Discovered via the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair (on this weekend in Manchester), Andy Poplar of Vinegar and Brown Paper takes a simple idea and executes it well. Etching labels onto glass objects such as inkwells, apothecary bottles, decanters and mirrors, he adds a bit of cheekiness to ordinary things.
"I spend my days working at a desk with a Remington typewriter and a 1940s Bakelite telephone on it. The phone will never ring, the ink on the typewriter ribbon has long faded out — but there they sit — one a stand for my iPhone, the other used for holding paper. New ways of looking at old things — it’s a theme in all my work I guess."
Read more from Andy on the Ernest Journal website.
If you haven't experienced a book by Hervé Tullet, seek one out. His books offer fun experiences that use the format of the book to play with creative concepts. His latest book, Mix it Up! demonstrates how colours combine to form new colours and tints. It's a great book about mixing paint... and you won't get your fingers dirty!
Hervé is in Toronto next week, leading a hands-on art event for children on Wednesday, October 8. On October 9 at 2 pm he will be drop by Type (883 Queen St W, an UPPERCASE stockist) to sign copies of his new book.
Artist Alison Stockmarr pokes fun at Facebook by imagining 'Face Books' of old. She pairs oddly-titled old books, found photographs and cut up lines of text to create curious personalities. She writes:
By matching old photographs with suitably titled books, profiles are constructed, creating a library of invented friends of yesteryear. Apertures are cut into books, with photos and ephemera collaged within their pages. Appropriate, and sometimes inappropriate, narratives are composed to complete the picture! I hope you ‘like’ them.
Trina Lucido is an artist and paper enthusiast. "I can't resist beautiful paper, old or new, and see potential in every piece I find," she says. "These papers find their way into my artwork which includes greeting cards, art journals, mixed media pieces and home decor." As her collection of papers and haberdashery grew, Trina decided to open up shop as The Paper Flea Market to share her finds with other paper and vintage lovers.
The Paper Flea Market is the first official Calling Card that will appear in the fall issue of UPPERCASE. In addition to the ad appearing in lovely ink on paper in 10,000 copies of the magazine, a Calling Card ad will reside on the UPPERCASE blog sidebar for the duration of the forthcoming issue. I'll also share the ad with my Twitter followers and do a blog post, such as this one, to offer as much value as I possibly can to your $400 investment. The next issue goes to print after the Labour Day weekend, so there's still time to get your Calling Card if you get in touch soon. I look forward to sharing more Calling Card profiles here in the blog over the next weeks. Please click the Calling Cards already on the sidebar to discover more.
To make your Calling Card, choose an image that best represents you, your product or service (squarish image 3 inches wide at 300dpi ), then click here to upload it and get your Calling Card ad designed by me and shared with the UPPERCASE community. You'll be supporting UPPERCASE content creation, boosting your profile, be immortalized in print and be serving the community with your creative offerings.
Thank you to The Paper Flea Market!
Jason Taylor was featured in Issue #21, and has an exhibition this week at The Harley Gallery from June 11 to August 10, 2014.
Here is an excerpt from Fun with Function written by Vinciane de Pape.
Jason Taylor is an established, UK-based artist and industrial designer whose innovative work plays with the form and function of readymade objects. His line of lighting and furniture designs has been sold internationally and exhibited in museums and art galleries around the world. Jason brings an artistic sensibility to his design process and enjoys the restrictions and challenges of creating unconventional products inspired by mundane objects.
Finding early on that he enjoyed manipulating and inventing simple designs from objects like tin cans, Jason pursued an education in design to follow his passion for experimentation and to further develop his skill set.
“I chose to do a 3D design course because of the techniques I could learn in different materials, but the focus was mainly on functional objects,” he explains. “An object would become my starting point and I developed different paths I could go down, such as developing a different function for it or remaking it in a different material.”
Somewhat frustrated with the compromises required by the commercial side of product design, Jason decided to go back to what he does best—experimenting with objects. This is when his Everyday Objects project came to life.
