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Magazines Get Crafty with Print: Flaunt Dresses in Denim as Wallpaper* Goes Handmade

Flaunt’s all-denim July/August issue and three of the 30 covers commissioned by Wallpaper* for its upcoming handmade issue, by (from left) Quentin Jones, Peter Miles, and mcgarrybowen.

Step away from your iPad. Two summer magazines are best appreciated in their glorious print versions. First up is Flaunt‘s denim issue, which hits newsstands this month. Covered in the rugged fabric (and an Ellen von Unwerth photo of Claudia Schiffer) thanks to sponsor Guess, the magazine is chock full of jeans-themed goodies, from Agave Denim’s Pacific Coast roadtrip postcards and a graffiti-inducing stencil from Kill City to a pull-out booklet of AG Adriano Goldschmied creative director Sam Wu’s favorite L.A. haunts and an iron-on transfer from Genetic Denim. Advertorial? Indeed, but for every Rising Sun kerchief and sheet of Hudson Jeans wrapping paper, there’s a still-life spread on rivets and a rumination on the 1959 exploitation film Blue Denim.

Meanwhile, over in London, Wallpaper* has been busy preparing its August issue, a tribute to the handmade. Subscribers were recently given the opportunity to customize their copy by choosing from one of a whopping 30 covers (below) featuring work commissioned by illustrators and graphic designers including Anthony Burrill, Rob Ryan, and James Joyce. Jonathan Ellery whipped up a duct-tape homage to the magazine’s signature asterisk, while ad agency mcgarrybowen interpreted “handmade” ultra-literally and created one from fingernail clippings (on a chalkboard, of course). Inside the issue, readers will get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the third annual Wallpaper* Handmade exhibition, held in Milan in April during Salone del Mobile.
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Armory Week: Peter Liversidge’s ‘Wooden Mail Objects’ at Sean Kelly

Among the buzziest booths at this year’s Armory Show is that of Sean Kelly, which features work by the likes of Marina Abramović, James Casebere, Alec Soth, and Kehinde Wiley. The New York gallery is also spotlighting three recent additions to its stable of artists: Idris Khan, Nathan Mabry, and Peter Liversidge (on Tuesday, Sean Kelly announced its representation of Terence Koh). Just around the corner from Khan’s mini-museum of clouds trapped in lucite is “Wooden Mail Objects” (2011), a shelf of rulers, protractors, and chalkboard erasers that London-based Liversidge mailed to Kelly, sans envelopes, over the course of three months. Beside the stamp-covered objects is the artist’s deadpan installation proposal, written on his trusty manual typewriter. Liversidge is also represented by what he describes as a text piece: a hand-held embosser placed on a white podium. It, too, is accompanied by a framed noticed. “Whoever reads this proposal is invited to take a one-dollar note from their pocket, wallet, or purse. In their other hand they should take up the embosser and place the note within it’s [sic] jaws,” he explains. “Then apply pressure and emboss the note with the text piece concealed within.” Pull out your dollar to reveal the imprint of a single word: free. No word as to how much this work sold for.

Inside David Stark’s Pop-Up Wood Shop

(Photos: UnBeige and Courtesy David Stark Design)

David Stark has applied his artist’s eye and bricoleur’s ingenuity to the retail scene with Wood Shop, a temporary takeover of fellow RISD alum Nina Freudenberger‘s Haus Interior in New York. As you may recall from our recent interview with the event designer, his “surprise ambush” has filled the cozy homegoods emporium with limited-edition goodies inspired by a woodworker’s studio, from hand-crocheted saw pillows and rugged Carhartt-brown canvas placemats to a tool box worth of delicate gold pendants and hand-turned poplar vases that suggest a collaboration between Giorgio Morandi and Bob Vila. The woodstravaganza lasts through Monday, February 27.

The idea for Wood Shop stemmed from a previous project for which Stark and his team created an entire house out of SmartPly, which provided a cheeky backdrop for showcasing the client company’s new collection of homegoods. “Some of the things that we made for that were so fun that we thought, wow, these could be great products,” said Stark the other day, as he guided us through Wood Shop and ended up in front of a delicious-looking dessert, made entirely of SmartPly. “The cake really came out of that kind of thing. I have a weird sense of humor, so if I walked into a store, that would be the first thing I would be drawn toward.”

