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22 posts tagged with art by orange swan.
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Created equal; photographed separately.

Created Equal is a photo project created by photographer Mark Laita in which he focuses on the contrasts between people, the lives and cultures through black and white portraits of different people. Some images possibly NSFW.
posted by orange swan on Apr 30, 2013 - 7 comments

The Materialistics: Making material art in a material world

In 2011 a group of 40 women known as The Materialistics exhibited a collection of their art work called "The Grand Tour" at the Customs House in South Shields, England. "The Grand Tour" comprised 50 pieces of art work and it took The Materialistics a year to create them. What made this collection remarkable was the medium used to create these art works: they were not painted or sculpted, but knitted, crocheted, and embroidered. Through needlework, The Materialistics had recreated 50 well-known works of art in painstaking detail: Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe, Edvard Munch's The Scream, Vincent Van Gogh's Sunflowers, Pablo Picasso's Woman in Garden, Rembrandt's self-portrait, Dante Gabriel's Rosetti's Daydream, Gustav Klimt's The Kiss, and many more. [more inside]
posted by orange swan on Dec 26, 2012 - 12 comments

A truly meta Cosby sweater

In a video shot at World Maker Faire in 2011, artist Andrew Salamone is shown demonstrating the knitting machine he's adapated and programmed to knit images, and displaying some of the amazing work he's produced with it: a ski mask with an image of his face on the front, a "break beat" scarf, and a sweater featuring a picture of Bill Cosby wearing a sweater with a picture of Bill Cosby on it. Salamone hopes to someday get Cosby to accept and wear the sweater he's designed. God knows Cosby can't reject this sweater on the grounds that it's in any way inferior to the sweaters he's worn in the past. Check out more of Andrew Salamone's knitted art on his web site. In my favourite piece, Salamone recreates a still from "The Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody".
posted by orange swan on Dec 4, 2012 - 38 comments

You've got an old computer, your're crafty, and you spent way too much time watching "Transformers" as a kid.

Suppose you’ve got an old computer around, just taking up space, and your initial attempts at finding alternate uses for it have not been successful. But you know perfectly well that, according to this super scientific pie graph, there must be better recycling ideas out there on the net. Let’s have a look at some of them, shall we? [more inside]
posted by orange swan on Oct 22, 2012 - 19 comments

"There is no separation between her art and her life."

Think you love to crochet? I can guarantee you’re not a patch on Polish-born New York artist Agata Oleksiak, now known as Olek. Olek has covered everything in her apartment with its own custom-made crocheted sweater, and a installation of those items is on display at the Christopher Henry Gallery in Nolita until May 28. She’s also done people, bicycles, cars, windows in abandoned buildings, the bull on Wall Street, and pretty much anything else that would stay still long enough. She keeps track of her crocheting time by counting the number of movies she watches while making an item. I notice she uses variegated acrylic, which is the cheapest yarn on the market. I always wondered who was still buying that "ugly afghan" yarn.
posted by orange swan on May 26, 2011 - 27 comments

You've got (junk) mail (and craft materials)!

Your household probably gets something like 800 pieces of junk mail per year. Other than sighing and tossing the junk into your recycling bin, what are your options? Of course, I’d urge you to support any one of the numerous current anti-junk mail campaigns (do be aware of any possible conflicts of interest), but until those measures take effect, there is always crafting. [more inside]
posted by orange swan on May 24, 2009 - 29 comments

Have a forking good time crafting!

If you have too much mismatched cutlery to fit in your kitchen drawers, take a stab at crafting with it! Make a wind chime, fork key ring, fork cup rings or coat hooks, make cutlery clocks, or light fixtures such as these by designer Ali Siahvoshi. Or you can make jewelry: fork bracelets, a fork necklace pendant, or collaged spoon necklace pendants like those made by SpoonFedArt. Forks and spoons make groovy rings. Here’s how to make spoon rings. For more inspiration, check out this cutlery chair sculpture by Osian Batyka-Williams, this cutlery table by Toni Grilo, some sculpture by Matthew Bartik, Vince Pompei’s whimsical silverware flowers, clocks and sculptures, or the items at Forkometry. Just don’t get so carried away with your new craft that you find yourself having to eat with your fingers.
posted by orange swan on Mar 8, 2009 - 9 comments

Last one to craft is a rotten egg!

