Archive for July, 2010

Craft Sabbath’s $5 and $10 Show on Aug 1

July 29, 2010

Baby Squidleighs by Grimmleighs

Baby Squidleighs by Grimmleighs

Want to support the arts, but don’t have a lot of cash? That’s why Craft Sabbath is bringing you the 5 and 10 dollar show for August. The Craft Sabbath artists will be out with all kinds of stuff, but this time, each artist will offer at least a few items that cost $10 dollars or less. With $5 and $10 hand-crafted items galore, what have you got to lose? Come out, get your craft on and support local crafters!

This is your chance to pick up a little something from all those crafters you have been checking out for months. Credit Cards will be accepted! Beat the heat with some of Nobrow’s Limeade and iced coffee.

Craft Sabbath
Sunday August 1st
Noon to 4pm
At NoBrow Coffee and Tea
315 e 300 s, SLC

Sandra's Sunglass Cases

Sandra's Sunglass Cases

Sandra's Business Card Wallets

Sandra's Business Wallets

Meghann Griggs - Magnets

Meghann Griggs - Patches

Zipper Pouches and Biz Card Holders by Sorry Clementine

Zipper Pouches and Biz Card Holders by Sorry Clementine

Sequin Headbands by Sorry Clementine

Sequin Headbands by Sorry Clementine

Kevin Bacon, Gilmore Girls – and World-Famous Artist, Kiki Smith

July 27, 2010
Kiki Smith Sculpture Untitled

Kiki Smith Sculpture Untitled

Kiki Smith Sculpture


Have you ever played the game 6 degrees from Kevin Bacon? You play by trying to link yourself to Kevin Bacon through who you know.

Well, if you we were to play that game with the world-famous artist Kiki Smith, I would win because I can get there in one small step.


I don’t actually know Kiki, but a friend of mine spent several summers living in New York working with her, making art. At that time, many years ago, I was lucky enough to spend a week in New York going to galleries and meeting artists all over the place.

I usually leave it to Todd to talk about world-famous artists, with his massive knowledge of art history, I feel he is much more qualified. Writing about Kiki intimidates me. Her work is far more political and metaphysical than can be understood by a humble crafter with the word “duh” in the title of her blog. But because of my personal connection, I want to be the one to share her with our readers.

Kiki Smith

Wolf Girl

Todd and I saw many of Kiki’s pieces last spring when we went to explore the art museums and galleries of San Fransisco. But I don’t think I realized just how famous she is until I saw her work featured on the hit TV show Gilmore Girls. In the episode, Lorelei’s mom gave her Kiki’s Wolf Girl as a wedding gift, and Lorelei hated it. Wish she would give it to me instead!!

Kiki amazes me because she has mastered so many mediums. She grew up doing the things that I like to do – embroidery, crochet and sewing. She makes sculptures in plaster and bronze, she knows everything about printmaking, she teaches, makes books, works with glass, weaves and etches.

Kiki Smith Peebody

Pee Body

One of Kiki’s installations that I love is a group of 47 bronze ravens that are laying dead on the ground. She made this after reading in the newspaper that a flock of birds was flying along and suddenly all of them dropped dead and fell from the sky. She is also know for including bodily functions and fluids in her work, for example, her sculpture of a woman urinating yellow beads.

Celestial Bodies

Kiki had this to say about the repetition that is such a huge part (and probably my favorite part) of art making, “I think there’s a spiritual power in repetition, a devotional quality, like saying a rosarie.”

Another thing that fasinates me about Kiki, is that she isn’t afraid to cross over into the more commercial world of fashion and collectibles. For instance, she designed a purse for Coach and has worked with Steuben Glass to make crystal vases and animals. I don’t know about you, but I get tired of snobby artists who believe if its not in a gallery, its not art.

