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Artist creates incredibly lifelike portraits using nothing but tulle fabric and an iron

It took Benjamin Shine 10 years to perfect his technique, and every portrait is more impressive than the last.

artist ironing tulle to a canvas to create a portrait

Benjamin Shine demonstrates how he makes faces from tulle fabric.

From the earliest cave paintings to the statue of David, the human ability and desire to create art is one of our most enduring characteristics. Over the millennia, people have used countless forms and mediums to reflect the world and ourselves back at us, and just when you think people must have exhausted the possibilities, someone comes along with something totally new.

Someone like Benjamin Shine and his portraits made of tulle.

If you're not familiar, tulle is a very thin mesh fabric that's usually layered to fluff out skirts and dresses. But Benjamin Shine uses the notoriously finicky fabric to make flowing, lifelike faces that really have to be seen to be believed.


Shine took 10 years to perfect his craft, using nothing but a big piece of tulle and a cheap iron (the cheaper the iron the better, he says). In that time, he discovered just the right heat, pressure and timing to bring a simple piece of fabric to life.

Watch this Insider segment and see him in action:

The way the tulle flows makes the portraits almost look like they're made of water, and the realistic detail he is able to pull off is incredibly impressive. Tulle can be tricky to work with, but he makes it look so easy.

If you watch to the end of the video, you can see how he's used an alternative tulle-like recycled plastic material to create freestanding sculptures like this one:

And this one he created of him and his wife for their wedding is even more "wow." Um, good luck topping that one, every groom in the universe.

And check out this installation in which he used tulle to create dancers that look like they're mid-movement. Swipe through to see the full range. Absolutely beautiful.

And there's plenty more where that came from. Follow Benjamin Shine on Instagram for more of his tulle-y remarkable work.

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