By Phil Hecken
Inspiration comes from a wide variety of places. The inspiration for today’s featured story may have originated in the oddest of ways. Erik Schwab, whose work you’ll see below, initially contacted me because of a problem he was having with the website (specifically, his bookmark kept returning him to one specific day’s post, rather than the normal Uni Watch homepage). After a bit of troubleshooting, I suggested he simply clean out his cache and see what happened — and bingo, that solved the problem.
In that same e-mail string, Erik then wrote this to me:
I may have communicated with you before about this — I know it was someone over at one of the UWHQ offices — but I’ll try again. I’m an artist and writer, and a lot of the stuff I do is sports-themed/inspired. Of late, I’ve been making constructivist art pieces from duct tape, and a lot of the current batch have Northwestern striping or derivatives thereof. (I grew up playing baseball and hockey where that striping pattern, as you know, pleasantly pops up quite a bit and immersed in the car culture of Detroit, MI where stripes on cars are king.) I’ll link the Facebook page below where you’ll find a wallet with Red Sox stirrup stripes, a Texas Rangers logo purse, and Boston Bruins home and road sweater-inspired koozies among other sports-related stuff, e.g. University of Maine hockey logos. I’d love to share my work with the Uni-Watch community in some capacity. Thanks again for your help today.
He included this link to his facebook page.
Intrigued, I asked Erik if he wouldn’t mind picking out a few of those (sports-related) duct-tape pieces and describing them for an article. He readily obliged. So below, please take a look at some of the more interesting “duct tape art” from today’s featured artist, as he tells you how to…
Duct, Duct, Goose
By Erik Schwab
Duct tape and hockey and striping on stirrups; these are a few of my favorite things. I’m Erik Schwab, a constructivist artist originally from Detroit (who wants to go in together and buy it?) and currently living and working in Bangor, Maine. The art I make is meant to be used both for practical and social purposes rather than hang on a wall or display on a table, and ninety-nine-point-nine-nine repeating percent of the time I employ duct tape as my medium. A colleague of mine from a past life as an educator enlightened me to the myriad colors and textures of duct tape available to the average consumer, so to her I am indebted for at least as long as the pieces I make last.
Most of the stuff I’ve done, as least initially, has been in the vein of money pieces—wallets, clutches, purses, etc.—lending itself to the honorific name of my outfit, David Foster Wallets, named after my favorite writer. (I would love to receive a cease and desist letter from the estate of the late writer of Infinite Jest!) And over the course of the last six months or so I’ve begun making more elaborate mural pieces and installations. Having grown up in the suburbs of Detroit and having played baseball and hockey for basically the entirety of my life, striping patterns—whether inspired by jerseys, stirrups, or classic muscle cars or automotive contours—have found their ways, respectively, into the art I make.
Bangor’s very fostering artists’ community has enabled me to begin exhibiting some of the work I’ve done at various shows this spring and summer. The above photo is me holding the deck I taped for a show consisting of forty Bangor-area artists, each of us doing whatever to a skateboard. I am also super excited to be a featured artist at the KahBang Music & Art Festival on the Bangor waterfront August 9-12.
Phil has been kind enough to allow me to exhibit some of the sports/team logo related pieces I’ve made with the Uni Watch community, and for that I am grateful. You find images below and captions with each. I do take custom orders via e-mail at david_dot_foster_dot_wallets_at_gmail_dot_com.
The majority of the wallets and clutches I make have distinct striping patterns, reminiscent of the auto industry and uni-sphere. These are highly customizable to one’s favorite team colors, logos, or uniform elements.
Stripes under stripes. You can’t stop them; you can only hope to contain them. (Photo courtesy of CaraSees Photography.)
Woven Texas Rangers purse reluctantly made for a friend. Thankfully my Tigers won the pennant.
Whether with caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, we in Bruins country had to drink away this season’s shortcoming.
New Englanders love their Red Sox, moreover their Red Sox stirrups.
It takes a lot of smarts to earn a PhD, and it takes a lot of duct tape to make a University of Maine hockey logo. Go Blue!
Is hiking a sport or athletic activity? Talk amongst yourselves.
Thanks for sharing, Erik. That’s some pretty um, ingenious stuff you’ve made there. Readers? Be sure to check out his Facebook page for more!
WEEKDAY Uniform Concepts & Tweaks
Longtime and weekend readers know that I frequently run reader submissions for uniform concepts, revisions, or just plain tweaks. Usually they are in sets of three, but sometimes there are more and sometimes there are less. Sometimes they are so good these deserve their own lede.
During Paul’s monthlong Blogcation, I’ll occasionally run one (or maybe) two of these.
