Who knew the humble pipe cleaner could be used to create such amazing works of art? Artist Lauren Ryan makes beautiful, lifelike animals using nothing more than the fuzzy twists. The impressive creations are so realistic, you just want to reach out and pet them. Ryan is keen on canines, and has made a collection of pipe cleaner dogs and dog-like animals (like the fictional character Amaterasu), and she's also created other animals like a cheetah, an okapi, and a lizard. The pipe cleaners' fluffiness mimics real animals' fur, helping it look all the more realistic.

When creating a new creature, Ryan starts with the eyes, which are often the hardest part. Once she's satisfied, she can move to the head and body. "I use a technique that’s somewhere between weaving, sewing and tying annoyingly complicated knots," Ryan tells Who'd Have Thought. Impressively, none of the sculptures require glue; when needed, some are made using pliers and markers.


The 23-year-old artist says she's mostly self-taught, though she spent two years studying art at a community college and a year as the apprentice for a bronze sculptor. "When I was a kid, building and creating new things with ordinary materials was more fun than playing with toys," she says. "I never focused much on practicing art to get better at it; art was just something I did because I loved it."

You can see more of Ryan's work on her Facebook page

Meg Biddle

[h/t Inhabitat]All images courtesy of Lauren Ryan.