Kiki Smith Coach Bag

Kiki Smith Coach Bag

Well, please enjoy some of Kiki’s images. Some are disturbing and others beautiful. And if you are interested, take a look at the links below to learn more about her. Drop us a comment if you have thoughts to add, love it or hate it, we would love to hear from you. | Kiki Smith

Art 21 | Kiki Smith


The Ultimates

July 25, 2010

I’ve been thinking on one of my favorite knock-down, bone-breaking, poop-kicking, big-dumb-super-duper-hero-fun comic book series because of the San Diego Comic Con and upcoming Marvel movies. Yeah, I mean the Ultimates!

The Ultimates is a reinterpretation of Marvel’s super hero team, “the Avengers“. Even though I really liked some of the individual characters, I never particularly liked the Avenger as a team. However, with the Ultimates, the story couldn’t be better.

The Ultimates starts off with Captain America on his final mission during World War II. Everyone thinks he had died on that mission, but nope! He is revived again 57 years later by Gen. Nick Fury, who is recruiting a new special-ops team for the U.S. Government.

In addition to Captain America, Nick Fury’s team includes Iron Man, Ant-Man a.k.a Giant-Man, the Wasp, Black Widow, and Hawkeye. I’m not sure that the Hulk is ever really a member of the team, but they definitely make use of him. Sometimes the Hulk is their greatest enemy, destroying New York City in order to get at Freddie Prinze Jr., and sometimes the Hulk is used as their greatest weapon. There is also Thor, who is either the living son of a Norse god or a lunatic new-age hippie with a big hammer.

All in all, I say “HOORAY!” But if I try and describe all that goes down, it might start to sound like a soap opera with tights, so I won’t give too much of an overview. Just believe me when I tell you this is a very entertaining comic. | Ultimates | Digital Comics | Avengers Assemble!


Movie Props


Bikini Awareness Month

July 22, 2010

Moria Costume in Paris - by Anna West

Black Bikini - by Anna West

Artduh felt it was important for you all to know that Governor Herbert signed a proclamation declaring July to be Bikini Awareness Month in Utah.

Okay, I made that up to cover for the fact that July 5 was the anniversary of the fabulous garment known as a bikini (named after an atomic bomb test) and we heard about it too late to get it up on the blog. So here you go, better late than never, our blog post about the wonderful invention known as the bikini.

by Krista Nielson - Photo by David Newkirk

I actually chose this topic because I LOVE to make bikinis. They are fairly quick to crochet (my favorite way of making things) and I seem to have endless ideas to make them weird – like weaving in bits of metal, jingle bells, even bullets. But, most of the time mine aren’t actually meant to be worn, except on a stage or runway, and I don’t know what I’d do if someone jumped into a chlorinated pool in one of my creations.

My friend Krista Nielson, a local fashion designer and writer who I admire a lot, also makes bikinis. She makes hers out of fabric instead of crochet and she unveiled several new designs at Spring Fashion Stroll in May.

by Krista Nielson - Photo by David Newkirk

And now, a little bit on the history of the bikini.

This sexy swimsuit was first unveiled in July of 1946. Naturally, it was a French designer, Louis Reard, who first had the balls to put women in such skimpy clothing. The poor man couldn’t find a model who was willing to let so much hang out, so he talked an exotic dancer into wearing his bikini at a popular Paris swimming pool.

It seems politics had quite a lot to do with the development of the bikini. In the 30s, women first began wearing two-piece swimsuits, but they modestly kept the navel and, well, almost everything else covered. However, World War II brought hard times, and fabric was rationed. So swimwear grew smaller and smaller.

by Krista Nielson - Photo by David Newkirk

Naturally, the bikini caught on more quickly in Europe, though when the garment was first introduced many beaches moved to ban it. However, by the 1950s, the bikini was a mainstay of European fashion.

The prudish U.S. was slower to adopt the trend. However, in the 60s, “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini” became a popular song and Annette Funicello wore the magical outfit in many movies. And the rest is history.

Next week, visit for Todd’s post on the history of the thong. Have a great summer and don’t forget your sunscreen when you lay out in your gorgeous Krista Nielson bikini!


