felt

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Art Craft History

A Peculiar Character From a Hieronymus Bosch Painting Comes to Life on the New York City Subway

September 19, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Artist Rae Swon recently brought a fantastical creature from The Temptation of St. Anthony to life on the New York City subway. The triptych painting created by Hieronymus Bosch in the early 16th century includes a small, peculiar figure on the left-hand triptych (detail below). The character has bird-like facial features, and is wearing what appear to be ice skates and a funnel as a hat. After creating the modern-day costume using needle felting and other found materials, Swon took her character for a subway ride through Manhattan. Although this particular costume is sold out, you can see more of Swon’s fantastical felted creations like a Starling Coin Purse and an Opposum Purse on Instagram and Etsy. (via Hyperallergic)

Detail of Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Temptation of St. Anthony”

Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Temptation of St. Anthony”

 

 



Art Craft

Lucy Sparrow’s ’80s Style Supermarket Offers 31,000 Handmade Felt Items

August 8, 2018

Sasha Bogojev

All images by Michael Anthony Hernandez

After setting up shop in a London corner store and NYC-style bodega, Lucy Sparrow (previously) has grown her unusual art showing/selling technique into a full-blown ’80s-style supermarket. Taking up 2,800 square feet of the Standard Hotel in Downtown LA, the British artist’s fifth large-scale installation is quite literally stuffed with replicas of everyday products, each handmade from felt. The shelves are packed with different ramen and instant noodle soups, Reese’s Puffs, Frosted Flakes and other popular cereals, three different brands of peanut butter along with Smucker’s grape or strawberry jelly, a whole range of favorite snacks, chips, pasta or rice, and all the essential personal hygiene products.

In 2014 Sparrow successfully used Kickstarter to fund her first major project in London called The Corner Shop, which offered 4,000 hand-sewn felt products. Three years later she hopped across the pond to open 8 ‘Til Late, a bodega located in Manhattan at The Standard, High Line with 9,000 items that sold out a couple of days before the official closing date. Challenged by the demand for her plush groceries, the artist locked herself inside her Felt Cave studio for a year and produced her largest and most elaborate project to date — Sparrow Mart.

The retro shop has all the familiar selections of American comforts, including a videotape rental section with ’80s classics like Footloose, Dirty Dancing, and Short Circuit. She also has fresh hand-sewn seafood on ice, sushi, fruits and vegetables, a variety of meat cuts and other animal products, popular snacks, canned goods, cereals, candies, sodas, liquor and cleaning products. Each item is meticulously cloned from felt, a material that evokes childhood and play. The fact that the store offers 27 different types of sushi (each produced in 300 pieces), plus chopsticks, wasabi, pickled ginger, and even soy sauce packed inside iconic plastic fish containers, says a great deal about the amount of detail and determination that went into creating this overwhelming installation. Working alone until very recently, the artist ended up hiring four full-time assistants in her studio and outsourcing fifteen professionals to complete this immersive project.

Offering a felt ATM in between the isles, an exclusive gallery section in the back, and ending with three felt checkout stations, each of the 31,000 products on view is available for purchase with prices ranging from $5 for bubblegum to $73 for a kimchi Michelada. Sparrow Mart is open through the end of August 2018 from 11am-9pm (closed Mondays). The installation is accompanied with Sparrow To Go, a 24/7 restaurant in the lobby of the hotel, offering dishes inspired by the items in Sparrow Mart and prepared by the hotel’s executive chef Julio Palma. After this, the artist is considering creating a similar installation in Chicago, Dallas, Melbourne, or somewhere in Asia, like Hong Kong or Tokyo. You can see more from Sparrow on Instagram.

 

 



Craft

Uncanny Portraits of Cats Crafted with Realistic Glass Eyes and Felted Wool

July 24, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Japanese artist Wakuneco makes incredibly realistic portraits of feline heads, handcrafting the three-dimensional creations from felted wool. Making such lifelike cat faces has provided Wakuneco with quite the following on Youtube, where she posts how-to videos that lead her audience through the process of attaching the cats’ fur to perfectly securing each subject’s tiny whiskers. She pulls inspiration from images of real cats for her unique pieces, which range in breed, color, and size. She sells her sculpture objects on Yahoo! Auctions, but currently only ships within Japan. You can see more of Wakuneco’s pieces on Instagram and Twitter. (via My Modern Met and Laughing Squid)

 

 



Art Craft

Felted Wildlife Perch on Found Objects in Charming Sculptures by Simon Brown

July 11, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Simon Brown sources worn-out household tools like brushes and thimbles and turns them into miniature scenes for his felted wildlife. A short, stiff brush becomes a tree branch for a perching owl, and a dense hair brush with swirling bristles forms a meadow for two rabbits. Brown, who is based in Northumbria, United Kingdom, uses needle felting to create his realistic forest creatures. You can see more of his finished and in-progress work on Instagram. (via Bored Panda)

 

 



Craft Science

Crocheted and Embroidered Bacteria Grow in Elin Thomas’s Fiber Art Petri Dishes

March 19, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Elin Thomas creates petri dishes filled with mold, but she’s not using any week-old peanut butter sandwiches. The fiber artist builds her science experiments using a felted wool base, and then carefully crafts individual growths using crochet and embroidery techniques. Most of her creations are set in authentic 8cm borosilicate glass petri dishes, although she also makes free-form brooches and other accessories in a similar style.

Thomas has an MA in Visual Culture from Bath Spa University College, and she is based in the UK and Wales. The artist sells her work, including custom orders, on her website and Etsy store. (via #WOMENSART)

 

 



Art

Gargantuan Felt Masks of Beautifully Disturbing Characters by Paolo Del Toro

February 26, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Artist Paolo Del Toro uses needle felting to create massive masks and sculptures out of wool and foam. His creations depict mythical faces in expressions that range from grotesque grimaces to contemplative introspection; all of his works feature open mouths. While Del Toro’s work is not tied to any particular cultural visual heritage, the shifting personalities of his characters are reminiscent of Japanese Noh theater masks, which are designed to show different emotions from different angles. The artist tells Colossal that viewers describe his work as ugly and beautiful with equal frequency, which is exactly what he hopes for.

I try to find a place in my sculptures that unifies beauty and ugliness. That’s not to say finding somewhere in the middle, but rather finding the place where both coexist at the same time… I hope that by challenging our perspectives, we might look upon one as also the other, and, through that notion, become able to encroach further into the otherness of our dreams and imagination than we might otherwise fear to tread.

Del Toro originally hails from the UK, and began sculpting in 2011 as a hobbyist wood carver. Since settling in the United States in 2015, he has begun to explore larger and more involved work: his most recent felt sculpture is nearly seven feet tall and took four months to complete. The artist currently calls eastern Pennsylvania home, where he is an Adjunct Professor at Pennsylvania College of Art and Design. You can see more of the artist’s work, including his woodcarving, on his website, as well as on Instagram and tumblr. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Craft Design

Quirky New Felt Storybook Characters by ‘Cat Rabbit’

December 15, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Textile artist Cat Rabbit (previously) continues to produce a variety of croissant-headed spindly-legged felt creatures, all made by hand in her Melbourne studio. Many of the pieces seen here are special commissions, and several characters also make appearances in storybooks called Soft Stories, a collaboration with Isobel Knowles. You can see more Cat Rabbit goodness on Etsy and in her shop. (via Lustik)