Quirky and Fun Soft Sculpture: The Dia de los Muertos Calaca (Skeleton) Is Finished!

His name is Esmoquin (Spanish for tuxedo). He’s able to make noise with his hip-bell, googley eyes, and also has an extinct T-Rex shoulder. Go get your Open Fashion t-shirt from the Museum of Ventura County and start remixing / customizing!

Skeleton / Calaca Soft Sculpture by Pete Ippel

Skeleton / Calaca Soft Sculpture by Pete Ippel

Regarding the stitching, I used the free-motion foot and various stitches for the accent work around the ribcage. In addition, the button holes were created with a dense zig-zag stitch and a seam-ripper. Inside there is standard quilt batting. All limbs are interchangeable, sort of like a Mr. Potato Head for Halloween / Dia de los Muertos / Day of the Dead.

Inspiration from Nick Cave’s Soundsuits,
Nick Cave's Soundsuits @ YBCA

Claes Oldenburg’s Soft ScissorsI just saw at MOCA,
soft scissors

Inkscape, Free Culture Movement, and the aesthetic and community relationships between the open source graphics community and the fiber arts.

Read more information on how Pete Ippel created the design and concept of the remixable art-wear t-shirt.

Please help support artists~! To purchase this quirky and fun soft sculpture as well as other contemporary art, please check out Pete Ippel Contemporary Art on Etsy and Pete Ippel’s website.

Come see the exhibition of community altars at the Museum of Ventura County.

Open Fashion T-Shirt Design for The Museum of Ventura County’s Day of the Dead Celebration

For the past few months, I’ve been working closely with the Museum of Ventura County to create a design for their Dia de Los Muertos event.

Museum Of Ventura County Dia De Los Muertos T-Shirt By Pete Ippel
In this wearable art, I have taken the traditional imagery of the calaca (Mexican skeleton) and given it a contemporary flavor. The interactive garment allows the wearer to take their celebration of El Dia De Los Muertos in a new direction.

Once the shirt has served it’s purpose as clothing, the wearer is encouraged to cut out the printed image and create a decoration for their own altar by simply attaching the arms and legs to the torso.

My design is intentionally open, so that the new collaborator can add their own decorations, flowers, or write directly on the printed cloth. By working together, we both realize our creative vision, celebrating the spirit of our ancestors and loved ones. Truly a move toward Open Fashion.