Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Drawings of Winnie Truong

I love that Winnie Truong's "About" section of her website declares only: "b. 1988 Toronto, Canada." So with that introduction, we know that Winnie is, in 2010, a mere 22 years old and might pronounce "about," "aboot." Oh, and she's an intensely talented artist whose massive line drawing portraits (4'x6', pencil and chalk) delve head first into discomforted notions of beauty via the exploration of hair and teeth. With names like "Lady Gymkata" (the skill of gymnastics, the kill of karate?) and "Virility and Grace," musings on Samson-like strength seem fortified. And yet my mind drifts to thoughts of teratomas, and vagina dentata. Truong is currently being shown at Katherine Mulherin in Toronto. [via Design Porn]

Thursday, October 14, 2010

132 5. Issey Miyake: Origami Fashion

Japanese fashion innovator Issey Miyake and his R&D design group, the Reality Lab, have created a line of eco-conscious "origami clothing" made from recycled PET fabric. Each garment is made from a single piece of fabric, which is folded flat into one of ten basic collapsible patterns. The sharp creases in the fabric are made flexible but permanent, so that as you open the garment a multifaceted 3D form emerges. This shape is made customizable by the wearer with strategically placed snaps and darts, and the addition of tubes used to create sleeves or pant legs.

The title [132 5.] explains the notion: one piece of fabric, a three-dimensional shape reduced to two, and the fifth dimension, which Miyake describes as the moment the garment is worn and comes to life “through the communication among people.” (In physics, the fifth dimension is a hypothetical extra dimension after the three spatial ones and the fourth, which is time. Some astrophysicists argue that the fifth dimension may be the universe that we live in.) ...

“These clothes are very light, like air, and are season-less,” Miyake says. “I hope people will keep them a long time, and not replace them every two months. That, for me, is the essence of sustainability.”

This construction is made possible by a 3D computer modeling program (presumably ORIPA — an editor for designing crease patterns in Origami works — available free, here) designed by artist and computer scientist Jun Mitani. I highly recommend checking out Mitani's work in spherical origami. [via Dezeen, more at the Design Observer]

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Design*Sponge's Wallpaper Resource List!

Maybe when I own my own home (dreaming!) I'll finally get to wallpaper a wall. Until then, I sooth myself by collecting images of other people's amazing spaces, all decked out in sensational patterns. But it's good to dream. And when I make that first purchase in yardage, I'll know where to turn thanks to Grace and her Top 50 Wallpaper Sources. (See also Wallpaper Under $100)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ktichen Thoughts

It's a beautiful Saturday morning in San Francisco, sunny and warm with the arrival of our elusive Indian summer — a curious term with a curious etymology, but a time that nonetheless makes us natives break out the shorts and sandals for their twice-yearly airing. Sitting here in the loft after a wonderful breakfast of huevos rancheros, putting the plates back on the shelf and finishing my french press, I was reminded of a post I put up on CRAFT back in the spring (the other nostalgic season) on kitchen thoughts ... I hope you'll investigate, and share some of your favorite kitchen items.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wilson A. Bentley: Snowflakes

You might admonish me at the mention of winter, but with snow-thirsty friends wishing fall would hurry up already, I've already got one eye to the mountains. In any case, Pacha Design has this great post on "The Snowflake Man," Wilson A. Bentley, and the photos were too tasty to pass up.

"Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated., When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind." —Bentley

Boats Recycled into Sheds

The fishing community on the English tidal island of Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, has found a wonderful channel of employment for their once seaworthy vessels. By simply turning them upside down and adding doors they are upcycled into sheds — too cool! [via Recyclart]

Monday, September 20, 2010

See You in October!

Dear TT readers, September is a wash!

Between putting two magazines to bed, helping with and attending two close-friend weddings, and Maker Faire New York, I'm out of commission. In the meantime, please check in with CRAFT for my postings there — most recently on Plumen's designer fluorescent bulbs, and embroidery artist Ayako Otsuka (respectively, above). See you in October! Or New York. Whichever comes first!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Georgia Russell

Scottish paper artist Georgia Russell falls within the notable ranks of Brian Dettmer and Su Blackwell — both artists who remodel the book into 3-dimensional narratives. Whereas Detter excavates his subjects like an archeological dig, and Blackwell erects select images into diorama-like scenes, Russell abandons depiction to focus on form. Her books shred out in sculpted waves that seem to at once defile and release the text, as if blown out from the spine in a sudden organic bloom. [via Silent Storyteller]

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Baths: Lovely Bloodflow

Lovely Bloodflow from BATHS on Vimeo.

Yelena Bryksenkova: Sketchbook

St. Petersburg-born, Midwest-raised Yelena Bryksenkova creates storybook-style illustrations full of a certain folklore nostalgia. Her sketchbooks reveal a lush inner landscape brimming with musings, portraits, meals, notable fashion, historic figures, and the view out the window. They remind me of Maira Kalman's illustrations, both in aesthetic and theme, as they remodel everyday subjects into curious delights. Thank you for letting us be a part of your world, Yelena.

