Uber would’ve been one of the top 10 biggest money losers in 2016 if it were public.
Manufactured between 1967 and 1971. Approximately ten of 50 survivors are in the United States. Made by Turin-based coachbuilder Ferves (acronym of Ferrari Veicoli Speciali), where mechanical components borrowed from various models – Fiat 500F, 600D, 850, Autobianchi Primula – were assembled. This charming 4-seater flaunted four-wheel drive and “Cargo” work versions; some have described it as a small-size SUV or mini jeep… and yet today it is one of some collectors’ biggest dreams.
Adi Goodrich and Sean Pecknold are two parts of the Los Angeles based Sing Sing Studio. They’re prolific and immensely talented visual artists, and they’ve come together, through an obsession with children’s books and a belief that kids are smarter than us, to make a children’s book of their own.
We’re very excited to have their book, Alphabetacool, and I sent them a few questions so we could get a little more insight into this incredibly fun book they’ve made—one that’s more intellectual and uniquely visual than any kids book we’ve recently seen. Also, it’s good for us adults too…
HES: You two have a huge catalogue of diverse work, and now you’re making this step into books. Has this been something you’ve always been interested in? Or is it something you sort of happened upon amidst other work?
ADI: I’ve been obsessed with children’s books since I was in college, and would spend most of my research time in the Harold Washington Children’s library looking like a total creep and loving the design of children’s books from the 60’s-70’s. I’ve always wanted to make a children’s book, but never thought I could until Sean pushed this project for our studio.
SEAN: I’ve always loved kid’s books. Maurice Sendak, Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss, Richard Scarry; they made such cool worlds in their books. When I was first getting into animation a few years ago, I would look at some of those books for inspiration. Adi and I had been taking photos together for a couple months, and this seemed like the perfect place to start making kid’s books.
HES: We’ve been talking a lot about the intellectual side of the book. It really does seem like it will force, especially young readers, to make some significant linguistic and visual connections—beyond what a lot of children’s books do. Was this something you went at with intention, as a goal for the book? And how did you cultivate that theme throughout?
SEAN: We wanted the book to appeal to both kids and our friends, and wanted to make some fun and weird still-life photos, so we didn’t restrict ourselves too much to reach a specific age range or learning level. And our collaboration with Jeremiah Chiu on the typography puzzles was also very open, we gave him a lot of freedom to explore and have fun designing the hints for each page. It’s been fun to read the book with kids and see what they notice. I think a good kid’s book is one that you come back to and get different things from at different ages, so if there is a little joke or something in there, that a 3 year old won’t get at first, maybe she will when she’s 8.
HES: What came first, the object or the word? What I mean is: what was the selection process like for the words to include?
ADI: We were in New York for the fall making photos as our studio practice out there. I was frustrated at making photos of random objects—I thought it was a waste of my time. But, basically that’s what we decided to do. One evening, we went on a walk and I cried a little bit about how I was feeling unmotivated and that I was wasting my time in the studio. (This was one of many creative meltdowns I’m sure everyone has) Sean looked at me very confidently and said, “O.K., we are going to make a children’s book. We’ll do it with random objects we find around the studio, outside and in grocery stores around the neighborhood. We’re going to make 26 of them. It’s going to be an alphabet book.”
HES: You work a lot in video, photo, and animation. What was a challenge (or an expected reward) of the bookmaking process that you hadn’t discovered in other work you’d done?
ADI: This was our first photo project together, so one of the challenges was with the equipment—we had just bought a lighting kit—so that was definitely a challenge. I have personally styled so many still life photographs, so that was pretty easy, but the hardest part of the project was getting it printed. Printed within time, budget and the quality we wanted. Our dream is to have it be published by a publisher we respect and who sees the importance of the book. If we could make this a hardcover book, we’d be so happy!
SEAN: I’m primarily an animator and filmmaker so everything I’ve worked on has been on a screen, which is great, but it was amazing to make something together that ended up in people’s hands. The printing for the first-time-ever was challenging. Getting the PDF correctly formatted, and submitted with the correct bleed in time with the right cover and paper, there’s so much that goes into it! Luckily our studio-mate Jeremiah has done it a million times, and was able to help us out a lot.
HES: More books in the works?
SEAN: For sure, we are hoping to make at least one book a year. It’s great working with Adi because we are always talking about new ideas together, and give each other energy to make those ideas real. I’d love to do a multi-plane book, even with a simple story. We are striving to make visual work, both still and moving that rewards kids and adults alike, the possibilities are endless!
Grab Alphabetacool here.
Interview conducted by Jeff Rutherford, originally for Hand-Eye Supply.
The artist Stanislav Plutenko plays on colour contrasts, his painting is very vigorous, illustrative and imbued through by sarcasm on the reality.
In spite of the fact that the characters of his pictures are fattened and absolutely earthly ones, they are always astir – running, fluttering and flying somewhere. Having awkward bodies and unprepossessing faces they feel themselves angels and we are sympathetic towards them with their naivete.
