Archive for the DESIGN Category

Weird and Wacky : Fright Lights!

Posted in DESIGN, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2014 by echostains

 

Weird lamps for old!   Lighting has always been a valuable consideration when creating ambiance to a room.  But  if you  want to  add  thrills, drama, laughter or just simply offer an unusual focal  point that will get your guests talking (and maybe reeling with shock a bit) – then look no further than these very original and enigmatic lamps!from-simple-to-weird-interior-lamps6

GOOD PUPPY

This naughty ‘pooping’ doggie  is actually called ‘Good Boy’.  He may not be to everyone’s taste, however he’s no shrinking violet in the design stakes. Crafted by  UK artist Whatshisname (really) the doggies little brother Good Puppy is also an attention seeker.  The lamps are floor lamps and  to activate them, one must tread on the accompanying dog turd switch.  They are available from the artist ‘Whatshisname’.

 

Pondering the age-old question about what to do with those dolls heads you keep falling over? I know I am.  Check out this video which shows you how to make your own exciting lamps out of them.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQAxQ9wMXUA&feature=youtu.be

Alternatively you can buy a ready-made weird wired baby lamp from Wired-Weird-Baby-Doll-Lamps-3many sources featured here.

Here's one I saved from an early art project

Here’s one I saved from an early art project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Out Demons Out’ How to out your demons?  Bring them into the light with this cheeky  Demon lamp via here  He’s made from the skull of a land turtle which was found in the hills of Polk County.  His wings are made from copper and brass tubings and when he’s lit (2 x 15w bulbs) he will creep you out!  Maybe not one for the bedroom?

The Demon Lamp

The Demon Lamp

Thought dummies belonged in a shop window?  Here’s some that have escaped. These mannequin lamps from AL-Hamad Design remind me of the veiled mourning statues the Victorians loved so much.

 

17ed1232af040eb8df171ce64006fa76

Embarakiya

Embarakiya

However, when anyone  puts these babies in the corner they won’t be ignored for long.  The male ones talk via a built-in speaker in the torso!  All the lamps have a touch sensor in the hand which include three dimmer setting.  Shaking hands with them will turn them on – and off!  The costumes are dressed in  traditional  Kuwaiti costume.  I think they’re great!

Pooping dog images from here and here.  Video ‘How to make a Dolls Head Nightlight  mausoleum Statue image from here.  Thanks to all.

 

Weird and Wacky – A Guitar Bridge too Far?

Posted in DESIGN with tags , , , , , on June 30, 2012 by echostains

Guitars come in all shapes and forms, some  are much coveted and admired – all are meant to played, but if you can’t play, I suppose you can just sit back and imbibe their beauty – or wonder at their wackiness. This  Fender Stratocaster was carved by Mike Deasy for Doug Rowell.  The figure of Jesus lends a helping hand and even may have been instrumental in seeing it’s safe return after 25 years from being stolen.  Miracles, it would seem, do happen.  As Jayne County said ‘Rock me Jesus – Roll me Lord, wash me in the blood of Rock and Roll (Rock and Roll Resurrection)

For those obsessives who cannot bear to parted from their guitars for long – how about this guitar gadget for the bathroom (or maybe stairway to heaven? (depending how desperate you are)

Those who prefer the acoustic version and  are feeling a bit flush (:-D) – there’s always this little number from Jammin Johns

This guitar would be ideal for Death Metal music – it comes straight out of Hell with its bat like wings.  They do say that Satan has the best tunes – so what better than a Demon bass to accompany the Satan/Angel guitar?  Unfortunately – the bass is only a toy though (available from here)

The Skatar includes free transport – no roadie required.  Skate to the gig on it, play it and return home, but just be careful not to step on the strings.  For show-offs (and there’s always one) this tripleneck was designed by Steve Vai strictly for those who like to wear their hearts on their sleeves I think.

