a morbid fascination with their strange appearance
December 2, 2019 7:05 AM   Subscribe

“Vomit Art” or resin inclusion pieces are frequently found in thrift stores. Once a popular mid-century home décor item, the pieces went out of fashion and were left to collect dust on secondhand store shelves. Until now.
posted by sciatrix (51 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Some things just shouldn't make a comeback. I feel like that applies both to foods set in gelatin and to anything that looks like food set in gelatin.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:16 AM on December 2, 2019 [31 favorites]


Yeah, these are still just as dreadful now as they were then.

I do a fair bit of thrifting, and I can't say I have "frequently" seen these in thrift stores.
posted by fimbulvetr at 7:20 AM on December 2, 2019 [15 favorites]


No.
posted by Fizz at 7:21 AM on December 2, 2019 [7 favorites]


Also, thank you for sharing this. It's exactly the type of MetaFilter I seek out.
posted by Fizz at 7:21 AM on December 2, 2019 [12 favorites]


🤮🤮🤮 🕰👍

(Thanks, I hate it!)

posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:23 AM on December 2, 2019 [13 favorites]


These stopped being popular before I was born, but I can remember seeing them in people's houses when I was a kid; they had a long half-life.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:28 AM on December 2, 2019 [2 favorites]


I remember a brief period where stores sold these decorative items made up of different colored rosebuds of hardened plastic (imagine a machine that extrudes dollops of melted plastic the way a cake-decorator puts flowers on a cake top) - laid out flat to make a pizza-pan sized (say) Cookie Monster. My dad said they were "crap" and for a long time I thought crap was the term for that particular kind of textured plastic.
posted by stevil at 7:29 AM on December 2, 2019 [16 favorites]


I thought this was going to be a different kind of thing, where the items in the resin are still visible and recognisable as themselves. Still kitschy, but not... whatever this is.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:36 AM on December 2, 2019 [5 favorites]


Yeah, to be clear, since my first post was a little bitchy, I like this post! I'm glad (glad might not be quite the right word) I got a chance to learn about these ... things.

The post was great -- I love seeing this sort of thing on MetaFilter. I just don't want to see it in my home.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:41 AM on December 2, 2019 [6 favorites]


I feel like this could be good, but its just...not. Like, I like terazzo which is similar color-rocks-set-in-things, but all of these are wonky-shaped, muddy-colored, and ill defined
posted by FirstMateKate at 7:45 AM on December 2, 2019 [1 favorite]


It really depends on what you are putting in the resin. The inclusion part of the dolphin looks fine, it's just the sculpt isn't good.
posted by tavella at 7:46 AM on December 2, 2019 [4 favorites]


oh my, that squirrel is everything. If I had it I would put it on my nightstand and confront it unblinkingly every morning.
posted by acanthous at 7:46 AM on December 2, 2019 [11 favorites]


I feel like that applies both to foods set in gelatin and to anything that looks like food set in gelatin.

what if aspic, but forever
posted by logicpunk at 7:46 AM on December 2, 2019 [34 favorites]


I absolutely, unironically want that jambalaya trivet. It looks like something I could have inherited.

Lucite is mesmerizing. My dad had a tarantula in lucite and a frog skeleton. What I don't like is when the lucite is cloudy or tinted, which does make it look like vomit at worst or a Jello mold at best. But the plastic is liable to turn yellow in the sun after a while, so it gets depressing.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:59 AM on December 2, 2019 [6 favorites]


think many of these items would be improved with a good polish. However, most of them seem like they'd be a nightmare to polish.
posted by GoblinHoney at 8:07 AM on December 2, 2019 [1 favorite]


I follow a "Weird Secondhand Finds That Just Need to Be Shared" page on Facebook, and the vomit-in-resin pieces that frequently appear in their newsfeed are by far my least favourite thing about it. I always have to hide those posts.
posted by orange swan at 8:14 AM on December 2, 2019 [6 favorites]


This is the future of all the bright blue resin “river” tables on paper clip legs that are the resin travesties of the present.
posted by ursus_comiter at 8:17 AM on December 2, 2019 [17 favorites]


My feelings about these are like a premonition of what will happen with things like the resin and wood tables that are everywhere on Youtube and other social media right now. They may align with current trends and tastes in 2019, but it's hard to think they'll still look so cool in 2032.