White Bikini - By Anna West

Beautiful Eyes – Renew Thyself – Beach Bowls – The Pottery of Melanie McGee Evans

July 20, 2010
Self Portrait

Self Portrait

1950s - Anna W Collection

1950s - Anna W Collection

Though I don’t know how to do it myself, I’ve had a love affair with handmade pottery and ceramics at least since high school. I have a fairly large collection, and nothing brings me more pleasure than adding to it. In 2006, Todd and I went to a ceramics show at BYU. And at this show we fell in love with the work of a young potter named Melanie McGee.

From Graduate Show @ BYU

Melanie’s thesis show, that we saw that day at BYU, consisted of a series of hand built large spherical forms with conical shapes extending out from the center. They looked like large sea shells or sea animals. A few months later, at Christmas time, Palmer’s Gallery had a pottery show. I fell in love with some very affordable pots with black and white images carved into the surface – and discovered these were also by Melanie McGee. In fact, I bought one of Melanie’s carved bowls for Todd and he liked it so much he went back to Palmer’s and bought one for me. I asked Melanie about her carved pieces – which are my favorite and this is what she had to say:

Renew Thyself Completly- Todd P Collection

Renew Thyself Completly- Todd P Collection

“The carving style I use is called sgraffito which is a process of carving through one layer of colored clay to reveal the uncolored clay beneath. I had a brief introduction to the sgraffito technique as an undergraduate but it wasn’t until a fellow grad student made a series of sgraffito pieces that I became more interested. Her work was very loose, organic and spontaneous and she made it look so easy. I experimented with it until I developed my own style that was less spontaneous and more graphic design-ish. I was inspired to use black and white images from a series of paper cuttings that my father was working on around the same time. His design style was based on traditional European cuttings while my images were simplified stencil like cut outs of figures, faces or just simple shapes. My interest in black and white photography helped give me more material to work with as I used my own photos from previous photography classes to piece together collages that I then translated onto the curved forms of thrown or slab built works.”

San Fran Grafitti Mug - Anna W Collection

San Fran Grafitti Mug - Anna W Collection

A lot has changed for Melanie since her thesis show at BYU. Palmer’s Gallery sadly closed. But I have stayed in touch with her and continued collecting her work. Melanie McGee is now known as Melanie Evans and she has become a mom and an art teacher. Like all of us, she struggles to find time to create amid her duties at home and work. Melanie is now working on a process to screen print images on clay that I’m very excited to see. Here’s what she had to say about the process of working with clay:



“I love making things out of clay because it’s something real that people can hold and look at and experience and maybe they’ll love it as much as I love making it.”

You can see Melanie’s available work at Or drop us a comment and we’ll link you up with her. She does commission work and is making us a dinnerware set in the sgraffito style based on San Francisco graffiti. Click here to read our entire written interview with Melanie.

Beautiful Eyes Large Bowl - Anna W Collection

Beautiful Eyes Large Bowl - Anna W Collection

Call for Young Artists -Next Gen Kids Craft Show and Artists Reception

July 19, 2010
Flyer by Molly Kade

Flyer by Molly Kade

Know some young artists, between 2nd and 6th grade, who would like to take their art career to the next level? Our friends Rachel and Leigh Kade are calling for entries for their Kids Craft Show and Artist’s Reception. The event will be Saturday, August 21 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at NoBrow Coffee and Tea.

To apply, the young artists must fill out a simple application and write an artist statement. This is intended as a learning exercise so kids know what it’s like to market their crafts professionally. The young participants are also encouraged to make business decisions about pricing, displays and merchandising. The kids are also asked to choose a charity or nonprofit group and donate a portion of their proceeds to a good cause.

Interested artist should send an e-mail to Rachel at, and she will reply with the application form. This event is brought to you by Grimmleigh’s Fiends, Craft Sabbath and Nobrow Coffee.

Jesse Reno – Truth Myth Extinction

July 18, 2010

I just bought a book called “Truth Myth Extinction” by the Portland, Oregon artist Jesse Reno. I discovered his artwork a few years ago, and really enjoy all I’ve seen. I’m sure I’ll be getting some prints or paintings very soon, but in the mean time this book will serve very well.