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Tradition, Modernity, Marionettes: Alber Elbaz’s Christmas Tree for Claridge’s

John Galliano is a tough act to follow, but Lanvin creative director Alber Elbaz has proven himself up to the task of creating a showstopper of a Christmas tree for Claridge’s. His secret weapons? The “infusion of tradition and modernity” that he has made a signature of the fashion house, along with madcap marionettes (dressed in Lanvin-designed Claridge’s uniforms, bien sûr). The colorful tree, which will remain on view through January 2 in the London hotel’s art deco lobby, is topped by a figure of Elbaz, his trademark floppy bow tie and glasses accessorized for the season with fairy wings and a wand. For those can’t make it across the pond, there’s this whimsical—and mildly creepy—short film to get you in the Christmas spirit. You’ll come away craving both goatskin ballerina flats and scones. Pass the Marco Polo jelly and Cornish clotted cream.

Sea Change: Ocean Trash Transformed into Fishy Sculptures for Bay Area Exhibit

“Giant Fish” and “Giant Sea Turtle,” sculptures created by artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi and a team of volunteers from washed-up ocean debris.

At first glance, the giant fish that will soon greet visitors to the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California, looks like a whimsical nod to the nonprofit veterinary hospital and research center’s aquatic patient population. In fact, 16-foot-long Henry (as he is known to friends) is a colorful jumble of plastic bits, aluminum cans, dish soap bottles, lids, buoys, toys, and toothbrushes that washed up on nearby beaches. He is the creation of Oregon-based artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi and her team of volunteers, who transformed the 7,000 pounds of ocean trash they collected into sculptures of marine life threatened by the detritus.

Henry and 14 more of Pozzi’s artworks—including a giant squid and a reef of scavenged styrofoam—will go on view Saturday in “Washed Ashore: Plastics, Sea Life, and Art,” a free exhibition that runs through October 15 at the Marine Mammal Center. According to executive director Jeff Boehm, as many as 10% of the hospital’s admissions (think elephant seals, harbor seals, and California sea lions) are due to human interactions, including those related to entanglements in trash. “As the beaches around the world wash up more stuff from the land and less from the sea I believe we must examine our relationship to rivers and oceans,” notes Pozzi, who grew up wading in the Pacific ocean and digging in the muck of Puget Sound. “I attempt to scoop up part of what might be below the blue waters and place it in front of us. In some ways it may be an escape, but at the same time a confrontation.”

R.I.P. ReadyMade: Meredith Folds DIY Magazine

In a move that is sure to spawn oodles of funky, handcrafted memorials, ReadyMade magazine has folded. Publisher Meredith yesterday announced that it would shutter the ten-year-old DIY bible and cut its 75 staffers in what CEO Steve Lacy chalked up to a “periodic realignment of resources” that would free up cash for “key strategic growth initiatives, including digital platform expansion.” Meanwhile, ReadyMade editors took to Twitter and the web to relay the sad news and bid farewell to their loyal readership of Readymakers. “As much as it breaks all our hearts it’s a decision we understand and are taking in stride,” noted a post on the magazine’s Editors’ Notes blog. “The ReadyMade community will continue [to] push DIY into the mainstream by building websites, writing blogs, taking photos, and most importantly, forming coherent opinions that are ours and only ours, and letting those be known. ReadyMade’s can-do spirit even in the most dire of circumstances has always been its life-blood and we know it will continue to be the driving force of ReadyMakers in the future. And this will keep us all going.”

Rocky Gets Yarnbombed in Philadelphia

This week, an iconic figure in Philadelphia wore something decidedly different than his usual, stoic tough guy demeanor would suggest. Local “yarnbomber,” meaning one who uses yarn as a type of graffiti, Jesse Hemmons, sneaked a cozy pink sweater onto the statue of Rocky Balboa which sits in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. On the sweater reads, “Go See The Art.” WHYY spoke to Hemmons after her yarn attack, learning that she did it after seeing much longer lines in front of the statue than at the museum immediately next door. Pre-Rocky tag, Hemmons has seemingly established herself to be the go-to yarnbomber in Philadelphia, judging by the projects available to view on her site. In particular, we really enjoyed her recent train car seat efforts. Back to Rocky, here’s a great quote from her conversation with WHYY:

“When we were finished installing, there was this group of men–probably mid-20s early 30s–they looked like they had really been excited about getting their picture with the Rocky statue,” said Hemmons. “Then they see a pink sweater. They were very disappointed. They kind of took their picture with not much enthusiasm, which I thought was funny.”

