Bangles via Guns (and the power of making)

by Sally Steele

Liu Bolin, camouflage artist


Sometimes inspiration comes at me from different directions.

And btw, what is so funny ’bout Peace, Love and Understanding?


Newspaper dress





While reading the NYTimes Runway Blog… “Jessica Mindich is a jewelry designer who has begun transforming recycled pistols, rifles and shotguns from Newark into a line of sleek bangle bracelets. Twenty percent of the proceeds will go directly to the gun buyback program in Newark, she said.” From the Jewelry for a Cause site, “Jewelry for a Cause also works with artisans from all over the world helping them to create sustainable lives for their families through their craft.”



Jewelry for a Cause, made from recycled guns,


As a Mom, and a left-coaster, this kind of reading plus visual gets me going.


Liu Bolin, camouflage artist


Next inspiration…from The Telegraph, : “At first glance, this may look like a photograph of shelves in a supermarket. But look more closely and you may see a man painstakingly painted to blend in with the colourful background. Chinese artist Liu Bolin has become world-renowned for his camouflage art. Liu uses a team of two assistants to paint the camouflage onto him to make him invisible, and each photograph can take up to ten hours to set up. In some cases, Liu has his assistants paint his body and then he remains extremely still until an unsuspecting passer-by happens to walk past.”


Liu Bolin before,






From, “Liu Bolin remembers what it feels like to truly be invisible. In 2005, the Chinese government shut down Beijing’s thriving art village, Suo Jia Cun, demolishing some 100 studios, including Liu’s. He protested the state’s treatment of artists with a photographic series, Hiding in the City. “I was a meaningless person, according to society,” Liu says. “Those years made me feel like people can exist or completely disappear.”

Liu Bolin, after,









Han Xu, 27, center, and Ian Cao, 29, right, paint Chinese artist Liu Bolin, 38, left, for an art project at the Charging Bull in Lower Manhattan on June 23rd, 2011,


Liu disappears. He stands still for hours as an assistant paints him to match his surroundings. Liu hopes his work will compel people to ponder the often contentious relationship between the individual and society.


Wedding dress made from 1400 inverted rubber gloves,by Susie MacMurray,


Last inspiration, the wedding dress made from inverted rubber gloves. From the Museum of Art and Design: “In her use of objects such as hairnets and rubber gloves, Susie MacMurray evokes memories of the body—often a specifically working-class, female body—and its daily labor. In A Mixture of Frailties, the familiar, standard, yellow rubber gloves used for dishwashing and other domestic chores have been turned inside out to create matte white surfaces. The work references other uses of gloves by various artists in the construction of dresses that lie somewhere on the continuum linking fashion, design, and art.”


Widow 2009, by Susie Macmurray,

Widow, 2009, 94 pounds of adamantine dressmaker pins. Exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum, in the Power of Making show.







…And as I walked on
Through troubled times
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes
So where are the strong
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony…

Cause each time I feel it slippin’ away, just makes me wanna cry
What’s so funny ’bout peace, love and understanding?

What is so funny ’bout it?


Elvis Costello

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