Friday, February 19, 2010

Is it okay to be a Luddite?

Is it okay to be a Luddite? Read this piece by Thomas Pynchon from The NY Times Book Review in 1984.

What made me start thinking about this is the wonderful Luddite collection by Thomas Paul where modern gadgets like your cell phone stay cozy and easy to find in your bag inside these wonderful zippered canvas pouches with pictures of their technological predecessor to give you a hint what's inside. Protect your MP-3 player with this lovely old gramophone covered pouch

or slip your digital camera into this one !
Need protection for your laptop while you walk down to the cafe or head out to the airport or office? What a wonderful reminder of how we used to use to communicate with each other before we had laptops and cell phones and digital cameras. I like that these are fabric covers, adding to the irony that the original Luddite movement was in response to new technology developed in the textile mills of England around 1811!

Are you a Luddite?

Monday, February 8, 2010


Woman in White - shrouded in mystery

Dark Harbinger

Right out the courts of old come the masked ladies...

and Saracen warriors

Eyeing the faintest hint of a smile
Can you guess?

Taking my cue from Venice 2010 Carnival photos forwarded to me today , I realized how much they reminded me of something else - what do you think it might be?

Shrouded in Mystery

with masked balls and dream sequences

and costumes changes
Stanley Kubrick's last film - cult favorite or magnum opus?

You decide...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

showers bring flowers ...

In one of my classes we're drawing simple geometric shapes and repeating them to create patterns for possible textile applications. I think Marimekko does this so well I stopped a moment to peruse their collection for inspiration.Here just a simple blue squiggle creates a stream for the eye to follow the fabric's flow.

Pomegranates (whole & halved) with birds on a wire and the building outlines with flower pods all hold together with the blue ribbon (like a river) making for an unusual, but somehow very pleasing design - I really like the juxtaposition.

Who doesn't love the silhouette of a gingko leaf? Here it's so tranquil in blue.
or bright red to cheer up a rainy day and remind us spring flowers are just around the corner.

Here the two colors combine to produce a beautiful primitive flowering vine and now I must go design my own...

But just one more before I do. I like how the bold blue tree branches and bright red berries entice the sweet delicate bird into the picture.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Paper & Scissors

Su Blackwell's artist statement:
"Paper has been used for communication since its invention; either between humans or in an attempt to communicate with the spirit world. I employ this delicate, accessible medium and use irreversible, destructive processes to reflect on the precariousness of the world we inhabit and the fragility of our life, dreams and ambitions."

As someone who loves paper and the written word, I admire how Blackwell's sharp knife does not destroy, but rather preserves the essence of these old discarded books

Like the stories of my childhood, these creations transport me to imaginary places in imaginary times and ultimately create so much more rather than they destroy.

You can fall down the rabbit hole with Alice or sail around the world in search of adventure...

This last piece reminds me of my father when I was little using his hands to make animals & birds from the shadows - dispelling the fears that darkness can bring and filling it with wonder!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

out of the ashes

I'm very excited to be back in school learning new skills in the Interior Design & Architecture program through U.C. Berkeley! The semester started out last week with my first Elements of Design class and this week I add Drafting! I thought it might be fun to resuscitate Out of Paper and keep anyone who's interested abreast of what I'm doing and things that inspire me as I begin new projects.

Many of you are probably familar with the Ashes & Snow exhibit that toured the world from 2005 till 2008 beginning in Venice and coming to New York and Santa Monica before travelling to Tokyo and Mexico City. I have been thinking about it from a design point of view because while I find the photographs visually stunning and inspiring I am also fascinated by the housing of the tour in the very crates it was shipped in as well as the books one can buy- the images are beautifully bound in Nepalese handmade paper and tea-stained rope that incorporate the respect for the humanity & the wildlife that Gregory Colbert's photography embodies.

I love how these images tell a story that is dreamlike and universal but at the same time very intimate and personal - inspiring!
Here is Gregory Colbert enjoying a moment with one of his models. This is the stuff that dreams are made of!