“I learned with a previous project that I could be more productive than I thought, and I also enjoyed the sculptural side,” Jason describes. “But what would be the reason and how could I make myself do it? I had seen other people do everyday photography projects and then thought of the double meaning of ‘everyday objects’ and I had to go for it.”
To read the full article about Jason Taylor in Issue #21, click here.
Beakerhead is a new annual event held in Calgary each September. For 5 days, Calgary “turns into a giant laboratory” where Beakerhead visitors are entertained with public performances, contraptions built in people’s backyards, ingenuity competitions, and engineered art. Last year was Beakerhead’s first year and it was met with open arms by excited event-goers. "On the surface, Beakerhead looks like a week of spectacular fun every September. But it’s more than a schedule of mesmerizing events: it’s a time and place where engineers show their creative sides, and artists get technical, where science hits the street, and everyone gets ingenious,” say organizers.
On May 23, Beakerhead organizers wanted to amp up excitement for Beakerhead 2014, so they worked with the City of Calgary and artist Michael Mateyko and Hans Thiessen, also known as Komboh, to develop “green graffiti” to paint on a Calgary underpass. The “green graffiti” is made of eco-chalk and is entirely environmentally friendly from the application to removal.
Michael Mateyko is a Work/Life 3 participant and works and lives here in Calgary. I asked Michael a few questions about his participation with Beakerhead.
What was your involvement with the "green graffiti" painted downtown? What was your role?
I came up with the commuting beakerhead(s) and designed the characters with feedback from the whole Beakerhead crew.
Who initially asked you and Hans for your help, and how did they know that you would be the right people to contact to help with this project?
I was contacted out of the blue last year by Hanan Chebib, who is the Director of Creative Experiences over at Beakerhead. She somehow ended up with a poster I made and was pretty stoked on working with us on something. Our interests align pretty well; art, science, engineering, and trying to get people interested in the intersection between those three.
Had you heard of this "green graffiti" before you were approached to help?
Not really. Originally the idea was to do a bit of pressure-washed reverse graffiti, but unfortunately (?) Calgary's underpasses are way too clean for that.
What do you enjoy about Beakerhead? What is your favourite "event" that you have attended?
I actually didn't even get the chance to attend last year, but I'm definitely making my way down for 2014. I dig Beakerhead because it's really all about encouraging what by all accounts is a pretty conservative town to let loose and admit that we're all actually artists and engineers on the inside.
Did you attend the initial "green graffiti" event while the figures were being painted? If so, what was the experience like? What were passersby's
reactions to the graffiti?
It was all being put up overnight, I believe around midnight or thereabouts. I had to do a TV interview at 5 in the morning the next day so I was trying to get as much sleep as I reasonably could and wasn't there for the install. During the photo shoot with the Mayor later the same day there was a pretty good crowd going and everyone seemed pretty pumped about it all. I received a lot of really positive comments from people that were just excited to see some public art that was a little weirder than usual. Also, Mayor Nenshi did his best to psychoanalyze each character in turn, so that was pretty fun too.
The New Craft Coalition in Calgary is having a Spring Show + Sale on May 23 and 24.
Here’s a little bit of info from the NCC ladies themselves, "At our core New Craft Coalition is a group of three artists working together to make a difference in our creative community. We are makers, moms, entrepreneurs and firm believers in the power of art, craft and design to change not only our communities, but the world. Our current mission is to bring a carefully curated collection of independently produced, Canadian art, craft and design to the people of Calgary twice annually, with other plans unfolding all the time!"
If you’re one of our Calgary fans, come by and say hi! We will have our current issue plus a selection of books, notebooks and lots of back issues for you to peruse.
There will be 24 artists selling their latests works, so come down to Festive Hall in Inglewood to support local artisans in UPPERCASE’s hometown.
