First things first, I should mention that after spending a good 30 minutes trying to find parking because of the gallery hop on Saturday night, it did indeed start storming. And hailing. And I got soaked. The things I do for you, Tomopop readers.
Having gotten all dried out, or at least as dry as I could possibly be, I made my way to a pretty packed Rivet. As I'd arrived a little bit late, most of the artists were already doing their thing, working on pieces in various media.
Troy Stith was there, working on a new tree-like sculpture that was a commission. The theme of the piece was supposed to be "guardian," which the shape shows off a little bit more of once you see it:
Here, you can see a work-in-progress look at the piece. There's a lot of sculpey to go around here, and this is very early in the process, so a lot of details aren't done yet. But Troy told me that the little cave will be host to a shrine of sorts with all kinds of small charms and whatnot inside, while the tree will have two large branches: one living, one dead.
Amanda Spayd and her little critters were also at the event. She'd grabbed a few pieces of fabric beforehand for the event, but here, you can see a little bit of how each critter is made. The body and ear patterns are traced onto each piece of fabric and cut out by hand, with the excess fabric often going to stuff the critters before they're sewn tight.
Here's the actual sewing machine Amanda uses for her critters. Yes, it's quite an antique and it's actually hand-cranked:
Kind of gives handmade a little bit of a stronger meaning, huh?
And there's the finished product! Normally, she'd then turn the ears inside out so the seam is hidden on the inside and sew them on after the body's been put together in a similar fashion. And you might not be able to see it real well here, but the reason she uses that sewing machine is pretty clear in person: it creates a very tight seam that helps keep the critters' stuffings inside and is very, very, very hard to loosen up.
There was also another name that you might be familiar with from some of our recent posts, and that would be artist Jason Tharp. From Columbus and primarily an illustrator and painter, Tharp's recently put together his first custom Munnys for shows in Cleveland and Cincinnati. He was working on a painting for most of the night, sharing a table with Troy, and was a great guy to talk to.
He also brought his Cleveland pieces with him to the show, and in person, the detail is quite remarkable! I snapped a few pictures of them up-close that you can check out in the gallery. Trust me, it's worth it!
The event's over and done with, sadly: all the artists couldn't live at Rivet for a month. But next year will be the 5th year anniversary show, and I'm expecting them to do something even bigger and better! Hopefully!
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Brian Szabelski is Tomopop's Editor-in-Chief, stuck with an ever-growing collection of figures and toys. When he's not posting on Tomopop, he can usually be found working on any number of project... more | staff directory
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