Monday, September 24


One of my last classes at Simmons (now Simmons University) library school was "History of the Book". Lot of latitude there for that professor but it centered on paper, and decorative paper such as marbled end papers. Dripping oil paint onto water and manipulating the designs, then laying down paper. Long/short the venerable FIELD NOTES have just shone a light on this process in their new release END PAPERS - good stuff.

The designs were inspired by the University of Washington Decorated and Decorative Paper Collection

For a primer - and really digestible - grab the Eyewitness reference book to the BOOK.

Monday, August 13

10E2617: Green Mountain Flag | The Old Try

Our down street neighbors at The Old Try have created a print depicting the Green Mountain flag flown by General Stark and later Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys during and post American Revolution.  The green field, blue canton, and white stars is one of the few known regimental flags from the American Revolution. The 13 stars referenced the 13 colonies at the time. VT would become the 14th 'state'.

These Vandercook letterpress prints, (13" x 20", 110lb Lettra Paper, made in MA) are on presale at $33 for early adopters; buy here.

In celebrating the US bi-centennial in 1977 it seems Nestle had a whole campaign of revolutionary wrappers - very neat and informative as below.

Monday, July 23

10E2616: New Bedford Whaling Panorama

Had never heard of these 19th century "panoramas" but it makes total sense...

Either housed in circular viewing building, or even live "scrolled" at a theater in front of an audience, these horizontal - and massive - travelogue paintings allowed viewers to be immersed in landscapes and stories.

Aquatint by Robert Mitchell, 1801 Cross-section of the rotunda in Leicester Square in which panoramas were exhibited.

"Though other panorama rotundas were built, the one in Leicester Square was thought to provide the most realistic displays. The building was designed to disorient people as they passed from the actual to the virtual world. Spectators had to walk down a long dark hallway and climb shadowy stairs before emerging onto the viewing platform. Some people felt sick as a result. More felt delighted..."
Panoramas: 19th-Century Virtual Reality

Now imagine an epic rollercoaster of a whaling voyage, painted across 1,275 feet of canvas, and you have The Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World by Benjamin Russell and Caleb Purrington, which is as long as the Empire State Building is high... this thing is no joke.

Image courtesy of Jessamyn West

Image courtesy of Jessamyn West

The full piece is now on view for FREE at the Kilburn Mill, in New Bedford (MA) - soon to be part of a larger experience as part of the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Visiting info here.

The illusion of being “on the spot” was greatly enhanced by the authenticity of the artist’s first-hand knowledge and the quality of the narrative. The Purrington-Russell panorama’s authority would have been justified by Benjamin Russell’s personal experience as a whaleman and his attention to details that, at least in the ports of New England, would have been noted and appreciated, such as house flags of known vessels and architectural details of ports of call... As a skilled artist and detailed observer with a broad range of both practical and business experience, he and his partner, sign painter Caleb Purrington (1812 - 1876) captured details of the whaling voyage seldom encountered in any other visual representations of the industry.

You can click and zoom it all right now in this digital experience too but I think that hardly captures the scale...  the piece looks immense.


Thursday, July 5

10E2615: Universal Works | Concrete Birks

"Concrete" colorway Birkenstock via Universal Works in the UK.  £70squid...  Noice.

- leather uppers
- natural cork footbed
- regular fit

Friday, May 25

10E2614: France Footy Kit

While not quite capturing lightning in a bottle like the 11/12 kit - these French football jerseys are nae bad...

Tuesday, May 22

10E2613: Jean Jacket

Camden Market 1988 for a tenner, or Vermont thrift store for $2...  can't remember. Unearthed this barnscore unpacking some old boxes on a family visit last week.

Check underside of the tags on these old worn ones and you may get a surprise.  Summer uniform material...