Posted in Arty sparks

David Mach is amazing.

I was going to make a pun out of his name, but I wasn’t sure if you pronounce it like ‘Mark’ or like ‘Match’, so thought that it could get lost in translation and become confusing. So I’ll just stick to the fact – David Mach is amazing. He’s a Scottish artist and I first saw his work on designboom. Incredible sculptures made from everyday items (things like matchsticks, coathangers, playing cards and dominoes). David says, “When I have ideas I want to make them, and not just some of them, but all of them”. David loves to work with as many different materials as possible and calls himself “a materials junkie”. Ok, enough about what David says, have a look what David does.

Charlie Chaplin, Matchead.
(c) David Mach

 

Stag, made of wire coat hangers.
(c) David Mach

 

“Layed Back” – Snoopy, made of playing cards.
(c) David Mach

And that barely even scratches the surface – it’s well worth checking out David’s website and Facebook page for more of his incredibly creative and quirky works of art. There are some brilliant public art installations, mindblowing Matcheads, pretty scary coat hanger gorillas and an image of the Queen made from greeting cards. I’ll finish as I began – DAVID MACH IS AMAZING! You can check out his website here and his Facebook page here and the designboom post here.

Posted in Home sparks, Sparks at work

Anthropomorphise!

Think Geek promises to sell “stuff for smart masses”. But not all of their stuff is especially geeky or designed for techos – today’s find made me giggle and I think it has a huge potential for adding a spark to the everyday items that we have around our homes and workplaces. Customers who have bought the kit have even sent in their own photos (which are then added to the product page) to show how they’ve used the stickers to add a bit of personality to things that would otherwise look pretty boring. See what you think…

In case you’re not familiar with the term ‘anthropomorphise’ (I wasn’t either), I’ll let the good people at Think Geek explain it far better than I can: We do it every day, though mostly without thinking about it – we get angry at the stapler that mangled our presentation, or the phone when it can’t get a signal. We say we “love this coffee mug,” and sometimes we even imagine a face on the clock on the wall. It’s called anthropomorphizing, and it’s where we imbue human characteristics to inanimate objects.

So they’ve taken this one step further and sell “Inanimate Character Stickers” – over 100 stickers of “eyes and mouths in various shapes, sizes and expressions, waiting for you to give life to the lifeless.” This idea is right up my street – I love it! From fruit to office products to shoes, people have submitted photos of what they’ve managed to achieve with just some kooky looking eyes and a toothy grin.

And the possibilities are endless. If others keep borrowing your stapler and forgetting to give it back, a scary face might be just what you need. Or if you want to encourage people to eat the orange cream biscuits that no one else wants, maybe stick on a nice little friendly face and watch them win people over. I’m thinking that doctors could take medical implements to a whole other level with a well chosen pair of eyes and a smile – except the only thing worse than a needle coming at you is surely a needle with a maniacal face coming at you…

I think these stickers could change our lives. Or, at least, they could help make us smile as we go about our business every day. And that’s a step in the right direction. If you’d like to check them out, they are available from Think Geek here.

 

 

Posted in Fashion Sparks

Fashion buzz

The Ecouterre website is all about ‘eco fashion’ and ‘sustainable style’ – I think it’s always an interesting virtual place to visit as some of the ideas are very clever. Of course, some of the ideas are very wacky, which is ok with me too. Like these Pollinator Frocks designed by British artist Karen Ingham. Apparently the population of bees and other pollinating insects is shrinking, which causes all sorts of problems for the global food system.

So why not create a dress that features “electron-microscopy images of pollen”, treat them with “a nectar-like sugar solution that attracts and nourishes bees”? Sure. Now I know exactly what you’re thinking – what about all those other insects that come out at night? Well, Karen has thought of that too – the day-wear frocks are designed to attract bees and butterflies, while the evening-wear frocks are for “nocturnal critters such as moths”. So it seems that moths aren’t just attracted to nice woolly jumpers, or the wallets of stingy people who keep a tight reign on their spending.

Karen worked with a range of scientists and engineers to develop her so-called “wearable gardens”, which closely mimic the aromas and materials of the flowers that attract insects.

I have visions of people wearing their garden frocks to work and being swarmed by bees as they wait at the bus stop. And on the way home in the evenings, moths gather around the fashionista like flies at a picnic. But then I read that Karen encourages people to hang the frocks on their washing line to attract bees, and I am confused. Are they meant to be worn as moving feasts for our insect friends, or are they so powerful that it’s safest to just hang them on the line and leave it at that?

I guess the choice is yours – but I wish you all the best if you decide to buy one and prance around like Mother Nature. Please let me know how it works out. In the meantime, you can read more about the Pollinator Frocks on the Ecouterre website here.

Posted in Arty sparks, WWWhat?

Word up

I always love to hear new words or expressions and, although I don’t catch on too quickly to the YOLO, OMG, ROFLMAO kinda acronyms used by the kids of today, it’s interesting to hear another language and try to appreciate what it all means. Even more so when it is actually a real language, with culture and history attached. And although the English language seems to have quite a lot of words to choose from, sometimes you’ll hear a word or expression from another land and think: bingo! That really captures it perfectly – I wish we had a word like that. 

In honour of some of those types of words, artist Fuchsia Macaree put together an alphabet of expressive words that are missing from the English language. Here are some examples…

By Fuchsia Macaree
By Fuchsia Macaree
By Fuchsia Macaree
By Fuchsia Macaree

You can check out the rest of this clever collection at the Fast Company magazine Co. Create site here. While you’re enhancing your vocabulary, just remember that you can’t use these words in Scrabble, no matter how tempted you may be…

Posted in Home sparks, WWWhat?

Using big words

I love word games. Yes, I’m a dork like that. And of course Scrabble is the daddy (or mummy, in the case of my family) of all word games. It gives you the chance to trot out all of those strange words you’ve read over the years and not really understood, while you try and block your opponent from getting their tiles anywhere near a triple word opportunity. And now there’s Words with Friends, which is sort of like Scrabble with a much higher tolerance for fake words, and you can play on your iphone as you sit on the bus or wait for the Doctor or pretend to work.

But whether you’re playing on the board or on the screen, there comes a time when you’re just staring vacantly, with no clue about what to do with the tiles in your rack. You need a different perspective – a fresh view of your options. Though I don’t think you’d have that same problem with this particular version of Scrabble that I found for sale at Hammacher Schlemmer.

For only $12,000 you could own this giant Scrabble set that’s sure to both impress and frighten your friends. According to the website, it’s the world’s largest wall-mounted Scrabble game – one of only nine that was handmade by artist John Kahn. It even comes with giant racks for your tiles. The product blurb says that it’s “nearly 5x the size of the original” – now, I’m not sure if that man in the photo is a pixie, but it seems a lot bigger than 5x the original to me!   

Anyways, you can read more about this interactive work of art at the Hammacher Schlemmer website here. Although if you’re like me – closer to the floor than the ceiling – then you might need to consider a step-ladder to make sure that those triple word scores are still within reach. Cos I reckon it’d be so much sweeter to beat your opponent with a giant triple word than a normal triple word. Game on.