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Some friends of ours, Scott Constable and Ene Osteraas-Constable, are amazing artists, crafters, and builders, whereas my husband and I are merely connoisseurs of handmade furniture and big art projects. Luckily, this works out just fine, because we get to appreciate Scott and Ene’s work on a regular basis!
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Their latest project, Oakland Fusion, is finished and available for all to see at Jack London Square in Oakland, Calif. It’s an installation of lenticular murals consisting of more than 4,500 hand-painted tiles. Painting the tiles took about 8 months, and everyone they knew was invited to help. I like how this project mixes a “traditional” craft, tile work, with a simple animation process. Here are some more details about the project from their website:

Each mural functions like a two-cell animation; the image morphs as the viewer changes position. The eight images are based upon the textile patterns of Oakland’s major ethnic demographics. Mounted to the exterior wall of a new parking garage immediately opposite Oakland’s main train station, the murals are intended to viscerally orient new arrivals to Oakland’s cultural geography.

Recently, their Oakland Fusion project has had lots of media interest, with NBC and the Oakland Tribune running stories about the project. Ene says she thinks this installation has struck a nerve because people really need this type of arts and crafts right now. “The timing’s just really good for something like this,” she adds.
As a team, they’ve also built treehouses, art studios, and set up miniature golf and audio tour installations in San Francisco. Besides these high impact projects, Scott also makes skateboards, chairs, tables, and writes thoughtful prose about the world we live in on their Deep Craft and WOWhaus websites. They have a large, thriving garden and orchard, write poetry, throw great parties, are raising a lovely daughter, and come up with clever inventions such as the bicycle composter and a mobile biodiesel processor.
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As interesting to me is that they still find time for a walk around the forest, cataloging flowers on the web, volunteering at the school, and helping with local events. They move through the mundane spaces we all inhabit with an eye for the beautiful and have the ability to add to that beauty. Can anybody say inspirational?!
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But don’t take my word for it. Check out their blog; it’s not just a nice way to see what Scott and Ene are up to, but a neat window into their projects, local blossoms, and philosophical outlooks.

shawnconna

Sometimes helpful editor and digital media director at MAKE and CRAFT.


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