This Sasquatch guitar is bordering on the ridiculous!  How could one possibly be taken seriously playing it?  Hendrix would have looked a bit daft setting fire to this – and the smell of those burning  plastic split toenails ……..

Finally for those who like to burn the midnight oil and have one burning desire there’s this (probably) eco-friendly petrol can guitar which I quite like.   Probably comes with a warning ‘Do not Smoke’

Jesus guitar and Satan/Angel guitar, heart shaped tripleneck and many more from here

Toilet seat guitar here  acoustic toilet seat by Jammin John

Sasquatch and petrol can guitars from here (with a slideshow of many others) well worth checking out

A bit of Ruff, a bit of smooth, good patches and a golden eggstravaganza

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, DESIGN with tags , , , , , , , on May 31, 2012 by echostains

I have  not featured any jewellery on Echostains for quite a while.  I have been looking for something really unusual – something that can inspire me into flights of fancy.  I am writing this on the birthdate of the Faberge egg (29th May  1885 – 1917) The Faberge egg is instantly recognisable – sumptuous, bejewelled and opulent.  The eggs were  developed by  the House of Faberge (1885 – 1917) in Russia and the miniature eggs were Easter gifts, that were given singly or were worn on a neck chain.

The Karelian egg

The larger more famous eggs (also known as the ‘imperial’ eggs)were originally made for Alexanader 111 and Nicholas 11 of Russia.  Only 50 of these eggs were made, and 42 have survived.  The Karelian and Constellation eggs, planned for 1918 were destined never to be delivered.  Nicholas 11 and his whole family died in an assasination that year and  the year before Nicholas had  abdicated.  The eggs themselves are gorgeous, opulent and seen as a symbol of luxury – jewellers masterpieces.  But it is not these little baubles which once hung from necklaces which caught my eye, but this strange face distorting jewelery by Burcu Buyukunal.   

My first question is ‘why?’  How does this enhanse the face?  By  distorting her face, do we then notice how attractive the woman really is?  They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, different ‘looks’ have their admirers, as do fashion, design ect. Maybe one day ‘beauty’ will be played down to be the new beauty. It is this example which  reminded me of how Elizabethan ladies used to pain their faces white and how patches made of velvet were used on the face in the 18th century to disguise blemishes, make the face appear even whiter or draw attention to certain facial features.

circa 1780 patch box

‘Her patches are of every cut,
For pimples and for scars;
Here’s all the wandering planets’ signs,
And some of the fixed stars.’

 In this very short video we see the owner of the painting ‘Une Dam a sa Toilette’ by French painter Francois Boucher (  1703 –  1770)  explain the delicate operation of patch application.  Boucher ‘s art is known for his  voluptuous and idyllic subject matter which is well suited to the Rococo style.  His patroness was  the famous Madame Pompadour, he painted many portraits of her.

Whirls of cigarette smoke envelop ing beautiful women in black and white movies  lend such mystique and intrigue to the silver screen.  The actuality is rather different.  Cigarette Smoke permeates everything it touches including, flesh, clothes and hair – there’s nothing mysterious about that, but I was quite tickled about this cigarette collAr – though I think they missed a trick by not making it a prisoners or slave’s collar to emphasis the entrapment of the noxious weed.  The ‘chain’ association is still there though, and ther is something of the chain smoking beagle about this collar.  These types of collars are not new though – the actual shape of  the ruff collar goes back to the sixteenth century and was worn by men, women and children.  The pleats of the ruff was accomplished by the use of  cone-shaped goffering irons. which were heated.  Ruffs were made from a lot of material.  Elizabeth1 had a ruff of ‘ten yards for the neck and hand’.  During starching, ruffs could be coloured with vegetable dyes, though Elizabeth herself disapproved of the light blue colour;-

“Her Majesty’s pleasure is that no blue starch shall be used or worn by any of her Majesty’s subjects, since blue was the color of the flag of Scotland”

Stiff collars, smooth complextions, disguises used as enhancements – beauty will always be subjective and is indeed in the eye of the beholder.

