Designer Con 2013 Trip

Best Trip Ever.

Wednesday, November 6th, I made the 19 hour drive from Austin to Pasadena with the gals from Ink It Labs to work at their booth at Designer Con. For the uninitiated, Designer Con is an annual design convention with over 800 booths selling designer toys, art, stuffed animals, jewelry, clothes, shoes, faux taxidermy, etc. Ink It Labs creates laser cut and print wood and acrylic charms, jewelry, and toys. This year Ink It Labs collaborated with several artists and created limited edition pieces we sold at our booth.

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Designer Con 2013 was an amazing experience where I got to meet great artists such as Gary Ham, Amanda Spayd, Chris Ryniak, Jason Limon, Scott Tolleson, Michelle Romo, and Paul Frank (who we did not recognize)! It was soo overwhelming with all the different  vendors and what felt like too short of shopping time available to me since I was there working. I made a bunch of new friends and work contacts and one new client of Ink It Labs made my year. When he found out I created fiber art and puppets he informed me that he was friends with Sid Krofft and invited me to hang out with him at Sid Krofft’s house!

Me and Sid Krofft.

Me and Sid Krofft.

The creative mind behind H.R. Pufnstuf and Land of the Lost. Words cannot express how awesome his house was, ok well, maybe; Dwell magazine would have peed their pants. He had a tree house, koi pond, hearth that would have looked right at home in the Shire, a water tower on the house feeding clean water into the pool, a studio where he hosted artist residencies, an African Grey parrot named Harley who gave him kisses, and a giant fluffy orange persian cat named Mr. Red. There were plants everywhere, it looked like the set from Land of the Lost, and under the stairs there was a spherical fish bowl. I didn’t get pictures of the inside of his house, but you can watch the movie Ruby Sparks; his house was used in a scene.

Lauren and I with Rick and Deb Lazzarini.

Lauren and I with Rick and Deb Lazzarini of The Character Shop.

Still reeling from the whole experience of meeting Sid Krofft at his house, I got an email from Rick Lazzarini asking if I could work with him on a project. I’m bad with names, however I kinda recognized the name, but I definitely recognized the company name; The Character Shop. They are a special effects studio specializing in animatronic puppets! I had not met Rick at Designer Con, he just happened upon my work online. I call him and we get invited for a tour of his studio. Rick created the Queen Alien in ALIENS, he worked on Hocus Pocus, The Sandlot, Mimic, etc. I used to watch the T.V. show Movie Magic, LOVED IT, well they were on an episode and that is where I knew them from. The Character Shop was insane, I was like a kid in a candy shop, marionettes, hand and rod puppets, maquettes, animatronics, and they were nice enough to show us around and even let me operate an animatronic tentacle! squee*!

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After the tour of The Character Shop we started our journey toward the Grand Canyon, which we checked out the next day. We got to the Grand Canyon a little before sunset. So the pictures didn’t come out too great, but it was gorgeous regardless! : D

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The day after our visit to the Grand Canyon we went to Albuquerque and hit up The Stranger Factory and Walter White’s house from Breaking Bad. The lady who lived there was home and told us stories about her home being picked as the location and being on the set of the show. Those were our last stops before getting home to Austin on Friday, November 15th.

All I have to say is that 2014 is going to have to work really hard to top this year. I’ve got a several ideas for this upcoming year’s projects. Hope they pan out. We shall have to wait and see. : D

Steve Zissou Puppet for “Bad Dads” Exhibit

Spoke Art is having its annual exhibit, entitled “Bad Dads”, it features artwork inspired by the films of Wes Anderson. They were nice enough to invite me to take part again this year. The show opened yesterday, Friday, November 1st, and is on display until Nov. 23rd.

Seeing that for the last Bad Dads show I made Royal Tennenbaums marionettes, I decided to stay in a similar vein and created a Steve Zissou ‘muppet’ style polyfoam hand and rod puppet.

He took a few months to make, that was when I wasn’t working the ol’ day job or interning for Trouble Puppet Theater for their show “The Head.” I’m really pleased with how he came out, especially since he’s only the second hand and rod puppet I’ve ever made. The first one being the Kenneth the Spider puppet I made 3 years ago for the Youtube web series “Seth Martin and Friends.”

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Arch Nemesis Show

Hero Complex Gallery is curating an art show called “Arch Nemesis”, an art show themed around arch villains. The opening for the show is Friday May 24, 2013. I got wind of this event and immediately started on some fabric art pieces focusing on Marvel villains. I did Magneto’s helmet out of yarn using weaving techniques, Dr. Doom’s mask out of felt and fleece using a technique in the paper craft world known as quilling, and finally made an elaborate mask based on the Green Goblin. They all varied in difficulty of construction and the amount of time to finish.

I learned to read at the age of three with your standard children’s books, but also with  my older brothers comics, well, at least the one’s he’d let me get my greasy little mitts on. I grew up flipping through Omega Men, Billy Bayou, Toxic Avenger, Conan, The What If Series, X-Men, X-Factor, X-Statix, Spiderman, Superman, and Batman. Comic books and graphic novels are my jams. My favorite of the sequential arts.

Anywhos, here are the pieces I made for the show!

First off is the piece entitled “Dr. Loom”.

Next is “Magnus Bis Tincto”, which basically translates to “Yarn Magneto.”

And then we have the Green Goblin called “Green Feltin’” :

Glow in the Dark Show

From April 12, to May 1, 2013, Bottleneck Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, is curating an exhibit called “When the Lights Go Out.” It is a glow in the dark themed art show where the gallery will be illuminated by black lights! Super fun! Bottleneck is ran by Joseph Bouganim and if you are in the Brooklyn area around then, you should go check out the show and tell him I say hi!

