Five rare and awe-inspiring mountain and river maps

Five rare and awe-inspiring mountain and river maps

When it comes to design - the Victorians did it better. Nothing quite matches these 19th Century comparative river and mountain maps for exquisite hand-drawn detail, meticulous scale and luminous beauty. It makes me wonder, how can anyone not love old maps? A New Cartographic Convention One of the forerunners for this kind of map…

B4-XVI: Why Renaissance Art and Rappers Are Cut From The Same Cloth

Renaissance Art/Rapper Mashup

In the past I've showcased Scorpion Dagger's Renaissance era GIFs. This takes the classical art mash-up one step further with hilarious results. B4 XVI (Before Sixteen) explores the often overlooked visual and cultural similarities between hip hop poseurs and medieval aristocrats. Hey it's all got to be referenced from somewhere, right? One from the deep…

Nice Japandi design in Fuglen, Asakusa, Tokyo

Nordic and Japanese Design Fusion: Fuglen in Asakusa, Tokyo

Norwegian waffles with brown cheese, jam and yoghurt. I died and went to breakfast heaven. The homely mid-century furniture in Fuglen, Asakusa On a recent trip to Japan I noticed that the Japanese love to pay homage to different cultures, their foods and aesthetics. This is really great and impressive because they have such a…

A kooky modernist cuckoo clock

Would you buy this kooky modernist cuckoo clock?

Guido Zimmermann is a German graffiti artist who recently created Cuckoo Blocks, a remix on the traditional Germanic wooden cookoo clock of olden times.  Forget about cutesy animals and people popping out of a wooden clock on the hour, this remake of a cuckoo clock takes inspiration from Brutalist architecture of tower blocks build in the…

A BAD HARVEST IN THE HOLLOW BY CHIMERICAL REVERIES 

Shadow Boxes: Beautiful Christmas Gift Ideas from Etsy Part 1

Shadow boxes are glass-front display cases that contain salvaged and created beautiful objects placed artfully at various heights to generate a depth of field. Some shadow boxes include mood lighting for added dramatic effect and can be used as a night light or as a piece of art in the lounge room. Others are contain nostalgic…

Enchanting floating ships by Italian Architect Luigi Prina

Enchanting floating ships by Italian Architect Luigi Prina

Italian architect Luigi Prina has been interested in aircraft modelling since a very young age. However, it was only after he met Venetian painter and boat builder Eugenio Tomiolo that he started to create flying ship models from ultra-thin paper and balsa wood inspired after Roman, Greek and Viking designs. His collection (or fleet) of…

All About Amazing Op Art

All About Amazing Op Art

Op Art descended out of geometric art of the 50's and the Bauhaus movement in Germany, which I have previously written about in the Origins of Flat Design. The 60's was a period of discovery in science, psychology and new technology. This type of art reflects the experimental mood of that era. The pieces normally…

Forgotten Pop Art Pioneer Dorothy Grebenak's Rugs Are Awesome

Forgotten Pop Art Pioneer Dorothy Grebenak’s Rugs Are Awesome

Dorothy Grebenak was born in Nebraska in 1913 and was a self-taught rug maker who originally made rugs stocked in a Brooklyn museum. Although these weren't rugs in the folk style, they are designed to be displayed on walls as art. These rugs were depictions of humble and everyday objects, which brought them into the…

All About Maori Kite Making

All About Maori Kite Making

There are 17 types of Maori kites. Traditionally made from strong timber framing like manuka wood they were woven with flax and the paper and bark of the mulberry plant until the plant went virtually extinct. Birdman kites have a powerful symbolism for Maori tribes. One such taonga was gifted to the British Museum in…

What your home says about you Copyright Content Catnip 2018

What your home says about you

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY-E7l_Gfe4 I really got a lot from this philosophical tidbit. My home is comfortable and peaceful and has a quirky edge to it, as though it's never too far away from nature and the wilderness. It's an aesthetic expression of my own inner being, much as my blog here is an expression of my inner…

