Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s been awhile. A titch over two years, if we want to be specific. I hope you’re all well. I’ve been pondering the many shifts in our methods and means of connecting with one another in this online ecosystem. In the past few years our lives have been transformed and, in some cases, taken over by social media. This may be a balm to some and a curse for others. I am deeply conflicted. On the one hand, it feels ridiculous to be sharing on the blog what is basically the equivalent of a novel. If it isn’t a single image, or confined to 140 characters, what’s the point. Oh, and the political climate has left so many of us reeling. Anything other than protest has seemed both trite and largely irrelevant. This is a partial answer as to why I stopped. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but something that happened more by slow attrition and inattention. Other reasons will be made clear over time. But I miss Mrs. Easton. It was a regular, self-imposed discipline, a personal diary of sorts, which forced me to look more closely at my surroundings, and to inquire about things that caught my attention, but of which I knew little. And, in many cases, almost nothing. I also miss the back and forth of the virtual community. It’s now been slightly more that 9 years since I started this endeavor. This here is an attempt to reestablish the routine. I hope you’ll join me.
The above post was one of my very first, and feels even more relevant now than before.
These beauties are courtesy of the artist Josh Blackwell. Thank you Josh! I will never again look at my plastic bags the same way.
Here is a little preview of the new chair being shown at this week’s ICFF show in NYC. The show runs from May 14 – 17 at the Jacob K. Javits Center. You can see it at Booth 2154.
The Callicoon Chair is a happy collaboration between myself, and Stephanie Seal Brown, a gifted hand weaver and textile designer based out of Kentucky and NYC. The aim was to design a seat that was small in profile but with a substantial presence. Equally important, and the genesis of the design itself, was figuring out a way to showcase Stephanie’s exceptional linen tape trim in a manner that was both striking and less predictable. The frame is made of powder coated steel (yes, it’s kind of heavy, but not too much so) and the foam cushion is covered in a lovely natural textured linen, edged with a subtle touch of trim.
Chair Dimensions: 27”H x 22”W x 27.75”D
Please come visit us…
These two elixirs come courtesy of my friend David Driver: multi-talented designer, musician, performer, writer, etc. They were some of the finest, most welcome presents from Christmas. A homemade gift stands out from the rest, and, with this magnificent packaging, I bet you’d be hard-pressed to dispute it. David is a genius at re-purposing nearly everything (he alone gives the term “Frugal Yankee” a good name!). I would never have guessed that these containers are actually Schweppe’s tonic water bottles. He insists that they are cheaper than Seagram’s. I haven’t yet sampled the vinegar, but I do know that it’s a concoction from the apple trees on his property. I also know, from experience, that his flu tonic will banish even the most tenacious germ. For a similar recipe, click here.
I don’t play games on my phone or tablet. Not because of some principled stance opposing them, or because I think they are boring and repetitive. Nope, my reasoning stems from experience: latent addiction is just waiting to devour all aspects of my life. Enter Catch…an elegant, playful, and visually stunning iOS game designed, developed and coded by Andy Bergmann. Andy is an executive creative director at CNN and all around talented guy. The premise of the game is as simple as it gets: catch the ball. There are no instructions on how to accomplish this simple action. No need. You start tapping and swiping, and soon enough you’ve got it. Until the next level (there are 50), when other objects are introduced into the mix as a means to increase the game’s difficulty. Did I mention that the hand and the objects exist on different 3-dimensional planes? According to Bergmann, “Catch requires an interesting combination of spacial perception and eye-hand coordination.” Catch appeals in large part because of its simplicity and unique graphic sensibility. I see a twelve step program in my future.
Here’s a nice write-up in Fast Co.
To download Catch, click here. Free for a limited time on iTunes.
I recently took a short but inspiring bookbinding class in upstate NY. It was hosted and organized by J. Morgan Puett, of Mildred’s Lane and The Mildred Complex(ity), and it was taught by one Leon Johnson. He, along with his wife Megan O’Connell, and son Leander, are the founders of Salt & Cedar, a letterpress studio located in the Eastern Market district of Detroit. They produce custom design work and printed matter – an extremely prosaic way of saying that they are extraordinary designers and thinkers. They also appear to have created a modern day salon of sorts, encompassing performance, food, film and more. This scarified hunk of beeswax is one of Leon’s tools. Bookbinding uses waxed thread as a means to hold together the sets of pages, which are called signatures. You can buy prewaxed thread, but most serious bookbinders prefer to wax their own. I was told that this piece, which, at the time I saw it only measured about 3.5″ x 2″ x 3″, began as quite a large block. Figure one or two pounds. It wasn’t just the beeswax that caught my attention. It was also the way Mr. Johnson used it to wax the thread. When someone is so accomplished at their craft/artform, they do things with complete ease and confidence, and a kind of artful rhythm. A ritual motion that is part of them, unlike the halting actions performed by relative neophytes.
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