If you have any concept or tweak, and you would like to see it featured here, either during the week while I’m hosting the blog or on the weekends when I return to those, drop me an e-mail. For each particular design, please try to keep your description to ~50 words or so. OK? OK!
And now, here’s what we have for today (click any images to enlarge):
Today’s concept comes from Matt Malinoski, who should be familiar to weekend readers, and whose great work I had featured in one of my Designing Minds series. It’s actually a rework of a prior tweak. Check it out
One reader, Browncoat, mentioned that on his 1957 Braves replica jersey, the tomahawk is navy, not black. So I changed all of the black to navy on the tomahawk and Brave patch to see how it would look. It looks much better. I think the reason why I thought it was black was because the gold trim against the navy made it appear to be black. Either color is still better than the red tomahawk. I also made the top of the number four wider.
Thanks! I’ll be back with more weekday tweaks/concepts again.
By Rob Holecko
Well I know we are only a couple days away from the NFL preseason kicking off with the Dolphins in their new uniforms taking on the Cowboys in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, but did you know that the UWFFL preseason is also kicking off this weekend?
That’s right, the UWFFL kicks off its’ initial campaign today with four games this weekend including our annual preseason kick-off, the Founders’ Bowl. The Founders Bowl will pit the San Francisco Reign Fire against the Atlanta Flying Fleet at a neutral site, Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Both teams will be wearing the Founder’s Bowl patch on their jerseys. The other three games this weekend, as well as throughout the rest of the preseason, will feature teams from both the UWFFL and it’s affiliated minor leagues.
For those of you who don’t know, the UWFFL is a fantasy football league for the Uni Watch universe, instead of competing by drafting NFL players and scoring imaginary points based on how they do on the field, UWFFL teams will compete with each other based on their uniforms.
Back in April and May we ran contests to choose the uniforms for our twelve existing teams, and this summer we have opened up membership to an unlimited amount of minor league expansion teams. At the end of the year, three minor league teams will be chosen to be elevated to the UWFFL for next season. If you’d like to join, check out our Google+ page and you can go to one of the three geographically based minor leagues and add your expansion team today.
Now for this week, the first week of our preseason, you will be voting on four matchups. Before we get to the matchups, however, we want to acknolwedge the passing of a beloved member of the Uni Watch family, Phil Hecken’s Jack Russell Bizkit last week. All eight teams playing in this first weekend of games are wearing a helmet decal in his honor.
Vote below for the winners of this week’s matchups, you can click on the uniforms for a closer look. Although Atlanta is the home team for the Founder’s Bowl, they went with a preseason typical mono-white look, and San Francisco went with black-over-yellow, while their typical home look will be to pair the black jersey with white pants.
San Francisco Reign Fire (-) vs
|Anchorage Orcas PCC (-) vs
||Las Vegas Lightning PCC (-) vs
San Diego Storm (-)
|Columbus Red Barons EA (-) vs
Tampa Terror (-)
You can follow along with each week’s voting at www.uwfantasyfootballleague.com. Voting will be open all weekend, and we’ll be back next Friday with the results and our preseason’s week two matchups.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Bucket hats are the thing at Washington’s training camp down in Richmond. “Apparently, it’s a DB thing, a DC thing, or a swaggy thing,” says submitter Yusuke Toyoda. Reader Tommy Turner found a similar story picked up by another media outlet. … Apparently lawnmower racing “has become a mini-Nascar, or as it likes to be called, Grasscar.” Here’s a quick look at the sport (thanks to TommyTheCPA). … Interesting piece on ESPN entitled, “Trendy uniforms a differentiator”, which looks at the role uniforms play in the recruiting process. … Deadspin did an article on a clumsy photoshop of Miguel Cabrera as a left-handed batter (thanks to Timothy Burke). … Linked in that ESPN article on trendy uniforms was a short ESPN piece from Paul on notable college uniform changes (so far). … Tommy Turner (thanks, again) sends along this Forbes article on America’s most miserable sports cities (sorry Emerald City). … The FSU Seminoles helmet from 1962 is listed as the ‘#18 Fail’ (out of 25) in the Lost Lettermen list of NCAAFB fails (submitted by Chris Mahr). … Here’s some video of blue turf installation at Ravenna High School in NE Ohio. Says submitter Mary Lynn Delfino “The Ravens’ primary color is blue. No word if the Portage Trail Conference has any rules forbidding the Ravens from wearing blue at home.” … Neat tribute to the Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks rendered in corn (thanks to Robert Shannon). … “The Track and Field World Championships are coming up in August, with Moscow