You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs, and you can’t buy eggs without winding up with egg cartons. What will you do with the empty cartons? Well, you could make a string of flower lights, lamps, or a pendant light. If you refrained from drinking too much egg nog over the holidays, you might be lightweight enough to make use of a egg carton seat. This company makes footstools out of egg cartons. [more inside]
posted by orange swan on Feb 23, 2009 - 15 comments

Sock it to me, eco-crafters!

What can be done with worn, outgrown or single socks? Well, if you want to wear those favourite socks awhile longer, you can darn them. If your baby’s feet are no longer so tiny, make a baby sock purse or sachet, baby sock reindeer, or baby sock corsage or bouquet decorations for a friend’s baby shower. You can make a hat out of your child’s outgrown socks, or your kids can make Barbie clothes. You can use single socks to make a foot massager, potholders, slippers, a dog rug, a snowman, sock puppets or cute critters. Or sock art installations. See these articles for more pedestrian ways to use socks.
posted by orange swan on Jan 15, 2009 - 18 comments

Redefining the term "makeup artist"

You’re a former diva who’s decided to eschew cosmetics and let your natural beauty speak for itself, or you just find yourself with drawers full of makeup that you’ll never use. What will you do with all these products? Well, you can consolidate your lipsticks, check out these five ways to use or recycle old makeup, or see the reader comments in these threads for more tips. You could make a snake out of your old fake nails, or take a look at this list of 20 things to do with old nail polish. When your mascara gets too old to be safely used on your eyes, you could sketch a tree with it, or Bette Davis. Here are some tips on how to use makeup as an art medium. And if you decide to paint with your old makeup, please start with the blue eyeshadow and mascara. Merci.
posted by orange swan on Jan 11, 2009 - 13 comments

Don't hit the books; craft with them

So, you have some old books lying around you don’t read and that you're pretty sure no one else will ever read because they have pages missing or they’re hopelessly outdated technical manuals or they never should have been published in the first place. What to do? As always, crafting is an option. You can make a wrist cuff, or a purse. Book covers can be made into clocks, or photo frames, or photo and card stands. They can become CD and DVD cases, or a hiding place for valuables or necessary contraband, Shawshank Redemption-style. [more inside]
posted by orange swan on Jan 4, 2009 - 20 comments

High Craftibility: crafting with old vinyl records, cassette and VHS tapes

Audio visual technology changes so fast that if you’re of a certain age you’ve been left holding the bag of cassettes, VHS tapes and vinyl records. What will you do with these AV artifacts if you no longer want to play them? Have no fear; you can have lots of crafty fun with your real audio. You can make a cassette tape mini journal, a cassette wallet or cassette coin purse, or a mini cassette lamp. If you’re into melting stuff, you can make a sculpture, such as this skeleton, from the plastic. The tape can be crocheted or knitted into items like totes, evening bags, Barbie halter dresses, or baby booties. [more inside]
posted by orange swan on Dec 21, 2008 - 11 comments

Art Behind Bars

If people who have a lot of time on their hands and inner demons to exorcise turn to art as an outlet, the results can be startling, even if they have had no prior art instruction and have to make a paint brush out of their own hair and use coffee as paint, or weave things out of hoarded chip or Ramen bags. Drawing elaborately on handkerchiefs became so common in the mid 20th century it's become known as panos. Welcome to the world of prison art. [more inside]
posted by orange swan on Nov 26, 2008 - 12 comments

Your motorcycle gang days may be over, but thanks to crafting your leather jacket can rock on.

