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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.

 

 



Art

Artist Lucy Sparrow Opens an Entire Convenience Store of Handmade Felt Products in Manhattan

June 21, 2017

Christopher Jobson

If you have a late-night hankering for some felty gefilte fish or a bottle of fermented fabric, be sure to stop by 8 ‘Til Late, the newest temporary installation by British artist Lucy Sparrow known for her felt recreations of everyday objects. Located in Manhattan at The Standard, High Line, the bodega is filled from floor to ceiling with thousands of objects you might find at a typical corner store from breakfast cereals, a deli counter brimming with meats, frozen foods, and spirits—all made from felt and a bit of paint. And just like a real store, every last thing is for sale.

Over the last few years Sparrow has exhibited her felt objects in galleries and art fairs around the world including Art Basel, Scope Miami, and the New York Affordable Art Fair. 8 ‘Til Late is a companion piece to her 2014 installation in London titled The Corner Shop with a similar concept but with Eurocentric products. We have word that lines stretched around the block the last few days and every object in the store has since sold. While originally scheduled to be open through June 30th, the exhibition is ending early, specifically 10pm tonight. So if you’re nearby, now’s your chance. Maybe?

You can see the finer details of some 400 individual items from 8 ‘Til Late on Sparrow’s website.

 

 



Art Photography

Rogue Installations of Similarly Colored Objects Inside Big-Box Stores by Carson Davis Brown

May 1, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Using found objects collected from within big-box stores, artist Carson Davis Brown creates color-specific installations for his photography series Mass. The works are organized conglomerations of basketballs, laundry baskets, wrapping paper, and other mass produced goods, each arranged by color within the stores they are found. After photographing the works they are left as is, experienced by passersby as a break from the monotony of the weekly grocery store run and eventually disassembled by the store’s staff. You can see more of Brown’s assembled consumer experiments on Instagram and his project’s website massproject.biz. (via Juxtapoz, Catherine Edelman Gallery)

 

 



Amazing Craft Design

A 150-Year-Old Porcelain Warehouse in Japan Opens for Daily ‘Treasure Hunts’ for Just $45

April 5, 2016

Johnny Strategy

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The Kouraku Kiln was founded in Arita (Saga Prefecture, Japan) in 1865 and has been producing ceramics for the past 150 years. Over that time the facility has accumulated a vast collection of pottery that has, for one reason or another, gone unsold. The warehouse is so vast that some workers use a bicycle to get from one side to the other. And they’ll be the first to admit that even they don’t really know what’s in there. The production facility is now inviting visitors on a “treasure hunt” to try and get rid of some of their stock.

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Here’s how the treasure hunt works:

— Make your reservation by phone (they only allow 10 people per day)
— Show up at your designated time and select your course and pay: 5,000 yen or 10,000 yen (about $45 to $90)
— Get a 30-min tour of the facility
— Begin your 90-min treasure hunt. You’ll be given a pair of gloves, a flashlight and a basket. You can take home everything you fit in your basket.
— The more expensive course gives you access to a special section of decoratively painted ceramics but both allow you to take home as much as you can fit in your basket. Once done you’ll get to wrap everything up in newspaper so that nothing breaks on your way home.

It sounds like a really fun excursion! They even have an English-speaking staff on hand to assist foreigners.

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(Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

 

 



Art Design

A New Japanese Painting Supply Store Lines its Walls With 4,200 Different Pigments

November 16, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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Thousands of pigments fill glass vials below the slatted wood ceilings of the new concept Pigment, an art supply laboratory and store that just opened in Tokyo by company Warehouse TERRADA. The store design was created by architect Kengo Kuma, utilizing bamboo and large open spaces to create a sense of unity with the outdoors and spark the imagination of those who enter.

In recent years fewer artists have turned to more traditional methods of art making, diminishing the number of successors to these older forms. Pigment aims to provide hard-to-find tools for the preservation of older paintings while also inspiring the latest generation of artists to incorporate these older materials into newer works. In addition to selling brushes, pigments, special glues, and papers (some used in Japanese painting since the Meiji period), the store will also provide workshops by both art professors and manufacturers of the supplies housed in-store.

If you can’t make it to Japan to experience the space in person, you can browse Pigment’s large supply of pigments and rare materials on their online store here. (via Designboom)

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Art

Artist Stocks the Shelves of a London Corner Store with 4,000 Hand-Stitched Felt Products

August 5, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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British artist Lucy Sparrow has converted an entire abandoned corner shop in Bethnal Green, east London, into a temporary art exhibition titled The Corner Shop featuring 4,000 hand-sewn felt products. Chips, magazines, candy, frozen dinners, and even the cash register have been faithfully rendered in fabric, a process that took Sparrow about seven months to complete and began with a successful plea for help on Kickstarter. The shop is open to visitors every day this month, and almost all of the items are available for purchase online. (via My Modern Met, Laughing Squid, The Jealous Curator)

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Design

Ball of string wax candle

July 13, 2011

Christopher Jobson

This ball of string wax candle by Gomitolo is priced well out of range for my household, but it sure does look awesome. (via svpply)

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Animal Multi-Tool