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Father’s Day Gift Guide 2013

Father’s Day was founded in Spokane, Washington at the YMCA in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd. Its first celebration was in the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910. Dodd’s fathers was a Civil War veteran who was a single parent who raised his six children there.

The holiday is now celebrated in over 8o countries.

Whoever does not have a good father should procure one. ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Fathers Day Gift Guide for The Geek Dad

1 – Printed Textured-Leather iPhone Case by Pierre Hardy // 2 – The Geek Dad’s Guide to Weekend Fun // 3 –  Fish Eye Lens for iPhone // 4 – Letterpress You Blow Me Away Father’s Day Greeting Card // 5 – Jawbone Bluetooth Big Jambox // 6 – Star Wars Death Star Blue Print Cufflinks in Silver

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I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom. ― Umberto Eco

Know a dad that loves alcohol, beer, whiskey and a full-stocked bar?

1 – Jack Spade Beer Mug Silk Classic Tie // 2 – Whiskey Stones – On The Rocks Granite Drink Chillers in Hardwood Tray // 3 – Keg Works Triple Tap Brass Draft Beer Kegerator Tower // 4 – Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide: 75th Anniversary Edition// 5 – MALIN+GOETZ Candle, 60 Hours – Dark Rum

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I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection. ― Sigmund Freud

Gifts for the father who loves pocket squares, shoe horns, reading, money clips, watches and shaving.

1 – Hardcover Set of Three: The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Rex, Colonel Roosevelt // 2 – Silver Street “Nest Egg” Money Clip by Kate Spade New York // 3 – Jack Spade ‘Buckner’ Leather Strap Watch // 4 – Drake’s Bauble-Print Silk Pocket Square // 5 – The Art of Shaving The 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave™ – Sandalwood // 6 – Chrome Shoe Horn with Raw Hide Strap and Wooden Handle 

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Concrete Jungle

Concrete is a composite construction material composed primarily of aggregate, cement and water. Technically speaking, concrete is a heterogenous mixture that has several variations – it’s recipe can include sand, ash, pumice, silica, quicklime, pozzolanic ash, crushed limestone, and crushed granite (to name a few). The chemical process in which concrete solidifies and dries is actually (and ironically) called hydration. The substance and invention actually date from the Roman Empire – indeed the word comes from the Latin word “concretus” (meaning compact or condensed).  Apparently though, after the fall of the Roman Empire this technology became extremely scarce and all but forgotten until the 18th century – that’s thousands of years people!  HOW does something like that happen? The romans used the substance to shape domes, aqueducts, and archways. Several concrete bathhouses still stand from the era. That seems pretty advanced for the time period – and yet POOF! The discovery just disappears.

Via Knight Frank

In the town of Zwickau, Germany, concrete architecture peppers the rivers. Image found HERE. 

 LicenseCopyright All rights reserved by Ty Cole.

Brutalism was an architectural style that flourished in Critics of the style find in the 1950’s to the mid 1970’s. Many viewers found it unappealing due to its “cold” appearance, projecting an atmosphere of totalitarianism (this was the Cold War, folks). Others were upset that the material of concrete was used in residential areas as it lent itself easily to urban decay and graffiti.  Alison and Peter Smithson (British architects) coined the term in 1953, from the French béton brut, or “raw concrete”, a phrase used by Le Corbusier to describe the poured board-marked concrete with which he constructed many of his post-World War II buildings. To learn more about the styles origins, go HERE. 

Concrete is extremely susceptible to environmental damage. The mixes tensile strength can be damaged by wetness, sea water, freezing, and erosion. Today we have a bevy of materials that can hinder this process – however in the ancient days of yore – the Egyptians, and subsequently the Romans, learned to add horse-hair to the mixture in order to stop cracking.

A concrete wall becomes the new neutral. 

Reflective, glossy, air, and bright. Concrete becomes a minimal lover’s landscape. LicenseCopyright All rights reserved by Stebbi.

Concrete floors found in the Dutch Mountains, image via Design Milk HERE.

Brutal concrete stairs via Sisters Agency, HERE.

Sideboards by Eric Degenhardt for Böwer, image found HERE.

As far as being a decorative material, concrete actually can come in colors other than a drab grey! It all depends on the initial mix. Concrete even takes to staining, just like wood! The rock is also extremely energy efficient because it does not allow air seepage (like wooden house frames) – it can help to insulate and keep a building’s temperature constant.

A modern and white space complete with burnished and sleek concrete floors. The material takes on a natural and calming quality. Image found via House to Home, HERE.

This Spanish abode is 1/3 rustic cottage, 1/3 bohemian, 1/3 brutalist minimalism. Image found HERE.

Concrete loft in the West Village, NYC. Bricks, Concrete, Plastic, and Wood mingle in this airy space. Embrace materials. Found HERE. 

For the record, there is an abstractionist art movement called “concrete art”. It was first introduced by Theo van Doesburg in his “Manifesto of Concrete Art” (1930) – it has NOTHING to do with the rock mixture and EVERYTHING to do with casting off the strictures of interpretation. The art form aims to be devoid of symbolic influences or implications, in this way it is a concrete thought, not able to be read. Also affected by the varied uses of the word, “concretism”, is a practice of poetry wherein the visual arrangement of words form a pattern on the page are more importance than phonetic aesthetic. Oh the joys of the English language, etymology, and homonyms!

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An Artist’s Dwelling (4)

Egon Schiele was an Austrian painter and protege of the Austrian symbolist (and lover of the female body), Gustav Klimt. Schiele is most famous for his twisted bodies, hyper sexualized sketches, grotesque, and almost endless self-portraits. He is considered an early expressionist painter who leans toward figurative painting. Figurative art is considered to be drawn from actual objects or persons – therefore it is representational rather than based in imagination. Expressionist painting allows the artist to transform works based solely on emotion and subjective perspectives and distortions – often these works are not in the realm of “the real”. Technically speaking an expressionism painting and a figurative painting are at odds with one another – one aims to be wholly based in “fact” and the other in “feeling”. This dichotomy adds a layer of beautiful confusion to Schiele’s paintings.

Egon Scheile, The Little City II (View from Bohemian Krumlov), 1912-1913, Oil on Canvas (Wikipedia Commons)

Egon Schiele, Fräulein Beer, 1914, Oil on Canvas (Wikipedia Commons)

Early in the artist’s career, while studying with Klimt, he met a woman named Valery (Wally) Neuzil. Some consider this woman to be a mistress of Klimt, however she appeared as a model in Schiele’s works as well. Together, they escaped what they considered “the conservative society” of Vienna to the countryside of Neulengbach. The rent was inexpensive because it was so far from this city (what Brooklyn is the NYC). This allowed Schiele to afford more space for his studio.  This home became a gathering place for many delinquents and children in the area – it was also where Schiele painted several youths in questionably pornographic situations (many of whom were considered below the age of consent). Paris von Guetersloh, a young artist who was Schiele’s contemporary, remembered that the establishment was overrun with them:

They slept, recovered from beatings administered by parents, lazily lounged about – something they were not allowed to do at home – combed their hair, pulled their dresses up or down, did up or undid their shoes … like animals in a cage which suits them, they were left to their own devices, or at any rate believed themselves to be.

Egon Schiele, Kauernde

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