Adobe’s Online Museum Debuts John Maeda Exhibition: ‘Atoms + Bits = the neue Craft (ABC)’

In the blink of a disembodied Tony Oursler eyeball, the Adobe Museum of Digital Media has mounted its second exhibition. Through the end of the year, visitors to the sleek site can watch John Maeda, embattled president of the Rhode Island School of Design, deliver an illustrated lecture on his version of the ABCs: atoms, bits, and craft—specifically the physical-meets-virtual mashup that he calls “neue craft.” Maeda begins his discussion of the potential for art and design to catch up with technology by tracing his own path from creating early computer graphics and discovering MacPaint. “That began this era where the computer began to feel more like our world, more like the physical world,” says Maeda, conscious that a sizable chunk of his audience may own an iPad 2 but never heard of an Apple II. “The virtual world, at the time, was very clunky.” Highlighting the technological jumps enabled by Adobe PostScript (cue the Bézier splines!) and Photoshop, the ubiquity of Flash, and the growing awareness of art and design, he asks viewers to consider the origins of innovation before tackling the intersection of craft and computers. At RISD, of course, craft has always been king. “Our students are so steeped in the art of making, bending, gnawing, sawing, changing, forming,” says Maeda. “Today, because of digital tools, we’ve lost that sense of reality. However, craft is alive in the space I live in today.”

Designer Behind Academy Awards Envelopes Announced

It seems at once as both the most trivial and most important part of the entire Academy Awards, so while your eyes might not be entirely honed on the envelope as a winner is announce, you’ll undoubtedly be eager to have it opened (if just to see if Banksy does in fact take the stage in a monkey mask). Because the Oscar envelope holds such importance, and because the Academy needs to release more information about itself so the public doesn’t lose interest a week before the show, the organization has released information on the design of the folded paper. This year, designer Marc Friedland, of the firm Creative Intelligence has been hired to design them, creating perhaps the most high-profile, finest-to-touch envelopes of the year. They sound much fancier than what our mortgage notices get sent in every month and rightly so. After all, Gweneth Paltrow rarely touches them (or at least we hope). Here are the details:

Friedland’s custom-designed envelope will be handcrafted from a high-gloss, iridescent metallic gold paper stock, with a red-lacquered lining featuring the Oscar statuette hand-stamped in satin gold leaf.

…The winner’s name will be printed in charcoal ink and mounted onto a matching, red lacquer hand-wrapped frame. The back of the card will be printed with the award category.

…After final tabulation of the ballots, Brad Oltmanns and Rick Rosas, the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) partners, will insert the appropriate announcement cards and fasten the envelope with a red double-faced satin ribbon and a red-lacquered and gold-embossed seal featuring the PwC logo.

A small handful of photos of the envelopes can be found here. We’d say that you should feel free to print them out and hand them to your cat as you pretend that you’re James Franco or Anne Hathaway, but that’s really something you should run past the Academy first (and your cat).

Paper Fashion Show Returns to Denver, Seeks Designers

Newspaper Dress.jpgProject Runway fans will fondly recall the sixth season challenge that had the designer-contestants crafting dresses out of newsprint because, as Tim Gunn reminded them, “Fashion is news.” The episode also involved some on-deadline duplicity from one contestant, which led Gunn to proclaim, post-judging, “I am incredulous at that utterly preposterous spewing of fiction that Johnny [Sakalis] did on the runway.” Zing! But we digress. The Art Directors Club of Denver (ADCD) is once again bringing Project Runway-style creative feats to the masses with the seventh installment of its annual Paper Fashion Show.

“The ADCD Paper Fashion Show is like an event at the Art Olympics,” says Lonnie Hanzon, the first-place winner of last year’s show and a “wizard in residence” at the Museum of Outdoor Arts in nearby Englewood, Colorado. “It is the best place in Denver to showcase wildly creative work within very specific parameters.” This year’s participants will craft their fashions out of paper donated by Xpedx. On March 24, the looks will take to the runway and be assessed by a panel of judges that will award prizes to the top designs. The most crowd-pleasing look will take home the “audience favorite” honor. Part of the proceeds and auctioned fashion designs from the event will benefit Downtown Aurora Visual Arts, which provides after-school arts programs for at-risk youth. Designers, art directors, professionals in marketing and communications, and plain old fashion enthusiasts can register to participate in the Paper Fashion Show by February 18. In the meantime, get inspired by this footage from the 2010 event: