Meesterlijk Design & Ambacht :: 2016

Afgelopen vrijdag was ik aanwezig bij de opening van Meesterlijk Design & Ambacht georganiseerd door Nicole Uniquole. Voor drie dagen stond design en ambacht centraal in de Zuiveringshal en het Machinegebouw van het Westergasterrein in Amsterdam. Er waren makers uit uiteenlopende disciplines en je kon je er verheugen in ‘de nieuwe luxe‘: duurzame, verantwoorde en ambachtelijk geproduceerde producten van een uitzonderlijke schoonheid. Centraal stond ook de passie die al meteen te voelen was in de openingsspeech van Nicole. Ook al wordt de beurs voor de achtste keer georganiseerd; haar enthousiasme om mooi design en ambacht te presenteren is onverminderd groot terwijl de interesse de afgelopen jaren alleen maar toeneemt. Afgelopen jaar stond Meesterlijk (of Masterly) zelfs voor het eerst in Milaan op de Salone del Mobile en was daar een groot succes. Hoe valt deze toenemende populariteit te verklaren? Afgezien van het ijzersterke concept dat eraan ten grondslag ligt? Ik ging naar de beurs met mijn trendwatchpet op en duidde een aantal trends. Deze trends baden vanzelfsprekend in een zee van oneindig veel meer trends, maar geven op zichzelf ook een goed beeld van de tijdsgeest. Ik probeer vooral hun achtergrond te verklaren. In het verlengde hiervan zou je kunnen […]

Boekentip: Wonders are collectible

Taxidermie: tien jaar geleden wist ik amper wat het was. Dit veranderde toen ik voor het internetmagazine 8WEEKLY in 2007 een interview had met Allisa York over haar roman Effigy (in het Nederlands vertaald naar Vreemde ogen). De hoofdpersoon in dat boek zette dode dieren op en York beschreef dit zo beeldend dat mijn fascinatie geboren was. Voor mij was taxidermie ineens springlevend (zie mijn eerdere blog over Deyrolle hier). Mijn interesse in het onderwerp beleeft dus bijna zijn tienjarig jubileum, maar ik ben allang niet meer de enige die zich aangetrokken voelt tot zijn schoonheid. Het wachten was op een (Nederlandstalig) overzichtswerk over het onderwerp. Dat is er nu met Wonders are collectible van Jeroen Lemaitre (taxidermist van Animaux Speciaux) waarin o.a. te lezen valt dat er zich nooit eerder zo veel mensen hebben ingeschreven voor een cursus dode dieren opzetten. Waarom spreekt taxidermie zo tot de verbeelding? En hoe kunnen we deze ‘trend’ verklaren? Het boek vertelt de geschiedenis van het vak, van Jean-Baptiste Bécoeur (de uitvinder van de arsenicumzeep – het goedje dat het allemaal mogelijk maakte) tot de Wunderkammers en museumcollecties in de 19e eeuw waarin de opgezette dieren tentoongesteld stonden. De wetenschappelijke en decoratieve taxidermie beleefde toen […]

Photography: Anjès Gesink – Birds don’t cry

Birds don’t cry, small birdsuffering in a big city is a photography project and book by photographer Anjès Gesink in collaboration with André de Baerdemaeker, Ernest van der Kwast and Kees Moelike. It’s a book with portraits of birds that found their way to the Rotterdam bird sanctuary Vogelklas Karel Schot. The photo’s depict birds who are in need of a helping hand because they were in a difficult situation. They show the vulnerability of those small creatures that are totally surrendered to human hands and human mercy. They zoom in and allow us to look really close to these birds. How strange that these little beings still find their way in a big city and manage to survive and how sad that sometimes they don’t. These birds are a touch of innocence in an environment that can be brutal and in a way they also are meaningful for us as people living in that city. Because we are also vulnerable and the city can be alien for us too. Let’s look upon these small creatures a little more often and think twice before scaring away a pigeon. Beneath all the filth and sickness from the city there’s a shiny new bird that hopes to fly. […]

Deyrolle Paris II

I wrote earlier about Deyrolle in Paris and my wish to sometime go there. Well, this year, while we were crossing Paris by car in a rush to get to our hotel at the city’s airport, I looked to my left and saw the very shop of my dreams! It was the most luckiest of coincidences (but of course I don’t believe in chance). How absurd to be driving through that immense city without any plan to visit Deyrolle or any notion as to its whereabouts to then find it suddenly! We immediately parked our car, it was actually half past seven in the evening and the shop was about to close. Another lucky coincidence and proof it was absolutely meant to be! It was definitely worth the visit!

