a compilation of products, furniture, jewelry, architecture and artists that float our boat. FURTHER EXAMINATION:
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// archive for October 2009

The Bumper Issue by Crumpler

I came across one of these Bumper Issue bags from Crumpler yesterday and I was really impressed by the build quality. It feels like a nice balance between durable and lightweight. It carries about 450 cubes and has an spot for a hydration bladder and the tube comes straight through the shoulder strap. The back is mesh padded for sweat evaporation. And even though it’s small, it’s still got compression straps in case you don’t have anything to pack with you but don’t want the shape flapping around. It’s hard to see in the pictures, but there are even reflector tabs stitched behind the clips for the compression straps. The bag is full of these very well-thought details.

Alex Creamer – NYC Spaghetti

This was way too awesome not to post about here – Alex Creamer, a student at the University of Central Lancashire designed the conceptual NYC Spaghetti packaging:

“I created this spaghetti packaging for a university project last year. The brief was to package one of 5 difficult items i.e. eggs, a rose, custard powder, spaghetti or marbles. I chose spaghetti. The spaghetti sits on a 3d model of the chrysler building that was modelled on CAD by my friend Ben Thorpe. And then modelled out of high density foam at uni. Creating a spaghetti model of the Chrysler building!”

My only critique of the packaging itself is that it would have been nice to have the spaghetti graphic run all the way to the bottom of the packaging (ie. complete the building), rather than starting only at the top half of the box.

Awesome work, Alex! Via the Dieline.

Torsten Neeland

Spotted these gorgeous pencil sharpeners by Torsten Neeland over at Omami.ru. Love the simplicity of the shape and the height of the sharpener.

Torsten has some pretty nice product designs in his portfolio, including gorgeous walnut veneer salad cutlery for Donna Karan Home (below) – another exercise in simplicity of form. The thinness of the veneer reinforces the sculptural form of the cutlery.

Finally, hello funky rug (below), which actually looks more like a plaster relief, but in reality was fabricated with some special weaving technique that allows for a 3D surface.

Tom Rossau

I used one of these lamps (the standard metal version) all throughout architecture school. While Tom Rossau’s version really doesn’t modify the design at all, I like his use of wood veneer – it makes for a beautiful, soft light, and it’s totally appropriate for all those late nights making basswood models.

Tom makes beautiful, sculptural lights out of wood veneers, primarily out of birch. Check out his website for more.

Gretchen Wagoner – Mating Hera Buckmoths

We just launched Gretchen Wagoner’s Mating Hera Buckmoth print over at The Working Proof. This is a two-color Gocco print on Arches Rives BFK 100% cotton rag paper. 15% of each print sold goes to the Jane Goodall Institute, a global nonprofit that empowers people to make a difference for all living things.

About the print:

The print Mating Hera Buckmoths is the continuation on a theme I have been exploring within my work for the last year or so. I am fascinated with butterflies and knots. My interest lies in the delicate yet resilient characteristics of a butterfly as opposed to the robust and stabilizing mechanisms of a knot. Natural examples of conformity and a deviation – both are symbolically used to describe physical characteristics brought on by strong emotional reactions. Having butterflies or knots in your stomach may physically feel similar but evoke completely different emotional connotations.

Check out our interview with Gretchen here.

Miller Goodman – PlayShapes

I love this super versatile set of PlayShapes by Miller Goodman. One set comes with 74 geometric shapes that can be arranged and rearranged in any number of ways. This is a great toy for kids and adults! Also fun – their Rubberwood Block sets.

Via Bloesem.

Matix – Domepiece Headphones

It seems like everyone is getting into the headphones game and the newest ones I’ve seen are the Domepiece from Matix. Who can argue with simplicity of black, gold and a single cable? I’d rather have that than yellow, purple, red, green, orange, cats, skulls, etc.

Old Maid Collaboration

Kathryn Hunter of Blackbird Letterpress asked us a few months ago to be a part of a collaboration she was putting together – a limited edition Old Maid letterpress deck! 33 artists were asked to design an Old Maid character. We decided on Greasy Grimes – drawn as a double portrait inspired by a standard face card. The two opposing sides of the card represent the inner and outer character of a single person in two different forms. What is more desirable, inner or outer beauty?

“Beauty is but skin deep, ugly lies the bone; Beauty dies and fades away, but ugly holds its own.” – John Davies of Hereford.

Being that we don’t letterpress ourselves, we paired up with Kseniya Thomas who did an awesome job printing our Greasy Grimes pair.

Below are some of our favorites from the collaboration:


Knitting Kneena – Katrina Andry.


Tattooed Tina – Bon Vivant Press.


Her Majesty Marie – F Street Letterpress.


Ethel Early Bird – Heroes & Criminals Press.


Lucia Libre la Luchadora – Flatbed Splendor.


Nola Nora – Gutwrench.


Biker Babs – Skybound Press.


Unsinkable Undina – Slow Industries.

You can see all of the cards here.

Mick Lacy – Duck Calls

Mick Lacy makes a line of duck calls that are simply beautiful. I have no experience in hunting anything, so I couldn’t tell you if they work or not. Their forms are simple and echo their function while their colors and transparency satisfy the eye, without having to follow the tradition of wood grain and brass. If I didn’t know what they were, I might think they are perfume bottles because they are so stylish.

Nendo – Cord Chair

Spotted the Cord Chair over at Designboom – designed by Nendo for Maruni, the Cord Chair’s wooden skin belies the metal structure beneath. It’s an interesting exercise in deception – manufactured parading as natural, strength portrayed as delicateness, heaviness hidden by the appearance of lightness. Each leg is little over .5″ in diameter – tiny!