Travel: Exploring Ancient Kidwelly Castle in Wales

Travel: Exploring Ancient Kidwelly Castle in Wales

About ten years ago I visited Carmarthenshire, Wales and discovered the ruins of Kidwelly Castle with a friend and fellow couch-surfer. It was a delightful and fascinating day, full of overcast grey weather, souvenirs, bara brith, Welsh rarebit and early medieval history. Perched close to the wind-swept seaside and encircled by beautiful lapwings, ducks and…

Beautiful maps & beautiful Welsh tales: The Mabinogion

Beautiful maps & beautiful Welsh tales: The Mabinogion

The Mabinogion is a magical and mythical Celtic classic from the  thirteenth century or earlier. It's thoroughly Welsh and is considered a masterpiece of medieval literature. Although written down during the middle ages, experts think these stories may date from the dawn of Celtic civilisation in Britain. The Mabinogion has given rise to all of…

The Strandbeest and it's glittering seaside evolution

The Strandbeest and its glittering seaside evolution

Theo Jansen’s strandbeests are composed of spindly plastic organs that take elephantine strides. They have guts that store energy and are powered by wind. They are sensitive mechanical beasts that can even detect water. Each of Jansen's ingenious strandbeests are miracles in motion. They may very well be the next stages of natural selection.  Jansen…

Eerie and Glorious Fake Cities Left Empty in China

Eerie and Glorious Fake Cities Left Empty in China

“Entire townships and villages appear to have been airlifted from their historical and geographical foundations in England, France, Greece, the United States, and Canada and spot-welded to the margins of Chinese cities,” according to Bianca Bosker, author of Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China. Tianducheng:  A Fake Parisian Wonder Originally conceived as an homage…

Tiny building sites: It's a small world after all

Tiny building sites: It’s a small world after all

Readers of this blog will understand and share my obsession with small-scale buildings, tiny books, paper towns and jewelry boxes and boudoir ornaments for mermaids. These quirky art forms are uncannily beautiful in their falseness. They also make Mini Materials now offers lovers of miniature the unprecedented opportunity to build their own life-like models of…

The Book of Life by Alesha Sivratha

The Book of Life by Alesha Sivratha

Alesha Sivartha’s enigmatic 1898 book The Book of Life: The Spiritual and Physical Constitution of Man, combines mysticism, sociology, theosophy, art and culture into a unique philosophy. Other than its bewildering, and unusual theories, which characterise a lot of the theosophical books of this time, the most striking aspect of this book are the diagrams contained…

Curious Victorian Fantasies of the Year 2000

Curious Victorian Fantasies of the Year 2000

In 1986, when famed science fiction author Isaac Asimov chanced upon a delightful series of postcards dating from 1899, 1900, 1901 and 1910 France, he couldn't believe his luck! The postcards depicted scenes from a barely imagined future, then a distant figment of imagination. Of the 21st Century, imagined by French artists in the midst…

Short film: Celestial wonders in downtown London

Short film: Celestial wonders in downtown London

In this stunning short film called Sun Moon London by filmmaker Luke Miller, we witness otherworldly visions of the interplay of the moon, sun and bustling central London. Luke captured the harvest moon on the 5th of October 2017, when the moon was at its zenith of autumnal equinox. Along with footage of the 1st…

Short film: 3D printed blooms and the golden ratio

Short film: 3D printed blooms and the golden ratio

In this mind-bending short film, US designer John Edmark, a lecturer in mechanical engineering at Stanford University, uses 3D printing, the mathematics of the golden ratio and photography tricks to create moving symmetry - a bloom. [The] animation effect is achieved by progressive rotations of the golden ratio, phi (ϕ). This is the same golden ratio…

Every picture tells a story: The mother of us all

Devil’s Advocate: According to Google, Your Data is Not Yours, It’s Everyones, Forever After.

Hint: You ARE JUST A CARRIER, A PRODUCER OF DATA   And your data will be used to refine and manipulate the consumer choices and personal decision-making of all future generations of people. From this video, a leaked internal video from Google, we can see that right now, Google's data profiling capabilities are truly remarkable. Their…