Shoemaking (the job of a cordwainer) is a very particular blend of artistry and science. Here are some masters at work: Emiko Matsuda at Foster & Son; artisans at Saint Crispin's; and at Paul Parkman. [more inside]
Process of Yuzen - the creation of a kimono.
Do you have good eyesight and a steady hand? How about a grown-up dot-to-dot picture to pass the time? Thomas Pavitte is the author of not only the 1000 Dot to Dot Portrait book but the 1000 Dot to Dot Cities Book (video), the 1000 Dot to Dot Animals Book (video), and various others including the Mona Lisa. (free download)
“We did our first show in a bar...all of a sudden, the whole room was quiet. And then we got everyone to sit on the floor cross-legged to watch our crankies.” [more inside]
TopoQuilts These customized quilts bring together the line work of topographical maps along with the tradition and elegance of widecloth cotton quilts. These heirloom quality quilts reference the topography of specific landscapes and places which often hold a specific memory or meaning to the person who has commissioned the work.
A nicely crafted video showing the construction of a treadle lathe, a foot-powered device for woodturning. The builder uses only hand tools and traditional methods; even the drill press is hand-cranked. Useful for those interested in constructing such a thing, mesmerizing for those who enjoy "how it's made"-type videos.
Cut feather shadowboxes: feather art by Chris Maynard.
Paul Stankard is a virtuoso with glass. Unlike most of his contemporaries in the studio glass movement, Stankard started as a tradesman, a scientific glassmaker, and his work is not blown, but instead is flameworked. He creates miniature botanicals—at first, exact representations of existing flowers, and now, credible but imaginary plants, complete with human roots. His work, and his day to day life, is influenced a great deal by Walt Whitman. Stankard says, "I'm not wise enough, not educated enough to experience Whitman at his absolute fullest; I have to work at it." And he works at it through glass.
Decompressed is a podcast in which comics writer and former Rock Paper Shotgun journalist Kieron Gillen (X-Men, Thor, Phonogram) talks to artists and writers about the process involved in writing a single issue of a comic. Decompressed 6 broke format and is instead a discussion with Mark Waid and Matt Fraction about scripting comics using the "Marvel Method", or "plot first" - in which the artist draws the comic from a story outline and dialogue is added later, rather than the writer supplying a panel by panel script. For a while out of favour even at Marvel, the method is seeing a resurgance. The podcast page contains visual aids, and embedded version of the podcast, the script of DEFENDERS #9 complete with B&W art and additional links, including links to Warren Ellis’ 3-part tutorial on writing comics (1, 2, 3). Jamie McKelvie and a vultue put in guest appearances. Further example comicbook scripts are available at the Comic Book Script Archive (previously).
Here comes Alan Measles - WW2 hero turned benign dictator turned Godhead. Guru, muse, art critic, raconteur. In his capacity as minor deity he resides in a hand-tooled Louis Vuitton traveling shrine, and embarks on a pilgrimage to Bavaria to make peace with the Germans, in his custom-built personal conveyance. In his entourage are his devoted minion and bodyguard, and some other bloke named Alan. In London this weekend? Pay your respects to Alan's stunt-doubles in the Kenilworth AM1, and purchase Measles memorabilia from the gift shop. [more inside]
Kokeshi Dolls originated in North-East Japan as wooden toys for children. They began being produced towards the end of the Edo period (1603~1868) by woodwork artisans, called Kiji-shi, who normally made bowls, trays and other tableware by using a lathe. They began to make small dolls in the winter to sell to visitors who came to bathe in the many hot springs near their villages, which was believed to be a cure for the demands of a strenuous agricultural lifestyle. [more inside]
When Palisades Toys went bankrupt in 2006, they ceased production of The Muppet Show collection of character figures, Lance Cardinal took it upon himself to craft an intricately detailed Muppet Theatre Playset by hand.
