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Virtual Collection: Bacon Bits – Part 2

“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

felted merino wool bacon scarf 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

bacon placemat - instructables.com

(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?

notmartha.org bacon bowlsInstructables.com teaches you how to make your own fashion-forward bacon placemats, the inspiration for NotMartha.org’s famous bacon baskets and breadless BLT.

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.)

bacon art pamelajaeger etsy
This is an 8″ x 10″ original acrylic painting… on panel. It was painted for the LA Weekly and appeared in their publication.

~ pamelajaeger

bacon art waterbears etsy
Ever see a cute little pig advertising for some BBQ joint? They don’t want to be there. Trust me.

~ waterbears

bacon art mgenomgeno etsy
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.

~ mgenomgeno

bacon art welcometothedoghouse etsy
Title: yummy, sinful bacon, I love you

~ welcometothedoghouse

But the piece de resistance in Bacon Art is in the realm of sculpture:

Otto F. Fleiss - White Art in the Meat Food Business - Ptak Science BooksJohn 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. bacon fat cathedral sculpture 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.

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4 comments… add one

  • Mary Emma Allen 2008/06/09, 12:48 pm

    I don’t know whether to day “yuk” or “wow.” You come across some of the most interesting tidbits, Jen.

  • domestika 2008/06/09, 5:20 pm

    @Mary Emma, if I’m doing this right, both “yuk” and “wow” should apply in equal measure! :D

  • silken 2008/06/13, 12:33 pm

    I must say I’ve never heard of bacon art before.

    I started a new site at my own domain (http://madameblogalot.com/). I added you to my blog roll. It’s brand new right now, but maybe someday you can stop by and check it out!

  • Malcolm 2008/06/13, 1:41 pm

    Somehow, just knowining that anyone would think of using bacon in this way got me very discouraged. It’s already Friday the 13th.

    Malcolm

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