New materials and design processes become more accessible, so how could it not become the hot new thing! But then the shine wears off and suddenly you're left with this expensive artisanal driftwood dining table and that epoxy resin is unevenly discolored because of all the beautiful natural light in your dining room, and it's just SO pre-2020, and you just keep it under a tablecloth anyway because someone set down a hot pan that kind of melted the resin, and you can't just refinish like you could it were wood, and why did you choose that black and navy glitter swirl anway...

But it got so many likes on Instagram when you first bought it!
posted by wakannai at 8:28 AM on December 2, 2019 [4 favorites]


When I was little, whenever somebody had a glittery one of these, like that dolphin, I wanted to take a bite of it so badly.
posted by mittens at 8:34 AM on December 2, 2019 [7 favorites]


I have to admit, I have been making some serious moon eyes at some wood/resin cheese boards at the local monthly craft market, but now I'm less enthralled if clouding and yuckiness are inevitable results when working with resin. I had hoped/assumed that modern resins were stable enough not to do this.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:36 AM on December 2, 2019 [1 favorite]


If they were polished up, and/or the resin hadn't clouded, most of these would not look bad.

The article at the link seems to be trying REALLY hard to hype the value of these things when the best evidence they can find that prices are going up and it's a seller's market are a couple Ebay auctions where the prices are less than shipping.
posted by ardgedee at 8:41 AM on December 2, 2019 [2 favorites]


if they made a cuckoo clock this way, would each cuckoo call be a retching sound

wanna buy a present for a friend someone
posted by lalochezia at 8:59 AM on December 2, 2019 [5 favorites]


I am genuinely surprised I have never seen these things before. Having grown up in the 70s, this looks like the exact kind of stuff that would've festooned many a grandparents' homes.
posted by slogger at 9:03 AM on December 2, 2019 [4 favorites]


if they made a cuckoo clock this way

It would be a puke-oo clock.

Thank you.

My mum made things like this in the early 1970s: mostly paperweights and fundraisers for the local church that was building a new church tacked on to the side of a 15th century castle. The paperweights had chunks of the castle rock in them. Yes, in the 1970s it was totally okay to smash up a Grade A listed building if you were a church.
posted by scruss at 9:07 AM on December 2, 2019 [13 favorites]


Vomit Art

I mean, I'm no branding expert, but...
posted by The Tensor at 9:08 AM on December 2, 2019 [2 favorites]


I've barfed up better art than this.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:15 AM on December 2, 2019


Me before clicking on the link: Do we *have* to call it "vomit", I'm sure that's an unnecessarily disgusting overstatement..

Me after clicking the link: Oh I see, carry on then
posted by bleep at 9:31 AM on December 2, 2019 [25 favorites]


I remember a brief period where stores sold these decorative items made up of different colored rosebuds of hardened plastic

I knew immediately what you were talking about as soon as I read your description, but I couldn't for the life of me find the right keywords to find pictures of these strange objects. My grandmother had several of these things, mostly holiday decoration themed. Finally I found some on Etsy - the key word seems to be "popcorn".
posted by adecusatis at 9:58 AM on December 2, 2019 [3 favorites]


Then there's people like Peter Brown (Shop Time on Youtube) making resin inclusion pieces like cake stands out of candy sprinkles, Adam Savage's latest book into a hammer (with asavage's reaction), a cereal bowl made from cereal, and my favourite, a "bowl of pure evil": a bowl made of metal turnings. The vids are all 10-15 minutes or so.
posted by bonehead at 10:50 AM on December 2, 2019 [4 favorites]


I’ve occasionally seen new glitter-infused resin brooches on Etsy, but nothing like the rest of this style.
posted by pxe2000 at 10:58 AM on December 2, 2019


No way! I just found out about this term/these objects two days ago, and I have a photo from a thrift store! I assume those are small rocks or shells inside, but part of me feels like they are HUMAN TEETH and gets a tiny bit queasy for some weird reason.