Got some old leather articles lying around that have become dated, worn, or too small? Well, happy days are here again for your old leather goods, because here are some ideas on how to make old leather items into new items you can use. [more inside]
posted by orange swan on Nov 16, 2008 - 4 comments

Yes we can can craft.

As much as you may enjoy using your discarded tin cans to have top secret conversations make yourself taller, you'd like to know if there's anything creative to do with tin cans. Here are some ideas to get you started. [more inside]
posted by orange swan on Nov 9, 2008 - 31 comments

Sweater Reincarnation: giving old, ruined sweaters new life forms

You've been getting your sweaters out for the cold season, and finding that moths have been picknicking on them all summer. Or your significant other did the laundry and threw your favourite handwash-only sweaters into a hot water wash and/or the dryer. Or your children have outgrown the sweaters Grandma made them. However your sweaters became unwearable, it's time to make like a surgeon and do some cosmetic reconstruction. (If the old sweaters are at least 50% wool, you may be able to felt the material first.) You can make extra long gloves from sweater sleeves, mittens, a scarf, or slippers, legwarmers, a tote bag, a few handbags, or a coin purse. If the kids don't want to let go of their favourite sweaters, they can be pacified with building blocks, a bunny, snail, or seahorse, or diaper-coverup pants. If the cat feels left out, make it a pet bed. Or you can make things the whole family can enjoy: throw pillows, a quilt, or felted bowls. Since Christmas is approaching, Christmas stockings or a wreath might come in handy. If you want to get into needle felting and start sculpting with the felted fabric, you could make virtually anything, including, oh, say, a robin in a nest, Anne of Green Gables, a zebra, or art for the wall. And best of all, by the time you're done you no longer want to throttle your laundry-challenged significant other! As much.
posted by orange swan on Oct 19, 2008 - 11 comments

Na Na, Hey Hey, Don't Kiss Those Nylons Goodbye Just Yet

As most women know, nylon stockings don't last. They run, they snag, they rip, and they can't be mended. And they take 40 to 50 years to decompose in a landfill. I was sure as I began researching this post that there must be some great pantyhose crafting and art ideas out there. But the results were, um, mixed. If you are into weaving, you can make some wall hangings or rugs from nylons. If you're a Klondike Kate type who sews, you can make a skirt. If you work in a corporate environment but want to keep your edge, you can abide by your company's dress code AND sport temporary tattoos. If you're a crafty bride-to-be, you can make flowers or dragonflies for wedding decorations. If you're into the less practical kind of art, you can create semi-wearable pantyhose art, or construct pantyhose art installations like artist Mary Nicollet. You can even make pantyhose dolls, and stick them in a jar if you want to. Just be prepared for the fact that most people will never understand why you'd want to. But beware, because pantyhose arts and crafts are either underexplored or instrinsically strange, and can go from “interesting” or “kind of cute” to “bizarre” and “kind of disturbing” faster than a run can make its way from your thigh to your toes. [more inside]
posted by orange swan on Oct 1, 2008 - 38 comments

Art you can really get hung up on

So, as a fashionista or due to your upbringing, you don't want to use wire coat hangers. Yet they keep accumulating in your closet. And perhaps you don't have a thrift shop or dry cleaner in your vicinity that will accept them. You can only use so many weenie roasters and dowsing rods, and your old talent for unlocking car doors is useless on modern locks. What to do? Well, some people improve/camouflage their hangers by covering them with braided strips of plastic bags, fabric, or yarn. But there are other, non-clothes hanging, uses for wire hangers. At the simplest end of the spectrum, you could make a toilet paper holder, or wool sock blockers. You could use the wire as a frame for decorative wreaths (or a wreath for your stitch and bitch party), or little Christmas trees or a Christmas card display rack. You could make a light fixture, or a chandelier. If you have a surplus of plastic hangers, they can become a light fixture too. Or you could make a chair. If you're feeling especially artistic, or just want something to fill in a blank space on the wall, you might follow the lead of artist Lawrence L'Hote, or of artist Philippa King, and make, say, a portrait of Queen Elizabeth, or a sculpture based on a Picasso sketch. And if you're really enthusiastic about the possibilities of wire hangers, try your hand at making a gorilla, a spaceman, or a hooker like artist David Mach. Just please be particularly careful not to put an eye out, since that's not an improvement on mashed clothing.
posted by orange swan on Sep 24, 2008 - 34 comments

Moasics: they aren't just for Roman bath houses anymore!

