Wednesday, December 4, 2013

An early Christmas present from Dad

Proclaimed as one of the top tobacco pipe makers in the world, Peterson pipes took my interest. But Peterson pipes can be hard to find, especially a churchwarden. My father procured the pipe given to me from the place of its birth, Dublin Ireland.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bow ties = Jackass

With the exception of attending a black tie event or owning a fried chicken franchise wearing bow ties are generally a mistake.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mini Cooper

My wife and I recently brought home a Mini Cooper. The Mini is a great car with a high attention to detail. Floor mats backed with Velcro to prevent movement and rain sensitive wipers are some details Mini designer's considered. My personal favorite is the color changeable accent lighting. A small switch near the driver seat allows one to scroll through the color wheel, pressing the switch in the opposite direction even allows for a color's brightness to be changed. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Esquire Party Book

The Esquire Party Book is my reference for making cocktails. First printed in 1935 then renewed in 1963 the book covers the classic drinks and many more. It is also greatly illustrated by Seymour Chwast.

The Esquire Party Book, The editors of Esquire of magazine with Scotty and Ronnie Welch, illustrated and designed by Seymour Chwast, published by Esquire Inc.

Martini recipe

Illustration by Seymour Chwast

Friday, October 18, 2013

The art of the business card

Ruudt Peters (Fronts of two cards)

Well conceived and designed business cards become more than just contact information. They become keepsakes and souvenirs. Unlike the digital material we have become accustomed to receiving, business cards are tangible and that carries great impact.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Raising silver sheet the old, old, old fashioned way

Kurt Matzdorf raising silver sheet using a sheep shank bone and a wooden stake.
The Metalsmiths, Percy Knauth and the Editors of Time-Life Books, published by Time Inc.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The third collar button

Many frown upon third collar buttons. However, I like them. The extra button is great at keeping your collar laying crisp and flat throughout the day.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Pictures of Sweden

Crayfish party

A beautiful view of lake Mälaren 

Old-fashioned window closure

Courtyard of the Royal Palace 

Stockholm Icebar 


Stubborn MC Stockholm

Gamla Stan

Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit 

Östermalms Saluhall

Friday, August 23, 2013


Platina sits on a busy Stockholm street. Owner Sophia Björkman has done a good job setting it out from the crowd. Entering the gallery jewelry is displayed in small white cubes placed along the walls at differing heights. The cubes' size and enclosed sides help to create an intimate setting between viewer and object. On the first floor one can find the jewelry of artists Adam Grinovich, Karin Johansson and Lisa Walker to name a few. The basement floor is reserved for exhibitions. Currently on view is Sophia's own work. In the first room of the basement, Sophia has carefully suspended elements of white oxford shirts, sleeves and collars are reconstructed into pendants. In the second room is a large grouping of brooches, bones or bone like structures encased in stocking material.

Along with jewelry there is also a nice selection of books. I purchased Alla, a catalog of brooches made by 29 different artists and their reaction to a political change in Swedish parliament.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Björn Borg

Claimed the greatest maker of underwear, I had to stop in to Björn Borg. I walked away with polka dot print shorts. I was struck by the price, 239 Swedish krona or 37 US dollars. Lucky for me they were 50% off. But who can put a price on WOOHA!   

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


The cottage where Jessica and I stayed on the coast of Mälaren lake.

My wife and I just returned to the states from a wonderful trip to Sweden. We met lovely people, ate authentic Swedish cuisine and walked the cobbled streets of Gamla stan. Many posts to come...  

Saturday, August 3, 2013

My First Briar Pipe

A few days ago I was introduced to my first briar pipe by Eric Chaika, owner of Red Carpet Smoke Shop. I tried holding several pipes of various styles and weights before making my decision. I also walked away with pipe cleaners and a pouch for keeping tobacco. Eric has a strict routine to breaking in new pipes and suggested I follow. For my first six smokes I am to fill the bowl of the pipe only a third of the way. Then, for the next six smokes I fill the bowl two-thirds of the way. And finally the pipe can be packed full. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Book

Otto Künzli The Book, ed. Florian Hufnagl, Arnoldsche Art Publishers

I have good friends. One good friend just sent me Otto Künzli's The Book.

Otto Künzli, an icon in the jewelry field, has had a fantastic career which continues today. Featured in the book are many of Künzli's most well known pieces: Gold Makes You Blind, Oh Say!, Ring For Two. There are also pieces and images I had never seen before.

Especially noteworthy is the interview between Künzli and Walter Grasskamp. The interview is broken into sections piece by piece. Grasskamp and Künzli discuss each piece through its conception, process, and reception.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Tobacco Pipe

As a boy my father had a good friend who smoked a tobacco pipe. Unlike the cigarettes my father smoked, the pipe had a wonderful smell. The aroma and good feelings the pipe gave me have remained to this day.

I was happily surprised to receive the gift of a tobacco pipe from my good friend. After a brief demonstration, including the packing of the pipe using a pipe tool, I was off and puffing.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Form Emphasis for Metalsmiths

Form Emphasis for Metalsmiths, Heikki Seppä, The Kent State University Press

Heikki Seppä made a major contribution to the jewelry and metalsmithing fields when he wrote the book Form Emphasis for Metalsmiths. Seppä discusses the aspects of forming beginning with diagrams and specific vocabulary then moves into methods used in construction. Seppä touches upon many different methods including soldering, raising and seaming. But the real meat and potatoes of Form Emphasis for Metalsmiths is in Seppä's analysis of shell forming including anticlastic sinking.

The Penland School of Crafts Book of Jewelry Making, John Coyne ed., Evon Streetman photography 

Heikki shell forming whilst sporting plaid trousers.