Monthly Archives: March 2011

Rubber Stamps

Art need not be complicated to be effective; stamp art is proof of that. Each image made by the stamp is identical yet unique, depending on the pressure placed on the ink pad and the paper. The medium is perfect for children, but don’t mistake its child-like simplicity for childishness. The ink stamp is more than a children’s toy — its value extends beyond mere symbol.

Rubber stamps at the Hollwood Rubber Stamp Company

Hollywood Rubber Stamp Co., est. 1935.

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Light Bulbs

Light bulb testing

Uncle Sam testing light bulbs, 1938. Harris & Ewing Collection. (Image via Shorpy)

Picture your favorite place to sit. It is likely next to a sun-filled window or in a cozy spot next to a lamp. Think about the lamps in your living room or the antique glow of a city café. Now think about places that are unpleasant: Safeway, hospital waiting rooms, the DMV. The reason we like the sun, candlelight, and fireplaces is the same reason we like incandescent lighting. The reason we feel uneasy with institutional lighting is the same reason we resist putting compact fluorescent lights in our bedrooms and living rooms. We’ve all been inundated with “proof” that incandescent bulbs are bad for the earth, and that switching is so worth the energy and cost savings that our love of incandescence is just nostalgia-laden selfishness. But never is it that simple.

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Arne Jacobsen

Arne Jacobsen was a designer of everything. A trained architect, he designed the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. It was the city’s first skyscraper, a vision in sea-green glass and steel. He also designed dorm rooms, the tables and chairs of a cafeteria, amoeba-shaped doorknobs that nestled into the palm, and flatware that looked like speeding droplets of stainless steel ending in a (somewhat) functional eating tool. Jacobsen designed the past’s vision of the future, but his present hardly agreed with him. His skyscraper was long-considered the ugliest building in Copenhagen, and his flatware was widely hated for offering up too little food with each bite.

Gas Station by Danish designer Arne Jacobsen

Gas Station by Arne Jacobsen, 1937.

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Good Meat

Beef forequarter from Deborah Krasner's "Good Meat"

1. Top blade; 2. Shoulder tender; 3. Chuck tender; 4. Whole brisket; 5. Rolled beef navel; 6. Shoulder pot roast; 7. Short ribs; 8. Royal short ribs; 9. Chuck roll; 10. Rib primal. Image by Martin Nilsson courtesy of “Good Meat” by Deborah Krasner.

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