After the Migration

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Art Nerds

Yes I think Amanda Louise Spayd and Chris Ryniak can celebrate now that all the months of hard work going into Migration is done.

The opening was beyond amazing and the ever so talented artists knocked us all to our feet with their work. The interwebs are inundated with images from a show, but we thought we would show you a few as quick wrap up after the jump.

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Distressed Dolls from Amanda’s Workshop “The Patina of Time”

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ALSworkshopThe workshops at Stranger Factory have become a huge hit! The ability to be part of a small lecture or hands on class with amazing high-caliber artists is still uncommon, and we got to experience one first hand this weekend with Amanda Louise Spayd.

Amanda’s workshop “The Patina of Time” focused on antiquing fabric to give it that nice “old world” or just old feel to it. Small blank dolls were provided for every participant to work with as a base and from there they had a full arsenal of paints, fabrics, buttons, thread, tools, and even sandpaper at their disposal.

Amanda gave an in-depth overview on how to make the magic of patina happen with her own blank doll examples and then let the participants jump in head first into their creations to be supplemented with her hands-on tutelage.

ALSworkshopteachAbove, Amanda is guiding the way to a perfect patina.

 For more workshop awesomeness, and images of participant work, click MORE!

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Ryniak and Spayd collaborate for twice the trouble

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As if the bevy of beautiful snaggle toothed, lumpy, wide eyed beasts scheduled to fill Stranger Factory this Friday weren’t enough to make our hearts pound in anticipation, your daring reporter has just laid eyes on what is certain to be the crowning glory on Migration – a collaborative piece between Chris Ryniak and Amanda Louise Spayd. Please revive me, because my heart has stopped. It is only out of duty to you, dear blog readers, that my fingers continue to type.

Chris and Amanda met in 2006, when they were both working as designers for a major greeting card corporation. They’ve been friends since then, and it has been delightful to see both of their artistic endeavours blossom alongside one another.

We’re saving the full reveal for the online preview(fear not, it’s only a day away), but we can’t help but cruelly tease you with these wonderful little detail shots.

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CP: How did you decide on and work on this collaborative piece together?
Chris and Mandi: Chris had done a drawing of his character – just a little sketch. We had really wanted to do a collaboration for the show, but once we saw his sketch, knew exactly what it would be. A really natural pairing of our characters, as journeying companions. In terms of actually making it, we each constructed our respective parts of the sculpture, then both cooperated on the aesthetic and technical aspects of how to join them into one cohesive concept.

Amanda: But I did all the really hard stuff.

Chris: But just because it was hard does not mean it looks any good.

Chris and Amanda: You can leave this out, we were just being assholes.

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CP: What is the best thing about collaborating with each other, both on this piece, and on these 2-person shows?

Chris and Amanda: We think so much alike, it makes collaborating very easy. We share a similar passion for textures, colors, and expression, so we know that whatever we each come up with has a really good chance of resonating with the other. Another aspect that I think makes us work well together is that we trust each other professionally, and have a lot of confidence in the skills of the other.

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Another Dollop from Chris Ryniak


We showcased a couple of the Dumpy Dollops by Chris Ryniak a few days ago, and it is about time we saw another one of these glorious dumpy, lumpy creatures. This time, we’re meeting the endearing Mullop Custerfugl. Mr. Mullop is one of the six Dollops slated for the Migration opening this weekend at Stranger Factory along with a whole lot of other wonderful creatures in 2D and 3D form from Chris. The other three Dumpy Dollops we’re keeping a secret for the preview this Thursday – and oh, what a grand preview it will be!

It looks as if  Mullop here is about give Atreyu directions…or just ate his beef jerky and pretending he didn’t.

MIGRATION, the latest collaborative exhibit by Chris Ryniak and Amanda Louise Spayd opens on Friday, March 1st from 6 PM – 9 PM Stranger Factory.

Just another Mandi Monday

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Ladies and germs, the wait is finally over! Oh wait…it isn’t, and Friday feels forever away.

Many of Amanda Louis Spayd’s critters for Migration have been sleeping during the day and traveling at nights, hence why we haven’t seen too many of them, but we can’t keep mum on too many for much longer. Without further ado, we bring Amanda Louis Spayd’s “Pilgrim” (if you click more).

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Pack it up, pack it in, let Amanda Spayd begin

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A traveling companion for the rucksacked Bubbleguts?

I’m about to take a cue from the show’s theme and embark on my own Migration to Albuquerque, so  have a few more previews to prep you for the journey.

Amanda Louise Spayd has been crackling with creativity and putting the finishing touches on the seams, buttons, and derps for all her critters before they set off to Stranger Factory. Besides a few Instagram teases here and there, most of Amanda’s contributions to the show are still curled up in their sleeping bags hibernating until March 1st, but we got a few glimpses into these tiny nomads.


Amanda is sweet as can be and has a most notable sweet tooth – this is looking like a bit of a self portrait. Maybe we will see more coffee bean creatures someday too?


This guy screams to be a guest on “Fun with Flags” with Sheldon Cooper.

If you like what you see here, be sure to sign up for the mailing list on Stranger Factory’s homepage to ensure that you are on the preview list for the show. Of course, your best bet is to be present on March 1st at Stranger Factory!

Chris Ryniak and Amanda Louise Spayd’s “Migration” opens March 1st through the 31st at Stranger Factory (109 Carlisle Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106).

