Category Archives: Current Projects

Corvallis Art Center Display

 

Sooo… How are you? Whatcha been up to lately? Mm-hmm. Good, good.

Oh, me? I’m glad you asked. I now have jewelry for sale at the Corvallis Arts Center! Check this ish out:

(Click any picture for a slideshow with commentary.)

Besides my wares, the Art Center and its shop feature some truly amazing art by local artists. Go show them some love!

Herringbone Bracelet Fever

 

EDIT: Now with pictures that don’t suck.

Last month I took a beading class at Spearit Beads in Albany, Oregon. The instructor, Darlene Powers, did a great job. (She teaches classes regularly in Albany and the Dallas Antique Mall. You can see samples for upcoming classes at either of those locations. Check it out!) We learned how to make a really nifty bracelet using two-hole beads.

As I am wont to do with a new craft, I went a little crazy after the class. I made a LOT of bracelets, you guys. I modified the pattern very slightly on some of them, because Gods forbid I actually follow directions. Here’s a gallery of just a few of them (click any picture to see a slideshow with commentary).

Similar pieces will be for sale on my Etsy site soon (along with all the other shit I keep promising). Right now I’m working on some super fancy versions for the Corvallis Art Center. More on that in a future post.

Custom Cell Phone Pouch

As you may already know, I’ve been going through an inner-tubes-as-material phase. At its peak I made my uncle Dave a belt pouch for his cell phone (at his request; I didn’t just inflict it on him). It had some problems, so today I made him a new one. See the slideshows below for pictures with commentary.

The old pouch (click the first picture of each set to see the slideshow so you can read the text):

The new pouch:

The Joy of Deadlines

On December 5th I will be hosting a table at the Brownsville Art Center for the holiday market. Let the panic begin!

Some of the pressure is off me because I suckered convinced my dad to contribute to the sale. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I am less than totally prepared (read: I do not have even close to enough inventory to fill an entire table, especially one of the gigantic tables at the art center). So lately my days have been filled with a frenzy of making stuff. Don’t get me wrong–I love creating. It’s just that I have a persistent voice in the back of my head shouting, “Work faster! FASTER, I say!” That little voice is strongly of the opinion that I don’t have time for trivial matters like sleeping, eating, shitting, etc. It spends a lot of time arguing with the other little voice that thinks everything I make is complete crap and should be redone from scratch. My brain is super fun, guys.

Anyway, I will have several of the following items for sale: Pouches of varying styles made of inner tubes, sketchbook “holsters” made from old shirts, decorated shirt cuffs, block necklaces, and Peppermint Beasties. This is also a good opportunity to order custom work, especially if you want it done in time for the holidays. Check out my portfolio for examples of things I’ve made in the past.

I hope to post pictures soon of what I’m working on. It depends if I can convince the little voices to let me, or if I manage to sneak past them. Wish me luck.

The Secret Life of Inner Tubes

Inner tubes.

tube bathtub 1

 

Many inner tubes.

inner tube IMG_0529 copy 01

SO. MANY. INNER. TUBES.

inner tube IMG_0528 copy 01

At my request, the awesome employees of Bike N Hike in Albany have been saving old inner tubes accumulated through the bike repair side of their business. (Those guys are awesome. I highly recommend them for your biking and hiking needs. I’m not at all biased, I swear.) I completely failed to anticipate the sheer volume of rubber that would come my way. Still, it’s great to have a huge supply so I can feel free to experiment and waste a lot of rubber with my screw-ups.

Before I can use the inner tubes to make pouches and whatnot, each one has to be cut open and cleaned. Did you know bicycle tubes are coated with white powder on the inside? In addition, some tubes are filled with a mysterious slimy goo. I learned the hard way to make a tiny cut to see what I’m dealing with before slicing it all the way open.

Why am I going to all this trouble? I’m glad you asked, hypothetical reader! It turns out you can turn inner tubes into all sorts of cool shit. Pouches, belts, wallets, jewelry…just about anything you can make out of leather, really. Here’s a gallery of just a few examples (click any picture to view a slide show with commentary):

This gallery includes other styles of rubber flowers.

There are people out there who are much more experienced with this medium. Check out the work of this artist. And how about this suit of armor? A search for “inner tube art” on google will net you a ton of amazing stuff.

If you want to try out tube crafts, I recommend the guide by Bicitoro. You can also refer to this handy list of tips I put together through trial and (mostly) error:

1.) While slitting the tube along the inside curve will give you the flattest slab of rubber, it’s sometimes worth sacrificing that ease of use if cutting in another place will let you feature cool lettering or patches.

2.) A single standard tube doesn’t allow for long enough strips to box braid. I tried a lot of complicated solutions (machine stitching, various glues, etc.) before I figured out the best method is to simply knot strips together at the ends. Not only is it secure, the join isn’t obvious on the finished piece.

3.) Rubber does not taste good. (Tip provided by my cats, who LOVE playing with whatever material I’m working with.)

4.) Dedicate a pair of scissors to cutting inner tubes, and be prepared for them to dull quickly.

5.) The easiest way to clean the flattened tubes is to lay them out in a bathtub, scrub with dish soap and a kitchen sponge, and rinse with a shower wand.

6.) Say goodbye to clean fingernails.

7.) Be sure to have your favorite coping mechanism handy for when your sewing machine and the rubber refuse to play nicely with each other. Hours of snarled thread, crooked lines, tension trouble, and finicky feed dogs are guaranteed to make you stabby.

8.) When in doubt, use glue. A LOT of glue. (Actually, that’s a good motto for life in general.) It still might not work, but making a huge mess will make you feel a little better. Bonus points if you can trick someone else into cleaning it up.

9.) Cut and roll up inner tubes immediately for storage, even if you don’t have time to wash them yet. They take up way less space that way. This will also help flatten out any annoying creases.

10.) Snorting the powder inside the tubes will not get you high. Don’t ask me how I know.

I’ve Been Working On…

It’s been a while since I posted, but I have a good excuse! Really! See, I’m teaching a class in June at the Brownsville Art Center, and prepping for it has taken up most of my time. I can prove it, too. Check out these badass flowers made from assorted junk (click any picture to see a slideshow with commentary):

These aren’t all the types of flowers we’ll be making in class on June 20th from 10am to 1pm, but it’s a good sampling. You’ll be able to register at the Art Center soon; I’ll post an update when it’s set up.  There is a $20 non-refundable registration fee for supplies.

There will be a ton of other activities designed to prepare artists for the Junk Art Show in August. Stay tuned to find out more.