Saturday, December 12, 2009

Field Report: Kit Kraft Mania*


I have enjoyed perusing art supply stores all my life. It's always the most fun possible to see new material to help make something. Kit Kraft delivers the standard thrill and then keeps out doing itself the longer you stay there. I suggested their slogan be: "Have Multiple Artgasms"

Made my annual blast-o-visit to Kit Kraft the fabulous independent art-supply-of-all-kinds store in Studio City near Los Angeles. I spent several hours and found obscure things I needed for Halfland, things I'd never heard of that I needed for Halfland, things I didn't know I needed for making things for xmas gifts, and things that gave me exciting ideas to make other things. I challenge anyone to go see owner Mike Sitkin and NOT find exactly what they need for any project, no matter how out-in-left-field it might be. (Case in point: I bought a dried real blow fish for $3.50 in addition to excellent hobbyist tools.)

The shop is utterly organized and stocked full with a large variety of product in numerous categories of art products. The service is outstanding and Mike will do anything for you. I asked him where the post office was and he offered to process my package for me in the Kit Kraft shipping department, complete with printed tracking label and fitted packaging, thus giving me luxurious stress-free art supply shopping time instead of PO lines and rushing. Incredible!

The selection is abundant at Kit Kraft. In addition to the drool-worthy modeling and polymer clay section above, they also carry earthen and precious metal clays and all the tools to use it. You see only a portion of the wire section above as well. There I found the PERFECT wire for Time Flies and other insect legs! In black already! I bought a large spool of 34 gauge (USA size) in black for $4.50 and a smaller spool of 34 gauge (Metric size) in gold because it was even finer! Mike explained the difference between the two gauges, how the same numbers are not the same in actual thickness.

How to you figure that this store even had a massive selection of sizes of clear acrylic half domes that are perfect for use as the watch crystal in the Time Frog's belly? He must have had 20 size increments to choose from. I found great new tools. Those yellow straws above are actually micro paint brushes that can be used for application of glues, paints and solvents. The new precision tweezers were just $5.75. The syringes are to help me apply glue to the window panes (post coming).

I also found fun new bits and bobs to make jewelry and gifts. Mike cut a piece of delicious pumpkin shearling that I'm wearing right now as insoles in my slippers in this cold rainy night. My cat really seemed to enjoy the shearling too.

Mike had a lot of new products since I'd been in. One was an air-dry polymer clay that I've already used to make a mold for the tiny green frogs bought there and the spout on Rana's teapot. Glitters! Bright paint for Rana's hearth flames, snow for xmas cards, metal castings from Kit Kraft's attic, where I also found a lovely old carved horse from India (not pictured) for $4. There were fabulous wooden inlay strips and the odd scroll pieces that will be used to decorate Rana's cottage.

I will use everything I bought this trip and look forward to my next one! Thank you Kit Kraft!

*No compensation was paid to me for my raving about the store. I just get genuinely creatively stimulated there.

9 comments:

  1. m_) Holy Smurfs stamped under doses of cyanide, you also make graphic novels? sweet, and it's about your life. How precious indeed.

    m_) Anyway...seems like you been shopping around!!

    m_) Well, great...do what you can with what you have and with ...what you buy!! since you can

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  2. Hi Dan, I feel completely privileged all around. I am grateful. Art supplies are my jewels, my gems, my treasures. I go simple in other areas of life in order to be a wealthy art supplyist. Even so I restrain myself. I like to make do with what I have the means for, as you say.

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  3. Hey... Kit Kraft! I bought some of those acrylic hemispheres from them... that's what I made my wine glasses out of! It's also where I got the 3mm glass spheres that I'm using for foam in my beer mugs.

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  4. unrelated, but I tought you could appreciate this link: http://io9.com/5425115/footsoldiers-in-the-gilded-insect-cyborg-army/gallery/ (if you click on the thumbnails they show up bigger)

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  5. what a store! amazing. we need one in Vancouver!

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  6. Wonderland!! How could you control yourself?

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  7. Does he need any help in the store? I think I can spend my whole life in a store like that exploring different materials and get all excited :))

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  8. Yes sir....I too love the Kit Kraft...

    they got all we ever need.

    jriggity

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  9. Super cool place, right everyone?! I haven't used it but the Kit Kraft site (linked in post) could be handy for those who can't come in to touch stuff, like Mike found.

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