A visual tour of downtown Los Angeles, now and then:
"My subject is a barren one – the world of nature, or in other words life; and that subject in its least elevated department, and employing either rustic terms or foreign, nay barbarian words that actually have to be introduced with an apology. Moreover, the path is not a beaten highway of authorship, nor one in which the mind is eager to range: there is not one of us who has made the same venture, nor yet one Roman who has tackled single-handed all departments of the subject."Naturalis Historia was written by Pliny the Elder between 77 and 79 CE and was meant to serve as a kind of proto-encyclopedia discussing all of the ancient knowledge available to him, covered in enough depth and breadth to make it by a reasonable margin the largest work to survive to the modern day from the Roman era. The work includes discussions on astronomy, meteorology, geography, mineralogy, zoology and botany organized along Aristotelian divisions of nature but also includes essays on human inventions and institutions. It is dedicated to the Emperor Titus in its epistle to the Emperor Vespasian, a close friend of Pliny who relied on his extensive knowledge, and its unusually careful citations of sources as well as its index makes it a precursor to modern scholarly works. It was Pliny's last work, as well as sadly his sole surviving one, and was published not long before his death attempting to save a friend from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, famously recounted by Pliny's eponymous nephew Pliny the Younger.
Here is a reasonable translation that is freely available to download from archive.org for your edification.[more inside]
Trashswag is a crowdsourced map for people to share and post reusable materials that they spot left outside. It is a resource for creative hobbyists, artists and people conducting renovation works to find unique, salvageable old wood, windows, doors, metal, glass and furniture. So far I think it's mostly Toronto and Montreal but is expanding to other areas.
A nicely crafted video showing the construction of a treadle lathe, a foot-powered device for woodturning. The builder uses only hand tools and traditional methods; even the drill press is hand-cranked. Useful for those interested in constructing such a thing, mesmerizing for those who enjoy "how it's made"-type videos.
Marquetry is the art of making pictures composed of cut pieces of wood veneer which are then attached to a piece of furniture. Silas Kopf is perhaps the best known American doing marquetry. He works in Easthampton, MA on cabinets, desks, and at one time, pianos for Steinway. He also decorated a piano for Walden Woods using indigenous wood. [more inside]
Years by Bartholomäus Traubek: a record player that plays slices of wood.
Ron van der Ende is a sculptor living in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He specializes in wall mounted bas-relief constructed from found wood. The original color and texture of the wood is utilized to form a gripping and sometimes photo-realistic mosaic. The realism is further enhanced by the perspective built into the relief. [more inside]
Seth Roland does amazing things with wood. From bookends to tables and more, he does remarkable things with wood and a band saw.. Fine Woodworking magazine's website has a video.
Future textile design by Elisa Strozyk.
A digital clock made of wood and operated by 70 workers for one continuous 24-hour period. "Even though the workers are trying hard to construct every single minute, they are constantly on the verge of failing."
Concept art for the Alien 3 that never was - Before the Walter Hill version was shot, entirely in brown, by David Fincher there were many iterations of the Alien 3 script. One of the more exotic ones was the Vincent Ward & John Fasano "monks in space" script, illustrated here. [via io9]
Mingei is a transcultural word which combines the Japanese words for all people (Min) and art (Gei). The site has a flash interface and features over 5,000 high resolution, zoomable objects. More information on the Mingei Movement.
Johnna Klukas makes science fiction wood carvings, sculpture and furniture. She has also detailed her techniques (with more "coming soon").
In the year 2525 if man is still alive, future generations will be able to consult this book or type a request into their DIY UNIT™ and reproduce the effect of wood or marble.
Two completely dissimilar yet nifty artists: The twisted ink drawings of Jon Kuta (big enough to make desktops; Flash interface), and the fabulously lifelike driftwood and bronze sculptures of Heather Jansch (she really likes horses. Warning: you'll have to side-scroll).
Livio De Marchi is a contemporary Italian sculptor who has developed a remarkable style, combining great skill with wood and a good dose of whimsy. No plank will ever look the same!
Check out this "mirror", its computer controlled and made out of wood. I really want one of these, watch the non-streaming video to view it in action.