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.


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!


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.


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



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:


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.

Tattoo Tech. Or Tech Tattoos.

Taking a break from the bad news factory that is the U.S., there’s some fun stuff from Make, as always. Tattoo fun, and even people who would never dream of getting a permanent tat can have fun with some of these, and I expect sprogs would be delighted to do something like this. I’ll be delighted to do something like this!

Skintillates aren’t limited just to embedded LEDs. In their video they show a few other compelling examples of using temporary tattoos for computer input devices and sensors.

On the purely visual side, Sparkfun shared this project called ElectriCute last year. It is a tutorial on how to put an Electroluminescent Panel on your skin and cover most of it up with makeup to appear as though you have a bright, glowing, tattoo.

Chaotic Moon put together this great presentation on how they would use the technology. One thing that stuck out in my mind was the very first example showing how you can easily paint on your own circuits with conductive ink. They do a pretty decent job of mixing the circuits with some aesthetic bits.

DuoSkin really stands out with their designs. They have a few that only use the conductive material, but it is shaped in striking and pleasing ways. Then they go on to show a few other really cool examples, such as using material that changes colors when hit with heat.

Then there’s this, which I’m quite interested in at the moment:

Happy watching and making!

Kirsti Rantanen.

Snow Cover in Spring, 1979. Photo: Rauno Träskelin.

Snow Cover in Spring, 1979. Photo: Rauno Träskelin.

Nearly 70 years after she began designing textiles and making art by turning yarn and natural fibers into fabric through cultural traditions like weaving, an important figure in Finland’s late 20th century art world is getting a comprehensive retrospective. Kirsti Rantanen’s work, which is currently on display at Design Museum in Helsinki, is notable for her role in legitimizing craft processes as visual art and producing large-scale sculptures through those processes. As exhibition curator Harry Kivilinna tells The Creators Project, it’s been over 20 years since much of the work in the exhibition has been seen. “Almost all her works have not been on display since the beginning of 1990s, and the archive material, drawings and sketches have never been shown in exhibitions.”


Kirsti Rantanen’s retrospective exhibition will be on display at Design Museum, Helsinki through March 7, 2017.

The Creators Project has the full story.

Cool Stuff Friday.

On this episode of Monster Lab, Ed Edmunds shows you how to sculpt a very cool-looking alien zombie head to be cast as a 3/4 Halloween mask. A 3/4 mask fits farther over your head than a half-mask, so no elastic string or tie is needed.

First off, Ed goes over the sculpting tools you’ll need, most of which are basic things you likely already have around the house or shop (brushes, bucket, knife, spray bottle) and a few carving tools that are easily acquired. For the sculpting medium, he recommends WED clay. You can get 50 lbs of it for around $25 (minus shipping). After he runs through the basic tools, he goes over some nice-to-have tools if you enjoy your intro to sculpting and decide you want to dive in deeper.

Below is the only exotic tool he highly recommends that you may not be able to get at your local craft store, a serrated double wire sculpting tool that has a triangular wire on one end and a circular wire on the other. The steel wire is serrated and this tool is used for cutting, shaping, and digging out clay material around places like the eye sockets.

One thing I like about this video is that Ed tried to keep all of the tools required as minimal as possible so that newbies could try their hand at it. On that note, for the armature, rather than using a professional head/bust form for modeling, he made a crude one out of 2x4s and a piece of plywood. He also recommends a Lazy Susan, but it’s not required.

Another thing I love about this video, and all well-done instructional videos, is that it makes the process look approachable, very doable. Even if you have no sculpting experience or don’t see yourself as particularly artistic (stop that!), if you create a set-up like he has, gather the basic tools, and carefully follow along, I can almost guarantee that you’ll surprise yourself and end up with something that’s pretty darn impressive.

This is only Part 1 in the series. In the next installment, Ed promises to show us how to cast the alien zombie sculpt into a wearable mask. Monster Lab is hosted by the prop and F/X company, Distortions Unlimited. You can peruse their website here.

Also at Make: 8 Seriously Scary Halloween Costumes / 5-Minute Glowing Ghost Eyes – A ghost with glowing eyes hovers in the window. Watching. Always watching. /

The Octopod Interview:


And, a whole slew of Rubber Band toys to make:


All via Make Magazine. I’m a Maker, don’t you want to be a Maker too?

Textile Anatomicals.




Absolutely amazing work, this. I had no idea that this could even be done.

Tricking the eye to view textile as bone, Lana Crooks (previously) works with bits of hand-dyed wool and silk to recreate the sun-drenched skeletons of snakes, birds, and humans, displaying them each in bell jars. She considers he works “faux specimens” as her delicate sculptures blend science, art, and fantasy. Often her inspirations come from books as well as real specimens, like the ones found in the back rooms of Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History.

Crooks curated the group exhibition All That Remains, where her work can also be seen, at the Stranger Factory in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She also has an upcoming two-person exhibition at the Chicago-based Rotofugi titled Night Fall, which opens December 9th, 2016. You can see more of her textile skeletons on her Facebook and Instagram.

Via Colossal Art.