Karelian egg image here

Lots of these beautiful eggs here

Distorting jewlery from here

Patchbox from here

Video by AndSper with thanks

More about Boucher here

Smoking Dietrich from this article

Elizabeth1 image here

The verse and the source of a lot of delightful information about the history of the patch can be found in Chambers Book of Days

Legacies; Goodbye Helen Frankenhaler

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, DESIGN, HISTORY, POETRY, SCULPTURE, WEIRD AND WACKY DESIGN with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2012 by echostains

On 27th December 2011, the death of New York Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenhaler was announced (b 1928 Manhattan USA).  The artist was 83 years old when she died at her home in Darien Conn. Frankenhaler, influenced by Pollock poured thinned oil paint which was diluted with turpentine directly onto canvas to achieve lyrical use of colour (her ‘soak stain’ technique). This technique, which was adopted by Pollock, Morris Louis (1912–1962), and Kenneth Noland (1924–2010 )helped lead and paved the way for a newer generation of abstract painting which became known as Color Field painting. Like Pollock, Frankenhaler also worked on the floor  pouring diluted paint onto the canvas and allowing it to soak through to produce the illusionistic stains.

Mountain and Sky

Her work was included in the 1964 exhibition Post Painterly Abstraction, which was curated by the critic Clement Greenberg who promoted Abstract Expressionism.  Frankenhaler’s work has been exhibited over 6 decades (1950s onwards) and has had several retrospectives.  She is also one of the artists I originally referenced when I first conceived the Echostains project in 2002.  This year sees the 10th anniversary of my project which has just grown and grown!  More news of this later in the year.

Poetree

From Frankenhaler’s legacy to a rather curious and  anonymous ‘gift’ which caught my imagination. Last year in an Edinburgh library, a series of sculptures began to appear.  The first sculpture, placed on a table in the Scottish Poetry Library was most appropriately carved from paper, mounted on a book and bore a tag with the library’s Twitter account number on @byleaveswelive  This is what it said;-

It started with your name @byleaveswelive and became a tree.… … We know that a library is so much more than a building full of books… a book is so much more than pages full of words.… This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas….. a gesture (poetic maybe?)

Next to the Poetree sat a paper egg with a scattering of words which when put together made up the sentence “A Trace of Wings’ by Edwin Morgan (see here) Despite local news coverage, no information has been found about the maker of the work.

more mystery

Then in June 2011, another paper sculpture was received, the donor this time chose The National Scottish Library as it’s recipient.  The sculpture is in the form of a gramophone and a coffin and is sculpted from a copy of Ian Rankin’s ‘Exit Music’  The tag reads;-

For @natlibscot – A gift in support of libraries, books, words, ideas….. (& against their exit)

In these days of Kindle  (smacks of Orwell’s 1984 to me) nothing beats the tactile thrill of holding, caressing, smelling, –  the physical page turning, the owning of and even the dog earing of  the physical object of a BOOK.   A physical object that holds so much of our dreams, imagination and is our portal to another world. It’s wonderful that these paper sculptures should pay homage to this – long may they keep popping up!

There are more of these sculptures

Helen Frankenhaler’s obituary here and here

Frankenhaler portrait  and more information about this artist  here

Sky and Sea by Helen Frankenhaler from here

Paper sculpture Poetree image  from here  and gramaphone sculpture from here with thanks!

Information and more images are available from this site with thanks!

Barbera Hepworth’s birthday (January 10th)  read my post about her here

PLUS

Its back! The original and eclectic Bookstains!

Happy Christmas and New Year!

Posted in Architecture, ART, ART DISCOVERED AND UNCOVERED, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, BEHIND THE PAINT, CHRISTMAS, DESIGN, exhibitions, PHOTOGRAPHY, POLLS, SCULPTURE, WEIRD AND WACKY DESIGN with tags , , , , on December 24, 2011 by echostains

In my usual tradition, here is the round up of featured posts for 2011.  It’s been a pretty tubulent year personally for me and I haven’t blogged as much as I usually do – but my New Year resolution is to do so, so get ready for more eclectic mixes of art, design and quirkyness!  I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a bright New Year!

