Archive for the DESIGN Category

Barcode Messages

Posted in DESIGN with tags , , on October 6, 2010 by echostains


Red Dragon by William Blake


Barcodes are on more or less everything we buy.  They are an optical  machine readable representation of data (the Wikipedia definition).  There are many types of bar codes and lots of combinations.  Some think bar codes are the mark of the Beast 666, mentioned in the bible (here).

As usual though, I am only interested in what can be done artistically with these codes.  Unlike an earlier post about pylons, (the idea did not catch on) in Japan the elevation of bar codes into decorative and interesting design has caught on.  How much nicer it would be if this was done all over the world!  We might start looking at our product a little more carefully whilst we are queuing at the checkout (and start thinking about what we are actually buying – and asking ourself do we really need it, and put it back!:)). 

 Then again…we might just buy anything because it has a great bar code on which we haven’t yet got in our collection:D  Yes!  Our collection!  Maybe these will eventually become collectible:D

Bar code images from HERE and HERE and if you want to have your own exclusive one made HERE

Some have linked barcodes with biblical

Meanwhile, over on Bookstains…

The Mona Lisa Poetry Challenge is still on my other blog Bookstains and open to all!  (6 poems now)Just click Mona







The Van Gogh poetry Challenge is still going on – read them all  (theres 10  poems now) and contribute by clicking Vincent

About and out in Manchester

Posted in ART, DESIGN, OUT AND ABOUT MANCHESTER with tags , on October 1, 2010 by echostains

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I’ve made this slide show because I was clearing my camera out and found all these pics.  All these places can be seen out and about in Manchester.  Featured sights we saw include the Northern quarter (a very Bohemian, up happening and buzzing part of the City centre), The Deansgate area, bits of artwork from Tib Street, the Keko Moku Bar which makes expensive but out of this world cocktails (try their Zombies and Mohitas if you dare:)  I’ve also put some unusual window displays in there:)


The Mona Lisa Poetry Challenge is still on my other blog Bookstains and open to all!  Just click Mona

PLUS Theres another poem about the enigmatic one!

Take a letter or two Miss Rathbone!

Posted in ART, ART VIDEOS, DESIGN with tags , , , , on September 11, 2010 by echostains

Remember the old typewriters of the past?   Yes the past!   It doesn’t seem that long ago when we were all using typewriters with  ribbons, and then cassettes…. and now its keyboards.  I remember years ago  being really impressed with some typewriter art I had seen.  A picture of Jimi Hendrix was one image and a butterfly was another one.  they were typed with x’s and looked fantastic at a distance.

Keira Rathbone

This short video shows a unamed German artist making very impressive art on a typewriter as far back as the late 1950s!  I wouldn’t have a clue where to start with this art form at all.  It must be all planned out carefully?  surely it can’t be done like sketching and by eye?  Keira Rathbone, a 27 year old artist from London began to use her typewriter as a drawing tool after she buying  an old typewriter from a flea market initially to write with.She then found that by experimenting with it artistically, the results were more rewarding! 

As some artists use a pencil or brush to create, Keira creates art by typing symbols, letters and figures.   It almost makes me wish I hadn’t got rid of my typewriter now:(

Keira Rathbone’s website is here.  Join her on Facebook here.  Some more of Keira Rathbone’s typewriter art can be found here

 Typewriter video  by eiffe Thanks!

Weird and Wacky Umbrellas

Posted in DESIGN, WEIRD AND WACKY DESIGN with tags , , on August 15, 2010 by echostains

The Nubrella - don't leave home without it

A while ago I did a post on umbrellas and parasols which appeared as props in famous paintings (here).  According to Wiki, umbrella comes from the Latin word umbra, meaning a shade or shadow, which in its own turn originally derived from Greek.  Umbrellas and parasols are to be found all over the world and throughout history including ancient Egypt.

We’ve all seen the colourful designs and handles that umbrella manufacturers have come up with, but these creative and somewhat wacky contraptions recently caught my eye.  A very unusual type of umbrella – the Nubrella, turns the traditional design on its head leaving the hands free.  It can’t blow inside out and it won’t poke others in the eye!