as the host,” notes Thomas Langan. “To Commemorate the occasion, USATF is selling ‘The Moscow Collection,’ vintage gear from the 1980 USA Olympic Team. Only we boycotted those games. Can’t let history get in the way of making a buck.” … Here’s a behind the scenes video look at HGI helmet design — those are the guys who make all those crazy, shiny helmets the 17-year-olds love. … Speaking of crazy, check out this new crazy $68 million football facility built by the University of Oregon. And here is video of that same facility (thanks, Brinke). … Interesting use of old Astros Logo on this page, notes Joshua Wren, who “clicked on the preview of tonight’s (Wednesday) game. I was stunned when the preview came up and the old Red Astros star logo from last season was still being used.” He said no other Yahoo page still has the old logo. … Knockoff jerseys in displays at schools or stadiums is one of Marc-Louis Paprzyca’s pet peeves. Twill numbers and SBXX patch were not worn then. … The Tulsa Oilers have new uniforms (they’re a minor league hockey team). Here’s a writeup on them. … Speaking of minor league hockey, the Bakersfield Condors (the EHCL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers) also released new jerseys — what they dub “the Greatest Jerseys in the World” (thanks to Charles Eldridge) and a look at the full jersey reveal (h/t to Ryan Holt) Note that the black & white sweaters have wings on them. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments (by “JK”): New Replica Jerseys delivered to the Georgia Tech bookstore by Russell Athletic. Material and cut are pretty obviously fan oriented instead of actual team gear, but there is one notable visual change. The interlocking GT logo under the collar takes the place of last year’s TECH word mark (also sent in by Britton Thomas) … Here’s a look at the American Athletic Conference patch the Houston Cougars have on their unis (h/t @theemblemsource). … Thanks to Johnny Okray we can now sleep better knowing that the Wisconsin Badgers will have tech-fit unis (the ones with the “treadmarks” on the shoulders). … Remember those custom La Tech mouthguards shown on UW yesterday? Well, this is how players will know which mouth guard is theirs. Like the front logo, the name is embedded in the plastic on the inside (with, um, thanks to Patrick Walsh). … Aside from the fairly remarkable fact that this photo contains Tim Tebow, Aaron Hernandez and Riley Cooper, what are those pants Florida is wearing? Looks like an FSU player in the background, so this was probably game worn. And dig the throwback helmets. … It’s been fairly quiet on the Native Peoples naming front, but Matt DeMazza notes, “Here’s a column written by the Samoan congressman whose video you linked to a week or so ago.” … This is a bit old (the column is dated June 30), but Sean Kautzman doesn’t recall seeing this before: The Arizona Wildcats have “BEAR DOWN” imprinted into its football field. Sean first noticed it last night while playing a game of NCAA ‘14 on his PS3, and then googled to see if it was true. Sadly (or perhaps, geniusly, on Arizona’s part) it is. … Here’s a GREAT catch by Rob Holecko (and the latest example of non-Angels personnel wearing the Yocum patch) — “LEW” (Lew Yocum) patch on Rays trainer Ron Porterfield. Paul recently had a column on this phenomenon. … Reader Graham Clayton writes, “Here is a picture of the Windsor Swastikas, who played in the Western Nova Scotia Amateur Hockey League between 1905 and 1916. Back then the swastika was a symbol of good luck, and did not have the negative connotations that came to associated with the symbol in the period between the two world wars.” Many of you may not remember (or have seen it), but Paul wrote a column on this and other swastikas on sports uniforms back in 2007. It’s worth a read if you have a few minutes. … And finally, Laren Richardson noticed Hunter Pence was going really high cuffed last night in Philly! On the Giants’ broadcast, play-by-play man Duane Kuiper said, “If Pence pulls those pants up any higher he’s gonna look like a wide receiver.” (Big thanks to Paul for those screen grabs!).
REMINDER: New Orleans Pelicans Uniform Unveiling Today! The event takes place at 1:00 pm (I assume that’s central time) and will be broadcast on www.Pelicans.com.
Depending upon how my day goes, I MAY be able to get up a second column for today with photos and a brief writeup of the uniform unveiling. No promises — but Paul should also be putting up a piece on ESPN shortly after the unveil as well. So we’ll see how things go.
Tomorrow I’ll have a very special lede article from Morris Levin (who is reassuming his guest author role for Fridays for the remainder of my filling for Paul, as he has done for Paul’s last two blog-cations in 2011 and 2012). Morris’ articles are always a special treat, so be sure to check back Friday!
That’ll do it for today. I’ll possibly catch you this afternoon so stay tuned and check back in after the Pelicans unveiling. Everyone have a great Thursday!
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
Happy 71st Birthday in heaven, Jerry.
“I blame the ridiculous adidas ‘stretch marks’ on those stupid ‘wires’ visible on every Nikelace.”