Stone me! Bathbombs, puppets, dribbles and Little Dancers!

Posted in Architecture, ART, BYGONE ADVERTISING AND PACKAGING, DESIGN, exhibitions, LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 2, 2011 by echostains

Ronnie Wood Sketch

Musician,artist and printmaker  Ronnie Wood, who plays with the Rolling Stones (and has also played with The Faces, and the Jeff Beck Group) trained at Ealing Art College. His new exhibition, called ‘Time and Places’ will showcase 100 pieces of his work, including paintings of Jimi Hendrix, Slash and portraits of friends and family.  It shall run 7 – 12th November Cork Street, Mayfair. London.  Wood had this to say about his work:-

“People don’t know that I’m an artist. Playing music as part of a team effort is wonderful, but to express individuality as an artist is very personal. Art is more powerful, a more personal statement.”

 Creativity is creativity, but I take his point about personal expression and the need for own space to indulge this.  A group of artists can all bounce off each other and feed off ideas, each with their individual interpretation, – the inner journey must be solitary though.

 

 

 

Meanwhile, it’s nearly that time again.  No not Bonfire night – The Annual Turner Prize is nearly upon us.  love it or hate it, The Turner Prize has attracted controversy since it began back in 1984 to celebrate new developments in contemporary art.  Contenders have to have had outstanding exhibitions – and be under 50.

This year the exhibition will be held in the wonder BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts Gateshead.  This is a wonderful venue – a large and airy space  which used to be an old flour mill (see my review of this arts centre from when we visited – here)  The contenders for the Turner Prize this year are;-

Karla Black         

The BALTIC


Martin Boyce
Hilary Lloyd
George Shaw

I shall be reviewing the other contenders in a later post, but my attention was drawn to the strange media of artist Karla Black – obviously a person after my heart where diverse media is concerned.  Whilst I have ground soft pastels mixed with polyfiller, and have flirted with latex, recycled acrylic scraps, Black uses crushed bath bombs (must smell wonderful!) foodstuffs and even medicines to make her sculptures.  Heavily influenced by psychoanalysis, she states;-

‘While there are ideas about psychological and emotional developmental processes held within the sculptures I make, the things themselves are actual physical explorations into thinking, feeling, communicating and relating’.

There’s a good review of this artist, image from here   If you want to see some of my painterly ‘recipes’ please look in my Categories MY SURFACES.  Here’s one I did earlier ‘Brown Sauce meets Latex’

This TV built 1936 was still going in 2009 please read the link below

Age is a dichotomy in many ways,on the one hand, nothing much surprises me any more – yet on the other there is still a yearning to believe in somethings and I still feel a childlike disappointment when they turn out to be wrong.  For instance, I find it very very difficult to believe that television is 75 years old today!  It seems only yesterday when I was told to see if there was any mail, went downstairs and saw a television showing a children’s programme in black and white.  I had never seen a television before – so you can imagine….  I was watching Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men – and they spoke my language 🙂   Bill and Ben, along with Andy Pandy, The Woodentops and many more were part of the Watch with Mother series.  BBC Watch with Mother ran from 1952 –  about 1965 when it was replaced by other children’s programmes like Camberwick Green, Pogles Wood and Trumpton.  Here’s a very early episode from Bill and Ben (Thanks to ) :-

Also in the news is the famous Little Dancer, the bronze ballerina made

The Little Dancer

by French Impressionist Edgar Degas.  The bronze sculpture, stands 40 inches in height and  wearing a silk hair ribbon and satin tutu failed to sell at Christie’s New York.  The ‘Little Dancer aged 14’  had a pre sale estimate of between $25 million to $35 million.  Degas’s heirs had 28 bronzes cast from the original which was made from tinted wax.  Whilst I find it difficult to believe that there was no buyer for such an iconic work – on the other hand, the price tag is a bit on the high side…..

