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Spooky Peep Shows from the Crafts Abyss

Sat, Oct 24, 2020

During this virtual crafting bee inspired by Crafts Abyss Episode 2: Monarch, join the creators to watch and discuss the making of the video series, share your own home craft (finished or in progress, paper or otherwise!), and learn how to create a spooky paper viewfinder based on nineteenth-century folding paper dioramas. The artists will also reference paper jewelry pieces in MAD’s permanent collection by artist Wendy Ramshaw.

Inspired by deep dives down the rabbit hole into online craft tutorials, Artist Studios resident Rhonda Weppler and artist Trevor Mahovsky evoked elements of DIY and ASMR videos to create the surreal and meditative world of Crafts Abyss, a video series that explores the fuzzy boundaries of the World Wide Web.

A printable template for the spooky folding paper diorama will be sent to participants in advance. 

Suggested Materials

  • White glue 
  • Paper clips 
  • Paper glue stick 
  • 1/4-inch paper hole punch 
  • Scissors 
  • Crayons or colored pencils 
  • Empty cereal or cracker box  
  • Ruler 
  • Wax paper and permanent markers, OR vellum, tracing paper, or tissue paper and any markers  
  • 24-inch-long piece of string or thin cord (optional) 
  • White paper and black construction paper (optional)

About the artists

MAD Artist Studios resident Rhonda Weppler makes sculptural still lifes using the centuries-old technique of repoussé, in which a malleable metal is shaped by hammering from the reverse side to create a design in low relief. Embossing aluminum, brass, and copper foils on objects, Weppler creates residual shells that serve as commentary on the ephemerality of all things. Weppler presented an exhibition in collaboration with the MFA Boston’s Community Arts Initiative, and has exhibited extensively across Canada with her frequent collaborator, Trevor Mahovsky. Weppler received an MFA from the University of British Columbia and a BA from the University of Toronto. 

Trevor Mahovsky is a Calgary born, Toronto-based artist, with an MFA from the University of British Columbia. He has worked collaboratively with Rhonda Weppler since 2004; much of their work looks to reach outside of gallery settings. He has also written on art for journals such as Artforum

Watch Crafts Abyss

Crafts Abyss
Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky
Digital video, 2020

Crafts Abyss, co-hosted by artists Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky, is an artwork taking the form of a series of meditative DIY and ASMR influenced videos, in which the artists demonstrate the creation of copies of handmade craft objects they have sourced on the internet. The videos include links to downloadable files so that anyone can make their own clones of these craft objects, all of which have been manipulated by the artists to become a hybrid digital craft object that serves a new functional–if strange–purpose.

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