Crafty Goodness

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I’ve been working on a series of projects using cheap craft materials – cheap both in price and quality – to see if I can create something of worth from them. Sort of a venture into craft alchemy. Previously I’d made a Lost Soul, but this time around I tried something more abstract.

pink garter

green grass


The patterns are based on common snakes, and the colors were determined by whichever colors I had the most of after working on the flaming skull. Did you know you can buy pony beads by the pound, and that the colors change radically from batch to batch due to a complete lack of caring on the part of the companies that make them? Were I a Jeff Koons this might be problematic or worth quibbling about, but until I angle for a gallery show I’ll make do with apathy in plastic from America’s Heartland.

The stitching is in-the-round peyote;  with the size of the beads the necklaces (snakeleces?) came together pretty fast. I didn’t want to bother with fancy finishing so I just stitched them shut in pattern. They slip neatly over the head and stack, looking like blown-up Maasai collars (and if you are so inclined there is an interesting brief article on the symbolism behind Maasai collars here).


close up

snakelece scale


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Fake Rocks

blue ocean bathtub

Painting Party

What does this all mean? Warning signs of things to come at the Renegade Craft Fair, June 22-23rd.

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Oh, nothing much; obsessively watching silent films from various eras, crocheting….that’s about it, actually. I present the most recent fruit of my labours:

This design was a challenge to myself to see how big a head on how tiny a body/legs I could get. I say I can get a greater ratio yet! I’ll make a head so big and a body so tiny it will destroy them all!!! And the noses are colored in because I hadn’t bought pom-poms.

On a whim I searched my library system for silent films, and was rewarded with a plethora of Buster Keaton’s work, a large body of Harold Lloyds, the Stan Brakhage Criterion collection, Decasia, and most wonderous, two of Louis Feuillade’s serials. He was an extremely prolific fellow, having created over 200 shorts, feature-lengths and serials in France at the turn of the century, and is most famous for his series ‘Fantômas’ and ‘Les Vampires’.

I was super-suprised to find ‘Judex’ and ‘Les Vampires’, because TCM had just released the former, lesser known series in joint venture, and I hadn’t been able to find the latter anywhere. Both were wildly popular in their day, much to the consternation of ‘naturalist’ filmmakers who derided their implausible plotting and melodramatic characters. ‘Les Vampires’ in particular was a favorite of the surrealists, who loved the random, occasionally nonsensical use of locations, and the distinct impression(a true one, actually) that it was made up as it went along. One apt summary(with pictures!) reads as follows:

Paris is in the grip of an unseen, nameless, terror, against which the police are powerless to act. A criminal organisation known as the Vampires create fear and mayhem, killing, looting, abducting – no crime is too daring, or too despicable. Little is known about the gang of villains except that they are led by the Grand Vampire and his seductive partner, Irma Vep. A journalist, Philippe Guerande, investigating the murder of a government official soon runs up against the Vampires, and so begins his long crusade to rid Paris of this evil scourge…

The main villainess, Irma Vep(shown to be an anagram of ‘Vampire’ in crude animation) is immediately familiar to any modern-day Edward Gorey fan; with her khol-rimmed eyes and sinister glare, she’s popped up a number of times, most notably as Victoria Scone in ‘The Other Statue’. Also familiar is the bat ballet ‘Les Vampires’ performed in episode 2, ‘The Ring That Kills’:

Unfortunately the library only had the first half, so now I have to scrounge around for the second. They were ever-so-much fun to watch, what with the blatent villainy and bizarre murder weapons(there’s a literal poison pen involved with ink ‘deadly to the touch’). I most highly recommend them. I’ve only watched the first few episodes of ‘Judex’, but it seems to follow suit, albeit in a proto-’Batman’ sort of way. He’s a self-made detective spurred by the death of his father who uses theatrics and a hidden laboratory, with his brother acting as a loyal assistant. Rather familiar, eh? More on this when I’ve watched further.

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Hello all. The following announcement is of great import:

I implore people to do themselves the honor of attending what will surely be the sea-change in craft-related arts, the pinnacle of holiday-proximity shopping opportunitues, La Superette! Do not forget to mark your calenders, for DECEMBER 17th shall be a day you rue should you miss this astounding chance to purchase goods and artables of the highest quality from people better than yourself! Spend the night camped out in front of Exit Art (475 10th Avenue at 36th Street, New York, NY 10018) to secure your spot amongst a veritable Elyssian Field of purchaseable and, one could hardly believe it possible, AFFORDABLE masterpieces!
Your humble narrator counts myself blessed among the fortunate to be amidst those lucky few chosen to sell wares at the event. I shall sell CAMPY BROOCHES lovingly crafted of the finest resin, the very fumes of which could not send me into greater heights of dizziness than this honor of selling bestowed upon me. Furthermore, I shall offer SKULLY NECKLACES, sure to bring joy to the eyes of all who behold their amazing LUMINESCENT PROPERTIES! Simply attend the event, and seek the wares resting upon a sunburst field of black and white bearing the credo “BUY MY STUFF!”, which I here encourage you to follow.

Do attend LA SUPERETTE if you are anywhere near the Tri-State area, or I fear you shall spend the rest of your days mourning your stupidity!

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As said previously, I’m not buying a damn thing for Christmas this year. Ergo, I’ve become quite busy making presents for the well-deserving, with less time for informing the internet community of, say, what Corey Feldman is up to.

I’m also participating in this year’s La Superette, a ‘showcase’ for inexpensive ‘handicrafts’ from arty folk like myself. If you got a useful degree like biology, but always wanted to know what going to art school would’ve been like, head over to La Superette. It’s replete with installation art easily mistaken for a messy corner, experimental choreography, and $10 yarn-wrapped-around-twig gifts.

My contributions are the slightly more effort-intensive bits pictured below. I hope pretentious Williamsburg hipsters find them ironic enough to pay me for.

This is stage 3 of the brooches- they’re baked and glued but I haven’t poured the resin yet.

Click here for further craftiness

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