Thursday, February 7, 2008

Extreme Craft: Knitted Dissections, Paintball, and Monsters, Oh My!

Extreme, adj. 1. Outermost; farthest; edge or border. 2. Going to great lengths; utmost in degree; of the best or worst that can exist in reality or in imagination; excessive; immoderate. 3. Last; beyond which there is none. 4. Radical; advanced. 5. Drastic; very severe.
-adapted from the Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary, Unabridged

Whether you define your object-making and meaning-making in the world as art or craft or some delightful hybrid of the two (as I do), occasionally going to extremes is a great way to stretch your creative muscles. Part of the creative journey is taking risks - sometimes, those risks push the edge. And sometimes, they push you to places better - or worse - than you could have imagined.

That's part of why I love the blog Extreme Craft. Who could resist a hand-knit frog open on a dissection board from CraftyHedgehog?

I was also inspired by the blog author's recent effort to try something "extreme" with his own ceramic art. The result? Using a paintball gun to fire capsules of china paint at blank plates!

And then there's my friend Sven over at Scarlet Star Studios, who illustrated a monster a day on the Monster Month Blog in October, and just published them in the Monster Month Book (with text by famed world-traveling cryptozoologist Professor Ichbonnsen and design assistance from Gretchin). Below is an illustration by Sven of the Trick Squilligoss, one of my favorites (after the Zompire Bat). The images are luscious, and Sven's experience creating three-dimensional puppets for stop-mo animation shows through in the construction of these creatures. Sven did the illustrations based on elaborate descriptions provided to him by the globe-trotting Ichbonnsen. Note the "faintly bioluminescent eyes" on the Trick Squilligoss.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the book release party last week - and while the Professor was unable to attend, I did get Sven to sign my copy of the book.

And thanks to Linda for the picture of me and Sven - Linda's just taken the biggest risk of all.

Quitting her day job to work full-time as an artist.

Now that's what I call extreme craft.


d said...

wait a minute. you know the monster of the day guy? that guy was my idol for a while.

i wish i could quit being a graphic designer and be a painter instead. that's scary. i wish her much luck.

love the frog.

Chance said...

I love those plates! I'd buy 'em.

Sven Bonnichsen said...

It's a very weird (yet positive) experience to be seeing myself on these different blogs. Um, thank you!

That party was SO much more fun than I could have ever expected -- in particular your gasps of shock and good-natured heckling during the reading... Well, they really made the thing transcendent.

Do I have to write another book before that can happen again? 8)

gl. said...

wow. those -are- neat plates.

bridget, sven already said so, but yes, it was a great pleasure to have you at the party. thanks for all your support!

d, i don't know if sven is THE monster of the day guy. there are a few people doing that sort of thing. :) sven's is slightly different in that it was a month-long project and each creature has a full story or description accompanying it.

Claudia said...

That frog is cool (very nice details) but a little scary...for me anyway ;)

Hi, I am Darlene said...

wow, great finds. The frog really brings me back I can almost smell the formaldehyde!

Bridget B. said...

D - he he, I know some pretty cool people!

Sven - I would be happy to come over and heckle you in a good natured manner any time! And I can throw in a few gasps of shock for free . . . though I am really looking forward to pulling out all the stops for the debut of Let Sleeping Gods Lie!

Sven Bonnichsen said...

Tee hee hee!

Your blog *tickles*! :D