With an identical acuteness he presents images of the people and visual psychological surroundings. In each genre stage with elements of grotesque style we can find the small history of life with symbolical underlying theme. His pictures stimulate in the spectators the scale of feelings, down to the protest, but not the indifference.
Check out these crazily-colored planks:
Get closer and the effect is pretty impressive:
While a skilled, chemistry-minded professional craftsman like Benjamin Lai could pull that off using common materials, most of us don’t have his training and wouldn’t know what to mix nor how to apply it. But German wood finishes company Osmo has created a special finish, called Wood Wax Finish Intensive, that’s so easy-to-use even a layperson could lay it on.
To accomplish this two-tone technique, the end user brushes the initial coat on–no primer needed nor any sanding between coats, making this a quick process–then wipes it back while wet. A good amount of the grain is thus left exposed. After the first coat has dried, the second color is brushed on and also wiped back; as it cannot stick to the waxy first color, it fills in the remaining wood grain.
We shot some close-ups of the boards above, to give you a sense of the possibilities:
Perhaps most impressive is the plant-based paint’s qualities:
[The paint will] not crack, peel, flake or blister. Resistant to wine, beer, cola, tea, fruit juice, milk and water according to DIN 68861-1C – no water spots. When dry, finish is safe for humans, animals and plants (saliva-resistant and sweatproof according to DIN 53160 (German industrial norm), suitable for children’s toys as per EN 71.3 (European norm)).
Based on natural plant oils and waxes (sunflower oil, soya oil, thistle oil, linseed oil, carnauba wax and candelilla wax), paraffin, iron oxide and organic pigments, titanium dioxide white pigment, siccatives (drying agents) and water-repelling additives. Dearomatized white spirit (benzene-free).
Osmo reckons the paint is perfect for furniture, walls, doors and even children’s toys and floors. They’re confident in the paint’s green credentials and while it’s technically translucent as used above, their policies offer complete transparency: As they write, a “detailed declaration of ingredients [is] available upon request.”
You can learn more about the stuff here [PDF].
Force India says a partnership that would bring Aston Martin back to Formula 1 remains a possibility for the future, possibly as early as 2017.
I just did a Google search for an oceanic salvage periodical called “Tug Magazine” and was surprised to see it didn’t return anything filthy. In any case I’ve been reading about the MV Tricolor, a huge Norwegian freighter carrying 2,800 BMWs, Volvos and Saabs that went down in the English Channel in 2002 after colliding with another ship.
In a way, this was worse than those cargo ship disasters: Because the Tricolor crashed in a high-traffic shipping lane, it was subsequently hit by not one, not two, but three more freaking ships.
The authorities needed to get the ship out of the way. And when you need to remove a 50,000-ton ship that’s longer than two football fields, it’s not like you call a guy named Lenny who has a tow truck. Instead they turned to Smit International, a Dutch company that specializes in tricky ocean salvage work.
Is there anything the Dutch can’t do? Smit’s eggheads realized they’d never be able to hoist the ship out in one piece, so the only solution was to slice it up like a loaf of bread and pull the slices out one by one. To accomplish this, they used a trick they’d used two years earlier, when they were hired to salvage Russia’s doomed Kursk submarine. What Smit did was to build two platforms on either side of the wreck, then break out a big-ass cable coated in Widia, a type of sintered tungsten carbide.
The cable was then connected to one platform, and somehow routed underneath the ship—which was resting on the ocean floor, some 30 meters down—then attached to the other platform. It’s true that I have a poor grasp of Dutch sea-salvage methodologies, but I’m willing to bet the guy who had to go under the ship with the cable was The New Guy.
Then the cable was tensioned and pulled back and forth between the two platforms—essentially turning into a huge (Trump pronunciation: “yuge”) saw, steadily moving upwards and slicing away.
By repeating this procedure another seven times, they were able to slice the ship into nine neat pieces. The awesome thing about this is it’s not like they knew or cared where the cars were inside, so there were like, BMWs and Saabs just getting ripped in half during the process.
Each piece was then hoisted out of the water.
Then the pieces were placed on barges and towed back to shore, where they were eventually scrapped.
I’m told that as a final prank, the workers gathered all of the crushed cars and left them on Jens’ front lawn.
Consumer Reports still supports the Fitbit, noting, “Both the Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge passed our tests handily, accurately recording heart rates at everything from a leisurely walk up to a fast run.”
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The 2016 Infiniti QX60 carries on with traditional gasoline and hybrid power, all packaged in a restyled body with improved chassis features. Look for the CUV to bow at the Detroit Auto Show.
Again! Finally found some time to finish the Jimi Hendrix Tribute, part II linework. The second illustration from the triptych dedicated to Jimi Hendrix.
There are some additional colourings necessary, but hey, the hardest part is done! Hopefully, the finishing touches will be done shortly.
Jimi Hendrix inspired work in progress still life photo by Hubert Fine Art