropologist Margaret Mead. Read more on Demilked...

Hillary Fayle is a remarkable embroidery artist who chose a truly original and meaningful surface for her work – leaves. Her eminently delicate and fragile embroideries look almost impossible. For the leaves to remain whole, Fayle covers them with a nontoxic preservative beforehand to stiffen them and protect them from possible harm. And them the fun of sketching, stitching, sewing and embroidering begins.