Month: April 2013

Chair Art: Art Chair

The perfect merging of art and functionality by Tokyo-based design studio, Yoy Idea, founded by Naoki Ono, a spatial designer and Yuki Yamamoto, a product designer. A seat painting you can hang on your wall. Or a seat you can sit in. The frame is made of wood and aluminum, and covered in an elastic fabric with the texture of canvas. It comes as a stool, chair or sofa. This work is currently featuring at the Salone Satellite 2013 in Milan. What would you do with this chair art/art chair? Sit in it or hang it? {Images by Yasuko Furukawa}

The Recycled Orchestra and Landfill Harmonic

Who hasn’t, as a child (or even as an adult: cue chopsticks!), made a crude instrument from something non-instrumental around the house or garden? Thought nothing of it, did you? But what if playing that fork-drumstick on a saucepan-drum became a transformative experience? Life-changing, even? A few years ago, Nicolás ‘Cola’ Gómez, a Paraguayan  rubbish collector living in one of the area’s poorest slums, Cateura (which is literally built on a landfill), not only decided to make instruments for the kids from stuff he’d collected from the dump but went one step further. With the help of Favio Chávez, who opened a music school in Cateura, he started The Recycled Orchestra, in which a group of children learn and play music on upcycled garbage – instruments such as violins made  from oil drums, flutes from water pipes and spoons, guitars from packing crates. As you can imagine it has brought immense joy, fun, hope and focus to the children, many of whom were destined for a life of gangs, violence and drug-dependency. Then, a couple of years ago, …

Interview: The Bookish Life

You may remember I did a story on an Australian husband and wife team making beautiful journals out of vintage books (Natalie and Ben of Rebound Books)? And you know how they say we’ve all got a twin somewhere else in the world? Well, I think I’ve just found Natalie and Ben’s twins in Wisconsin in the US: husband and wife team, Chad and Andrea Thorson of The Bookish Life. They also have a love affair of books and a dislike of throwing them out which has turned into a business they run ‘out-of hours’ alongside their ‘day jobs’. They use snippets of text from vintage books and make them into jewellery and accessories. So you can literally wear your favourite book on your sleeve – or neck, or wrist, or hair! I decided to find out more about Chad and Andrea and their cute little literary life. Here’s what Andrea had to say … Tell me about yourselves. You say on your blog that you are a husband and wife team – what are …

Interview: Eric Prum and his Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker

When, in 1858, John Landis Mason, a tinsmith from America invented a machine that could manufacture a jar with a reusable, screw-on lid and sealing mechanism little did he know what a lasting impression his mason jar invention would have for future generations all around the world. And not just in home fruit canning! Nowadays you’d be pushed to find many home picklers, preservers and canners (unlike back in the 1950s) – unless, perhaps, you live in the country. But you will find mason jars. Lots of them. There’s been a mason jar resurgence of late in line with our love of anything vintage. And they’re being used for anything and everything. Two enterprising friends from the American South, Eric Prum and Josh Williams, have taken John Mason’s classic design and re-tweaked it, turning it into a retro-cool cocktail shaker imbibed with a dash of Southern sensibility and a twist of New York industrialism. After spending their college years “making make-shift cocktail shakers from mason jars”, says Eric, they finally decided to do something about making …