Saturday, February 14, 2009

touch me (or adventures in love, longing, crafts, design, ideas and erotica).

implant paper weights by emma gerard

for valentine's day, i was awakened to a very special treat - east indian sweets and russian tea, my favorite!

the reverend and i finally got ourselves out of the house (i fully admit to being the sole hindrance) and ambled down to the erotic arts and crafts fair at the gladstone hotel. this fair has been running annually for three years now (by the good folks at come as you are) but has historically fallen on the weekend before valentine's day when city of craft has historically done an annual trunk show, too, so i have never been able to go. it was really exciting to check it out.

first of all, shannon gerard was there. that's her lap full of heart parts up there. and even further above that is a collection of implant paper weights by glass artist (and shannon counsin), emma gerard. emma's implant project is pretty incredible - terrifying, even. and it's no easy task to deal with issues of health and body image in manners that are both clear and engaging. i was also pretty into shannon's collection of 1" buttons - boobs, dinks and quotes from when harry met sally.

another entirely fascinating project was lisa murphy's tactile mind, a book project that blends both relief sculpture and braille to present erotica for the blind.

the thing that really struck me about her project is how far she takes it beyond the basic concept. the works presented throughout the book display a greater aesthetic than mere erotica, it is her own. it also made me wonder very obvious things like how blind people experience representational relief through their fingers. a simple thing to ponder, but i probably will never know the answer. i wish i could have stayed longer to learn more about the themes that she is working from (as she/the project don't have a website as of yet) but the room was getting crowded and i started to feel the crunch to move on.

we also encountered these playing card lamps by wild card. although aitor made some apt comparison to key cutters (one of his valentine's gifts was a smutty deck for his collection), i was just happy that the lady let me take pictures of the backs of the cards which i found enthralling...

after perusing the craft fair, aitor and i went trolling around for the other things we've been meaning to check out at the gladstone (well, i have, anyway). first was the brand new penny smash project by souvenir masterminds, motherbrand. when i heard of this project i felt foiled in a life-long dream (that i was probably never going to actualize) of making my own penny squisher design. well, now it has been done by these guys and it has been done well. the $2.01 price tag per penny is pretty steep by penny squisher standards, but part of the dough goes to sketch so you can justify the indulgence that way. i hardly needed justification. i settled on a design my marian banjes (about whom i currently know nothing but will undoubtedly soon research). it narrowly beat out douglas copeland's contributions because i was in the mood for bold emotion above political humour today. but all the designs are pretty grand.

we finished our gladstone day trip with a jaunt up to the third and fourth floors where wish you were here, a postcard collection curated by katharine mulherin, is tucked into every little nook and open space. the quantity of work and artists is impressive and there is very much to like - even too many personal stand-outs to mention - so i will leave you with two contributions of personal interest. in order, they are a) a foil stamped collection by sandy plotnikoff and b) a surprising postcard from a scary place by seth scriver. really, you should go check it out. it's up until the end of march!


shanne said...

Okay, so you and I know that I kind of put out those When Harry Met Sally buttons to get rid of them-- what seemed like a good idea when I made them just started to feel lame as they gathered dust on the shelf.

But yesterday-- everyone LOVED them! "Ride me big Sheldon" sold out first, with "Is one of us supposed to be a dog in this scenario?" coming in second and "Don't fuck with Mr. Zero" and "There is too much pepper on my paprikash" practically tying for third.

I was bummed that my favourite, "Pesto is the quiche of the 80s" didn't do better, but I can deal.

There was a lot of SQUEALING and calling over of girlfriends to choose which one they liked best.

Who knew?

shanne said...

haha-- in a weird confluence of events, Scott was typing a movie quote in an email to someone as I told him about this post. He kept typing as I talked and where he wanted to write, "Think you can outsmart a bullet?" he accidentally wrote, "Think you can outsmart a button?"

toronto craft alert said...

oh i'm glad you had an edifying birthday, mz. johnson

and shannon you are reminding me that i need to watch when harry met sally again soon. what do you want to bet it is out at the video store the day after V-day? seems like a sure thing.

incidentally, i almost had marian bantjes design us a goodEGG logo. or rather i made inquiries to that effect way back when it was going to be a webshop for my store that never was. she is a typographical genius.

toronto craft alert said...

p.s. proof

sweetie pie press said...

you know, i don't know if i have ever seen when harry met sally. none of those quotes seemed to make sense to me, anyway. maybe i just saw it and forgot everything except for "i'll have what she's having."

also, i need very little proof of marian bantjes typographical brilliance. a brief perusal of anything she has done makes it glaring. she and ray fenwick should collide in a perfect explosion of typographical genius after which we would all miss them very much.

shanne said...

oh my goodness, that is totally insane. WHMS is absolutely my favourite movie of all time-- I've watched those two hate each other, become friends, be friends for a long time (and then not be) and then fall in love more times than I can count. I put it on when I'm drawing and, even though I can't see the TV from my table, the sound of the dialog makes me happy. It is very comforting to know something by heart.

sweetie pie press said...

true stories is my crafting movie. it also helps that half of it is talking heads songs.

Church of Craft Athens said...

That is one cool penny machine. And I thought I was so cool after I got one at the aquarium last weekend!

sweetie pie press said...

what aquarium? the big one in baltimore.