Córka Rybaka

Monika Kucel, the founder of Warsaw-based knitwear brand Córka Rybaka (Polish for Fisherman’s Daughter), got in touch with me last week about her lovely work. Kucel knits beanies from 100% Peruvian Highland Wool, you can buy them here.

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Her knitwear is inspired by an interesting encounter with an old fisherman:

“In 2011 my boyfriend and me were on holiday in Sicily, where we met this wonderful man called Ziu Paolo. He was 74, had a white beard and wore a red beanie. He looked like the fisherman from Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”, and in fact he used to be a fisherman when he was younger. He had a lot of stories to tell. One of them was the story of his beanie.

In 1976 he came down with sinusitis after being exposed to gale for the whole night during a tuna fishing cruise. He spent two weeks in a hospital and had to wear a hat ever since, even on warm days. Ziu Paolo’s first beanie was handknitted by his neighbour – he chose the colour and she did all the manual work. He paid her with fresh fish he caught. So far Ziu Paolo has worn out about 50 beanies that he never throws away. Instead, he collects all of them for his wife to put them in his coffin when he dies.

Ziu Paolo says young people nowadays wouldn’t be able to knit a beanie. Everybody wants to be a professor at a university or work in show business. Everybody wants to buy everything and real manual skills die. I wanted to prove Ziu Paolo wrong. This is how Córka Rybaka began.”

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Miscellany

The laid back aesthetic of Manuela Sosa’s house in “the pastoral hills of Vallvidrera, just outside Barcelona” is an inviting and understated home. Manuela is a florist who runs the flower studio, ‘Gang and the Wool‘ from a greenhouse on her property. She also has a very cool dog.

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This lady illustrated by Ross Phillips is damn cool.

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Images of this Soviet Camping Trip for yesteryear makes me nostalgic for family camping trips when I was a kid.

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My new culinary task is to master making ramen noodle dishes. Here are a few recipes I’m thinking of trying.

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Sesame Ramen with Roasted Tempeh and Seaweed (I’d add a soft poached egg to this one)

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Shiitake Ramen Broth

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Skinny Laminx has launched a beautiful new 2014/15 paper goods collection for those of you who appreciate good stationary, or if you want to make your presents extra special this christmas. I particularly like the Delicious Monster-inspired illustrations.

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I’ve been loving the new weekly feature on Miss Moss titled Mid Week Distraction, curated by the ever so talented Diana. She always has an exceptional eye for the interesting, funny and beautiful.

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Condiment brand Sir Kensington’s recently hosted a two-day exhibition titled “The Fries of New York” to celebrate “ketchup’s  closest friend”. One hundred individual fries were “collected from some of the most acclaimed chefs and iconic restaurants in the city” and displayed as if they were in a museum.

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Dog Walkers

Dog Walkers is a photographic series of portraits by South African photographer Marc Shoul commissioned by the Joburg Photo Umbrella 2014. Each portrait captures a familiar sight in Johannesburg – that of a domestic worker or gardener walking their employers’ dogs as part of their daily tasks.

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“Living in Johannesburg, especially if you drive it’s streets just after the early morning rush hour, it is not hard to spot the way the past repeats itself. The complexion of servitude is pretty obvious in the city, even as things change. There is a familiarity to who it is that greets you at every traffic light, who hustles money from you at every vacant parking bay. When I see domestic workers, some in uniform, walking their owners’ dogs, it is hard not to reflect on how unaffected the rituals of suburban affluence are during this period of seismic urban change…

Yes, implicit in this series of portraits is social commentary about men and women quietly engaged in a complicated ritual of leisure and labour. But it is also an essay on the unremarkable facets of suburban life in post-apartheid South Africa. And it is about love: that of pet owners, dog walkers, and the dogs themselves, whose love is sometimes abundant, their enthusiasm straining the leash that confines.”

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Botanical Postures

Carl Kleiner is a photographer with an impeccable eye for art direction. Every element of his work is carefully considered and meticulously put together. He first caught my attention with his work for IKEA.

Postures is one of his more recent projects, where he uses wire to manipulate flowers into sculptural positions. The flowers become almost anthropomorphic – holding postures that indicate a variety of emotions.

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Rain or Shine

The weather is insanely hot in Cape Town at the moment (note to self: invest in an oscillating fan). I’m not one for the heat but it is a great excuse to eat ice cream. My favourite ice cream place in Cape Town is Ice Dream in Hout Bay. It is a family-run business who still make gelato and sorbet the traditional Italian way. Unfortunately Ice Dream is a little far for frequent visits, but The Creamery, that has outlets much closer to me, also sells delicious ice cream (their Rosetta coffee, salted caramel, and strawberry flavours are amazing).

So now onto some lovely ice cream orientated design work! I have featured Glasfurd & Walker before on this blog and they continue to impress. One of their more recent projects is the creation of packaging, stationery, signage, website, photography art direction and styling and digital promotional collateral for Rain or Shine Homemade Ice Cream. This Vancouver-based ice cream shop makes homemade ice cream in small batches using locally sourced, natural ingredients.

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Vivetta AW 2014-15

I am “dotty” about Vivetta’s Autumn/Winter 2014-15 collection. You’ll have to excuse my terrible pun, but I couldn’t resist. The collection features a profusion of dotted pieces some printed, others cut out, as well as textured embroidery and scalloped detailing. The figurative elements of the clothing, like the collars in the shape of hands and the face details on the shirts are truly exceptional. I’d love to get my hands on them.

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Joseph Szabo

It’s been helluva long since I last posted here. I’ve kind of come to terms with the fact that juggling work, illustration, and blogging doesn’t always pan out. My blog posts wont be as regular as they once were, but I don’t want to give up the gun just yet. I hope you will come back and check in from time to time.

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I thought a nostalgic post would be a good option to kick things off again. What better than photographs of adolescents and teenagers from the seventies? The man behind these photographs is Joseph Szabo, a teacher, photographer and author, whose life’s work has been the photographic study of youth.

“Joseph Szabo has been photographing his teen-age students for the past twenty-five years, and has perfectly captured the ambivalence of that time of life. As a high school teacher of photography, he takes seriously their pretentions, passions, and confusions, and he knows intimately how students put on, act up, behave, and misbehave. As Cornell Capa says in his foreword, “Szabo’s camera is sharp, incisive, and young, matching his subjects. One can use many adjectives: revealing, tender, raucous, sexy, showy… in Szabo’s hands, the camera is magically there, the light is always available, the moment is perceived, seen, and caught.”

Szabo graduated with an MFA degree from the Pratt Institute in 1968. He then went on to teach photography at Malverne High School in Long Island from 1972-1999 and at the International Center of Photography in New York since 1978.

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