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Cool, remarkable or just beautiful things

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I've always prefered pencils over pens in all kinds of writings and sketchings. It was only yesterday that I discovered good pencils -- made in Japan pencils by a certain Tombow Pencil Co. Ltd. The other Japanese pencil maker is Mitsubishi. They can be found at Kinokuniya and Isetan.

 

I wrote with the Tombow Mono J 2B just now and the quality difference over the Faber-Castells is palpable. I use exercise books (made in Japan also) from Muji and they are great. Forget about Moleskines -- they are too precious, and quite heavy. Muji & Tombow all the way.

 

Look at the reviews on Amazon, the Americans are amazed too:

http://www.amazon.com/Tombow-Professional-Assorted-Hardness-51523/dp/B00135DJQ8/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

 

Tombow has a dizzying range of wooden pencils, and some are retrospective, like this here:

Tombow_L1.jpg

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Came across this artist today at a Sunday market. His art practice consists of various manipulations of discarded paper patterns from Savile Row tailors. He is also working on a PhD investigating the relationship between paper patterns as historical documents. This stuff is right up my alley, and it might be for some of you too. I'll probably get a piece next week.

 

His phd abstract:

Abstract

This thesis presents an art practitioner’s exploration of the uniforms of the British Raj using military tailoring pattern drafts as his raw material. Traditionally patterns are treated only as a means to the end; making clothes. Typically they are discarded once their purpose is fulfilled. Few people other than the tailor/pattern cutter have any relationship with them, as one would have with a garment. This thesis proposes tailoring patterns have been undervalued. They can be viewed as the primary historical documents of the clothing industry. Also, far from being a mechanical part of the production process, patterns can be viewed as drawings in their own right. As drawings they are unique abstractions of the human form that emerged independently of art history and significantly predate abstraction as an art practice. In this thesis they are also demonstrated to be a rich and rewarding material for a contemporary art practitioner to work with.

Due to complete in 2013.

http://narielwalla.com/phd/

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Came across this artist today at a Sunday market. His art practice consists of various manipulations of discarded paper patterns from Savile Row tailors. He is also working on a PhD investigating the relationship between paper patterns as historical documents. This stuff is right up my alley, and it might be for some of you too. I'll probably get a piece next week.

 

His phd abstract:

 

Abstract

 

This thesis presents an art practitioner’s exploration of the uniforms of the British Raj using military tailoring pattern drafts as his raw material. Traditionally patterns are treated only as a means to the end; making clothes. Typically they are discarded once their purpose is fulfilled. Few people other than the tailor/pattern cutter have any relationship with them, as one would have with a garment. This thesis proposes tailoring patterns have been undervalued. They can be viewed as the primary historical documents of the clothing industry. Also, far from being a mechanical part of the production process, patterns can be viewed as drawings in their own right. As drawings they are unique abstractions of the human form that emerged independently of art history and significantly predate abstraction as an art practice. In this thesis they are also demonstrated to be a rich and rewarding material for a contemporary art practitioner to work with.

 

Due to complete in 2013.

 

http://narielwalla.com/phd/

VERY interesting.

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I have an entry level separates, i got when in my student days. Thankfully i'm not really into upgrading so it stayed pretty much the same. I am getting jaded with the system, was contemplating all in one Denon or an AV sytem. I've got an affinity towards Denon. Cant bloody afford the McIntosh even the all in one system. Crazy man at that prices you can get reasonable separates. Well its McIntosh, you get what you pay for.

 

Good writing paper in UK is relatively cheap. Clairefontaine and Rhodia. V smooth and doesnt bleed when fountain pen is used. Printing, I'm not sure :/

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I am shocked by how MONSTROUSLY big the antique hand-forged shears are. The picture doesn't really show the size difference, for some reason. In the foreground is a Shozaburo 11".

DSC00955_zpsfd8742db.jpg

 

The quality is stunning. Very well-preserved, like museum quality.

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If any of you into cirque de soleil, worlds away. Really beautiful. I wasn't really into it until I saw O. I was blown away.

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314182D8-72A2-4BCB-8361-3E85FCF7C6A3-619-000002EAE42CC994_zpsb800eee2.jpg

 

One giant fish tank. I could sit all day to watch the fishes swim by but the wife and kid have no patience for that.

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DSC01223_zps5582e027.jpg

 

These Muji notebooks have become an indispensable part of life. They are very, very high quality. Thick and durable covers. Sewn with thread through the spine. Opens completely flat. The best part is the paper. Sublime quality. It's an ecru. Some may call it ivory. But unlike some ivory paper which is really a paper bleached completely white, chock full of brighteners, then with some ecru dye mixed in, the paper in these Mujis are devoid of brighteners and underbleached. So it has a mellow warmth.

 

I bought the one on the right for the coatmaker I'll be introduced to on Monday. Both my other coatmakers have these to record details of each jacket.

 

Muji has started replacing many of its made in Japan paper products with made in Indonesia equivalents. The latter are nowhere near this quality.

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Over the years, I've auditioned many lenses from various manufacturers. One was a 45/1.7 on a Konica Auto S2. It was crazily high resolution but low contrast. Designed in the late 60's. Inspired, like all cameras of that period, by the Leica.

1010672278_2e2ba51bda.jpg

 

Here some pics I took with the acutely sharp lens.

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I then moved on to the Konica SLR system. It started with an Autoreflex T2, moving to the T3, before I settled on the FC-1 with the 40/1.8 pancake lens. This lens is actually subpar in all kinds if ways. I never liked it, but it was sharp. Here's one from this lens.

1f2cea4e140df07bc2037e142c6571b4_zpsc2613c70.jpg

 

I then bought a grail rangefinder, the Konica Hexar AF. The most marvelous camera ever conceived, with a lens I would give my left nut for. Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous lens.

a77791c2d29b8791320b043fece4ae2f_zpsba245403.jpg

 

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Nowadays I shoot with the very capable Sony 35/1.8 on a Sony A55. The lens is very good, but not characterful like the Hexar. The Sony is technically doubtless better, but I do not love the lens.

 

I'm thinking of getting the Sony 85/2.8 next.

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Oh, I almost forgot. I also used the achingly beautiful Pentax Super-Takumar 50/1.4 on a black Spotmatic. A sweet combo. I took many pics with this lens, but did not scan any.

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I just read up about the Midori. Is it really that good?

 

BTW I'm using a Kokuyo A5 ring binder with blank Maruman refillable sheets. Really like this combo.

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I have started using a binder notebook because that way, I am able to move pages around or out of the binder. With a binder, one has several notebooks in one. It's just more flexible than bound notebooks.

 

In this blog post about using notebooks to capture ideas, he dedicated Part 2 to dealing with the problem of bound notebooks. You escape that problem with a binder notebook.

http://weblog.masukomi.org/2012/09/27/the-entrepreneurs-notebook-part-1

 

They are, however, less compact and elegant than bound notebooks.

 

I'm using exactly this

http://www.jetpens.com/Kokuyo-Color-Palette-Binder-A5-20-Rings-Blue/pd/9136

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I saw the Microsoft Surface today. There's a price cut recently, and you can get one for RM1.5K. I personally think it blows the iPad out of the water. It is a fantastic product.

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