Archive for the ‘craft’ Category
Davidson Galleries in Seattle is running an exhibition of bookplates both contemporary and antique. Over 200 of these labels of book ownership are on display including those of well-known bookplate artists (yes, they exist!) who were, not surprisingly, usually printmakers. Bookplate subjects are as varied as their owners, though of course reading-related illustrations are common. My bookplates aren’t custom but they’re Laura Ashley (how luxe!) and I’ve only used them on a few very special books. Etsy is a good place to find bookplates to match your personality. I’ve written about bookplates twice before so here are some links I’ve gathered: Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie (still going strong after 5 years), The American Society of Bookplate Collectors & Designers, The Bookplate Society, University of Notre Dame’s Bookplate Registry project, and Stanford’s online Bookplates Exhibit. There are many more bookplate resources out there and collections at many universities.
It’s old news that American shoe manufacturing has moved overseas, mostly to China. One of the few companies still making shoes in the USA wants to tip the balance the other way by marketing its shoes to the Chinese. Allen Edmonds, a privately held manufacturer of men’s shoes in Wisconsin, is opening a store in Shanghai this year. They’re hoping that “Made in the USA” will be as distinctive in China as it has become back home. If the approach succeeds, they have plans to expand into Hong Kong and Macau, but they won’t move production to Asia like so many others have. Allen Edmonds shoes were worn by Presidents Reagan, Clinton, and the Bushes for their inaugurations.
Corning Inc. has ably survived into the computer age with its glass a necessity for electronic displays both small and large. In 2008 it shed its money-losing luxury glass division, selling Steuben to Schottenstein Stores, a holding company of various retailers. Steuben is the last manufacturer of luxury lead crystal in the United States. It continued to lose money and in August of this year Schottenstein announced that the 108 year old company will close in November. The flagship Steuben store on Fifth Avenue in New York will close after 77 years of business. Buyers of wedding gifts, commemorative glass pieces, and mementos for heads of state and royalty will have to find something else. The Corning Glass Museum has replaced its Steuben store with works of local glass artists. Steuben’s online store has marked down the merchandise so for some time you can still get an animal hand cooler without having to turn to eBay. Corning has bought back the brand name so perhaps one day when we tire of buying each other gift cards and electronic devices Steuben can shine again.
Bride and groom Sara Faith Alterman and Sam Hawes’ wedding rings may look traditional but they took a very personal route for their jewelry. With the help of Adam Clark at Scintillant Studio the couple started with a metal ingot and made wedding bands for each other. Alterman is a writer (among other things) and she’s written about shopping for her wedding dress for the Boston Globe and “localizing” her wedding in San Francisco.
Andrew Kolb decided to illustrate David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” and put it into children’s book format. The PDF is freely downloadable from his site (unless some lawyers get to it). The people he put in the control room are nicely diverse in sex and race. But with the bleak ending of the song you might not want to show this to any young kids. (Thanks Robert!)
The September issue of Dwell takes you behind the scenes at textile company Marimekko. Founded in 1951, the Finnish company’s bold prints received a boost in the U.S. from Jacqueline Kennedy who wore several of their dresses in the 1960 presidential campaign. More recent publicity came from clothing and tablecloth appearances in the TV series “Sex and the City.” Crate & Barrel’s partnership with Marimekko started in the 1960s and their designs are available on pillows, sheets, and other housewares. Their colorful patterns are silkscreened in up to 12 colors. Dwell’s slideshow runs through 13 patterns and the designers and inspiration behind them. The article describes the design and printing process.
The fading craft of shoes handmade in the United States, captured in this 4 minute video of a Quoddy craftsman who learned how to sew shoes from his father. “He knew back then it wasn’t a really a good trade to get into because it’d been petering out…but it’s still a good living.”
I mentioned electronic music stand systems a few years ago. Now with the advent of the iPad and similar devices, specialized hardware is less likely to be the common solution for viewing sheet music. The current “state of the art” for gadget friendly musicians are iPads on regular stands, jury-rigged stands/clips, or a specially designed stand like the Peak iPad stand which even rotates 360 degrees. For musicians who have no time to swipe a page turn, there’s the AirTurn which can be set up with a foot pedal. An organists who’s also a computer guy has his hooked up to a bite switch for completely hand and foot-free operation.
IKEA has jumped on the online community bandwagon with the launch of Share Space. Customers can upload their room photos and tag their IKEA items. It’s not quite IKEA Hackers but it gets the company connected to how their products are being used. There’s also a blog (how modern!). Our IKEA photos would be boring: bookcase, bookcase, bookcase, bookcase, another bookcase, let’s call this one shelves instead. Oh and a Poang chair.
Christie’s has signed on to auction the late Elizabeth Taylor’s significant collection of jewelry, fashion, art and other memorabilia. It’s expected that most of the proceeds will benefit her AIDs foundation. To build anticipation for this large event, Christie’s is putting the collection on a worldwide tour with stops in Moscow, London, L.A., Dubai, Geneva, Paris, and Hong Kong before coming to rest in New York for a multi-day auction in December 2011. Her jewelry will be sold over two days, then her fashion and accessories. Her art and memorabilia is split between the final sale day in New York and a February sale in London of her Impressionist and Modern art. When the catalogue is published we’ll see whether her diamond tiara, Krupp Diamond (33.19 carats), Peregrina pearl (50 carat), and Taylor-Burton diamond (69.42 carats) will be on the block.