Archive for the ‘prettythings’ Category


The Book As Clay

September 22, 2007

This dude, Brian Dettmer, carves up books like they were blocks of stone — if stone was loaded full of hidden Victorian woodcuts and juxtaposed words. The sculptures he ends up with are like nothing you’ve ever seen. Fucking amazing.

Following a couple of links and slipping a sawbuck into Google I learn that Dettmer’s a native of Chicago’s western suburbs who attended classes as Columbia College Chicago and eventually transplanted himself to Atlanta, like me. This is where the similarities end, I think. I work hard to get words into books, at which point they’re no better off. When he’s through with a book, it’s art.

I like to think this is just part of his reading process. This is something he does with his eyes and his mind, and he takes in a book. He sits down in a chair by the window to read a few chapters of, say, The Cults of the Roman Empire, and when he sets the book down on the coffee table, it is something else.

Noise: Underworld, “Shudder” (Live)


To Play It Like An Instrument

September 20, 2007

So, I bought one of these. (Why? Because I am irresponsible with money.) Am using it now. It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.


Great Covers

June 30, 2007

Saw this cover over on The Book Design Review, which is a terrific little blog, then kept going back to look at it again. It is simple brilliance. It makes sense immediately, to the point that it seems obvious, but couldn’t have been easy to conceptualize. This is the kind of design that makes me jealous and eager to get to work myself.

Music: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, “Gimme Some Salt”


Remembering Nina’s

June 12, 2007

By following a link through the blog of the inestimable Jeff Tidball, I cam upon a review of Nina’s coffee shop at Cafeapolis, a site touring the Twin Cities’ coffeehouses. I’m happy to say that I visited most of those shops when I was living there, but I happened to live one block from Nina’s (I could see it from my apartment) and spent quite a bit of time there… even though I didn’t find that comfortable a place to work. Always a nice staff, though.

Looking at the current photos, though, I see they’ve put in nice chairs and a sofa and all that. Likewise, Garrison Keillor (that’s quite a long tie, Garrison) has put a little bookstore into the basement shop directly below Nina’s, linked by a little hundred-year-old staircase. When I was there, it was an overpriced but nice art supply store. Having a book store a block from the house would’ve been dangerous (but also would’ve been an example of exactly why I love living in cities), so I’m relieved and jealous.

I once stood behind Garrison Keillor in line at Nina’s. He lives in the neighborhood. If he wasn’t easy enough to recognize by his hair, his jaw would’ve given him away. I like The Writer’s Almanac quite a bit, and have enjoyed some of his other writing, but absolutely cannot stand A Prarie Home Companion. So I was conflicted there, standing next to him, but just for a moment. Then I got over it and went on with my day.

Anyway, if you happen to still be in the Twin Cities, visit Nina’s.


Dressed in Anchors and Skeletal Women

March 28, 2007

I’m wearing this shirt.


American Architecture

March 17, 2007

In response to Ken Hite‘s inquiry, I offer you ten bits of American architecture that I enjoy. These are in no particular order, though, perhaps not by chance, the first half are all in Chicago. You’re shocked, I can tell.

When thinking through this little idea, I came to a realization I’ll be chewing on for a while: Most of the things I really dig in American architecture aren’t specific structures, but kinds or styles of structures. I like train stations, especially when they’re elevated or palatial. I like American churches more than I tend to like American cathedrals. I like American factory buildings and other industrial buildings. I like bungalows. (Who doesn’t like a Craftsman bungalow?)

In general, though, I’m a little tired of the neo-Classical thing. By all rights, if we go by the degree to which I like to look at them, I should put things like the Field Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry and the Art Institute of Chicago (or at least its lions) in there. If we’re just talking about architecture that’s here in America, then I’m a big sucker for the Shedu at the Oriental Institute in Chicago.

For the record, I think of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial as sculpture, rather than architecture. If only to make more room on this list for things with rooves, I guess.

Auditorium Building
Glessner House
Carbide & Carbon Building
Chicago Board of Trade
Tribune Tower
Merchandise Mart
Quincy (Quincy and Wells Sts.) L Station
Chrysler Building
Cliff Palace
Lincoln Memorial



February 25, 2007

I love this picture. It scares the hell out of me.

— by Dave Bushe