Snoozer pet umbrella

Please spare a thought for your poor drenched pooch.  This pet umbrella clips on to the collar and has a lead attached – thereby assuring that your animal doesn’t end up looking like a drowned rat.   It would be interesting to hear the opinion of these pets……

when a lovely flame dies - smoke gets in your eyes


Lastly an umbrella for smokers, complete with ashtray!  I’m just speechless:O

Pet umbrella from here

Nubrella info from here

Smokers umbrella and other most unusual ones here

The Battle for Trafalgar begins (fourth plinth)

Posted in ART, DESIGN, exhibitions, SCULPTURE with tags , , , , on July 20, 2010 by echostains

Yonka Shonibare's Nelson ship

As I wrote previously in this post, Yinka Shonbare’s Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle occupies the fourth plinth at moment in Trafalgar Square London UK.  Six other artist have been shortlisted and shall battle it out for the prestigious fourth plinth place when Shonibare has vacated it.  Who shall be the victor?

Katherina Fritsch

Among the artist are British artists Hew Locke and Brian Griffiths.  They shall compete against duos Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset.  Katherina Fritsch and Mariele Neudecker have also made proposals.

I wrote a post featuring Fritsch’s work a while ago (seen here).  The other artists work, I am unfamiliar with but the people shall decide whose work shall go up in time for the  2012 Olympics.  miniature versions of the aforementioned artist’s work shall be displayed in the crypt of nearby St Martin’s in the field church and all shall be a sculpture!  Read all about this exciting prospect here!

Boneshaker Brian Griffiths

One of the artists (Brian Griffiths) has been described as a’ junk shop Viking’ which sounds eclectic and quirky enough to peak my interest.  Here’s some of his work at the Saatchi Gallery.

Dust to Dust sculpture Hew Locke

Edinburgh born artist Hew Locke’s work looks pretty interesting.  Read a short description of the all the artist work here

Hew Locke work here and in this gallery.  Fritsch image from here Shonibare image from here

Take these chains from these shoes and set me free

Posted in DESIGN, WEIRD AND WACKY DESIGN with tags , , on July 17, 2010 by echostains


Did you know that there are actually shoe competitions?  I didn’t.   The Shoemania Design winner of 2009 was Tove Jansson and Per Emanuelsson for their Chain shoe design.  They make a man’s version of this shoe with the chains wrapped around loafers.

chain shoes for men

The Swedish design students came up with the opposing concepts of floating and of being chained down.  I quite enjoy looking at them, but I don’t think I would enjoy wearing them.  I wonder how heavy these shoes are to wear though?

Chain shoes pictures from here and here and here

Weird and Wacky design – Paper apartments? now with pictures

Posted in ART, DESIGN, WEIRD AND WACKY DESIGN with tags , , , on July 15, 2010 by echostains

People are always wallpapering their apartments, there’s nothing unusual about that.  Artist Don Lucho however has gone one step further, he has actually made a whole apartment out of paper and cardboard! 

 He has even made a paper car to park outside his paper building.

Don Lucho paper car


a paper loo how does this work?


The paper and cardboard are all recycled of course.  I am astounded at how creative this artist has been with these materials!   There are some wonderful pictures, like the inside of the bedroom, complete with trainers on the floor. 

inside the bedroom

 Such fun and so innovative and inventive – I bet the artist had great fun planning it out and making it:) 

I am reminded of a story I once read as a child.  It was about a little girl who was sick and had to spend a lot of time in bed.  Everything she drew became real.  I can’t remember what it was called or be positive the dreamer was a girl.  Does anyone remember this tale?

Not for smokers of course

Lots more pics to enjoy from Don Lucho’s photo stream  here

PS   Apologies to those who saw this post WITHOUT images!  I wrote the post, scheduled it, meaning to insert the images…. have only just looked at it sorry:)

All Fired up

Posted in DESIGN, OUT AND ABOUT MANCHESTER with tags , , on July 10, 2010 by echostains

Fired Earth – the window to watch

Anyone who has followed my blog will know that I love unusual shop window displays and feature them from time to time.  This one really caught my eye, and I just had to get a few pictures of it.  The shop I refer to is Fired Earth which makes all kinds of wall and floor tiles and paint.  This shop is on John Dalton Street, Manchester.

This still life, shows off a range of paint colours by applying them to an actual painting.  I think it most charming!  Not realistically painted of course (this would defeat the object – it’s a real painting not a photograph) but the composition of easel paint and geraniums bring a breath of Summer to this window display right in the middle of the city centre.

shall I compare thee to a Summers day?

I especially like the way the paintbrush is still stained with paint.

Fired Earth make beautiful products which are both stylish and very Arts and Crafts which are timeless yet contemporary.  I think that the window display really shows this and would entice anyone to come inside and look around (which we did).