Here is what Jesse Reno has to say about his work:

My style and technique is made up of quick expressed lines, smears of vibrant colors, and layer after layer of changing ideas and shapes. I identify myself and my work most closely with the outsider art brut movements. Outsider art is considered by its proponents to be the contemporary antidote to our over industrialized, complicated, stressful, and uncertain lives. it is probably best described as a new kind of primitivism, i seek naive art as a purer form of creation and expression.

I hope you look through his site, watch the video linked below, and enjoy yourselves. | jessereno | jessereno

Meryl Streep Sings Duet with Dummy

July 15, 2010

Academy Award Winner Shares the Stage with A Dummy

Academy Award Winner Shares the Stage with A Dummy

Dude, I can’t help it. I just love freaky stuff. I don’t mean horror movies and tabloid newspapers. What I mean is, people making things that are so weird they probably just shouldn’t do it.

Here is one of the weirdest things I ever saw. Todd and I were innocently watching Art 21 one night, and all of a sudden, this nightmare came on. An artist made a movie, a musical really, that stars Meryl Streep and. . . nothing else but a bunch of ventriloquist dummies. This is the type of thing I have to post to the blog, just to make sure you could see it too, and I didn’t dream it.

What I want to know, is where was Meryl’s agent when she decided to take this role?

Here’s just a taste of it – to see the whole terrifying 15 min segment, you’ll have to rent Art 21 on Netflix like we did. But don’t say we didn’t warn you when you can’t fall asleep without humming “Ahi ahi tuna….” | Meryl Streep 1 | Meryl Streep 2 | Meryl Streep 3 | Meryl Streep 4

Creepy Crochet

July 13, 2010

I have to admit I love crochet. Nothing can make my eyes well up with tears like seeing a doily, tablecloth or bedspread that someone’s grandmother crocheted by hand using a tiny steal hook. I also love the resurgence of crochet we’ve seen in recent years, with youngsters in their teens and twenties shrugging off the image that crochet is just for grannys with spunky Stitch and Bitch clubs popping up everywhere.

But there is another kind of crochet that I love. The dark, creepy, underbelly of crochet that was popular, it seems, especially in the 70s when women made itchy afghans from garish yellow, orange and brown color combinations using gross acrylic fibers. I know this kind of crochet has a bad name. In fact, its left a huge dingy brown and orange mark across crochet’s reputation, and may be why so many of my non-crafty friends just don’t understand my love for my top hobby. But I love it. And do you know why I love it? I’m not sure I can even explain. I think I’m just facinated by the weirdness of it.

Take for example, one of my favorite crochet books ever, called “Wishes and Wonders.” This book was given to me by someone who doesn’t know my tastes real well. But guess what – I thumb through this book all the time! you know why? Because many of the patterns look like they were made in the depths of hell under Satan’s supervision.

My top pick from this book is called Hidden Secrets. Its a woman’s dickie, matching cuffs and beanie (top photo, right detail photo). You wear it under a jacket, and no one will ever know you’re not wearing a complete sweater – because of the little cuffs, you see. And EVERY middle-aged woman wears a yellow beanie to work with her blazer – just like in this picture? Ha ha, I love this pattern!

You might argue that some of the creepy crochet patterns that I find so facinating are just out of style. That may be partly true. But seriously, when was wearing a yellow dickie with a matching beanie ever in style? But I’ll tell you what, I’d wear it! Ha ha ha.

If you have any creepy crochet patterns of your own, please let us know with a comment or an e-mail to

Creepy weird like you!

July 11, 2010

This week, Art Duh is celebrating creativity, skewed perspective, and outdated styles. Essentially, this week,  we are all about art that is just a little too strange.

Today we will blog about a contest to write a caption for the sweet painting above. Tuesday will be home to Creepy Crochet and on Thursday we will bring you a Meryl Streep performance you never ever imagined could exist.

Art is not a matter of life and death, and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Here is a link to another site that I think would agree. Look around, the captions on the paintings really made us laugh:

But more importantly, you have the chance to win Several Seconds of Fame, by simply writing a hillarious caption for an extremely strange work of art. Click here to do it, and then drop in and leave us a comment with your caption.

Happy Creepy Craft Week! Love,


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