Recently, I experimented with some glow in the dark glass frit, so when I heard about this exhibit I jumped on the chance to use it some more! Here are pictures of my fused glass triptych entitled “Trichromatic Triptych” in natural light, under blacklight, and under no lighting conditions.

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(Note: I accidently flipped the blue and yellow tiles in the natural lighting one. The blue one is in the middle in the other photos. So the blue tile is the one that glows the most.) This fused glass triptych will be fore sale at the gallery, the whole set is $650.00, or $250.00/ea. Each tile is approximately 6″X14.” Displaying them all together takes up about 20″X14″ of space, that is including an inch spacing in between each one.

Here is the flyer for the show:

"When the Lights Go Out" flyer

“When the Lights Go Out” flyer

Here’s the gallery’s page on the event: http://www.bottleneckgallery.com/blogs/news/7597397-when-the-lights-go-out-opening-reception-april-12th-7pm

“Weapon of Choice” Show

"The Half-Breed" March 2011. Some of you guys might remember this piece!

It was in the “Quentin VS Coen” Exhibit that toured New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles in 2011. I made this piece of fiber art based on Gogo Yubari’s ball and chain weapon in Kill Bill using a combination of knitting, sewing, wet felting, and crochet. It’s going to be in another show coming up January 11-13, 2013 in L.A. at Design Matters. The show is called “Weapon of Choice”, and is themed around weapons in pop culture. If you happen to be in L.A. in January, check out the show!

Click here for the Facebook event. You can also check out the gallery’s site with list of exhibitions here.

“Posters Rock” Art Exhibit in Rome

So the time-lapse video of Clint and I collaborating on the Coldplay poster is going to be projected at the “Posters Rock” art exhibit in Rome, Italy on October 13, 2012. Exciting times! Wish I could go, but I didn’t know it got into the show until quite recently, and airplane tickets are a bit on the side of pricey. I’ll just have to hope that people attending take oodles of pictures!

“House of Architecture”. Architect’s Guild HQ.

What is really nice is the building the show is taking place in is the Headquarters for the Architect’s Guild, previously known as the Roman Aquarium, pictured above.

For those of you who speak/read Italian here is the show’s Facebook page. Click here for a sweet process video of Fabio making the poster for the “Posters Rock” Show.

Here’s the poster for the show:

Born to Folk Art

The title of this piece is “Born to Folk Art” and is composed of two marionettes. This piece is for a show in Brooklyn, New York at Bottleneck Gallery. The name of the exhibit is “More than You Imagined: Art Inspired by Premium Cable TV”.

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From start to finish it took me about two and a half months to make these little guys. With this set of marionettes I tried to design them to be more “theatre ready” as opposed to just simple “art puppets.” And by “theatre ready”, I mean that they have a better range of movement and articulation than previous designs.

If you are in New York in mid-late September, stop by Bottleneck Gallery and check out the show.

Strange Kid Comix Magazine Vol. 3

Along with writing articles for StrangeKidsClub.com, I’m putting a piece in their comic book the Strange Kid Comix Magazine Vol. 3. More details on this comic book’s much anticipated release to come. For now, here’s the piece I created for this upcoming volume of 80′s themed nostalgia madness.

Strange Kid Comix Vol. 3 Piece. Tessa Morrison. 2012.

Click here to see images from Strange Kid Comix Vol. 2! Volume 2 included the works of  David Hartman (who also did the cover), Glen Brogan, and many other talented artists. Hopefully with the release of the third volume there will be enough interest/money to do reprints of the first two and you can get your nerdy mitts on these rare comics.

Coldplay Collaborative Poster Project

Here is another collaborative gig poster I did with Austin artist, Clint Wilson. This time we did a promo poster for a Coldplay performance in Houston at the Toyota Center, complete with free tickets to the show. It was amazing! They filmed the show for an upcoming movie. Everyone got bracelets that lit up with LED lights turning the amphitheater into a concave disco ball with the audience becoming part of the performance.

Glass tile prior to firing. Clint Wilson & Tessa Morrison. 2012.

For this project the idea was for Clint and I to combine two different art techniques to create the resulting poster. So we made a fused glass piece together, took a photo, turned it into half-tone color separations, and then printed a silk-screened poster.

Finished poster design. Clint Wilson & Tessa Morrison. 2012.

Below is a link to video of the whole process:

Coldplay Poster Time-Lapse

This was my first foray with half-tone color separations, I’ve mainly done single color screen printing, and Clint had never worked with fused glass before, so it was definitely a learning experience on both ends. So overall a successful collaboration.

Iron Fuser 3 Submission

This is my second year taking part in the Iron Fuser Competition at Helios Kiln Glass Studio in Austin, Texas. For the past three years Helios has put this annual juried glass art competition together which has had entrants from all around the United States. The title “Iron Fuser” is a spoof on Iron Chef, seeing that we “cook” glass and are given main ingredients that must be used in creating a piece of art. This year the special ingredients were a sheet of neo-lavender tint, a sheet of custom blue streaky, 6″ of copper wire, and the coolest ingredient of all, glow in the dark frit!

“Aoi Yuki”. 2012. Thanks to Helios for the professional photos.

Here are the pictures of the piece I entered, one in normal lighting and one with the lights turned off! You can go in to Helios Kiln Glass Studio and vote for your favorite piece, the winners will be announced on Friday, June 22nd. Voting ends Friday at 7:00 p.m.!

“Aoi Yuki”. 2012. Thanks to Helios for the professional photos.