Saturday, July 31, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

Early Vic

Early Victoria Skimboard photos, from the 1970's, and the first Laguna Shop. The postcard is from the 1940's, the lineup however, is still the same. More HERE

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Lookout

Lookout spot, Solag

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

© 1984 LA OLY COM

1984 Los Angeles Olympic pin picked up in SF of all places. I actually went to the Bronze Medal Soccer game at the Rose Bowl. Yugoslavia 2, Italy 1.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Michael Arntz

Staying with the former UCSB ceramic faculty. These are actually massive. Related Michael Arntz post HERE

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sheldon Kaganoff

One of my former faculty from my Santa Barbara days Sheldon Kaganoff at Reform HERE. Vessels are from the "Surface and Form" series.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

From the Farm

(Terra Firma Farm newsletter)

Most Californians have tasted an olive straight off the tree once — either just out of curiosity or as the victim of a practical joke (“What, you’ve never had one?  They’re great!”).  The horribly bitter, acrid flavor immediately makes most people wonder, “How the heck did anyone figure out those were edible?”.  Or, for that matter, that the oil tasted so good.

The same could be said for another oil crop, one that many people have never experienced up close.  Thousands of acres of safflower are planted in the Sacramento Valley each year in the early spring and harvested in late summer.  Their pretty orange and yellow blooms beautify the July landscape every year, where it is planted in the early spring and harvested in the late summer.  Like olives, safflower is perfectly adapted to California, requiring little if any irrigation.   In its own way, safflower is as unpleasant as raw olives. Although its pretty yellow and orange flowers are beautiful from a distance, the plant itself is a thistle covered with sharp spines.  A friend of mine who grew the crop once told me that the only way to walk through a safflower field unscathed was in a suit of armor.  Again, how the heck did anyone ever decide it would be a good food crop?

                Another hostile, thistly plant produces a popular vegetable:  Artichokes.  Workers who harvest artichokes actually do wear heavy gloves and coveralls to protect themselves from the sharp spines.  All this for a vegetable with just a tiny bit of edible flesh on the base of each flower petal and a tender part in the middle with a nasty, fuzzy “choke” that also has to be discarded.  Clearly the ancient Mediterreans who domesticated artichokes must have had very few other crops available to grow!

                It’s true that artichokes are more of a delicacy rather than an everyday foodstuff.  But what about Lettuce, the most common bland, watery vegetable in the diet of many Americans.  It was domesticated from wild lettuce, a plant as spiny and unapproachable as an artichoke plant.  I’ve never tasted it but I’m pretty sure it tastes about the same as it looks.  Who was the first person who thought, “that looks like it would make a good salad”?

                Not all modern vegetables are descended from spiny relatives.  The Carrots that we eat today are tender and sweet, and full of nutritious vitamins and minerals.  But carrots were bred from a wild plant that is nearly indistinguishable from deadly poison hemlock.  Which came first, the awareness that wild carrots were tasty, or that their doppelganger poison hemlock was deadly?  And who decided to keep trying to eat wild carrots after seeing someone die after accidentally eating hemlock instead?  I like carrots, but I don’t think I’d risk my life for them.

                Corn is one of the mainstays of the global food supply (for better or worse).  Yet the plant it was domesticated from, teotzinte, was a grass with a runty seed head 100th the size of a modern ear of corn, with barely a teaspoon of kernels.  And yet, entire civilizations in Central America focused hundreds of years of plant breeding on their efforts to make bigger ears of maize with larger kernels.  Somewhere lost in the annals of history, an ancient Native American plant breeder must have tried to convince his peers to give up the task and focus on improving some other obscure grain.

                The person who first ate a Hot Pepper and decided, “Wow, that really hurts to eat, but I bet we can make it sweet” may have been the most visionary of all of history’s plant breeders.  But even more curious is that hundreds of years later, hot peppers remain far more popular worldwide than sweet ones.  You have to give credit to the ancient salesman who was certain that he could convince people to grow and eat hot peppers.  “Pain is good for you”, “You’ll get used to it”, and “it covers up the taste of mold and rotten meat” are a few of the sales pitches that I can imagine.

Meanwhile, there are dozens if not hundreds of perfectly tasty, extremely nutritious plants that humans do not plant or eat.  In fact, some of these plants grow in the same fields as food crops, but are actively hunted down and removed with chemicals, cultivators, hoes and hands.  They are called weeds.  On our farm, purslane, pigweed, and lambsquarters are three examples.  In many cases, they grow as well or better than the crops they compete with (I guess that’s what makes them weeds).  If Mother Nature is trying to send us a message about what plants we should and shouldn’t eat, humans clearly aren’t getting the message.

more from Terra Firma HERE

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday NMc...... Here's to many many more. You're my favorite.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sun Shield Shield

In preparation for more days of sun, NMc created a custom umbrella bag from heavy weight cotton canvas.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sure Fit

After a failed attempt to body surf in Hawaii with my hat on effectively stretching the material, a new interior Ikat band has been sewn in for a proper fit.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Harvey Pekar 1939-2010

More from the NY Times HERE

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Film by Lisa Foti-Straus

More on Ernst Chladni  the "Father of Acoustics" HERE

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Digging in the dirt.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Home Foraging

Todays foraging: Haricot Verts (French Green Beans), Zucs, Basil, a few Strawberries, and a lot of Kale varieties. Well done!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Really digging my RP Miller Stripey shirts. So much so, I  might need one of every color. Pick yours up from Gravel and Gold, one of the best shops in San Francisco. Made in the USA

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A candid portrayal of Lily Dale, a spiritualist community in upstate New York, where most of the town's residents are registered Mediums who regularly give spiritual readings to visitors through alleged communication with the deceased.

More from the HBO documentary catalogue HERE

Monday, July 5, 2010

Last Day

Last Day ... HERE

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Himalayas, Blindsight follows six Tibetan teenagers on their journey to climb the 23,000 foot Lhakpa Ri mountain in the shadow of Mount Everest. A dangerous journey soon becomes a seemingly impossible challenge made all the more remarkable by the fact that the teenagers are blind.

Friday, July 2, 2010

In house Kimono style indigo jacket with various Ikat lining.