I’m a big fan of Best Made Companies axes, however impractical they are as a city dweller. They’re absolutely beautifully presented and marketed which makes me want one quite a lot.
I spotted this new bag by Archival Clothing in their webstore called the Archival Clothing Rucksack and figured some of you in the market for a new bag might be interested. This fella is made up of waxed cotton, the edges are bound in waxed cotton tape and stress points are bar-tacked or riveted and solid brass hardware is used throughout. It even looks like there’s a space for a hand axe on the side, though I’m sure your nalgeen could fit just as easily. Be sure to take a visit to Archival Clothing as well to check out some more great bags.
La Creative Sweatshop is a collaboration between Ndeur (Mathieu Missiaen) and Make a Paper World (Julien Morin.) The two met in early 2009 and (I’m guessing) started talking about how much they loved making things out of paper and how great it is to be from France. Whatever their conversation, it must have gone well. Eighteen months later you, can feast your eyeballs on the fruits of their labors.
The work of British illustrator Zara Picken instantly transports the viewer to a time when housewives wore pearl necklaces while baking cakes, jazz music was played on ornate gramophones and social relationships were conducted with a sense of reserved grace. Certainly, Picken’s nostalgia-tinged, mid-20th century-inspired illustrations would be perfect for a campaign pitched by the advertising team from Mad Men.
The clever combination of digital and handmade elements provides Picken’s imagery with a delicious retro feel that is simultaneously modern. The humour that is present in all of her illustrations also adds to the appeal of her work – who wouldn’t want a “genie-us” wish machine? I also thought it most appropriate that one of her illustrations features none other than a black fox.
A lot of things are for sale on TV. Easily my favorite is a precious half-hour on public access where the members of a local Baptist church sell goods donated by the congregation. What’s so great about the live TV show is that the goods are dumped on a table and sold in lots. “E’rything on the table for $40 bucks. We got some fancy Ninja Swords, a Gateway computer, Beanie Babies… lots of real nice stuff!” A telephone number flashes across the bottom of the screen. At the top of the screen is the lower half of the steadfast Ten Commandments.
It’s so straightforward: here is some stuff to buy. What’s more tricky is a few channels over on the Home Shopping Network, HSN. It’s not merely the brightly-lit sets and glossy graphics, but a whole host of marketing and rhetorical strategies that assault the viewer. How can you not buy the hairspray when it’s so cheap… and used by the cast of Days of Our Lives? By the time the side-by-side comparison shows a demographically-determined make over, you’re dialing the 1-800-number. Right?
So what does this have to do with Space? If you’ve ever heard of Tang, you might have a clue. Space sells a lot of stuff, too. Tang, for the unfamiliar, is a powder that you add to water if you want to drink orange-flavored water. Tang became popular after John Glenn drank some during the Mercury flight, and somewhere along the way a persistent rumor emerged that Tang was invented by NASA. It was not. The real story according to the History Channel: “There was a particular component of the Gemini life support-system module which produced H2O among other things. This was a byproduct of a recurring chemical reaction of one of the mechanical devices on the life-support module. The astronauts would use this water to drink during their space flight. The problem was, the astronauts did not like the taste of the water because of some of the byproducts produced, which were not harmful of course. So, they added Tang to make the water taste better.”
Another thing you may not have known: last week I quietly celebrated my 25th birthday. I’m getting at the age where I ask for useful things like new tires and prescription sunglasses for my birthday. However, I did receive one not-entirely-useful gift last week that has been making me think about space and commerce. The photo above is the cover of that gift: a comic from 1951 about a chocolate powdered drink. But not just any chocolate powered drink, one that enables an American Serviceman-Astronaut to defeat a space villain.
The comic is illustrated by Bob Powell, who compares the discovery of Inapak to similarly innovative discoveries like electricity and the atomic bomb. The storyline of the comic involves the first man landing on the moon in 1984, discovering life and a sinister plot to destroy the earth. Lukily, Major Inapak enjoys the benefits of his namesake, including: good red blood, sturdy muscles and plenty of pep. Evildoers don’t stand a chance.
All of the information I can find about this drink online relates only this this comic, and I have no idea what happened to the drink company from Chicago. Inapak certainly isn’t unique in using rockets as marketing bandwagons, but their wagon was hitched to the wrong star. Nobody knows who Major Inapak is; they should have given a lifetime supply to John Glenn.
I am currently in Brisbane, Queensland attending an architecture conference and was intrigued when Linda Carroli, one of the opening plenary speakers, alluded to the I Knit Brisbane project. Walking around the inner city on the weekend, it was interesting to note that there was not much in the way of street art or graffiti, but had I arrived a month earlier the urban spaces of Brisbane would have looked quite warm and fuzzy.
The brief for the project suggests that the central aim of I Knit Brisbane was to ceremoniously prepare the city for its rather mild winter; however, Carroli also emphasised that this style of folk craft renovation is also integral to altering and beautifying ugly aspects of urban architecture. Based on the comments left on the I Knit Brisbane site, the public’s reactions to the wool installations have been mixed. While some see the magic in the concept, others have claimed that it wastes time and resources that could be better used to clothe the homeless. Personally, I think it is a really exciting way to transform the city’s architectural facades and would like to see some guerilla knitters stitching wool on urban structures in other cities. Is this a call to arms…uh…needles? Why, yes it is!