Vintage Radios

Emil Dudek (South Wales) runs the online index Vintage Technology, a website dedicated to chronicling antiquated calculators, clocks, radios, advertisements, ephemera, and general bric-a-brac — gorgeous! Check out the fabulous vintage calculators on Makezine.

Lee Price

There is something plainly private about the photorealistic figure paintings of American artist Lee Price. Her subjects are all women, in varying degrees of dress, often in closed spaces, surrounded by food. The aerial vantage suggests secrecy, as if we the viewer are getting a privileged look inside the darker parts these women's lives.

Lee graduated from the Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree.

Friday, August 27, 2010


I love when art imitates art.

As an excuse to spend a little time on a Friday afternoon playing with Legos, we decided to whip up some pieces in [New York's] MoMA’s collection in Lego form.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Quick Look at the Morton's Salt Girl

I love seeing how logos evolve over time, especially when they're as iconic and illustrative as the Morton's Umbrella Girl. On par with the bare-cheeked Coppertone girl (1953), this little lassie has been a favorite for Halloween costumes, tattoos, and craft projects for decades. She got her start in 1914, and proceeded to update her image every 10 years on average — "Whenever we start to show our age, we do a little face lifting. Isn't that just like a woman?" reads a line from a 1968 advertisement. Uh, right, Mr. Morton.

I will say that the company has done a great job of preserving its logo's history. You can see a wonderful collection of vintage advertisements and read more about the Umbrella Girl evolution on their website. And I simply must add my own personal bid to the Morton Salt company: start selling "collector" canisters with the older logos (above)! Mugs are cool, but the real deal is even better. More classic logo goodness at Neatorama. When it rains, it pours.

Shinya Kimura: Zero-Style Bikes

I just posted this over at CRAFT. Witness: the vintage craftsman glory of a man and his machine. Japanese-born custom motorcycle builder, Shinya Kimura, made a name for himself as founder of the shop Zero Engineering, where his streamlined aesthetic turned vintage bikes into a "no frills minimalistic" functional artistry known as Zero-style.

A Zero-style bike is typically based around a rigid gooseneck, a pre-1984 Harley Davidson engine, springer front end, spoked wheels and often includes parts of the bike remaining in bare metal. The inspiration came from wabi sabi (austere refinement) and the beauty of the raw materials and incorporating the essence of wa (harmony) into his designs.

Today, Kimura runs his own workshop, Chabott Engineering, in the California desert town of Azusa. Watch more Kimura videos here, and follow him on his blog.

Bodkin: Autumn/Winter Collection 2010

It's just barely summer here in San Francisco, so I am in no way ready to recognize fall. Though for you, Bodkin, I will relinquish my grasp on this city's false sense of sun and welcome back the requisite warm knits and wool leggings that already fill my closet. A girl simply can't have enough chic comfort, and if I had any money at all I would thin 90% of my closet and make this collection my uniform, shoes included.

The Brooklynn-based Bodkin was founded in 2008 by one Eviana Hartman. The business focus is on sustainable designs, incorporating new technologies — such as post-consumer recycled polyester — with recycled and salvaged textiles, creating "transparency and a conscious and curious approach" to the brand.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bea Szenfeld: Sur la Plage

Swedish fashion designer Bea Szenfeld's latest, Sur la Plage, is an extension of her 2006 Paper Dolls collection. In this latest work we find a dozen handmade paper costumes inspired by seaside folklore and ambiance -- water spirits and sea nymphs, the nets of fishermen, crashing waves, seaweed tangles, glimmering shoals, deep sea pearls, and shellfish clusters.

The compact cardboard is cut and folded into tiny architectural concoctions, which are assembled together by hand into incredible creations that lead your mind to Jules Vernes fictitious sea demons.

Photos by Ulrich Lofgren. [via Beautiful Decay]

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The House of Stone: A Casa do Penedo

The coziness factor is questionable, but the epic coolness meter is off the charts. This two-story hobbity dwelling — A Casa do Penedo, or "the House of Stone" — is impossibly carved out between giant stones in the Fafe Mountains in Portugal, replete with glass windows, fireplace, swimming pool, and shingled roof.

The house was built in 1974 as a family's rural retreat, but in recent years it has attracted the attention of tourists and architecture enthusiasts alike for being so perfectly integrated into its natural surroundings. Interest in the stone house has grown to the point that the current owner, Vitor Rodrigues, has had to move to find solace from the curious visitors.

Sadly, recent popularity and media attention has warranted safety measures such as the addition of bullet-proof glass and a steel door. More at Tree Hugger, where you can see a video taking you inside the house! [via Black Eiffel] Thanks, Candice, for the link.
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