Earlier this month, I watched a team of medical professionals crowd around a table and perform a lung biopsy. When that was finished, the team migrated to the adjacent operating room and completed a coronary bypass procedure on another patient. It was my first time to watch such complex operations, and I was worried that I’d feel lightheaded or get sick at the sight of an open human. But it was awesome.
I was a little stressed when Bobby announced that he wanted to do a handmade week. When it comes to aeronautics, handmade is probably the last word that comes to mind. Everything that goes into space is meticulously constructed by machine – if a measurement is off by a hundredth of an inch it could mean disaster. But there is one thing that is made by hand. Spacesuits.
Creating loose, abstract, imperfect compositions can be a frustrating task that sometimes results in a piece that looks like it was produced by a toddler (no offense to toddlers; their work is frequently brilliant). Illustrator Alexander Purdy brings a level of refinement and seeming effortlessness to this loose brand of illustration that dips in and out of abstraction and imperfection to create beautifully hand-crafted images.
The Draftery is all about contemporary graphic work as it relates to architecture. Mostly concerned with drawings (as distinct from models and renderings) that may be touched up with digital tools but are mostly executed using manual ones. In the Draftery’s own words, their goal is to “promote graphic works by lesser known architects, artists, students, and other practitioners. It is a place for the analysis and presentation of architectural drawings—a place to learn how each practitioner’s personal reasoning develops a distinct process.” And it’s where I found these fantastic watercolors– er, watergrays- by Mentor Noci.
In continuing my fascination with surf films, and in honor of handmade week, I’d love to highlight the DIY cinematic magic of Stoked and Broke, an independent film made for zero dollars. Dubbing it a “staycation surfari epic” by director Cyrus Sutton, the movie follows Sutton and fellow surfer Ryan Burch on a 30 mile foot and surfing journey throughout their hometown of San Diego. Created as a response to the increasingly expensive world of surfing documentaries and to further promote the spirit of independent filmmaking, the duo make their own boards, construct bamboo rickshaws to carry them, and build solar cookers and “hobo stoves” to cook their own food along the way.
Feit footwear—and that’s pronounced “fight” rather than “feet”—is a handmade shoe line made from natural materials. Launched in 2005 by former Royal Elastics founder Tull Price, the company was created to act as a direct response to the saturated synthetic market. Aside from offering a wide range of beautifully designed men’s shoes and boots, Feit abides by its ethos to make products without the use of a single machine.
This past March, Ball-Nogues Studio consumed nearly one million linear feet of metal chain. Well, they didn’t eat it, they used it in their projects. I’ve been thinking about the studio’s work since we posted about the handmade work of THiNG THiNG, which reminds me of B-N’s paper pulp experiments. More broadly, the firm has an approach to craft that seems appropriate to point out during a week devoted to things handmade… plus they have a great new project.
To say that Chiaozza (pronounced “chow-za” like “wow-za”) is a design studio would be an understatement. The duo of Terry Chiao and Adam Frezza are more like a creative life force dedicated to handmaking playful shelves, mirrors, and wall objects in addition to their respective art. And, beyond that, their unique “cabin in a loft” home—which they also built themselves—is something of an architectural wonder and real-life landing pad for artistically-inclined travelers to Brooklyn, New York.
To follow-up on the watercolor music video that Bobby posted earlier this week, here’s another music video that uses colored water in a completely different way. It’s actually a fun experiment that involves mixing together Jon Hopkins, Linden Gledhill and Craig Ward. You might not hypothesize that the three men (a musician, a biochemist turned photographer and an art director, respectively) would mix well together because of their distinctly different expertise, but what comes of their collaboration is really stunning.