Boing Boing 

Lovely profile of James Merry, Björk's maskmaker

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Björk has become known for rocking some stunning embroidered masks. Hint published a nice overview of her longtime collaboration with maskmaker James Merry.

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WATCH: turn smartphones into 3D hologram projectors

Mrwhosetheboss made a down-and-dirty holographic projector for a smartphone using a plastic jewel case and special video files. Try it yourself!

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Homemade bumper harness saves blind dog from bumping into everything

vqGLbk “Our dog Buddy has become blind because of cataracts. My fiancé has made him this bumper harness so that he can confidently walk around the house without hurting himself!”

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Glow-in-the-dark patterns burned into electrocuted wood

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Imgur user PapJ06 created these interesting Lichtenberg figures by electrocuting wood blocks with a modified microwave transformer, then applying glowing powder and resin.

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Gorgeous video of artisans crafting ceramics in Icheon

Mr.Romance's lovely video of master artisans creating ceramics is a super-chill look at the beautiful techniques being practiced in the South Korean city of Icheon.

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"When arts die, they turn into hobbies."

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Author Michael Lind weighs in with this thought-provoking essay about what happens when an art form shrinks to a niche market. Using literature and architecture as examples, he organizes major and minor arts horizontally, based on audience size:

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MAKE: dollar-store ninja Xmas tree ornaments


Here's a great tutorial for using ribbon, baubles, and googly eyes to honor the Christmas Spirit intrinsic in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with your festive Krampusbush.

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Star Wars Tree Sweater


This is how they yarn-bomb in Iowa City. (via Ellen Kushner)

WATCH: Japanese doll maker at work

Many thanks to Andreas for sharing this lovely video of a doll maker in Japan.

Accidentally on Purpose – The beauty of jazz-like improvisational quilting

There are a handful of other books about African-American quilts, particularly quilts from Gee’s Bend; each have beautiful quilts to show, but this obscure exhibition catalogue remains my favorite. Whereas other books tend to position the quilts in the context of modern art and abstract painting, scholar and collector Eli Leon focuses on the connection with West and Central African textile traditions.

Leon’s thesis is that African-American quiltmakers, much like jazz musicians, were drawing on the aesthetic traditions of Africa when they began to make quilts to keep their families warm. “[Afro-traditional quiltmakers] favor ‘flexible patterning,’ in which the design is conceived as an invitation to variation; rather than repeat, the pattern may materialize in a sequence of visual elaborations.”

This contrasts sharply with the standard American quilt-making tradition and its attention to precise measurement and exact pattern repetition. Instead, afro-traditional quilters “maintain a generous attitude towards the accidental.”

What makes the essays so great is that Leon is a passionate observer of process, using diagrams to describe variations on a single block pattern and exploring at length the design choices used in specific quilts.

With the help of extensive interviews with African-American quilt makers, Leon creates a language to describe these design techniques. Subtitles like “accumulative creation,” “bimodality,” and “integration of accidentals” hint at what this book has to offer to designers and improvisers of all stripes.

Also worth checking out is Talking Quilts, a series of conversations between Eli Leon and quilter Sherri Lynn Wood about his collection. – Reanna Alder

Accidentally on Purpose: The Aesthetic Management of Irregularities in African Textiles and African-American Quilts
by Eli Leon
2007, 176 pages, 9.4 x 9.5 x 0.5 inches (paperback)

Take a look at other beautiful paper books at Wink. And sign up for the Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.

Whiskey production is not keeping up with whiskey demand

Whiskey is a "slow food". Whiskey consumption is a fast trend. And, herein, lies a problem. (I will fight all y'all for the last bottle of Buffalo Trace.)

New book on HOWTO to make cute crochet people (including famous ones)

Boing Boing reader Allison Hoffman, whose crocheted Breaking Bad dolls I blogged about previously, tells us:

Thanks to your positive review and others like it, I was able to write a book and its release is set for October 1st! Its a how-to book on creating custom dolls to look like famous or not-so-famous people.

It looks great. Amazon Link: "AmiguruME: Make Cute Crochet People"

UglyCon at GR2 in LA this weekend: a gathering of Uglydoll fans

I had the great pleasure of visiting with Giant Robot's Eric Nakamura and collaborators last night at the GR2 space on Sawtelle in Los Angeles.

Way into the wee hours of the night, they were gathering one-of-a-kind Uglydoll art for the fourth annual Uglycon, which starts June 15 and continues through June 26. The show includes Uglydolls created by fans, and fellow artists.


Photo: Xeni Jardin

Boing Boing pal Tim Shey and I walked around the space and watched a mural and an exhibit take shape. Above, a time-lapse video of the mural creation shot by Eric Nakamura.

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Bitblox: wooden alphabet blocks inspired by our pixelated nostalgia

BB reader Readblood shares this photo in the Boing Boing Flickr pool and explains,

Bitblox are wooden alphabet blocks inspired by our pixelated nostalgia. While pixels continue shrinking out of sight on our digital screens, they live on in full chromatic and tactile splendor in these one-of-a-kind alphabet blocks.
$45 a set, available at glyfyx.com. Each limited-edition set includes 28 blocks, "featuring a total of 168 letters, numbers, symbols and quirky pictograms." They're "hand-manufactured in the United States from renewable, American grown, kiln-dried basswood," printed with non-toxic, child-safe inks, free of lead.

Insanely labor-intensive Gangnam Style flipbook animation video

An incredibly labor-intensive animated flipbook version of PSY's "Gangnam Style." Such a bummer that Etoilec1, the talented creator of this stunning video, was sound-blocked by YouTube's automated IP enforcement police. Etoilec1's original video is here (and below), in higher rez, but it's stripped of sound. Subscribe to his channel or follow him on Facebook, for more flipbook fun. Above, a lower-rez copycat upload on Vimeo. (Thanks, Joe Sabia!)

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TMBG launches iOS app hand-stitched entirely from felt

Spotted in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool: Vancouver, Canada-based Artist Hiné Mizushima, right, stitched this lovely commissioned felt work for They Might Be Giants' new iOS song app.

The app is available now, as a free download.

Like TMBGs original Dial-A-Song, the app has a different song every day. The app holds five of the freshest posted tracks at all times, and all are directly linked to iTunes. It also connects you directly to TMBGs social media and free MP3 club. From Don't Let's Start to Nanobots the app even includes brand new tracks, GRAMMY-winning kids music and TMBGs beloved television themes.

The app was created by TMBG with Drew Westphal, graphic designer Paul Sahre, and Ms. Mizushima's lovely felt work.