Continuing our series of behind-the-scenes articles about LEGO Masters, we chatted with Brick Artist Nathan Sawaya in his California studio about how he built all the props for the show, what kind of deadlines he faced, and working with LEGO as a creative medium.
The first half of our interview (conducted jointly with Brickset) focuses on his work with LEGO Masters and serving as their “brick artist in residence.” The second half discusses his personal views on LEGO as a whole, his traveling LEGO installation “Art of the Brick,” and how he went from an NYC lawyer to an LA artist.
Read our interview with LEGO Masters brick artist in residence Nathan Sawaya
Entering a new decade has left me feeling nostalgic for my youth and, since I group up in the ’90s, I was amused when I saw Qian Yj’s LEGO version of an early cellphone. Back then, such phones were such phones were nicknamed bricks due to their tremendous size. This particular model is about as close to a 1:1 replica as you can get, as illustrated by this image of Qian Yj holding the brick in-hand. His replica looks spot-on, from the numbered buttons to the thick antenna protruding from the top. Lime green tiles form the screen and are a perfect choice given the then-state-of-the-art LCD technology.
Even though I’m not an audiophile, I am a headphone freak. I have one just for watching movies, another for doing conference calls, and another for listening to music without noise cancelling, and yet another one with it if I need the silence. I guess each one works the best for what it was designed for. Having said that, though I have no idea what I’d do with these LEGO headphones made by Andreas Lenander. Perhaps I’d just have them for a showcase accessory. I wonder if replacing that head parabolic reflector with a speaker would make a nice mod. One thing for sure is that it would make an excellent addition to my collection.
It’s fair to say that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has had its share of ups and downs over the years. To many, 2010’s Iron Man 2 is one of the lower points. Personally, I think it’s just fine, and there are some standout moments that make it special. In particular, I loved the inclusion of the comic-book classic “Suitcase Armor” of the Mark 5. I had thought that the “reality” of the MCU would keep Tony Stark from ever having a portable version of his armor, and being proven wrong tasted sweet indeed. Imagine my delight, then, when Brickatecture moc industries revealed their amazing, wearable, and 1:1 scale helmet from the Mk 5.
Made from around 1,500 elements, it took nearly two years of design tweaks to bring this beauty to life. The combination of wedges and plates gives an appropriately angular feel to the red sections, while the face plate makes use of curved slopes to smooth things out where necessary.
If you’re interested in more super-heroic wearable LEGO, be sure to check out Brickatecture’s Atom suit. If we ever get a DC/Marvel crossover event, an Atom/Iron Man mash-up seems likely!
Music is cool. Electric guitars are cool. Brian May, the guitarist for Queen, is cool. The Red Special, the electric guitar that Brian May designed and built with his father is very cool. You know what else is cool? LEGO. And here’s something very, very, cool – Nick Jensen‘s stunning 1:1 replica of the Red Special in LEGO.
Learn more about this icon of classic rock built from LEGO
You feel that? That’s your sudden desire for a picnic lunch. A second ago you didn’t feel it but now you do. You may or may not want these particular food items, but you do want food now. That is the power of suggestion and it just goes to show how suggestive LEGO can be. In this life-sized food arrangement, builder Little John sculpts strawberries using these red wedges. The quarter cheese wheel, even the knife and cutting board evoke memories of healthful weekend lunches on the patio. The carrot uses much larger wedges in orange, these plant bits and green hoses for the stalks. My favorite item on this menu is the fried chicken drumsticks.
Like what you see so far? It turns out this is merely one element of a much larger collaborative immersive experience called the Potion Shoppe that was on display at Brickworld in Chicago. Bon appétit!
I could have pancakes smothered in syrup for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and then some in between as well. With such a healthy diet, it may not be long before I need to pay a visit to the dentist though. But having a bite out of this will require immediate attention! If I end up with any broken teeth, the only person I’m going to blame is builder LittleJohn! The use of those minifigure caps for blueberries are wonderful, but that sliced orange with transparent cheese slopes takes the (pan)cake for me! Knowing that not everyone is a fan of pancakes, you may want to know that chef LittleJohn can cook up a few other breakfast dishes. Try some of these other delicious savory foods, including waffles, or eggs and tomato.