In the nick of time…

Nick

They arrived, just in time to accompany the pants™ and myself into town tomorrow. The Tyrranophobia is dark, a swirl of tobacco and opium, with a slash of jarring black cherry, or something like. I forget what’s actually in it. The Cryophobia I’m in love with, it’s like wearing clarity wrapped in Juniper. Of the samples, Debauchery won my little black heart. Spice, a hint of orange and clove, all rather debilitated and languishing. *Happy*

More Clay, Less Plastic.

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MORE CLAY LESS PLASTIC was born in 2014 as an open group on Facebook with the intent of creating a network between ceramicists and the public.
THE MESSAGE The message we want to put through is very simple: more clay less plastic.
PLASTIC POLLUTION Plastic pollution has reached dramatic levels. Reducing the use of plastic is a fundamental and urgent step to save the environment and improve the life quality of every living creature.
INVOLUTION AS A FORM OF EVOLUTION The aim is to highlight respect for the environment by inviting people to rethink their daily habits, for example by avoiding disposable plastic. Colanders, cups, plates, bowls … once made of clay and then substituted with plastic, can be made of clay again.
PEOPLE Today MORE CLAY LESS PLASTIC is coming out of the web to meet people, promoting the reduction of plastic usage at cultural events, workshops and exhibitions.
ARTISANS MORE CLAY LESS PLASTIC believes in craft as a means of going back to a more human dimension, in artcrafts which are not just “things” since they carry stories and ancient knowledge within. By replacing a plastic utensil with a ceramic one we can all be part of a big revolution.

I’m all in favour. When I was young, plastic wasn’t ubiquitous yet. It was getting there, but you still saw much more glass, ceramic, and wood than you did plastic. Go on over and have a visit.

Underwater Sculpture Garden.

The Raft of Lampedusa.

The Raft of Lampedusa.

Many of you may be familiar with Jason deCaires Taylor, sculptor and environmental activist. His work is renowned and highly known. A new sculpture garden has been created in Atlantic Ocean, Las Coloradas, Lanzarote.

Working in partnership with The Cabildo of Lanzarote, Jason deCaires Taylor constructed the first underwater contemporary art museum in the Atlantic Ocean and Europe on the 28th of Feb 2016. Situated in clear blue waters off the south east coast of Lanzarote, Spain, the unique, permanent installation is constructed at around 14m deep and features 10 different installations with over 300 figurative works.

It most celebrated works include: The Raft of Lampedusa, The Rubicon and The Vortex.

The project draws on the dialogue between art and nature. It is designed on a conservational level to create a large scale artificial reef to aggregate local fish species and increase marine biomass whilst, on the other hand, questions the commodification and delineation of the worlds natural resources and raises awareness to current threats facing the worlds oceans. The central concept is depicted by means of a monumental gateway and wall, which include a series of installations based on the dialogue between past and present and the divisions within society with both political and social comment. The works incorporate for the first time large architectural components and an underwater botanical sculpture garden referencing local flora of Lanzarote, which has unique status as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

The Museum is constructed using environmentally friendly, pH neutral inert materials and the formations are tailored to suit endemic marine life. The museum was completed in December 2016, and is the first time large scale architectural elements have been deployed underwater occupying a barren area of sand-covered sea bed (approximately 50m x 50m), The artist invited local residents and visiting tourists to participate in the project by modeling for a life casts. A process where the body is covered in skin safe sculpting materials and a cast of the body and face is made to produce a figurative sculpture to be included in the museum.

The project has created a habitat area for marine life whilst defining Lanzarote as a modern, dynamic and cultural island celebrating its unique natural resources. The project is the first underwater museum in Europe and the Atlantic Ocean and over time will become the first destination of artificial reef diving among the European diving market, leading to increases in revenue for the local economy and help support the diving, snorkelling and sailing industries. It will also attract cultural tourism with higher purchasing power that will reaffirm Lanzarote´s cultural and artistic affluence based on the legacy of Spanish artist Cesar Manrique. The permanent installation is designed to last for hundreds of years but will be an ever-changing exhibition as marine life changes and transforms the surfaces of the sculptures.

For those who are unfamiliar with Mr. Taylor’s work, you can read up at The Creators Project.

Tyrannophobia.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs.

If you’re a fan of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, or just an adventurous and generous person, here’s a scent to dissent and help with, Tyrranophobia.

Fear of Tyrants

This has jack all to do with Yule or winter, but it sure does apply to current events. Proceeds from Tyrannophobia benefit the ACLU, thereby helping stem the imminent assault on civil rights. Birch tar, tea leaf, and black raspberry strangled in an iron fist.

Tyrranophobia at BPAL. Yes, I ordered the Tyrranophobia, and the Cryophobia.

Senbazuru: 1,000 Cranes.

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All photos © Johnny Tang.

In Japan there is a tradition known as “Senbazuru” (literally 1000 cranes). According to legend, if one folds 1000 paper cranes they will be granted a single wish by the gods. The cranes are usually strung together and hung outside the outer walls of a temple. As they are exposed to the elements and slowly decay, it is believed that the sacrificed cranes will carry the folder’s wish up to heaven for the gods to receive.

I am an impatient American, so I decided to burn mine.

