Archive for the ‘craft’ Category
Kyle Durrie combined her love of printing and road trips into a cross-country journey in a Chevy step van outfitted as a letterpress print shop. She’s been on the road since June visiting printers, craft fairs, museums, and other places where a letterpress lesson and a hand-printed poster or two are welcome. She’s got all the requisite modern accompaniments for tracking her old-fashioned occupation trip (Twitter, Flickr, Facebook) and you can ask to host a visit if it fits into the schedule. (thanks for the pointer, Finn!)
Is it possible to preserve a dress made out of 35 pounds of meat? Yes it is. When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame decided to display Lady Gaga’s flank steak dress from the MTV Video Music Awards they contacted Burbank taxidermist Sergio Vigilato. He cleaned the dress, which had been kept frozen after the award show, and cured it, glued it to a mannequin to keep the shape, then dyed it to resemble its original color. The beef had come from Palermo Deli in Granada Hills, priced at $3.99 a pound. Vigilato’s preservation bill came to $6,000, including the meat shoes tied with butcher twine.
The picturesque scenery surrounding the Tour de France must help promote countryside tourism. The riders cycle past castles and quaint towns. What I love most are the old windmills. These elegant workhorses of the grain farms are each unique. Looking through the extremely comprehensive lists of windmills in Wikipedia, you realize that although Holland is the country most associated with windmills, they were an important fixture in most European countries. Even if you exclude the modern windpumps and turbines, the different rotation devices, sails, machinery, and construction materials make for a wide variety of windmill designs.
Angela Haseltine Pozzi gathers the cast off trash of humans that washes up on the beach and turns it into sculptures of marine life. It’s a beautiful, sad commentary on the state of our marine ecosystem. Currently on display at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California are a coral reef made out of Styrofoam, a jellyfish made out of bags and plastic bottle tops, and a seal and sea turtle constructed of plastic bottles and other stuff we throw away. Pozzi says some of the trash traveled across the ocean, including hundreds of water bottles from the Beijing Olympics.
Megan Poinski and Tim Fields met in 2003 at their newspaper jobs and became a “powerhouse investigative reporting duo.” Naturally when their thoughts turned to planning a wedding together, the theme was newspapers. Two young cousins dressed as paperboys passed out the programs. Guest place cards were press passes. The table centerpieces were typewriters decorated with flowers and holding the table numbers. The favors were notebooks and pens. No word on whether they wrote their own vows.
The Tony Awards on Sunday were the first time I saw the remarkably lifelike puppet from the play War Horse. Created by the Handspring Puppet Company of South Africa, the life-sized horse takes 3 puppeteers to operate and adds to the depth and emotion of the staged performance. Also, Neil Patrick Harris got to make a grand entrance riding in on the horse as part of his Tony hosting duties (yes it can be ridden!). The two men behind Handspring Puppets spoke at TED about the design and craftsmanship of bringing the horse to life. The horse entrance is at 9 minutes in if you don’t have time for the “making-of” part. Below is the puppet frolicking in a real horse environment: Sandown Race Course in the UK.
Glass artists who polish their works to a high shine with cerium oxide are getting hit with a hugh price increase from a shortage of the rare-earth element. China has reduced exports of cerium oxide and prices at one supplier have gone from $10 per pound eight months ago to $66 today. A mine in California that closed in 2002 after it couldn’t survive against the cheap pricing from China has now reopened to help with supply. There are alternative techniques and materials for polishing, but cerium oxide is the fastest. From the environmental perspective, perhaps China does have some good interests behind the shortage as they say the reduction came from tighter controls on the damage caused by mass-extracting rare earths.
Garth Williams’ illustrations for “Charlotte’s Web” are as much a part of the book as the words, bringing the animals to life with personality and gentle humor. Williams’ daughter Fiona was the model for Fern. His family put up 42 of his drawings for “Charlotte’s Web” for auction in October. The results exceeded estimates. The familiar cover drawing of Fern holding Wilbur under the web-draped title sold for $155,350 and the illustration of the web “Terrific” went for $95,600.
How do you make a corn maze? With a tractor or with weed killer. For the design you can hire Brett Herbst who has designed over 1,800 mazes since 1996. Some maze creators use GPS when they’re cutting the paths, but Herbst’s company says their methods are more accurate.
Tanja Maduzia’s mother sent her to an auction to bid on sconces for their antique store. Tanja returned, $15,000 later, with an unusual piano and no sconces. The piano, a “giraffe” model from 1865, was built in Kentucky and has the upright curved lines of a wide harp. The Maduzias spent $10,ooo to restore it over the years and now, with the store closing and Tanja needing to pay off emergency room bills, it will go on sale for about $30,000. Appraisal value is $50,000.