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

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Craft doesn't generally exist in a vacuum. By definition, craft is a handing down of ideas and inspiration. I've written before about my family's penchant for craft fads when I was growing up... stained glass, wire art, and macrame. I've written about my mother's quilting "habit", but I don't think I've ever mentioned that my father is a clown. My father is an honest-to-goodness Shrine clown. He doesn't drive around in a little car, but he spends a great deal of appearing at schools and public events, planning the clown skits when the circus comes to town, and of course, blowing balloons. My old man can blow up hundreds of balloons in the course of an afternoon (that's blowing them up with lungpower... and it only takes him one puff per balloon). He's mastered a lot of complex balloon forms, and likes to invent new creations in his spare time.

I wasn't aware of the term "airigami", though, particularly not the brand of airigami practiced by Larry Moss. Moss is a Rochester, NY-based entertainer with a penchant for the dramatic (witness his goth wedding photo, complete with fangs). He holds a record for the world's largest non-round balloon sculpture (pictured above) which contained more than 40,000 balloons. For the past several years, Moss has transformed "airigami" into "SCARIGAMI" with his Balloon Manor haunted house. Moss' wife, Judy found out that she had cancer in 2003. The treatments left her paralyzed, so he gives back to the cancer treatment community with a yearly haunted house, made entirely of balloons. The haunted house comes complete with "balloonamatronic" sculptures that move around. Balloon afficianados from across the country gather in Rochester to help create Balloon Manner, which will reappear this year during the last two weekends in October. Beware of your brain melting as you peruse the bazillion photos that are posted on the site. Damn. The gauntlet has been thrown down, Dad! Get blowin'! LINK via MAKE


At 5/19/2006 12:07:00 PM, Anonymous sarah-maria said...

i must see an image of mr johnson senior in his clown outfit


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