I folded the cranes over the course of a year, personally creasing each beak and wing myself while steadfastly refusing the help of others. I did this because I wanted to know what it felt like to bring each crane into this world, and then banish it into the next. When I first started this project I was hoping to create a huge fireball in the snow. “This will be so cool” I thought, “there’s no way I could screw this up.” But when the moment of destruction finally came, the little bastards refused to even light – instead they just simmered quietly, laughing at me.

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These fabulous photos are by no means all of the ones in this project. There are many more, and you can click on each one and read all the details of that particular shot, at Johnny Tang Photo. This is stunning work, on more than one level, and it certainly deserves very wide exposure. I’m no stranger to long term projects, but I don’t think I could ever fold 1,000 cranes.

ModaMorfosis.

A Chilean artist is creating outlandish, eye-catching garments specifically to ensure that they won’t be ignored. Ingrato is the alter ego of Sebastián Plaza Kutzbach, a creative producer at The University of Chile, who uses traditional textile processes to make garments that are designed to attract attention. Kutzbach tells The Creators Project why he invented the alter ego and what he’s trying to do with it: “The project was born because of the need to show the artisan’s work that exists in my country and its devalued state because of the textile industry. Everything that I display as ‘Ingrato’ is handmade.”

Chile has a rich history of textile art. The Mapuche, for example, are an indigenous Chilean culture that are known for traditional garments, which were once so highly valued that one of their ponchos could be traded for multiple horses. Kutzbach is concerned that Chilean garments now have to compete with a globalized textile industry that’s decreasing their worth in comparison to cheaper, factory-made garments. Kutzbach’s intention is to highlight the artistry behind Chilean textiles, especially their handmade qualities, and to illustrate their creative possibilities. “The concept seeks to intervene the human body in different ways,” says Kutzbach. And considering that Ingrato translates to “ungrateful,” it seems that one intervention that Kutzback is determined to achieve is an increase in appreciation for the skilled labor involved with textile production.

Photo: Mairo Arde.

Photo: Mairo Arde.

The full story is at The Creators Project.

A Most Colourful Labour of Love.

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In Afghanistan, several men are at work in a smoke-blackened room. They sit between buckets of thick grey paint, working on benches made of dark grey stone. Lonely beams of white light shine through skylights in the vaulted ceiling onto stacks of clay tiles coated with a fine layer of grey dust. Monochromatic as the scene may seem, these men have one of the most colourful jobs in the world: making tiles for Herat’s Jama Masjid (Great Mosque).

This is an amazing story, and an astonishing labour of love and art, and the saving of living history. You can read and see much more at BBC.

Wild Gears.

Who doesn’t love Spirograph? Ars Technica has an article about Wild Gears – spirograph to next level.

Spirographs were invented in the late nineteenth century by mathematician and electrical engineer Bruno Abakanowicz, but didn’t become a popular toy until the 1960s. They allow you to create a wide range of kaleidoscopic designs by putting your pen into one of many holes in a set of interlocking gears, then using your pen to push the gears around an outer ring. I hadn’t used one since elementary school, but Bleackley’s passion reminded me of how satisfying it was to watch those amazing designs appear under my pencil.

The best part is that Bleackley wasn’t kidding with his humble boast. He’s the creator of Wild Gears, a company that makes several spirograph sets that are guaranteed to please your mathy, artsy, weirdness-loving mind. He prototypes his acrylic gears using a laser cutter at the Vancouver Hack Space, and fans can order his kits through the Ponoko store.

Via Ars Technica.

And a bonus – if you feel the need to spirograph right now, you can, online with Inspirograph!

Gifties!

We’re being happy and excitable this year. First up, this exquisite piece of swarf, used by Rick as a wrapping decoration, and it wins best wrapping deco ever.

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Isn’t that gorgeous? Then, more art supplies, and beautiful, intoxicating paper for me, from Rick. A new easel, too, in its own case! There are never enough art supplies. Can’t wait to start using these. :D

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Then, for Rick, more sharp and shiny. He’s been wanting a second machete, and this one is considerably heavier than the first one, and can be used one or two-handed. Specs after the photos:

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Specifications: Condor Discord Machete:

Overall Length: 27 inches.

Blade Length: 18 inches.

Blade Thickness: 3mm.

Blade Material: 1075.

Handle Material: Micarta®.

Sheath: Hand Crafted Wetted Leather.

Weight: 2.6 pounds.

Country of Origin: El Salvador.

And Now, Gingerbread!

Courtesy IPCC Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission includes a mini Pueblo building structure in a decorated bowl. Note: The submission is entirely edible.

Courtesy IPCC
Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission includes a mini Pueblo building structure in a decorated bowl. Note: The submission is entirely edible.

The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center’s 8th Annual Gingerbread House Contest is its most successful to date, with more than 70 submissions by adults and children.

The contest was judged last week by prominent Pueblo artists and elders, as well as leaders from the Albuquerque community. Winners in both Adult and Children’s categories will be announced on December 14, with a combined $2,500 in prizes to be awarded.

Though the formal and initial voting process is complete, the public is welcome to visit the East Lobby of the IPCC, 2401 12th Street NW, Albuquerque and vote for their People’s Choice Award favorites through January 3. The People’s Choice Award is sponsored by Isleta Resort and Casino. Winners will be announced on January 5.

Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC).

Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC).

 

 Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC).

Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest submission (courtesy IPCC).

You can read about, and see more at ICTMN.