Chris Ryniak’s herd of Dumpy Dollops for “Migration”

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Imagine hiking in the woods and turning a corner to find Grumblup Vungermirk (above) or Gullop Ficktermucker (below) staring at you. I think most of us would plop ourselves down right there and say “awwwwwwww” as it grins or makes rankled sounds at us.

Well, welcome to the world of Chris Ryniak’s Dumpy Dollups!


Only 6 of these adorable and expressive creatures with extremely long names have made their way to Migration. Ranging in size from the runts at 4 inches to the aspiring NBA players at 6 inches, these stubby critters made of acrylic, epoxy, and large, soulful glass eyes, are ready for the great Migration to a new home (and away from Chris’ karaoke singing). Speaking of our songbird Chris, we got a chance to ask him some questions about these wonderful lumps –

CP: These Dumpy Dollops are amazing. What corner of your brain do these come from? 
CMR: Does the brain have corners?  I figured it was more of a round-ish thing…well, at least that’s how it looks in the science books.

The Dumpy Dollops are kind of like milestones, they dot the edges of trails along migratory routes of more evolved creatures.  Since they can’t really move under their own power due to grossly underdeveloped limbs, they just sit there and encourage travelers, or just grumble at them.

CP: How should a potential owner keep these little dudes happy?
CMR: Never look directly in their eyes!  Or was it ALWAYS look directly in their eyes?  I can’t remember…

CP: The expressiveness of your sculptures has been really increasing – is that a direction you’ve been enjoying(we love it)?
CMR: I find that the more expressive the character, either through action, facial expression, posture or a combination of all of them, the more I can relate to them.  It’s not enough that they are just monsters; it’s important to me that they connect in some way to the human world.

(ed. note: Chris’ ability to render expressions is unparalleled by most, but he’ll be dropping a whole bunch of tips on how to draw them in his Stranger Factory workshop: Creating Expressive Characters)

CP: Can we expect to see more of these lumpy, expressive critters from you, both for Migration, and in the future?
CMR: The answers are yes and yes!  There is one critter who has the biggest grin you’ve ever seen…and he happens to be my favorite piece in the show.  I have lots of plans for happy little dudes for upcoming shows.


(maybe it’s this guy?)

To see the rest of the Dumpy Dollops, and the rest of Chris’ happy, grumpy, lumpy menagerie, be sure to sign up for the mailing list on Stranger Factory’s homepage to be on the preview list.

Chris Ryniak and Amanda Louise Spayd’s “Migration” opens March 1st through the 31st at Stranger Factory (109 Carlisle Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106).

Amanda Louise Spayd paints and sketches for “Migration”

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It was a magnificent day two years ago when I noticed Amanda Louise Spayd eating candy and drawing a small doodle on some scrap paper at Dragon Con. To everyone’s amazement, she exclaimed she hadn’t done this in a long time. Luckily, I had my dusty sketchbook handy and promptly asked for a sketch myself, and what appeared was simply breathtaking.

For Migration coming up March 1, at Stranger Factory, Amanda is officially exhibiting her drawings for the first time! She plans on working her prolific pencils, brushes, and fingers like a mad woman, surely resulting in a profusion of sketches, paintings, and mixed media pieces. Like her plush critters, her 2D work also incorporates lovely found objects and antique findings, and the transition in style between her drawings and 3D is seamless.

Be ready for derpy faces, obsessively detailed eyes, and critters so full of life they are ready to jump off the page. We’re glad to see Amanda dusting off her old tools to give us some 2D work!



Click MORE for more of Amanda’s work

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Chris Ryniak’s Mini Zombieguts for “Migration”

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Only a few Mini Zombieguts are still roaming in Albuquerque from the zombiecake apocalypse, and these mostly harmless creatures are ready to be adopted at Chris Ryniak and Amanda Louise Spayd’s exhibit Migration at Stranger Factory March 1st.

Making their first dead-eyed appearance at Designer Con this past fall, Ryniak’s Zombieguts are an edition of 33, and only a small handful were released at the convention. The remaining glazed eyed ‘guts will be available at the Migration opening. If they’re not all snapped up by new owners by then, they might make it to the show preview – so sign up to our mailing list for updates!

Don’t worry, these guys aren’t too hungry these days. Unless you’re a brain shaped cupcake.



Stranger Factory is excited to play host to MIGRATION, the latest collaborative exhibit by Chris Ryniak and Amanda Louise Spayd. The opening reception is at Stranger Factory on Friday, March 1st from 6 PM – 9 PM.

Have Backpack, Will Travel for Ryniak’s “Migration”

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I think Chris Ryniak was channeling Alexander Supertramp with some of the creations he has in store for us at “Migration“. (editor note: with much less awful death by starvation, because these guys are very unlikely to forgo food for very long).

Keeping with the theme of the show, a bevy of Bubbleguts, small and large, are adorned with overflowing backpacks full of candy and smores, and paired with hatchets and brightly coloured sleeping bags as they waddle onward on their journey. The detail and model making skill in these sculpts are downright impressive – tiny riveted leather straps, hand-wrapped twine, miniature wood bundles…Chris is knocking this show out of the park, and we cannot wait to see these little hikers unveiled!

Train hopping, camping, the wilderness, and beyond are no match for these hiking potbellies – as long as they got a good knapsack and tools on their back, they are ready for whatever the trail has ahead.





Stranger Factory is excited to play host to MIGRATION, the latest collaborative exhibit by Chris Ryniak and Amanda Louise Spayd. The opening reception is at Stranger Factory on Friday, March 1st from 6 PM – 9 PM.