Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pipe Cleaner Art: Look at those Chenille Stems, Contemporary meets vintage

The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art in California regularly offers diverse and interesting art at their gallery. One of the current shows is Ted Fullwood: Energy Machines. This is an exhibition of the artist's sculptural fiber works created from basket woven chenille stems - also known as pipe cleaners.

Please note: Some of the items listed may be sold out, shows ended and shops may be out of business. When updated, a link will be placed here. :)

In the spirit of celebrating artists, particularly those working in what might be seen as less conventional materials, I went on Etsy looking at what other pipe cleaner art is out there. Hold onto your chenille horses. Please note: Some of the Etsy art and vintage pieces may have already sold out.

Would your home sparkle with your unique personality with the addition of AMPUTHEATRE: Hazmat Gaming Figure from ChenilleMacabre?

Alex Pipe Cleaner Vase Try some pipe cleaner art yourself, a project with your kids! Learn to create a vase and flowers to place inside, too.

Alex Toys Giant Pipe Cleaner Party Craft Kit 120 assorted pipe cleaners - fluffy, poufy and striped Curl, twirl and twist Lots of project ideas included. For that birthday party activity, rainy day play date or video you planned to make for YouTube?

Fuzzington also offers a variety of pipe cleaner pieces such as the Star Wars mini-Yoda. Someone will love this. Fuzzy Yoda comes with a handmade removable fuzzy light saber and a cute little pendant charm.

Pipecleanerpeople offer Jesus vs Satan pipecleaner guys set Jesus beating up on Satan.

Walk on over to see Whimsyflip's Panting pooch. "The difference is this dog has a muzzle which you can open and close! It's ideal for holding small notes, place names at dinner parties, or reminders."

Beckykazana has a unique Bride and Maids Wedding Shower Mobile. She creates original chenille pipe cleaner figures, known as the Pipettes. A while back, I did a short post about her shop.

Ever considered Wish Sister dolls with teddy bears? Visit Wishwithme to view these sweet pipe cleaner dolls.

A vintage glitter baby fairy angel cherub is available in RomanceCatsAndWhimsy's shop.

Three little love pixies by Gigiandmehandmade are made from vintage Valentine's day cards and new and vintage pipe cleaners and embellishments.

Abundantcuriosities has a swell 1950s Hallmark vintage birthday card featuring a rabbit with pipe cleaner ears

The large bendable tree armature with stand at Naturesadornments also caught my eye. Use a little tree like this for display or crafting. From the description, "Give a girl a Tree Armature and she makes one tree. Teach a girl to make a Tree Armature and she makes many trees."

California artist Lauren Ryan creates amazingly life-like sculptures with chenille stems

Want more pipe cleaners to wear and show off? VintageHaven had a Pipe Cleaner Hat, made out of what appears to be one never ending pipe cleaner. There is a 1 1/2" grosgrain ribbon. The label reads "Lucila Mendez, exclusive New York." Consider a look such as this for your next vintage or 60s party. If it's a pink Awareness Event, this will get you noticed and photographed, too.

How about a pretty cream vintage hairpiece made of looped pipe cleaners?? it has a floral silk design with ruffled edges in the center secured with pins with pearls on the tip. Dakotasvintage has this sweet item.

Okay, maybe now you're anxious to start trying your hand at some chenille stem creations of your own. Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects by Salley Mavor may help get you started. "Learn to create your own tiny figures and accessories by hand, using wool felt, chenille stems, simple embellishments, and Salley's new step-by-step guide." The book can be found at Lizziboo's Shop.

Chenille Kraft Pipe Cleaner Art contains over 350 projects. Time2consign can get you this vintage softcover book. (below)

Finally, I found an item that doesn't necessarily fit into this category, but here it is anyway. It is a Hand Carved Bone Violin "Very unique hand-carved bone pipe cleaner in the shape of a fiddle or violin. The piece measures 2-1/2" long and has wonderful detailing on both the front and back. Four tools fold out from the violin to assist in cleaning a pipe." Visit KathysSewingRoom to see this piece.

(Who wants to be the one with the dirty pipe?) 

From the gallery's site: "View these great pics of The Feb 5th Opening Reception. Gallery visitors had loads of fun making art with pipe cleaners in our Lounge. Come by the gallery during Ted's show and make your own pipe cleaner art!"

So as you sit there bending and unbending those paperclips or coffee stirrers, consider the wonderful world of pipe cleaners. Who knows what you might create?

Photo: Big Inch Pipeline under construction,Man cleaning pipe,inside,1942,PA,welders

Fullwood sculpture image from the artist's Flickr site, link above 

Please note that this week's Tuesday Flashback Feature has been postponed
Images, info and text used by permission

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for including my Pipettes! What fun to see a million and one uses for chenille.


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