I actually really like things embedded in resin (I have a tiny skull with dried flowers in it, but it isn't cloudy and it is small and cute) but this clock, I do not.
posted by 41swans at 11:22 AM on December 2, 2019 [5 favorites]


Needs trigger warning (and I've got a pretty strong stomach but not this)
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 11:42 AM on December 2, 2019 [1 favorite]


There's a ton of glitter/flake/crystal/etc-in-resin being used to make polyhedral dice for gamers who like it shiny.
posted by The Tensor at 11:57 AM on December 2, 2019 [1 favorite]


Funny, I never heard them called Vomit Art before (there is a kind of performance art that is known by this term which is about what you'd expect) but yes that's what they sure look like. Personally, I like them but don't own any. They, at least in my thrift store adventures, don't turn up very often anymore but increasingly I find you're seeing less of certain types of vintage kitschy art nowadays (as an example I used to see so many Paint By Numbers but now I mostly just find bad Bob Ross style paintings). I'm not sure if that is because they are migrating to online, to fancy condos of the rich or simply to the dump.
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:31 PM on December 2, 2019 [1 favorite]


this looks like the exact kind of stuff that would've festooned many a grandparents' homes

yup, my grandmother had a spoon rest on her kitchen counter made of this dreadful stuff, embedded with pasta and lentils and the like. so ugly
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:32 PM on December 2, 2019


I've been a member of the FB group for a while now (if you like weird, off-the-wall stuff and snarky commentary, it's worth joining.) These items would spark arguments on the group as to what truly constitutes "vomit" art. It's not just any old thing in resin, it should actually look like barf. So the insects... not vomit. The glitter-infused dolphin... not vomit. The red clock at the top? Classic vomit, which many would describe as looking like teeth suspended in red jello.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 12:44 PM on December 2, 2019 [4 favorites]


I remember a brief period where stores sold these decorative items made up of different colored rosebuds of hardened plastic
I knew immediately what you were talking about as soon as I read your description


This is bizarre. I was plenty familiar with these items during the 1970s (my family did not own them but I suspect I saw them as holiday decorations in school), but I hadn't thought about them in years. Last week a friend posted a Christmas-in-the-70s kitsch revue on Facebook, and there they were. "Oh yeah, THOSE things!" And now here you two are. I think I'm being followed.
posted by dlugoczaj at 12:51 PM on December 2, 2019 [3 favorites]


I unabashedly love resin inclusion art and always have. It falls under the umbrella of tacky that my mother forbade in the 70s and thus cursed me to love forever. I am actually planning on making a small resin wall full of rocks for my bathroom right now. The stuff is expensive though, especially if you want to make an actual wall. I wanted for a while to make life sized human casts filled with people's favorite things - it's a memorial sculpture! Imagine the joy of the cemetery filled with glittery resin people stuffed with their favorite objects! - but alas the cost and logistics defeated me. The biggest resin piece I've ever made was a paperweight full of cigarette butts and PBR bottle lids; it was so beautifully horrible. I gave it to my best friend and she promptly "lost" it.
posted by mygothlaundry at 1:15 PM on December 2, 2019 [9 favorites]


Wait, I used to love resin art until I saw the clock 41swans just linked. Those are teeth. They have to be teeth. I applaud the concept of teeth in a clock, I mean, vanitas, mortality, life is short, morde diem, etc, but in practical fact I never want to see that clock again and I wish I never had. Eeeurgh!
posted by mygothlaundry at 1:22 PM on December 2, 2019 [5 favorites]


God I wish they'd have let me keep my wisdom teeth for this.
posted by blnkfrnk at 2:27 PM on December 2, 2019 [1 favorite]


I thought, at first, they were kernels of corn but, no.

They’re teeth.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 2:52 PM on December 2, 2019 [1 favorite]


My grandmother ha a green one on her mantle. Though the term "vomit art" is new to me, it is dead-on. These things are terrible and as for the comeback, well let's hope that doesn't pan out.
posted by hilberseimer at 5:45 PM on December 2, 2019


Well, I wondered what I was supposed to do with all of Kiddo’s baby teeth...
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:22 PM on December 2, 2019 [3 favorites]


Crafting with Hannibal
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:22 PM on December 2, 2019 [1 favorite]


Orgone accumulators
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:11 PM on December 2, 2019 [2 favorites]


The people who made and bought these back in the day are the same type of people who actually try the "hack" video "BIGGER THAN BEFORE" egg 'crafts'.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 12:38 AM on December 3, 2019


I want a vomit art VCR. And then I'd watch nothing but Cronenberg movies on it.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 11:35 AM on December 3, 2019 [2 favorites]




Now I want to enresinate a tomato just to see what happens.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:14 PM on December 3, 2019


You know what? I like it.
posted by Literaryhero at 6:39 PM on December 3, 2019




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