30 April 2009

Sneaky Tokens

Apparently many governments didnt provide enough small coin denominations, back in the day. So if you had to break a hundy, there'd be no change! Clever businesses minted their own small change tokens that could only be used at that shop. Sneaky.
Anyway, the result was some interesting tokens, that are a little more rigourous than most official coinage I think.

28 April 2009

Suburban Archaelogy

I was mowing our jungly lawn, and saw this glimmer in the spidery grass.
Lo! A lost treasure...
A silver bird. fair condition.
I had completely forgotten about this- I think I must have left it outside as an experiment in natural patination- but I dont remember...maybe it got mixed up in the kid's toys? I must have mown over it several times over the months. I guess I'll never get a job as a conservator.
Looks particularly troglodytic in contrast to the jizai okimono, doesnt it?- but... that was my original intention!

25 April 2009

Iron Crab

My daughter and I like to go crab hunting in rockpools. But we never keep them; how would we? 
So, we could really use one or two of these extraordinary Edo period  jizai okimono- which are articulated(!) metal figures.
Made by armour-making families steeped in centuries-old skill, this was their peace-time output. 
Particularly amazing are the iron pieces, (definately the crab and the fish- I think the bugs may be copper alloy?) which were probably hot-forged, I'd imagine, (unless they are pure iron? which is much softer than modern mild steel) in any case, very skilled smithing here folks. And beautiful lustrous patina- also a japanese specialty.
at the Tokyo Museum ( why wasnt it on when I was there?!)
via Sushifactory's photostream, check out the rest. Blown away.

22 April 2009

Poétesse du métal

I recently discovered the work of Line Vautrin, "poétesse du métal ". 
I thought it was fun, and refreshingly direct (clunky even) and á l'ancienne... 

20 April 2009

19 April 2009

Hermann Jünger.
Always lyrical somehow, even when geometric... 
Of all the Goldsmiths, was so eloquent with gold.
From even only pictures of his work, one can learn that there are many beautiful 'words' in the language of gold, and in the language of technique- of smithing. Not just shiny, not just neat.

Would love to have met him and seen his workshop. 

17 April 2009

spell check

Always, ALWAYS DO A SPELL-CHECK before committing to precious metal!
corrected version coming soon...

("Norwee-gan" has already become our household word for a dumb mistake. ha!)

16 April 2009


paintings by Julius Bissier (d.1965)
included here because Hermann Jünger said he was an influence. yes...

14 April 2009

We Return

The Hirondelle, or Swallow- the motif hasnt been spoiled for me yet. To see a Swallow flapping overhead, it lifts my world-weariness. As a boy, Swallows would return each year to nest in the eave by my room. This was entrancing and annoying; they were very beautiful, but would poop on the paving. 
1. American Indian jewelry. Bold!
2. 'Hirondelle' hood ornament versions and badge
3. a broken mud nest, repaired with...
4. 'we return'. wish I had made this. Much gold here! Unknown maker.
5.hood ornament again
6. I think it is a blessing to have them in your eaves! ( A good haiku brings two ideas together, shedding new light on them both.)

12 April 2009


Whilst Koppel is getting a lot of renewed attention, owing to the re-issue of the 'pregnant duck'.
...I rather wish there was a re-issue of this Rickert 'watering can'
(or coffee pot? but it has no lid you see?).
It inspired me to make a silver spouted can that is now in the possession of one S.Marsland...( if you are reading this Sal, could you pretty please send me a photo of said can? I did not even own a camera in those days, and I would love to post it here)(ahem, you may well have pawned it during the Great Silver Price Spike of '07?...c'est la vie)

Earrings a la Henry Ford

In the workshop: Earrings in production. 

Cragg colours

I coloured-in a photo of a Cragg sculpture, made of junk... nice colours. 

8 April 2009

Honest Radios

response to Jesse's comment- I hope this wall one actually is a functional thing. (and can you help me out with a credit / link for this one (anyone?))
I think I got it off FFFFound??)
*also this is not bad
*and I want one of these wire radios as much as a Rams Braun- equally iconic.

i like Lichen

that reminded me of this! an extra-ordinary box, from...

7 April 2009

Dieter Rams as the 'Moses' of Design

I really like Ram's Hi-Fi designs. 
But seeing as the above were published as 'Ten Commandments', I cant help but feel this is very presumptuous. So, I say, lets scrutinise them.
first thoughts;
Rule#1:Nihil de nihilo fit: nothing comes from nothing. Originality is non-existant.
Rule # 10: Hmmm. I like this, but,  I must say:
You cant escape complexity. Not really. Its always there, squirming around, under the drab grey casing, isnt it?
And a designer must know that.
Because in being 'Simple', often the design of an object must 'lie' about the complexity beneath- and sometimes its an arduous lie, really fancy footwork!
I think they call that 'Simplexity'. 

6 April 2009


when I grow up I would like to be a Tati film.

3 April 2009

Grandpa Fixie

1902 (!) Dürkopp, fixed gear 
a real atavus.
via the venerable collectvello