A compendium of craft masquerading as art, art masquerading as craft, and craft extending its middle finger.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Doll Ink


It wasn't long ago that I realized that my family has a problem with craft. My parents latched onto just about every craft resurgence that occurred between the early 70's and...well, the present, really. I remember growing up with some of my parents' wire art and macrame. In the early 80's, they picked up stained glass. I grew up making stained glass (until picking up the soldering iron by the pretty end put an end to my love affair with it), latchhooking, making potholders out of little loops, and making little sewing projects. My father started restoring antique gas engines, and my mother turned her attentions to quilting. My sister Sooze is a knitting fiend...and, well you know the story with me.

My sister Jamee, on the other hand, is the (much loved) black sheep of the family. She's a SAILOR! With all of the attendant tattoos, cursing, and superstition. She can tie more knots than a boy scout troup with OCD. She still manages to find time for crafty projects while on the boat. She's not content with scrimshaw, or other such sailor-y activities. She works on research vessels near antarctica, and gets to make liquid nitrogen ice cream and send things made of styrofoam into the icy depths, until every bit of air in their cells gets squeezed out, compressing them to a fraction of their original size.

But I digress. My real point was to share Sherri Wood's Tattoo Baby Doll project with you. In this clever exhibition, Ms. Wood found a dozen cloth-bodied baby dolls at thrift shops, then sent them to bona-fide tattoo artists, who drew tattoo images on their little bodies. Sherri then embroidered the elaborate designs onto the dolls. The results are jaw-droppingly amazIng. The exhibition traveled for about a year, winding up at San Francisco's Museum of Craft. True to the general ass-kicking D.I.Y. aesthetic of the project, they offer up a brief how-to. My sister has a ship tattooed on her stomach, just like Sailor Feebee above. There's some special meaning to it, but I forget what that is just now. For the time being, you'll just have to live with these tattoo fun facts.
LINK thanks, Whitney!

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