Metal Quilts From Repurposed Metal Shirts. No Joke.

If you’ve ever been to a metal show, you’ll know that they’re funny. Simultaneously really cheesy and really hardcore, metal dudes are quite frequently just nice guys that revel in the irony of it all. You can’t constantly be wearing shirts with upside-down crosses and heavy ass phrases and mean it all of the time. (Note: We are definitely not including those from the second wave of the Nordic black metal scene in these generalizations.)

If you don’t believe my statements about metal dudes, though, perhaps these hella heavy metal quilts by Ben Venom will convince you. In his statement of work, he says:

“I’m interested in juxtaposing traditional handmade crafts with one of the more extreme musical genres, Heavy Metal. My work can be described as a collision of Iron Maiden Metal ballads with the outrageous stage antics of Ozzy Osbourne. Serious, yet attempting to take on a B movie Horror film style where even the beasts of Metal need a warm blanket to sleep with. The question remains… Can I play with madness?”

Let’s keep in mind these quilts aren’t a one-time creation with little thought put into them. Venom not only needs to craft the blankets, but he needs to attain the materials, which probably involves hours of sifting through thrift store piles to find heaps of Slayer, Def Leppard, and AC/DC discards. Then, after fighting the arduous mental battle to justify that art is greater than the sadness of the few individuals offended that he is tearing apart t-shirt classics, Venom repurposes the shirts into cozy creations. Sure, the blankets are centered around calaveras, wolves, and other stereotypically metal shit, but come on, they’re blankets. You definitely get the idea that Venom’s probably not that serious most of the time… which is just really metal of him.

Don’t Wake Me Lucifer! / 83″ x 95″ / 2010

Am I Demon? / 41” x 51” / 2010

Listen to Heavy Metal While You Sleep! / 73” x 99” / 2010

White Magic / 21” x 21” / 2010

Raised by Wolves / 19” x 19” / 2011

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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