Like most that read this article, German artist Menja Stevenson has had her fair share of rides in city buses and trains, each of which has forced her (and you) to sit on top of garishly designed uniform seating. The fabric, as investigated by this article on the BBC, is not only made to outlast spills and stains, but also trends, as many of the painfully drab designs can last a decade or more.
Interested in this accident-resistant material, Stevenson began sourcing and creating outfits out of the fabric in 2006 for her project Bustour. The project forced her to persuade German transportation companies to personally ship her the fabric, as they are not commercially available. After finally obtaining the material she designed clothes that aesthetically camouflaged herself within each bus or train interior matching the fabric, capturing the reaction of fellow passengers.
“Wearing them, you sweat like crazy, they feel like a knight’s armor and it’s hard to act naturally,” said Stevenson. “I couldn’t believe that many people didn’t realize the connection seeing me and the seats together. Did they think that it was sheer coincidence? Some curious people at least talked to me, and a very few laughed, but most passengers would look shyly at me and quickly look the other way again.”
You can see archived documentation of these reactions (or lack there of) on Stevenson’s website. If you’re searching for a slightly more practical use for old transportation fabric take a look at the bags and accessories made from airplane seat fabric by Fallen Furniture (previously). (via This Isn’t Happiness)
“Bustour M (Münster public bus)” (2015)
“Public Pattern / Bustouren” (2006)
“Bustour S (Stuttgart Metro)” (2008)
“Bustour B (Bielefeld public bus)” (2015)
“Bustour RW (Rottweil public bus)” (2010)
Tasarım Takarım (I Wear Design) is a Turkish jewelry company that converts children’s illustrations into finely crafted silver and gold jewelry. The project was first started two years ago by artists Yasemin Erdin Tavukçu and Özgür Karavit, who saw the opportunity to turn a simple doodle into timeless decorative object, not unlike bronzing a child’s baby shoes or capturing their handprints in clay. Each piece is one-of-a-kind and often requires special tools or means of production to faithfully replicate the intricacies of a child’s scribbles. You can follow their work on Instagram and Etsy. (via HuffPo)
Using public street fixtures as printing elements, the artist collective behind Berlin-based Raubdruckerin (pirate printer) produces shirts and bags imprinted with manhole covers, vents, and utility grates. The overlooked geometric patterns and typographic forms of urban signage make surprisingly nifty graphics for shirts. The collective applies ink directly to the streets and prints on-site in locations like Amsterdam, Lisbon, and Paris and then sell their creations through an online shop. It would be amazing to see something like this come out of Japan. (via Quipsologies)
Japanese artist Mariko Kusumoto uses translucent fabric to produce balloon-like objects, orbs that contain various forms trapped within their soft exterior. The creations inside range from smaller versions of the spherical sculptures to sea creatures and cars, playful forms that fit the bright colors Kusumoto chooses for her works. To set the polyester fabric into the shapes she desires she heats the pieces to the right temperature, allowing the material to memorize the shape she wishes to create. These works are then formed into sculptural or wearable objects, 3D jewelry that can be worn around the neck.
“My work reflects various, observable phenomena that stimulate my mind and senses; they can be natural or man-made,” said Kusumoto in her artist statement. ” I ‘reorganize’ them into a new presentation that can be described as surreal, amusing, graceful, or unexpected.”
The Massachusetts-based artist’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, The Kock Collection at the Swiss National Museum, Racine Art Museum, and Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens and is represented by Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge, MA. You can see more of her sculptural and wearable works on her Facebook.
Jewelry maker Jeremy May designs wearable pieces from the layered pages of vintage books, transforming their content into unique works that are nearly impossible to trace back to their paper origin. To make these multi-shaped works, May first laminates hundreds of sheets of paper together. He then creates the shape for the piece, and finishes it off with a high gloss coating. After production, May often inserts the works back into the books, bringing the transformed and colorful pages back to their material source.
Although many of the pieces lose the words and images on the book’s original pages, some preserve hints to the jewelry’s former life in snippets of text or photographs that make it onto the final piece. Each ring or bracelet he produces is formed through a book that May finds inspiring, allowing the jewelry’s content to match its pleasing aesthetic.
The London-based artist is a part of the group exhibition “Read and Worn: Jewelry From Books” at RR Gallery in New York City through April 24. (via My Modern Met)
If you like getting lost in a good book, here’s your chance to literally cover up in one. Thailand-based FreshComfy prints the covers and pages of classic books on lightweight chiffon scarves. Books include retro covers for The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, or even illustrated maps from Lord of the Rings. See more in their shop! (via Lost At E-Minor)