is there one? i marvel at the beautiful shape of the artist’s palette. (a word i always misspell.) my collection consists of about a dozen of these wooden palettes. they must be old and have been used, but maintained. why these shapes? how do they fit to the hand? is the finger hole just right? some are quite large, over 24 inches. i missed out on an ebay offering of an extremely large one. 32 inches. imagine. i can’t. i visited an artist’s studio this past year and there was no palette. just a sheet of glass with wonderful colors but no palette gaining patina. (another word i love.) Continue reading the perfect shape…
i make books out of scraps. does that make them scrapbooks? i suppose they are. at the very least, it’s my way of keeping things that come across my desk, making compositions that look interesting. green is a good color, but orange is even better. numbers: what graphic designer doesn’t like numbers? is it a pattern that holds everything together, or is it the repetition? all I know is that I find it endlessly interesting to stare at a page and make relationships with color, shape and form. this page dates from 2005, but then again, the pages are never really finished. i come back to them again and again. and again. please visit the daily scrapbook and see some of my other pages. also, thank you jessica for your kindness and friendship over the years.
in my collecting i have tried to follow wherever it may lead and to whatever it my lead. in this case it was to a stamp fair. i don’t recall when i attended my first stamp or postal fair. there are several each year in the city and i usually attend one of them. i think i attended primarily to buy older us stamps so I could be more creative when I mailed a letter. i have taken this idea to the extreme from time to time. when we were applying to private schools for our daughter I made sure that when sending off our application to a progressive girls school that I used an eleanor roosevelt stamp. people do to pay attention to these things. for good or for bad. crazy right. in any case i learned about so many other fields of collecting. as a kid i did not collect stamps but i did collect coins. since ephemera primarily deals with paper i noticed many of the stamp dealers had a variety of other collectibles. i discovered ‘covers’. a letter mailed and collected for it’s stamp, cancelation, markings, route and other permutation. there is also the stampless cover. an early 19th century letter without a stamp. often a wonderful envelope with amazing handwriting. yet another collection of mine. there are dozen of stamp dealers at the these shows. the dealers sit behind a couple of tables and when you walk by ask, ‘what do you collect?’ rather intimidating to me. if i answered them honestly they would certainly send for the straight jacket. i have become more comfortable with this and will from time to time tell them some of my interests. airmail labels. matchbox labels. items they just might have. there are dealers who specialize in covers. there is one dealer called the ‘coverman’. a really nice guy and fair too. he has dozen of people who pull up a chair and sit and go through box after box of covers. it’s really fascinating. really. what are they looking for? ‘cancelation from ohio in the 1870s.’ covers with ships. covers with flags. you name it. the myriad levels of collecting is incredible to me. i’m just looking for cool handwriting? maybe if i look through the covers from holland or switzerland i’ll find a letter from piet zwart. that’s it. the find. hoping that no one will know it but me. once i was looking though some covers and found a letter from gerald murphy, the painter and owner of the mark cross luggage brand. the dealer had no idea who gerald murphy was. most people don’t. he is one of my favorite painters. i told the dealer that this letter might be more valuable than the five dollars the was asking for it. he took it aside and hopefully he was able to sell it for more. i guess this is a rather long way around to describe the cover i have here. i was walking around a show and from across the room this cover could clearly be seen in a plastic bin. so graphic. i believe this cover is from a special auto show in paris in 1972 and the cover would be have been stamped and canceled at that show as a keepsake, which is why it’s not addressed to anyone. i love it. the tilt of the car. the tilt of the stamp. it spoke to me. maybe it does to you too.
stamps. mail. packages. paper. string. labels. writing. they all interest me. over the years when i travel i have actually mailed packages back to myself. empty pacakges no less. quite the confession, no? the united states postal service has so many restrictions on mailing a package. i have found none when mailing packages from other countries. take string for instance. forget about using string in the united states. when dealing with postal clerks in new york city, it might be better to have a root canal. mailing a package is a trying experience here in new york. every clerk seems to have their own rules. i have had one clerk refuse to mail my package and then returned to the line and gotten a different clerk and they accepted it. crazy. anyway i love seeing the markings that occur when a package is sent. in attending postal shows i learned so much about cancelations and their purmutations. there are dozen of books devoted to the subject. since i have been an avid ebayer and purchasing stuff worldwide i tend to save the packing envelopes. save. collect? that question is most certainly a future post. i have dozen upon dozen of these envelopes and packages. why? i wish i knew.
i didn’t follow the tour de france. i don’t know much about cycling and i don’t own a bike. (actually that not true, i’ll clarify in another post.) however i do love the fixed gear bikes I see in the city. one thing that is for sure is that i am a sucker for type. i love the type on these shirts. i was shopping, a profession for many here in nyc, and something i don’t do as much of as i once did. i found these shirts at flyinganyc, a store with a mixture of vintage and new retro design. not the best description but i just loved these shirts, i couldn’t resist. they had all the right ingredients. color. type. variety. uniquness. when i see typography like this, i categorizes it as found type. my find. i guess these shirts are from late 60s or early 70s. i wonder how much ‘design’ time was spent on these. certainly brands like rugby and abercrombie spend a great deal of time mining this genera. i have one more that is the creme de la creme but I gave to a friend to photograph years ago and he can’t find it. when he does I’ll be sure to add it for your pleasure and mine.
fernand créteur. max bruchet. madame christiane de thracy. all names contained in another collection, a collection of calling cards found at the paris flea market. I have been to this flea market many times and it is never a struggle to find the unusual item but paper ephemera is not so easy to find. i had visited this dealer’s booth many times over the years. he sells old prints, books and all kinds of desktop objects; old razors, pens. old packaging. there are lots of file folders and boxes with labels listing all kinds of categories. i have never been allowed to look through the boxes, nor plow through the dozens of folders piled upon each other. my french is horrible but I can usually tell a dealer what I am looking for and if they have something they pull it out. this dealer and his wife are not friendly nor helpful in anyway. however this one time I was able to show something I had just bought and had selected some wonderful old packaging they were selling. so i guess they were happy I was buying something but still did not smile. this wonderful collection of calling cards is rather specific focusing on the arts and is full of wonderful typography. all presented on little calling cards. there is a owner’s stamp of george goliard. he seems to have divided his collection into different categories; arts, enseignement, and famille. there are wonderful examples of the typeface chevalier. as a designer I have had a few variations of business cards but once when I was in paris I walked into a fine stationer and order my business cards right out of a sample book. I used them when giving out my home address and the typeface i used was chevalier. it was not far from the many examples contain in this collection. i should share it next. i’ll post it soon.