Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Giving a Little Lost Sock a Soul

Tsukumogami: little sock with a soul

Anyone who has followed this blog knows I love discovering and transforming found objects. When I learned about the Japanese folk belief that objects have the capacity to become alive and self-aware, it changed the way I relate to the objects I find. Somehow they have already managed to break free and venture out into the world on their own. Now I try to help them discover their soul. Then I release them to continue their journey. To learn more about Tsukumogami, see a past post, Tsukumogami: Objects with Souls. For other past work with found objects, follow this Found link.

Lost by the wayside

This Tsukumogami began with the discovery of a little, lost, blue-striped sock, found on the walking path beside Lake Merritt in Oakland, no doubt tossed from a stroller by a heartless renegade toddler. The first step is to study the object a while, searching for whatever is within yearning to break free.

Communing with lost object

The next step is to animate the object, bringing the hidden pirit of the sock to the fore.

A little worried

A little sad

A little surprised

The next step is to send the Tsukumogami back out into the world to meet whatever fate awaits.
I decided to attach a little tag to the sock so that the people who discover it and help it begin the next stage of its journey have some idea what they are dealing with.


I decided to release the newly awakened spirit sock close to where I had found it, and left it sitting on the base of a light post right by the Lake Merritt walking path.

Little Tsukumogami waiting for its fate


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Upcycled Fourth: Red, White, and a Little Blue

Cannibalizing two shirts for the greater good

Two thrift store men's shirts, each sporting a red and white stripe pattern, are combined together to create one new upcycled shirt. And here's how:

The how-to

Some detail shots:

Detail, top of shirt

Detail, inset pocket (hand-stitched)

Detail: patches covering old shirt logos

Detail: Cuffs reattached at elbow height

And a bonus for the Fourth of July: Since the shirt sports red and white stripes, I decided to add a pin to round out the ensemble for the holiday. The pin is fashioned from an old tin can lid (for more how-to info on tin can pins see Tin Can Frames Tutorial, or enter "tin can pins" in the search window of this blog and see a whole range of past tin can pins).

And yes, the sentiment is both political and emotional.

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