Uh oh, you smashed a dish while you were washing up. But you don't get upset, because you know what to do with the pieces. Being both cultured and crafty, you not only know about the long and illustrious history of mosaic art but also that you can make mosaics from china and ceramic shards as well as pebbles, beads (new or removed from old jewelery), shells, marbles, or even lego or Scrabble tiles. So you take those pieces of your broken plate (and others that klutzy you has broken in the past) and, following some basic instructions, make numbers for your house, a fireplace surround, a birdbath, a flowerpot, a table or two or four, a tray, picture or mirror frames, a wall mural/homage to Hitchcock, or even a floor. By now you're wishing you had a spare basilica or Roman villa so you could really go nuts. And, besides planning on picking up some thrift shop china, you're eyeing that 48-piece reindeer-and-elves Christmas dinnerware set your mother-in-law gave you a few years back and thinking it's really too bad you're so clumsy and likely to break it in the very near future.
posted by orange swan on Sep 16, 2008 - 20 comments

Do you fear your bags will stage a Day of the Triffids-style attack? Show'em whose boss.

Bag Ladies and Gentlemen.... Yes, you conscientiously refuse plastic shopping bags and use enviro bags as often as you can, but still the plastic bags manage to breed like roaches. How many plastic bags do you have stuffed in (naturally!) a large plastic bag somewhere in your home? And do you despair of ever using them up? Fear not! If you have more bags than home furnishings and décor items, you could make a chair, a few throw rugs, cushions, a chandelier, or a Christmas wreath. If you’d like a stylish yet waterproof wardrobe, you could make a cape, a raincoat, or a bra. It would be less utilitarian but equally cool to make your own menagerie: chickens, a zebra, more chickens, sea creatures, and still more chickens. [more inside]
posted by orange swan on Jun 11, 2007 - 35 comments

Has your single-handed can-crushing feat of muscular strength ceased to impress even you? Try this instead.

What to do once your beer is all gone All right, so you’ve finished your beverage. You’ve discreetly released the gas from your digestive tract via your mouth. And now you want to dispose of the empty can. You consider your options. Public-spirited as you are, you are too savvy to believe that you can redeem the pull tab for a wheelchair or a dialysis machine, or that an aluminum beanie will protect your brain from alien forces, and you are far too civilized to smash the can against your forehead. As a responsible, ecologically minded person you could recycle, but you’re also creative, and recycling would leave that artistic urge unsatisfied. So, perhaps you whip up a morning glory wreath for the front door. Or an airplane. Or a honeybee. Or the Starship Enterprise, a shark, a knight in shining aluminum armour, a piano, a hot rod, a Christmas tree, roses for your beloved, or Easter lilies for your mother. Or whatever else strikes your fancy. Then you have twin epiphanies: that you’ve entered the wonderful world of aluminum crafting, and that after emptying all those cans you urgently need to pee.
posted by orange swan on Nov 6, 2006 - 22 comments

Does this FPP make you want to be a hooker?

Ultimate Recycling Rug hooking must be one of the simplest and cost-effective of crafts (basically, cut old clothes into strips, use burlap, insert hook, pull up loop of fabric), and so it’s all the more amazing that it can be used to achieve such cool, painterly and stunning results. If you click on just one link in this FPP, make it this one, made by a Japanese woman out of her grandmother’s old silk kimonos. I’ve selected just one excellent, comprehensive rug hooking web site, but there’s a lot of resources and information available on the web for this craft if you’re interested.
posted by orange swan on Jan 17, 2005 - 12 comments

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