Visually functional

There is a euphemism going around the kitchen this morning as I sort through padlocks and hinges and combination locks and things that look like tools. Visually functional. It's not a contradiction to a writer. Is it.

Functional visually

1920s combination lock, luncheonettevintage

That's the other euphemism. It means it works too. Old string, manila tag with industrial reinforced punchhole, ancient, now defunct but venerable maker of locks, handwritten — in fountain pen ink and a careful hand — combination and name. Tidy. Analog. You could call this one a heritage lock.


Black and white and etsy all over

I love this treasury. Hard to explain to non-believer's, I guess, but treasuries are the ritual of the etsy observer: assemble lovely items in a group based on a theme, contact everyone. Like throwing confetti to the skies, sometimes. Sometimes it's better, like filling a pontiac with Christmas presents and driving to Ohio, where fruitcake and peppermints await.

But this time, which is best of all, it made etsy's front page this afternoon, setting off a flurry of graphic, elegant happiness worldwide.


Search & rescue  & recovery
Katie and Scout, human remains detection K-9 team on Eagle Valley Search Dogs.
Out of line
Catalog cover: Carin Riley, Belinda (2010), Out of Line. Slag Gallery, NYC
Writing the catalog essay for the spring drawings show at Slag Gallery in NYC was a blast. These are anything but prosaic works on paper and the artists are tremendous. I grabbed the bit and ran with it.  An excerpt, or read the whole essay.
Before we are taught to perceive a line in terms of letters and words, we respond to line as pure line: scrambles, curves, loops, straights. Each shape has a different hum, a different vibration, character. Molly Stevens’s giant ink drawings on paper (Ink Mountain, 2009) have that primal quality, have palpable personas. In an elemental motion, the line surges from the bottom to the top, hovers up there, then plunges down to the baseline. Tall as humans, a pair of lines double each other, one awkwardly spooning the other. These are giants entreating, murmuring, humming. Stevens draws them with a brush attached to a stick in one continuous motion from beginning to end, placing herself at a distance from the page, a distance that allows for accidents, for change. There are countless attempts, but only occasionally does it resonate. There’s one in a heap of them in which the lines make the right sound.