If I hadn’t chosen to pursue life as a designer, I might well have been a scientific illustrator. As a student, I loved biology. I would spend hours with my pencils and paints making drawings of dissections and microbes. I was (no surprise here) consumed by chart making. I remember in high-school biology how I dove headlong into the science and visual representation of genetic traits. Gregor Mendel wasn’t exactly my hero, but I noticed early on how much I was enamored by what I imagined to be a life devoted to pea plants and bees. My friend Kay sent me a link to this site. It has a wealth of unusual and wonderful images. Thanks Kay!
Always a good idea to have some emergency first aid knowledge in one’s back pocket. From, of course, the NYPL archive.
These are decidedly creepy. I know. But I find it fascinating that so much trouble (likely to our benefit) has been taken to make these models so thoroughly life-like. All of them are used in medical and surgical training. As you can guess, there is an entire industry devoted to making these models, many of which I deemed either too weird or graphic to post. But if you want to know more, go here and here.
It’s not at all an overstatement to say that great inspiration is to be found in a hardware store. Case in point: this sensational Monarch Furnace Nozzle display. I’ve been admiring this thing for months, if not longer. And the very kind peeps over at Callicoon Supply took the time to remove it from the shelf when asked if I could photograph it. Although there were a couple of raised eyebrows and a mild amount of teasing (Joanne and Howard!). However, I felt vindicated when a customer saw what I was doing and said that he was surprised at how one could see something forever, and yet not really look at it or appreciate it until someone else took the time to view it differently.
I thought I had lost these somewhere along the way. Perhaps in our last move. With a sigh of relief, I recently unearthed them along with some beautiful French boxes of insect specimens. I was less concerned about the loss of the bugs because, while quite unusual and striking, they posed no safety threat. Not so for the hydrometers. Those big silvery bulbs at the ends contain mercury. And lots of it. I just happened to have finished reading a disturbing article about South America and how, as a result of the gold boom, mercury contamination has spread at astonishingly high levels in both air and water. So the question of what to do with these things is front of mind. Suggestions are welcome. I don’t mean to be glib, but poison aside, these are pretty amazing.
Yesterday I posted an image of a masonry brush. A few weeks ago it was these animal feeding nipples. Today it’s a fermentation airlock and some bondo spreaders. I might wager that the nice people behind the register at the local Farm and Garden store are, if they have even noticed, a little baffled by my purchases. I find the form of the airlock to be particularly arresting and wonderfully abstract. Can I also admit that I am quite pleased with the photograph? And those flesh-colored bondo spreaders have just the right radius corners.
Most forms of work possess a certain level of artistry. Wiring and plumbing are no exceptions. Like most of us, I have a fear of my home catching fire or of the pipes bursting. I don’t think about it all that often until I come face to face with evidence of a really bad job. Or, for that matter, a really good job. Regardless, I am fascinated by schematics, and especially so with those that either represent a system that is highly functioning or one that is on the verge of failure.