Far from twee

I get quite frustrated that the majority of craft magazines, blogs and websites focus on what I can only describe as “twee” crafting.  I know everyone’s taste is different and that’s A GOOD THING – but every time I see a pink magazine cover with butterflies on I’m reminded of that IKEA advert about getting rid of your chintz…

Chuck Out Your Chintz from Pentagram on Vimeo.

This guy is the epitemy of not-chintz.  His name is Ben Venom (which gives his taste away a little) and he makes quilts.  Not the American Quilters Association type pretty patches type of quilt, but a demonic, dark and graffitiesque type of quilting which is really quite beautiful.  A little Iron Maiden for me, but I wanted to celebrate the alternative world of not pink and fluffy crafts.

There’s a feature on Ben on CraftGossip with a video of him you might want to check out.
Here’s some of Ben Venom’s work:

Love it, or hate it, it’s not twee….

Huichol Bead Art

I was poking about online looking for beading projects and ideas when I came across these amazing Huichol bead covered objects

Huichol bead covered VW Beetle

Huichol bead covered VW Beetle

Huichol bead covered skull

Huichol bead covered skull

The Huichols are an indigenous people, descendants of the Aztecs, who mostly live in the mountainous areas of northern Jalisco and parts of Nayarit in north central Mexico.  Their works of art are based on traditional patterns used for centuries to represent and communicate with the gods.

The beaded designs are extremly colourful.  Few pastel shades are used with primary and bold colours like black and shades of red, orange, blue, purple and yellow dominating the designs. Huichol designs often include animals, plants and celestial objects, all representative of their shamanic faith. The most common Huichol art pieces are wooden objects or wooden pictures that have been coated with a thin layer of wax. Beads or lengths of single-ply yarn are pressed into the wax to create the pattern

There’s a great article here on the VW Beetle.

I thought I might have a go at making a skull (the VW Beetle might be a tad ambitious), but using glue instead of wax to hold the beads in place.  I’ll post some pics when its done and hopefully a tutorial for a similar project soon.

In the meantime, you can see more Mexican bead art at my Pinterest page here.