"Gerhard and I spoke to each other over the course of a few hours on Boxing Day, December 26th, 2010. On each end of our respective phone lines we both had an intimidating stack of books — the almost five thousand pages that Sim and Gerhard created together over the course of those 20 years. We flipped through the books chronologically, with the idea of discussing the evolution of Gerhard’s process and techniques, focusing on his development as an artist and a craftsman."
"I am someone who has never taken an art class in my life...I didn't think I had an artistic bone in my body and never thought of myself as creative." Neat book art made with folds and an exacto knife from Isaac Salazar, who, according to his Flickr bio, is an accountant in New Mexico. [Via boingboing and Core77] [more inside]
The art of glass sign making. (via) A delightful and strangely relaxing short documentary about the work of David Smith, a craftsman and artist making beautiful traditional glass signs.
Making Something New Everyday ; a blog where old-time MeFite Alison tries to make something new everyday. With over 100 projects posted so far, there's plenty for you to gawk at, such as a Robot Tea Cup and Saucer, a Color Perfect Pitch Tester, a Hidden Chamber Hamburger, Capacitor Bugs, Accidentally Gay Cardinals, a Fibonacci Petticoat, Marzipan Birds and Laptop and, erm... poop (possibly NSFW). Something for everyone, then! [via mefi projects]
Polyvore is a website that lets you mix and match online images to make fashion sets and collages. While it has received favour from Web 2.0 pundits, fashion bloggers, and major craft blogs, it has also drawn massive ire from artists that claim copyright infringement and use of personal photos. The anti-Polyvore pressure mainly comes from Etsy sellers, with some support from artists on DeviantArt, Red Buddle, and independent artists - all coming together on Flickr. We Heart It and Ffffound! are also seen as suspect. While Polyvore tries to assuage copyright fears, amidst growing pressure to shut down, many of Polyvore's current users are counter-petitioning for the site to stay.
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]
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]
Continuing Curve, brings together an unprecedented collection of designers and objects of different eras to celebrate the joyful and liberating spirit of rococo. [more inside]
Got some time to kill? Well then, maybe you should start exploring the exciting world of papercraft! To get you started, here's a link to 100 free paper models and toys. Once you're done there, you might want to start checking out card modeling, build some skyscraper models, animals and motorcycles and when you get really good, faces of real people such as these. There's even some creative paper modeling websites out there for the kids and people who like Pokemon and Nintendo. And if all those links still aren't enough to satiate your new found lust for papercraft, check out this papercraft search engine for even more designs.
"We create sewn art and artifacts based on the drawings of our two children using only thrifted and recycled materials. We also make custom pieces with a child's drawing provided or requested by you." Via plsj tumblelog.
Ron Murphy cut records, but not just any records. Responsible for cutting the actual vinyl master plates of much of the now revered Detroit Techno including Jeff Mills, Carl Craig, Underground Resistance's seminal Knights of the Jaguar, and much more - he demonstrated impeccable craftsmanship and skill in both mastering records for sound and aesthetics at company known as Sound Enterprises source link AKA National Sound Corporation. Schooled in Motown, dubplates and jukeboxes, he is the bespoke-crafted, analog link between the digital future and analog past that is the roots of Techno music and modern techno DJ culture. [more inside]
Got some spare time? Then let's learn origami! Check out this large collection of origami designs (suitable for beginners too), and here's some instructional origami videos to help you along.
Barnaby Barford cuts up china figurines and rearranges them in amusing ways. Shary Boyle's art is similar, but darker.
Peggy a redo of the Lichtenstein modern classic using 2788 hand cut, sanded, and painted dowels mounted on a wall, forming a 3 x 7 foot work of art.
The art of sugar: flowers, lace, birds, sculpture, cubes, gardens, construction site, houses, paintings, underwear. In Britain. In Mexico sugar skulls are created to celebrate the Day of the Dead. Amezaiku is a Japanese candy craft and wagashi the art of Japanese confection.