When Craft Attacks…

by Sayraphim on February 8, 2009

So I had this dream the other night, that I heard about an artist in another town that was making dolls and leaving them around for people to find (al la The Toy Society) and so I went down there to see them. I found a big pile and took two of my favourites, they were all based on the poppets that have Craftster bulging at the moment, and put them in my car. The dream then turned into a crazy nightmare of Chucky-like dolls putting voodoo curses on me.

This, people, is what happens to you when you stop crafting. The craft rebels.

I’ve been away from the blog for 2 weeks working first on a film and then a tv show. I’ve worked 70 hours in the past 6 days (and on the 7th day boy howdy did I rest) but readers of this blog will know that it’s partly about how craft is part of every day life. And I wanted to share a couple of things with y’all.

Working on the film, we were dressing a set that was a clothing shop. The head of the art department needed two cushions to fit a piece of furniture that had been built. There was a big length of material and some stuffing. 10 minutes and a bit of stitching later (following the Dead Simple Cushion Cover line of business) and there were two cushions ready for on set! The great thing about movies is that, unlike theatre, the idea behind creating anything is that it has to look right while being totally fake in the construction. Theatre sets, especially for the small theatres I usually work in, have to be real because the audience is slow close they’re going to spot fake walls and pretend food. But film, everything has to look perfect from the front, but don’t need to be painted/finished or even constructed from the back.

I love the Simpsons quote that covers this, in the episode where Hollywood is filming Radioactive Man in Springfield:
[Nelson, Ralph, and Martin watch a man paint black patches on a white horse]
Martin: Uh, Sir, why don’t you just use real cows?
Painter: Cows don’t look like cows on film. You gotta use horses.
Ralph: What do you do if you want something that looks like a horse?”
Painter: Ehh, usually we just tape a bunch of cats together.

Now I’m telling you all of this because although the cushion looks right from the front and side, to construct it faster as we had limited time and a lot to do, instead of most of the stitching, I stapled it together. Looks fine, works right but you wouldn’t want it as a cushion in your house.

Another thing that was needed was little material roses on canvas, for decoration in the shop.
It was a simple creation, spray the canvas black, then fold a length of material in 3, bunch it into a rough spiral and stitch it together at the base. Then I just slit a small X in the middle of the canvas and threaded the rose through. It’s gaffa taped at the back to hold it in. Ta Daa! Done, in less than 5 minutes.

Craft is everywhere and useful for so many things.

In other news, I’m currently applying for a bunch of exhibitions and the like, this year is the year of getting my work Out There. I applied for a Sydney exhibition that I found on Arts Hub, that had no mention of a fee at all (awesome, thought I!) I got accepted, but in the acceptance email it said “the exhibition fee is $125 per work, and we encourage you to enter 2 or more works so our audience can get a feel for your style” So suddenly I had to pay $250 to be a part of an exhibition? That’s crazy! Had they said that in the initial call out, there’s no WAY I would have applied. At least they told me at the second step and not at the end! So I’m not in that one. But I have much hope for others…

It’s not that I object to paying for an exhibition, the CCP Kodak Salon costs $88 to enter, and I’ve entered that. But I think that a) not telling people up front that it costs, and costs so much, is misleading, and b) that i think an exhibition in Sydney isn’t going to do me as much good as one in Melbourne, where I’m already a little known. Plus, $250 for two works is pretty steep.

So anyway, hello! I’m back and crafting like a mad woman. Stay tuned…

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