Friday, February 26, 2010

Yarn Bombing

Today it's all about art in your environment that you probably don't notice. I drive down the same street nearly every day and never noticed it until Susan told me to look for it: A Yarn Bombing! Since then she's spotted only one other here in Austin (second set of photos), although there are some blogs out there that mention different ones.
There are various names for it: Yarn Bombing, Guerilla Knitting, Yarn Storming, Yarn Graffiti, etc. All make me smile when I think of them because yarn is a nice soft thing and makes you think of your granny or your favorite sweater or socks.

I don't think it's bad, I think it's good. It doesn't hurt the environment, can be easily removed, and it's subtle. It is art, just as much as Andy Goldsworthy and many others make environmental art. And it probably makes you smile.

The poles in these pictures were just old sign posts where the sign had been no longer necessary and was removed. Since the city sinks these poles in concrete it is obviously too much trouble to remove the poles so they just leave them there. Naked. But now these poles have their own knitted sweaters! Way cool.

In Austin: The first one is on Robert E. Lee, just past the Umlauf Center. The second one is on Barton Springs Road at Stratford.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Buddha Boy

We got some snow today. For those of you on the East Coast I'm sure this amount of snow is a joke but we do the best we can down here in Texas.

Buddha Boy One sits in our front courtyard and hold a pear I made. Sometimes he holds a bird. Sometimes nothing. I made him with an open mouth that looked wrong until he got his Binkie. Buddha Boy came into being about 6 years ago and I've made one more since then. Back then I wasn't very discerning about what I was doing, as shown by the beanie hat.

And, for the record, I am technologically challenged. Yes, definitely. Very, very definitely, when you realize even the Dalai Lama has a Twitter page.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Follow The Bouncing Ball

Susan was out walking and came across a pile of stuff by a garbage can. We are definitely not opposed to "dumpster diving" or local pass-by recycling. This was part of a giant ball of some sort, bigger than a beach ball and made of hard rubber stuff. What is it ???? When she got home she got her car (yeah, the Toyota) and drove back to pick it up.

I whacked it into pieces and am trying it out on small cups that I'm making. They are small and imprecise because I consider them "test tiles" which I am firmly opposed to making. Why? I don't like test tiles because I'm too impatient and just want to gamble on the whole thing. Since they are small, if the glaze treatment isn't what I wanted then I haven't wasted a lot of clay or time and they can just go in the garden. Or maybe someday, on Etsy.

Anyway, I'm going for a sort of organic look.

Late Edit for a follow-up to comments:
People, let's think outside the cup!

In my house little cups hold pencils, they hold toothpicks, they hold Exacto knives (one is never enough), they hold string, they hold toothbrushes, they hold marbles, they hold small bones, they hold coins, they hold spare eyeglasses, and sometimes, they just sit there, waiting to be admired.

A test tile is just a flat boring piece of clay you paint glaze on to see what happens. The result is what happens on a flat surface (although you can make sort of vertical test tiles in an upside-down 7 shape). I want to know what the glaze does when it runs down, when it has to make a turn, when it goes against a bump and piles up. Therefore, I make funky irregular little cups to test glazes on. That's the plan now, anyway. Later I might make more mushrooms. Or pods. Or baby boots. Or anything but boring flat test tiles.

And finally, a cup with holes in it will give you a way to share your drink with those nearby.

Thank you, Sherry and Marie, for pointing out the puzzler and giving me a chance to explain better.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

If Only...

If only this could be mine.
----- Susan

Steampunk Desktop from Jake von Slatt. Go here for details on the keyboard. And more. And even more that you will covet. Incredible stuff! Fantastic artist.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Valentine For You

Pink is not my choice of color, although when it comes to the question of discrimination based on skin color, it is always good to remember that we are all pink on the inside.

When we were in Washington DC in November we had to pick a color that would let Susan play with her camera. (In New York City it was funky green.) To pick the color we timed one minute and the first color that showed up around the corner of the Metro stop was . . . pink.

It was raining the time we were there and I'm very glad we didn't choose this week to be there. Here's what we learned about pink: Pink is the color of choice for every little girl under the age of 10. Susan actually got tired of looking for pink because it was too easy. See a little girl? Pink.

The one renegade picture we snuck into this collection was a little boy with boots that made us smile.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


How come I haven't heard much about global warming lately?

For those of you struggling with too much snow: Put down your shovel and step away from the snow. Make some cocoa. Or a stiff drink. If you just wait a month or two the snow might disappear all by itself.

For your entertainment:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Abby Sciuto

This is Abby1. If you watch NCIS you might recognize her. I've never seen the show except in reruns which sometimes come on when we are cleaning up the kitchen. She's an interesting character and I'm heading off in the Goth direction as I work on a sister for her. Her dress is held together with a removeable nail.

My stepfather-in-law liked NCIS but I'd never seen the show until several years after he passed away. Bob, this one is for you.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wozniak, Toyota, Cruise Control, and A Recall

Susan feels vindicated to some extent, as she has found out Steve Wozniak, one of Apple's founders, also found problems with the cruise control and unexpected acceleration in his Toyota. And he wasn't able to get through to Toyota either. Of course, now that he's gone public with the problem, the Toyota engineers have called him. Susan couldn't even get the local Toyota service department to admit there had been a recall! The puzzling thing is that Toyota continues to talk about faulty gas pedals ... but if you have it on cruise control you aren't touching the gas pedal!

Anyway, using cruise control in her car isn't an option anymore and we've never had the problem any other time. Oh, and her car doesn't have floor mats. Our gut level feeling on this is that Toyota really doesn't know what the hell the problem is and they're in for a long, hard battle. Especially since they are not making an effort to publish a phone number or an email address so that you can report to them your odd problems that aren't included in the recall (yet). Many blogs are full of anecdotal accounts of lots of Toyota problems in models not included in the current recall (yet). If their engineers just did some Google research they'd find them.

So how does this relate to my art? The teapot above is my own recall. It originally was going to be a figure but that didn't work so I whacked off his head and saw that the shape left was interesting. I'm not a teapot kind of guy but I gave it a try and really liked the handle treatment I gave it. And it actually holds water without leaking. But the glaze sucks. I didn't apply it right and the color I thought would be redder turned out to be baby-shit brown. As for my recalls, they either go in the trash or into the garden. And how does this relate to Toyota? At least I admit my problems immediately.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Roger's arms can move but his "belly button" is fixed in place.

Pieces like Roger, Sylvester, Petya, and Pingo just stay at home because the gallery that sells my "Dudes" doesn't want to take them, they just want the regular pieces. I think they feel the colors make them too hard to sell. So the guys just stay on my shelves and watch me work. I'd consider Etsy for them but I'm too worried about the shipping - even with a lot of bubble wrap they could wind up being just a box of shards on arrival.

As for Petya, she's nearly 24" high and would probably never survive shipment. Right now I'm in the process of making her 4 other sisters, all tall like she is.