Maker Mayhem: Low Moments in How-To History, Part 8
Burnt Matchstick Easter Decorations: When celebrating the Resurrection means looking no further than your ashtray. By Matt Maranian
There seems to be something specific to the Christian faith that drives the non-trained artist to express their love of God with found objects, sundry recyclables, and repurposed household detritus. You don’t often see a Star of David hammered out in bottle caps, or a Muslim weaving a prayer rug from folded gum wrappers, and Buddhists don’t seem to bother much with pipe cleaners or cigar boxes. An effigy of L. Ron Hubbard in flattened soda cans and popsicle sticks? Even a Scientologist draws the line somewhere. When it comes to faith-based folk art of the outsider variety, Christians win, hands down.
In the frugal world of upcycled Christian crafts, we see here that even burnt matchsticks have everlasting life as an “Easter project,” but this how-to should come with a disclaimer; the maker’s use of blackened matchsticks is not some play on the concept of Ash Wednesday, but a nod to the turn-of-the-last-century folk craft known as Tramp Art. To clarify, Tramp Art is the term used for the small handcrafts made by boxcar-hopping ne'er-do-wells from low-quality scrap wood intricately cut or carved with a pocketknife, often constructed of many stacked pieces fitted together like a three dimensional puzzle.
Matchstick folk art can mimic the look of Tramp art, and is attributed to the crafty but dirt-poor folks of the Appalachians circa the 1870s, and was also once a popular time-killer among the incarcerated. However, this how-to dates from nearly a century later, so for the Appalachian folk art laymen who might not be able to connect the dots, the net result here is simply a cross that appears to be badly singed. And there’s something just a wee bit unsettling about a cross with charred edges. Burnt crosses generally call to mind pointed white hoods, terms like “Grand Dragon,” and for those of us unfortunate enough to have been subjected to its heavy rotation in the '80s, that cloying Madonna video for “Like a Prayer,” none of which do a whole lot to put anyone in the Easter spirit, not even in the secular sense.
A low-budget holiday decoration, or a KKKraft? Your friends might be too afraid to ask—and may never show up for another Easter dinner.
Maker Mayhem: Low Moments in How-To History, Part 18
Indoor Shooting Gallery: Because guns are fun, it’s just that simple.
Pantyhose Casserole Carrier: Potluck be a lady tonight.
When you can’t wait for the world’s longest meeting to end, the mindless leg bouncing makes your boredom obvious and just annoys everybody else. Everyone knows the TPS reports need the damn cover sheet, but some sadistic colleague keeps forgetting, probably on purpose just to eat into your lunch hour. Enough is enough!While serving a […]
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]