Craftwork

Piece of Crap vs. Piece of Craft

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Craftwork

Piece of Crap

Where did you come from?

I am from China, by way of the men's department at downtown Seattle's Macy's (2005–present), née Bon-Macy's (2003–2005), née the Bon Marché (1890–2003). Macy's is operated by Federated Department Stores, Inc., one of America's premier national retailers, with continuing operations of more than 850 retail stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Federated's diverse workforce includes about 210,000 employees.

Fascinating. Anything else?

Welcome to the Club Room, gentlemen. I am ready to receive your phlegm.


Piece of Craft

Where did you come from?

I was found in Seattle by Allison Manch (www.allisonmanch.com). She embroidered me as part of her "Rocks" series, in which she seeks to create a link between hiphop's notable pioneers and the vast subject of geology through the medium of needlework hankies. My colleagues and I address the connection between contemporary hiphop culture and the colloquialism "rocks," and how that colloquialism has come to represent diamonds and expensive jewelry, AKA "bling."

Okay, sure. Anything else?

Needles hurt.



Piece of Crap

What does your tag say?

"CAUTION: Packaging may create a safety hazard for young children. Please remove all packaging, including ribbon tie, from Item before entrusting to a child." And another tag says, "Made in China." I have one more, too. And my price tag: "Old Navy," "$16," "ONESIZE."

What is the purpose of your "ribbon tie," Item?

Don't trouble yourself with my ribbon tie, nor the fact that my resemblance to an item of righteousness made with love and artisanship is only that: a resemblance. Think not of an 11-year-old political prisoner with bleeding eyeballs laboring under poorly ventilated, entirely unregulated conditions. Look deep into my intentionally mismatched button eyes. Gaze upon my smile that consists of five calculatedly crooked stitches. I am cute. You will adore me.

Piece of Craft

Where did you come from?

YOU PIECE OF SHIT, ITEM! WHEN MY MAKER, KAELA GRAHAM (www.kaelagraham.com; also at Schmancy, 1932 Second Ave, 728-8008, www.schmancytoys.com; $35) CROSSED THE THRESHOLD OF YOUR HELLISH PURVEYOR, OLD NAVY, ITS CHEMICAL STENCH INSTANTANEOUSLY GAVE HER A NOSEBLEED! YOU ARE PURE EVIL, AND WHEN I AM DONE WITH YOU, MORE THAN YOUR NOSE WILL BE GUSHING BLOOD! IT'S CROCHETED-PAW-TO-CROCHETED-PAW COMBAT, AND YOU ARE GOING DOWN, MOTHERFUCKER!



Piece of Crap

What ARE you?

We are two big plastic buttons glued onto two bobby pins. You can see the glue seeping through the holes. We cost $12 at Urban Outfitters on Broadway. Even we know we are overpriced, cheap-ass hipster bait. Profit from crap like us lines the pockets of Richard Hayne, the president of Urban Outfitters, who then buys big cigars and laughs while he smokes them, tenting his fingers and contributing to people such as Republican senator Rick Santorum (it's true!). We are ashamed to exist, both morally and aesthetically: Why would you want to look like you have two big plastic buttons stuck to your head? Are you Raggedy Ann or something?

Piece of Craft

What are YOU?

I am a big black polka dot cocktail ring made out of a vintage glass button and beads from the Czech Republic. I cost a mere $16. I was made by Clever Castle (clevercastle.etsy.com; also at Fancy, 1914 Second Ave, 956-2945, fancyjewels.com), which consists solely of a woman called Emilia Catapult, a creature of surpassing whimsy and splendor who undoubtedly supports the rights of all people to love each other in any and all possible ways. Burn on you, Santorum, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.



Piece of Crap

Where did you come from?

As the label in my silky pink depths states, I was designed "in the tradition of European aristocracy" using "the finest materials of the world" by a company called My Flat in London. In Hollywood, Drew Barrymore has carried my handbag sister. In Seattle, I was insultingly relegated to the Nordstrom Rack, discounted from $155 to $89. Elsewhere my ilk sells for up to $400—as my maker points out, "It's learning to invest in one's own sense of style while unabashfully [sic] building a lifetime of flirtatious flair."

Weren't you actually made in China? Isn't My Flat in London based in New Jersey? What the hell is up with the vacant, slightly cross-eyed stare and "BRAINY IS Beautiful!"? Didn't even the clerk at the Rack express incredulity at your purchase? Can you possibly explain yourself?

[Silence.]

Piece of Craft

Where did you come from?

I was designed and made in Seattle by Montana native Angie Bowlds under the imprimatur Stitch & Swash (www.thecraftydevils.com, $90). I am made of leather, rings hand-forged by local metalsmith Holly Mistur, and sheer hotness.

What the hell is up with the NRA logo? What about gun control? Can you possibly explain yourself?

I said Montana. Don't fuck with me. I will kick your ever-lovin' ass.

 

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