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June 20, 2019

Bespoke jewelry hewn from beloved books

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From the Financial Times' March 27, 2019 edition of How To Spend It:

The moment that changed the career path of Jeremy May from landscape architect to jewelry designer was his first wedding anniversary.

He and his wife, artist and architect Eva-Chloe Vazaka, had decided to mark the occasion by making each other paper gifts.

He made her a ring from a Greek newspaper, layering the sheets to create a strikingly sculptural form.

It's a highly individual process he has since perfected to produce bold statement rings (from £600) and bracelets (from £900) that have almost geological strata — and have made their way into the permanent collections of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York and the Swiss National Museum.

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May refers to his creations as "literal jewels" as they are made predominantly from the pages of books, with the resulting pieces neatly presented within the book from which they were hewn.

The first step in his process is to read the book — even if it is, say, a German version of Kafka, which he will read in translation.

"When I start reading I have no idea what I will make from it," says May. "It's the book that gives me my inspiration and by the end I know exactly what I am going to make."

Design decided, he then starts to cut into the book at his studio in southwest London.

"I cut one page at a time, by hand, with a scalpel," he says. "It takes a lot of time."

He then laminates the individual papers using a "secret process," before layering them into a wood-like form that he sculpts, again with a scalpel, into organic or geometric shapes that are finished with a layer of lacquer.

"I have a ring made from a copy, appropriately, of The Lord of the Rings," says his gallerist, Andrea Harari at Jaggedart in Marylebone, London. "It's fabulous. I love wearing it. It is jewelry but also a work of art when displayed on a bookshelf."

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For his bespoke pieces (from £800), mostly rings, clients either come to May with a specific book or ask him to source a copy, as well as detailing design parameters of colour and size.

Interestingly, his clients are predominantly male. 

"They ask me to make something for their wife or future wife from her favorite book. It's very romantic. I just finished a wedding ring for a chap in Spain," says May. "He had been travelling by bus to see his girlfriend two or three times a week for 10 years, and he had collected all the tickets. And from that I made a ring."

Can he make one for you?

Apply within.

[pictured from top down: Franz Kafka bracelet; The Fairy-Land of Science ring; Ivanhoe ring]

June 20, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

What not to do in a disaster

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Read the BBC article, something might stick and who knows, it might save your life.

June 20, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Virtual Archaeology Museum — How to explore a shipwreck from the comfort of your couch

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You don't even need a tuxedo wetsuit.

But I digress.

From Atlas Obscura:

For many people, the idea of strapping on diving gear, dropping off the side of a boat, and descending to explore the secrets of the ocean first-hand is more fantasy than reality.

Now the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has brought that fantasy closer to home — right into your home, in fact.

The BOEM (which manages submerged resources on the country's continental shelves) recently launched its own Virtual Archaeology Museum, an online resource that takes visitors under the waves to explore five sunken vessels (above) — one just off the North Carolina coast, and others in the Gulf of Mexico.

The museum contains videos, virtual 3-D models, and mosaic maps that allow users to traverse wrecks from the 19th and 20th centuries.

The wrecks were originally discovered during gas and oil exploration, and through the use of remotely operated vehicles (they are too deep for divers to visit), BOEM scientists were able to survey the ships in minute detail to create the digital models.

Users can explore the decks and hulls, and also get a look at the cargo they were carrying.

Littered across the floor of the Gulf are ceramics, demijohn wine jugs, animal hides, muskets, cannons, and more.

The BOEM believes that the museum serves several purposes — giving armchair wreck divers a close view, helping teachers, and acting as a resource for scientists studying wrecks or the evolution of underwater habitats.

"The Virtual Archaeology Museum will serve as a valuable teaching asset in both school and university classrooms," said BOEM Gulf of Mexico Region Directo rMike Celata, via press release, "and the data collected will be a focal point for underwater researchers, its online presence allowing collaboration worldwide."

June 20, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thundershirt — Pet anxiety control garment

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Wrote Jason Iannone in a Cracked.com post:

You know how some pets get scared of loud noises?

Yes, the particularly lazy among us are turning to the Thundershirt, perhaps the most passive manner of pet anxiety control this side of blatantly ignoring the animal and rolling your eyes until it stops whining.

At its most basic, you're sticking your pet in a blood-pressure monitor that squeezes their body, which is supposed to soothe them in times of stress and fear.

The Thundershirt hugs them until their little heart stops pounding and their fear goes away.

And if it's not enough that the Thundershirt is a symbol of laziness, it's also likely detrimental to your dog.

As we've shown in the past, doing anything different during a bad situation, whether it be comforting, cooing, hugging, or running around like a maniac cursing God for the hell He hath wrought upon your humble abode, only serves to confuse your pet and reinforce their fears.

So whether you stroke your pet while humming a lullaby, or simply slap a squeezy shirt on it, you're ****ing the animal up.

But at least the former shows you care.

Oh, and don't believe their website when they show pictures of cats wearing their product.

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Bull****; you might get a dog to wear this thing, because a dog will do whatever you want.

But a cat? Good luck.

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By the time they're done clawing your brains out for even attempting it, you'll be a quivering, shaky mess, and you might as well wear the Shirt yourself.

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From $39.95.

June 20, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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