Photography: Asher Svidensky – the Eagle Huntress

In the meantime while we are living our lives somewhere on this globe people are doing amazing things. Recently I found these photo’s by Asher Svidensky; he travelled to the far regions of Mongolia where boys are given their own grown eagle as soon as they can bear the weight. There they are being trained in the ancient hunting technique passed on from father to son. It takes about five years to finish the training and then to receive the title: “Eagle Hunter”. Traditionally this title is reserved for boys, but Asher found an eagle huntress on the planes of Mongolia who carried her eagle with joy and pride. Her name is Ashol Pan. She is the daughter of an experienced hunter and could be the successor in the eagle hunting tradition if she would want to. To see her handle her eagle is pure joy, an homage to the connection between an animal and a human. Maybe if we close our eyes for just a minute we can feel the weight of the eagle ourselves, the coming down of our arm as he sets of to fly, the sound of his wings flapping in the air. We can see […]

Brand: What we do

O my! I’ve discovered this lovely Danish brand What we do on Instagram. They do everything from web design to illustration and also recently introduced these beautiful plywood prints. I love the ones with the fox and the rabbit, but they are all very pretty. Check them out here or on their blog. One of each please!

Fashion: Lesia Paramonova

While we are in the middle of the warmest winter in ages (you don’t really hear me complaining) I can easily get away with looking at summer collections past and present. According to the Russian fashion designer Lesia Paramonova her brand LES (Russian for ‘forest’) attempts to merge humans and nature. This is why you can see a lot of floral prints, animals and transparent materials in her collections. The photo’s of this collection are from her summer 2012 collection and I think they are really beautiful. Soft materials with flowers and animals, pure and feminine. Like a dream. Do check out her latest collection at her Tumblr site. She makes her own illustrations too. {all photo’s copyright Lesia Paramonova)

Photography: Annie Marie Musselman

Sometimes you see a book that really makes an impression. That happened to me in Frankfurt when I saw this beautiful book with photo’s by Annie Marie Musselman by Kehrer Verlag. The book is called Finding Trust and features photo’s taken at the Sarvey Wildlife Center of different animals that were rescued by the center. They suffered a trauma of some sort and needed to literally find trust again in life. The book really shows the vulnerability of animals and their innate innocence. I think humans have a responsibility to care for them, since we are the stronger species, but unfortunately we rather take advantage of our position. There seems to be no room in our self-made environment for wildlife anymore and we see fit to expose them to horrible pain and death. Of course this is devastating and it needs to stop. There is so much we can learn by looking at nature. About innocence and unconditional love and how we are all ONE. Photographer Annie Marie Musselman started this project seven years ago and while documenting their lives she was also involved with helping the patients. In turn they helped heal her from the grief of her parents […]

Yoshimasa Tsuchiya

I will let you in on a little secret about me: I tend to not have opinions about stuff. It’s not that I don’t care about what’s going on in the world or that I don’t think about things. I just get overwhelmed sometimes with people ventilating their opinions as absolute truths. I’m always struck by the incredible complicatedness of things. Take politics for instance; people go on and on about what goes wrong there while I’m thinking about the ten thousand committees that have to cast a vote on a particular bill even before it’s implemented. This takes years and years so by the time people can actually measure the effect of their work they have already been replaced by new idealists in a new election. To be a politician is an incredible hard job (it’s like doing your incredible important job that effects millions of lives while being scrutinized by millions of people not ever giving you the benefit of the doubt). I wouldn’t want to be a politician! And I feel that way about lots of stuff; like wars (what’s the real story there: I wouldn’t claim to have that knowledge – just what’s being portrayed in […]

Illustration: Boo Dillon

My my how time flies these days. I’m trying my best to pay attention to everything, to live more mindfully. To try to want less. A little while ago I came across these lovely illustrations by English illustrator Boo Dillon (isn’t that a winning name?). Aren’t they the best? She’s opening a shop soon!