Watch this beautiful clip on an artform that is being lost to modern technology. It's amazing how, at my present age, I can look back and be amazed, and not in a good way, how in less than a generation modern handwriting has devolved because of our over-reliance on the keyboard. The beauty of handwriting cannot be overstated and what's not obvious is how much it says about the person behind the pen and how the mind works in conveying creative thoughts and expression. One of my favorite quotes, and one that I and so many of my artist friends and fellow woodworkers can relate to is, "people often see the end result, they don't see the struggle that goes into it."
Holland & Holland is an English company that makes some of the most beautiful and sought-after (not to mention, expensive!) shotguns and rifles. Whether you're into guns or not, I'm sure you can appreciate the time, patience and workmanship that goes into each handmade product as seen in the video below.
I have never seen logging done this fast and this efficiently. Whoever designed this beast must've been a Transformers fan because it really looks and acts like a Decepticon. Watch this thing in action - it's both mesmerizing and kind of scary at the same time.
For those who don't know me, I'm a huge fan of plaid. There's just something warm, inviting and, of course, traditional about the colors and linear patterns of his timeless fabric and design. In the past, I've often used the words 'plaid' and 'tartan' interchangeably, assuming that they were more or less one and the same. Several months ago I accompanied an interior design client to a house in which she was doing work on and which I was commissioned to do a live edge cocktail table for. She described the pillows that were to go on a sofa that was being custom built as tartan. I told her how much I loved plaid, and she proceeded to tell me that she thought of using various plaid patterns she decided on straightforward tartan - well, I kinda looked at her funny but decided to keep my mouth shut, taking in confusion on my part. Isn't plaid and tartan the same?
Fast forward to an article today in the LA Times on with my hero Scot Meacham Woods, once and for all, explaining the difference between the two:
Discerning trendsters take note: Wood points out that while all tartans are plaids, not all plaids are tartans. "If you look at a plaid, it is basically stripes running in a horizontal direction and stripes running in a vertical direction; that's a plaid. If the arrangement of the stripes is exactly the same in both directions ... creating a grid pattern, that's when you get into tartan territory."
As some of you know, especially for all you Los Angelenos, Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Park was reopened recently to rave reviews. I was able to take a tour of this amazing place and to see other visitors' jaws drop is a testament to the time, money and effort that went into restoring this treasure. It's not Fallingwater but it would be really unfair to compare one unique and iconic place to another. Each has it's own history and story and Hollyhock House definitely has a story all it's own. If you ever get a chance, take some time to visit this place and take in the details and craftsmanship of not only the structure itself but all the amazing furnishings and objects that were made specifically for this house.