GARTH JOHNSON Joins the Uncollection:
Using Unconsumption’s Mr. Cart Logo on Dinnerware!
In the latest stunning addition to our Uncollection — creative folks using our logo to breathe new life into old stuff — the amazing Garth Johnson has blown us away by converting some secondhand art-deco plates into genuine Mr. Cart tableware. Really fantastic! Here Mr. Johnson, whose work you may (should!) know from his invaluable Extreme Craft site, explains how he uses a vinyl cutter to “rescue thrift-store dinnerware”:
Let’s hear it for scrapbooking. If I hear one more hipster studio artist or crafter hold up scrapbooking as the “opposite” of what they’re doing, I’m going to lose my shit. Yes, scrapbooking is a multi-bazillion dollar industry, with entire aisles in Michael’s devoted to stocking Martha Stewart’s gear. As anybody who has haunted those aisles can tell you, scrapbooking has some cringe-worthy aesthetic elements, but what craft doesn’t?
Consider scrapbooking at its most basic—it takes old photographs and recycled ephemera and transforms them into mementos that actually see some use rather than sitting in boxes in an attic somewhere. I have come to view scrapbookers as a pretty badass group of people. Part of this badassery comes from the way they combine different media and experiment with processes from die-cutting and embossing to custom rubber stamp etching.
The main reason that scrapbookers are so badass is their actual gear. Scrapbooking is enjoying a major resurgence right now, so they have the economic clout to introduce hobby versions of tools that have traditionally remained in the realm of industry or technology. My favorite example is the vinyl cutter, which has been a staple of the sign industry for a couple of decades. Thanks to legions of rabid scrapbookers, machines like the Cricut and Silhouette Craft Cutter are now affordable… and are just waiting to be hacked for your non-scrapbooking activity.
If you’re not familiar with vinyl cutters, they’re fairly easy to explain. They cut sheets of adhesive sticker material using a tiny blade. You know the little Calvin peeing stickers people put on the back of their pickup trucks? Those were cut out using a vinyl cutter.
The great thing about vinyl cutters is that you’re not limited to cutting out vinyl. Most will cut paper. Some will even cut thicker materials like wood veneer. If you can create a vector design on a computer, you can feed that design into a vinyl cutter to make stickers, stencils or any number of crazy craft projects.
I love to use my vinyl cutter to rescue thrift store dinnerware and give it new life. I’ve been looking for a good use for a set of four Art Deco-inspired porcelain plates that have been sitting on my shelf for a while, and a contribution to the Uncollection seems perfect. I decided to use my cutter to make a permanent gold Mr. Cart logo in the middle of the plates.
This project is a little bit tricky, but if you have access to a vinyl cutter and a ceramic kiln, you’re home free. Here’s what you need: