06 June 2011

Tsukiji Tokyo Fish Market

Tokyo's Tsukiji is the world largest fish market and one of the biggest attractions in Tokyo.  More than 3,000 tons of seafood pass through the market everyday. I hadn't been in more than 20 years and had forgotten the energy and how much fun it was.

A few of the images from the market. 

A half filleted tuna. 

The maguro bocho, long bladed knives especially designed for filleting tuna (maguro).

The new record price for a whole tuna set this New Year. From a January 5th, 2011 newspaper. 
¥32,490,000!, or $400,000.

OK so here is what it is all about:

chu toro

utoi: an acronym for uni, toro and ika (sea urchin, tuna and cuttlefish).

tai kama (Sea bream collar)

chu toro

23 December 2010

Object #16 Hat Sizer

Art is not the application of a canon of beauty but what the instinct and the brain can conceive beyond any canon. When we love a woman we don't start measuring her limbs.
-Pablo Picasso

An intriguing hat measurer. A milliner could place this apparatus inside a client's hat and by operating the scissor-like grip determine the size of the hat.

02 July 2010

Object #15 Head Sizer for Hat Maker #2

Whenever I met one of them who seemed to me at all clear-sighted, I tried the experiment of showing him my Drawing Number One, which I have always kept. I would try to find out, so, if this was a person of true understanding. But, whoever it was, he, or she, would always say:

"That is a hat."

Then I would never talk to that person about boa constrictors, or primeval forests, or stars. I would bring myself down to his level. I would talk to him about bridge, and golf, and politics, and neckties. And the grown-up would be greatly pleased to have met such a sensible man.

From Le Petit Prince by French aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

OK. So yes the Allie Maillard Conformateur is very cool (see my previous entry: Object #14) but this is one step further!  This wonderful all metal conformateur seems to be America's answer to the earlier Allie Maillard wood example. Over the years I have seen quite a few Allie Maillard head sizers but only two of this type. Perhaps the reason being that its all metal construction makes it very durable but incredibly heavy and truely uncomfortable to put on your head. Still as an object one satisfying little cup of tea!

Object #14 Head Sizer for Hat Maker #1

Building art is a synthesis of life in materialised form. We should try to bring in under the same hat not a splintered way of thinking, but all in harmony together.

Alvar Aalto

A French adjustable hat sizer (conformateur) made by Allie Maillard. An object epitomizing the 19th century’s love of well crafted inventiveness and of mechanical complications. Hand made of wood, brass and mother of pearl. The device uses piano key-like levers and pushpins to copy both the head size as well as shape for a milliner or hat maker. The contraption is placed on the head as a hat would be, expanding the ebony keys. The spring around the circumference of the "brim" keeping the parts tight to the head. The underside of the trap door top is lined with cork and can receive a blank piece of paper. When the conformateur is on the client's head the lid is closed and interior pins mark the shape and size of the wearer's head on the piece of paper. Giving the hat maker permanent record of the client's head size and shape for a perfectly fitting hat, that can also be easily filed and saved for future commissions. While invented by Parisian Allie Maillard in the 1840’s these antique contraptions are still sought after and used by high end hat makers to this day.

27 February 2010

San Francisco Trip

A few iphone images from my recent trip to San Francisco for the Arts of Pacific Asia Show as well as the Tribal and Textile Show.

The recently completed Contemporary Jewish Museum near the MOMA downtown.

A walk across the Golden Gate Bridge where I spoke to the painters. Notice the small painters box suspended from the right hand cables. Two painters go up the cables in this box painting as they go.

A detail of a cross section of one of the 36-1/2" diameter main cable from the bridge. Each made up of 27,572 wires and adding up to a cumlalative 80,000 miles of wire. 

Sunrise near the end of the Alameda swap meet.

A friend hauling away the treasure.

Wanted, but fortunately had no space for...

Some of the Ruth Asawa pieces on permanent display in the tower at the de Young Museum.