Friday, May 23, 2014 4:00pm-9:00pm
Saturday, May 24, 2014 10:00am-6:00pm
Festive Hall, Inglewood 1215 10 AVE SE
Admission is $2 per person
Create.Explore.Discover is a warm, creative retreat in Truckee, California where women of all ages and backgrounds gather to uncover, and discover, their creative spark. This October, Sarah Stevenson, an interior designer and mixed media artist from Chicago, will lead participants through a weekend of creativity and learning with instructors Mati McDonough, Anne Weil, Andrea Jenkins and Courtney Cerruti.
“No matter your skill–or comfort–level, Create.Explore.Discover is safe space for experimenting and trying out new projects. If you don’t currently identify as a creative individual, you will surprise yourself by the end of the retreat. If creativity is a part of your daily life, you will leave Creat.Explore.Discover energized and brimming with ideas for your next project,” says Sarah.
Participants are able to choose from 9 different workshops with topics ranging from learning how to make paper flower bouquets to making a patchwork collage.
For more information and registration details click here.
On my first day of grade seven, my teacher, after handing out our math text books, asked us to wrap them in craft paper to protect them from the inevitable wear and tear they would endure throughout the year. UK-based artist Yinka Shonibare has taken the textbook request to the extreme.
A new installation called The British Library has opened at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery Until May 25, visitors can see 10,000 books that have been covered with wax batik fabric that Yinka designed himself. Yinka’s hope for the library was to make visible the cultural influences of colonization, and to celebrate immigrants and their contributions to British Culture.
Book artist Louise Best helped wrap some of the thousands of books in bright Dutch and African fabrics. "Those colours contributed to our happiness and well being as well as all the mugs of tea, chocolate bourbons and custard creams we consumed for 8 hours a day. It was a great job and expertly executed even if I do say so myself. I'm in my element surrounded by books, fabric, glue and scissors. And nice people,” said Louise.
To read Louise’s full blog post, click here.
"The Drinkable Book is a life saving tool that filters water and teaches proper sanitation and hygiene to those in the developing world. Each book is printed on technologically advanced filter paper, capable of killing deadly waterborne diseases. Each page is coated with silver nanoparticles, whose ions actively kill diseases like cholera, typhoid and E."
A video Gemma Green Hope made to honour her grandmother:
"My grandmother Elizabeth (or Gan-Gan as I called her) was a force of nature; she was wonderful. As a child she seemed to me like a visitor from another time or place. Her tiny terraced house in Bideford was full of treasures; hundreds of books, a medusa's head, Peter the Great's ivory letter opener, the caul of her mother tied up in blue ribbon, a tile stolen from the Alhambra, a silk blouse embroidered by nuns, deadly poison, beautiful Pre-Raphaelite artworks, a knife carved from the wood of HMS Victory, Granny Green's pince-nez, and diaries full of stories from a hard life well-lived. After her death in 2010, I helped my father and uncle sort through some of her possessions. I inherited some of her clothes to wear, books to read, a bicycle to ride. But how do you make sense of all the other things that someone leaves behind, the things nobody sees, boxes full of photographs, and bits of string? I used these objects alongside images and memories of my own to make this short animation, which I dedicate to her memory."
Kingston, Ontario's Joan Sharpe runs and operates the first and only mobile yarn shop called Purlin' J's Roving Yarn Company. "Think gourmet food truck, only selling yarn instead," says Joan.
Joan drives a bright red yarn truck called "Lil Dorothy," named after Joan's mother who taught her how to knit, throughout Kingston and eastern Ontario parking at fairs, markets, and fibre festivals. The yarn truck was formerly a fire truck and Joan says that it still sports its original red paint and interior fittings. "Customers love its ol-timey graphics as well as the selection of yarns and other fascinating fibre paraphernalia found on board."
Throughout the day today we are posting the honourable mentions, runners-up, and the winner of the "It's a Creative & Curious World" contest with They Draw & Travel. If you missed this contest, take a look at the contest page to see all of the creative submissions.
Congratulations to all the honourable mentions!