Whilst the ‘Little Dancer’ is at least a bronze, Jackson Pollock’s No.5 1948 painting sold at for $140 million in a private sale in 2006.  The painting measures  8ft x 4ft and is on a sheet of fibreboard.  Quality versus quantity?  Not necessarily – take a look at the rest of the worlds most expensive paintings here.  Perhaps, in the end, a painting is only worth the price someone is willing to pay for it?

Ronnie Wood related link and painting from here

Television image and article (from 2009) is this TV still going now I wonder? read here

BBC first broadcast info here

Degas image and more information here

Rough and tumble with Bellows, naughty Beardsley and robbery with violins too!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, DESIGN with tags , , , , , , , on August 27, 2011 by echostains

Stag at Sharkeys by George Bellows

Belated birthdays  The candles have long been blown out on these artists birthdays, but as a way of catching up with my posts they provide a good excuse to write!  August 11th saw the birthday of American realist artist George Bellows (b 1882 – 1925) (though there seems to be some discrepancy on his August birthdate according to Wikipedia)
George Wesley Bellows attended Ohio State University from 1901 – 1904 . He  played baseball and painted illustrations for magazines whilst studying there.  In  1904 he became a student of Robert Henri at the New York School of Art becoming one of Henri’s ‘Eight’ and becoming associated with a group of artists who at that time were painting American  society in a modern down to earth, kitchen sink manner.   This group came to be known as the Ashcan School.

Pennsylvania Station George Bellows

When Henri organised an exhibition featuring mostly urban studies in 1908, Bellows became more interested in pursuing a career as a painter.  He was to prove successful and became very famous and nationally recognised.  His work typically depicts rough working class people and chaos  are have lots of atmosphere.  The artist is mostly known for his boxing scenes which are laden with movement and rough brushstrokes. 

The  artist received many commissions from the social elite of New York.  Socially conscious Bellows also became associated with the ‘Lyrical Left’ group of artists.  He taught and contributed drawings and prints to the socialist journal ‘The Masses’. A lot has been written about this interesting artist’s life.  There’s also a wonderful article about him and his work  by Jonathan Jones, The Guardian  here

Earlier in the month it was the British illustrator and writer 

Salome by Beardsley

Aubrey Beardsley‘s birthday  (21 August 1872 – 16 March 1898)Heres a link to a previous post I did about Beardsley here   and some lovely art prints from Beardsley.artpassions 

stolen pen and ink drawing by Rembrandt

A couple of weeks ago the British newspapers have been full of reports about the riots and looting which has gone on in the UK.  In Los Angeles yet another art masterpiece has been looted from a private art exhibit at the Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey whilst the curator was distracted by a well planned diversion.  The work is believed to be The Judgement by 17th century Dutch artist Rembrandt Van Rijn is estimated to be worth $250,000.  The good news about the painting is that it has been recovered a few days later in a church in San Fernando Valley after an anonymous tip-off.  Read about it here

But, back to today and today is American Dadaist and Surrealist artist Emmanuel Radnitzsky, better known as Manray (b. 1890 – 1970)  The wonderful ManRay trust website can be found here http://www.manraytrust.com/  A earlier post of mine which celebrates the artist’s birthday can be found here   Manray is esteemed in the art world for his avant-garde photography – especially renown for his fashion and portrait work, though he regarded himself as a painter above all.  Manray is still a very well regarded and influential artist even now. 

George Bellows information here

George Bellows Lithographs and drawings can be found here

Stag at Sharkeys image from here

Men of the Docks image from here

Pennsylvania Sstation image from here

  Salome image  from here

More Stolen Rembrandt details here

The Judgement drawing from here

Manray Violin from here

All with thanks!