23 November 2011

iPhone Lens Dial

Now I don't have an iPhone 4 yet (still sporting the 3GS) but if I did and had a few extra dollars this would be the toy to have. Photojojo has this wonderful lens dial that attaches to your iPhone 4 and adds telephoto and fisheye to the camera. The price point is $249 but if you are going to only carry one camera this holiday season, this add on will help with your creative pics.

(via Core77)

22 November 2011

Safe Thanksgiving Fry

We wish you a safe Thanksgiving an if you are frying up a turkey, take a look at these videos, one starring William Shatner. Fry safe and enjoy your bird.

18 November 2011

Photographic Portraits - Louis Daguerre

The magic of a photographic portrait was made possible by the contributions of Louis Daguerre (18 November 1787 – 10 July 1851) in the development of what was called the Daguerreotype images. The process started by first exposing silver-coated copper plates to iodine, obtaining silver iodide. Then Daguerre exposed them to light for several minutes, coated the plate with mercury vapor heated to 75° Celsius (to amalgamate the mercury with the silver) and finally fixing the image in salt water. This process gave an exact image and allowed photography to come to the masses. It was still an expensive and time consuming event but available to all through trained photographers. Many great examples of Daguerreotypes can be found at the Library of Congress to explore. Thanks to Daguerre's innovations, photography has become not only an everyday activity but a beautiful way to explore history.

13 November 2011

Happy 105th Birthday Eva Zeisel

Remarkable in every way is Eva Zeisel. Today marks Eva Zeisel's 105th birthday which is remarkable but what is even more remarkable is Eva is still active as a designer. Yes, she works at a slower pace today but her passion stills flows out in creative products that fill the shelves of stores such as Eva Zeisel Originals (run by her grandson, Adam Zeisel, who stated he had a pleasant dinner with Eva this past week), Design Within Reach, Crate and Barrel, Room and Board, and The Orange Chicken.
“Design is pleasure for me”, Eva Zeisel has staed. This statement perchance is the secret to becoming an icon of design but it may also be the blueprint to living a long life. Eva Zeisel who turns 105 today was born in Hungry and found that her passion was to be a “maker of useful things”. Eva has designed thousands of products over her long life that beautify our lives. Eva’s work graces both the permanent collections of the world’s finest museum and the tables of every day life.

One of the keys to Zeisel’s success has been her consistent maxim of “the playful search for beauty”. Eva’s designs arouse the senses with their sensual curves and delightful lines that standout from the commonplace. Making designs that are fresh, intelligent, and discerning would be hard work for most but Eva has been doing it for the last 80 plus years.

Eva learned design and the craft of pottery in Hungry as a young woman. She completed her internship and used her experiences and designs to allow her to see the world. Seeking out opportunities, she selected the job that took her the farthest from her home in Budapest to Germany.

Eva was one of the first to design dinnerware for mass production in 1928 for Schramberger Majolikafabrik in Germany. She moved to Russia in 1932 to design dinnerware, bath fixtures and numerous household products. Zeisel was named the artistic director of the Soviet ceramics industry. In 1936 while working in Moscow, she was arrested by the Stalin regime and placed in a prison camp for 15 months. She was charged with “plotting against the life of Stalin”. Just as suddenly as she was taken prisoner, she was released with only the cloths on her back due to the influences of important European intellectuals that contacted Stalin. Upon Eva’s release in 1937, she traveled to Vienna. She married Hans Zeisel at this time and they both moved the USA as the Nazi movement grew in Austria and Germany.

In late 1938, Eva and Hans move to New York. Eva raised two children with Hans, their son John Zeisel and daughter Jean Richards. She started working on numerous designs and began teaching at the Pratt Institute in 1939, founding the industrial ceramics curriculum. Eva’s designs have been sought after over these many years. She has designed dinnerware and products for all the major china companies the world over in her career.

In 1946, Eva Zeisel had the first one women show at MOMA (Museum of Modern Art). Her work can be found in every major museum collection around the world from MoMA and the Metropolitan in NYC to the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert in London. In 2005, Zeisel was awarded the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Eva has continued to design over the years, never letting her passion for design to dwindle. “I design better than before, I have so much experience” said Eva. At the young age of 101, she designed the One-O-One collection of tableware for Royal Stafford.

Eva’s work is available today at Eva Zeisel Originals run by her grandson, Adam Zeisel. Adam wrote earlier this week, “EvaZeiselOriginals.com is having a successful year. We have already added the Eva Zeisel Lounge Chair and Bird Shakers to the collection. My relationship with Eva continues to be strong and joyous.”

We all can learn a great deal for the wonderful career of Eva Zeisel. Design with passion, love your family and friends, laugh, and always look forward. Seeing, using and touching one of Eva’s exquisite and graceful designs might just be our way to drink from the fountain of youth that Eva Zeisel has discovered. May design continue to flow from your heart and mind, Happy 105th Birthday Mrs. Zeisel!!!

11 November 2011

The "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month"

Today is special not just because it is 11/11/11 but also for what we now call Veteran's Day. The origins go back to the end of World War I where the armistice was signed to end the "Great War". The armistice went into effect on the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" to put an end to the battles on the Western Front.

Let us today not only remember it for the once in a lifetime date of 11/11/11 but also remember those who have served.

(images via Library of Congress)

08 November 2011

SNCF Tilt-Shift Video

The French national railroad, SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de fer français) presents this great ad to communicate the rail crossing changes and other upgrades they have instituted to increase the safety of rail travelers. I love the "tilt-shift" process and think it was a great way for the SNCF to share with their riders.

(via DesignTAXI)