“Want me to knit you a bacon scarf?” Diane asked, and unwittingly launched my search for arts and crafts with a bacon theme. She said she could probably “fake up” a pattern. Thinking back, I’m not entirely sure whether she planned to knit it from the actual fatty meat product. In which case, er, no…
But this Unsettlingly Real-Looking Felted Bacon Scarf in merino wool is both amusing and completely wearable — at least, in cool weather and possibly not around those of my vegan pals who tend to get queasy at the sight of meat.
By the way, if you just dropped in (hello there!) and you’re wondering what the heck all this pork-related nonsense is about, please do skip back to Virtual Collection: Bacon Bits – Part 1 for the explanation.
It’s as good an explanation as anyone’s likely to come up with… except maybe for Revison3’s Lil Internet Superstar:
But enough of that.
We’ve got loftier ambitions for our pork products!
Bacon in Art and Crafts
(I’m pretty sure that Bacon in Art is an actual Library of Congress catalog heading. Okay, maybe not, but I do remember filing something under Pigs in Art back in my summer-job-in-library days. And yes, it was filed correctly.)
Bacon, when raw, lends itself to weaving and shaping. Cook it and it holds its shape. What better craft material?
Or you can deconstruct your bacon for a home science experiment by making bacon soap (bacon-shaped soap molds not included), though the 2-week wait — to cure the added lye so it won’t burn your skin — may discourage all but the keenest of patient crafters from trying it.
Perhaps we’ll just admire the bacon artworks of others.
After all, even Salvador Dali thought that thin-sliced pork products were worth a place on canvas: one of his paintings was entitled Soft Self-Portrait with Fried Bacon, Basket of Bread… but then, of course, what else is to be expected of the surrealist who brought us melting clocks and Santiago el Grande?
The Bacon in Art torch is lifted high and carried on by the artists of Etsy.com, and here are a few of my current 2-dimensional favourites. (Click each little image to visit the artist’s Etsy shop and get more views and information.)
As an ‘artist/meatcutter’ I recognized the necessity for meat to be abstracted in order to be swallowed, therefore, it was natural for me to objectify meat and approach it with the same focus as my other still-life objects.
But the piece de resistance in Bacon Art is in the realm of sculpture:
John Ptak has the competition locked up, and the key was lost sometime back in World War II: that’s about when the fabled fat artist Fleiss created and prospered and wrote an astonishing pamphlet:
In the world of found book objects, few I think are as deeply removed and as deeply obscure as the work by Otto F. Fleiss called White Art in the Meat Food Business. A Practical Handbook for Butcher, Pork Stores, Restaurants, Hotels and Delicatessens on How to Make Lasting and Transferable White Art Decorations out of Bacon Fat Back for Window Displays, Ornaments on Meat Food Cold Buffets and for Exhibits and Advertising Purposes. Enrich yourself with Personal Knowledge.
It just kills me that the time is long past when an artisan could make his way in the world by crafting a perfect 200-pound cathedral entirely in white bacon fat.