Monday, August 31, 2009

Vintage Children's Covers

Vintage children's book covers from 1860 to the 1920s, via Bibliodyssey.
Link: http://bibliodyssey.blogspot.com/2009/08/kids-covers.html
Access: Free

Fashioning Felt

This website is the online companion to the exhibition `Fashioning Felt' hosted by the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. The exhibition took place from the 6th March until the 7th September 2009. The exhibition focuses on felt that has been produced by hand or by machine-felting process but it excludes non-woven felt and techniques in order to emphasise the essential elements used in felt making. There are three main sections. The section on objects, shows images and details of exhibits as well as links to related designs. The section on process includes photos showing how a Turkmenistan carpet is made. There is also a blog. One can browse objects by keyword such as architecture, fashion or furniture or by designer.
Link: http://exhibitions.cooperhewitt.org/Fashioning-Felt/
Access: Free

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Toy Design


The Victoria and Albert Museum website has provided this blog in an ongoing project to document and digitise the archives of four major British toy makers of the 20th century held by the museum: Lines Brothers, whose brands include Tri-ang, Pedigree, Frog, Rovex, etc.; Palitoy; Mettoy; and Abbatt toys. The archives of the four toy makers, held at the V&A's Museum of Childhood, are currently being digitised over a three-year period from 2009, and Assistant Curator Sarah Wood created the blog to disseminate information about the companies and their products. Plans are in place for an exhibition and conference, as well as for toy makers' and study days. Current posts feature Meccano and Jenny's place.
Link: http://www.vam.ac.uk/things-to-do/blogs/british-toy-making-blog/home
Access: Free

Future Designers


The Victoria and Albert Museum website has made available the first of their ThinkTanks on 'The Future Designer' available on their websites. Bringing together leading designers and thinkers to share their points of views, these presentations will help the museum support and critically engage with creative design. Following a welcome by Lauren Parker, Head of Contemporary Programmes, Jane Pavitt, chair of the ThinkTank, provides an introduction before four provocations by Jeremy Myerson, Professor of Design Studies at the Royal College of Art; Gareth Williams, Curator of furniture, fashion and textiles at the museum; Daniel Charny, Curator at the Aram Gallery and senior tutor at the Royal College of Art and Kevin McCullagh, Director of the consultancy, Plan, who discuss the designer as collaborator, as celebrity, as accelator and as synthesier. Videos of each contribution can be found via hyperlinks under each section. A downloadable list of attendees is available under 'resources and links', as well as a reading list and other relevant websites.
Link: http://www.vam.ac.uk/thinktank1/future_designer/
Access: Free

Casting Bronze

The Getty Museum has provided this online six-minute video on the process of casting bronzes. The process dates from the beginning of 1500, when patrons became intrigued by the famous bronze collections of antiquity. Artists at this time experimented with bronze, which was prized for its ability to register fine detail and reflect light, developing the process of lost-wax casting, which enabled numerous copies of the same piece to be made, which is still in use today. The video looks at this process, as well as the modeling and chasing of the piece to produce the desired surface effect. RealPlayer is required to view the videos.
Link: http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/videoDetails?cat=2&segid=370
Access: Free

Picasso's Sculpture


Issue 11 of the Tate Papers, the Tate Gallery`s online research journal, has provided this illustrated technical study of Picasso`s construction `Still Life' 1914, published in the Spring of 2009. Although curator's have published technical studies on Picasso's paintings little attention has been paid to his early sculptures. Although Picasso made around a dozen sculptures at this time, this was the only one shown publicly during his lifetime and analysis of this work has provided insights into his working method. This article explores Picasso's use of unconventional materials and carefully managed his technique to accentuate his abandonment of traditional craft.
Link: http://www.tate.org.uk/research/tateresearch/tatepapers/09spring/jackie-heuman.shtm
Access: Free

Friday, August 14, 2009

The First Photograph


Background about and image of the "First Photograph" taken in 1826 by Joesph Nicéphore Niépce. "Fascinated with the craze for the newly-invented art of lithography which swept over France in 1813, [Niépce] began his initial experiments by 1816," which included the use of light-sensitive varnish. He called the process "Heliography." Also includes images of reproductions of the photo. From the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin.
Link: http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/permanent/wfp/
Access: Free

Elastic Mind

Companion to a 2008 exhibition that "highlights designers' ability to grasp momentous changes in technology, science, and history -- changes that demand or reflect major adjustments in human behavior -- and translate them into objects that people can actually understand and use. The Web site presents over three hundred of those works." Browse through works in areas such as tinkering, people and objects, and visualization. From the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
Link: http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2008/elasticmind/
Access: Free

Wenzel Jamnitzer


Images of regular and irregular bodies by 16th century Viennese designer Wenzel Jamnitzer, courtesy of Bibliodyssey.
Link: http://bibliodyssey.blogspot.com/2009/08/jamnitzer-perspectiva.html
Access: Free