Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Review: Art Deco by Victoria Charles & Klaus H. Carl

8879754Title: Art Deco
Series: n/a
Author: Victoria Charles, Klaus H. Carl
Source/Format: Borrowed from the library; hardcover
More Details: Nonfiction; Art
Publisher/Publication Date: Parkstone Press; March 1, 2013

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

Art Deco style was established on the ashes of a disappeared world, the one from before the First World War, and on the foundation stone of a world yet to become, opened to the most undisclosed promises. Forgetting herself in the whirl of Jazz Age and the euphoria of the “Années Folles”, the Garçonne with her linear shape reflects the architectural style of Art Deco: to the rounded curves succeed the simple and plain androgynous straight line… Architecture, painting, furniture and sculpture, dissected by the author, proclaim the druthers for sharp lines and broken angles. Although ephemeral, this movement keeps on influencing contemporary design.

I’ve always been kind of interested in Art Deco. Not for architectural reasons, because I’m not an architect. Instead, I was interested in the look of it, for the aesthetics. I decided to pick up this book because I was going to do some art inspired by Art Deco and wanted to know more about it before I dove into a long, time consuming project. This book wasn’t very long. It was more of a technical read that delved into a lot of the history about the subject. Despite that, I liked this book a lot. It was divided into three primary sections: Architecture, Painted and Sculpted Décor; Furniture and Furniture Sets; and Jewelry. I liked all three, but my favorite one was the section on jewelry even though it was the smallest with the least amount of pages.

This book went over things I already knew about and other facts I wasn’t familiar with. It covered some of the influences and work that went into making Art Deco what it is. There was a lot of information accompanied by photo examples of work by noteworthy architects and industrial designers—such as Donald Deskey—that I hadn’t heard of before. There was one quote that seemed to best represent what most of the book is trying to explain:

“They did not in any way disavow tradition, but rather reconnected with it, reuniting art with functionality and developing a contemporary expression which is the obvious result of previous expressions” (p.120).

Even now, there’s such a contemporary feel to some of the furniture and buildings. And I found it interesting to read about how a broader range of building materials and techniques contributed to its creation. Those things attributed to the freedom to create a style that was both a work of art and practical because it was functional in daily life. There were paragraphs that talked about light weight/ reinforced concrete and how “marble panels can be fixed more firmly to it than brick” (p.24). There were pages that further delved into the finer details that explained the many painted and sculpted décor, ironwork, and panels among other things.

“Art Deco no longer sought to please through unnecessary ornamentation, but rather through moderation: balanced forms, harmony of proportions and tones, and a contrast of lights and shades—such are its essential principals” (p.113).

I have a better understanding of Art Deco, and I’ve really come to appreciate it . It was fascinating how buildings became art, and furniture became fixtures in a room in the same way someone would hang an art print. Needless to say, this book was good...

Friday, July 6, 2018

The Friday 56 (135) & Book Beginnings: Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading.

Synopsis from Goodreads...

A satiric look at another planet which gives us a fresh look at our own.

Beginning: "I call our world Flatland, not because we call it so, but to make its nature clearer to you, my happy reader, who are privileged to live in Space."

56: "At this period, square houses were still everywhere permitted, though discouraged by a special tax."

Comments: I borrowed my sister's copy of Thrilling Tales: Science Fiction Short Stories just so I could read Edwin A. Abbott's Flatland. This story is ridiculous. But it's also a great read. My 56 comes from section 2. What are you reading this week?

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Quarterly Recap: April-June

It feels like it was just yesterday when I sat down to write the last quarterly recap post, even though I know it was three months ago. So much has gone on, but I feel like I’m reading less—specifically, I’m having a harder time finding books I want to read. I do have to say that the books I finished reading were ones I really loved. So, that counts for something. Anyway, on to the recap!
April Reviews:

May Reviews:

June Reviews:

Other April Posts:

Other May Posts:

Other June Posts:
I want to get back into the habit of reading more often; although, this one depends on what books I come across. Currently, I have some eARCs that I’m excited to dive into, including Jasmine Guillory’s The Proposal, and Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett. I also want to make some more art related posts since I really enjoy putting them together....

Monday, July 2, 2018

Music Monday (49) Icon For Hire, and Hidden Citizens

  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 

Breana: Over the weekend, I started listening to Icon for Hire again, particularly their second album which is self-titled. Don’t get me wrong, I still like Scripted (first album) a lot. I also love the sound of the second album because of songs like Sugar and Spice, Nerves, Pop Culture, Hope of Morning, and Rock and Roll Thugs among others. So, my pick for today is Watch Me. It’s a good song. I like the combination of pop and rock sounds on this track due to how seamlessly it blends together. The end result is pretty awesome…

Adri: Wait, I'm back. I have something to talk about. I’ve been listening to Hidden Citizens for quite some time. There are so many songs I want to talk about such as Stay Alive, Heroes Fall, and Immortalized... However, for today, I decided on my current find and the one that introduced me to the group. My picks are Down Come the Rain featuring Adam Christopher and Moonlight Sonata.

What are you listening to this week?

Sunday, July 1, 2018

I Made A Sketchbook...

In my mid-year resolution check-in post, I mentioned that I wanted to get a smaller sketchbook so my goal of finishing one was more manageable. In the end, I chose to make a sketchbook since I wanted to try out a different technique of binding the signatures together instead of using staples. There are a number of good tutorials on youtube, but the best ones I found were Following the White Rabbit DIY journal/sketchbook tutorial series that you can find HERE. The steps were straightforward, and the visual/ real-time tutorial made it easier to pick up on what had to go where and when. . . .

Supplies I used...
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Scissors
  • Turquoise blue/green embroidery floss
  • Pink Card stock
  • Regular old tape
  • Ribbon (black and pink)
  • Artist’s Loft 70 sheet count drawing pad; 11 in x 14 in

I had a lot of fun with this project. It was easier than I thought it was going to be. What I mean by that is that I way overestimated the difficulty of it, because it’s not difficult at all. The paper I chose was just some sketch paper I had. Because of the size, I cut the sheets in half at the center before folding them three or four at time to create my signatures. The actual binding part took a little bit of
time to get used to, but once I did, it was mostly smooth sailing from there.

After my signatures were bound together, I moved on to constructing the cover. I thought “oh hey, I’m just going to do something simple,” which was followed by “this is going to be quick.” No. that’s not how it turned out, because I added a pocket and a ribbon (to tie it shut) at the back. The cover itself was easy to put together since it’s literally three pieces cut from a single sheet of card stock, which I taped together with tape I had lying around my house. Where it got complicated was the pocket and the ribbon tie. I decided to braid the ribbon after spending at least ten minutes deciding how I wanted the pocket to look. I’m not complaining about the time I spent on it, because I like the look of it. And the skills I learned during the process will come in handy when I attempt to make another sketchbook.

Overall, I was happy with the results. If I do this again, I’ll probably use different materials such as stronger tape—preferably something with a pattern—and I would replace the card stock with cardboard and a fabric overlay as a finish. Also, my binding wasn’t as tight as I wanted it to be and it may have had to do with the type of string I used. It was quite thin. So, next time around, I might look into getting a different type that’s a little stiffer, like twine.

Have you considered making a sketchbook or journal?

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