Beautiful Lithography Stones

n 2011, while the REI store in the Puck Building in Manhattan’s SoHo
district was undergoing renovation, workers made an unexpected
discovery. Hidden behind one of the walls of the cellar were more
than 100 lithography stones from the building’s days as a printer.
They are now on display on the store’s lower floor.

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The historic building got its name from the magazine Puck, the first
wide-reaching humor publication in the United States, which was
founded in 1871 and moved to lower Manhattan in 1887. It shared
the space, in a mutually beneficial relationship, with its printer,
J. Ottman Lithographic Company. Their shared headquarters was
he largest building in the printing district at the time.

J. Ottman Lithographic Company printed many things beyond the
Puck magazines, including theatrical posters and board games.
Among the works now hanging on the REI wall are a high school
diploma, a certificate of election, and a mortgage bond. Some of
the litho stones are in rougher shape than others.

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Most of the writing and images on the stones is “backwards,”
standard practice so that the final print is the reverse of
what is seen on the plate or stone. Some, though, were
prepared for offset printing, which involves an additional
step between the plate and the final product. The inked image,
prepared “forwards,” or as it would be seen in the final
product, is first transferred to a rubber blanket, reversing
the image once, and then to the final surface, setting it right.

Puck continued to operate out of the Puck Building until 1918,
when it ceased publication. It was known for beautiful, full-color
lithographs and sharp political satire. Statues of the magazine’s
mascot, Puck, decorate the outside of the building.
J. Ottman Lithographic Company shuttered around the same time.
Other printing companies, and even another satirical magazine,
have called the building home since the original tenants left.

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During REI’s renovation, a deliberate effort was made
to repurpose materials from the original building.
Fixtures from the steam engine that powered the
presses are on permanent display, including two
flywheels and the governor. Nineteenth century
I. P. Frink chandeliers, newly fitted with LED lights,
help light the main floor.

 

Source: Atlas Obscura

Beautiful Bauhaus

Most people attribute Germany’s Bauhaus
school, founded by Walter Gropius,with being
all about minimalist design, paring down
architecture to its most non-essential elements
whilst being beautiful at the same time.
What is overlooked is the fantastical costume
parties of the 1920s. Not only were they good
at designing furniture and everything else in
between, their costumes were just as sculptural
and flamboyant. The Bauhaus shindigs were
outright competitive. Imagine dancing around
in one of these with Wassily Kandinsky,
Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy,
Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer.

escola_bauhaus
Bauhaus costumes by Oskar Schlemmer (1925)
Photos by Karl Grill via The Charnel-House

The parties began as improvisational events,
but later grew into large-scale productions
with costumes and sets made by the school’s
stage workshop. There was often a theme to
the evenings. One party was called Beard, Nose,
and Heart, and attendees were instructed t
show up in clothing that was two-thirds white,
and one-third spotted, checked or striped.
However, it’s generally agreed that the
apotheosis of the Bauhaus’ costumed revelry
was the Metal Party of 1929, where guests
donned costumes made from tin foil, frying
pans, and spoons. Attendees entered that
party by sliding down a chute into one of
several rooms filled with silver balls.

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Bauhaus costumes by Oskar Schlemmer (1925)
Photos by Karl Grill via The Charnel-House

 

 

Beautiful Sculpture

Nestled in the hills just south of Napa, CA
is the fabulously fun Glashoff  sculpture gallery
and garden in Suisun City, CA. Be sure to check
it out if you are ever in Napa. Phillip Glashoff
continues the tradition of the lifestyle he was
born to on his northern California ranch.
His real passion is creating sculpture out of
scrap metal. The results dot the landscape
of the ranch; herds of steel sculpted cattle,
giant banjos, and archways made of street signs
just to name a few of which must be hundreds.

My favorite is the wind-up toy car that sits atop
a pole in the middle of the sculpture garden.
car

The kangaroo is made entirely of
recycled bolts.
bolts

Charming figure do the landscape including
a cowboy and his horse.
tonto

Candyland game sculpture made of
recycled metal and steel materials
candyland

This charming TP Lady holds all
your toilet needs and towels.
tp lady

Dancing Girl
dancing girl

Sculpture Garden – Great place to wander.
sculpture garden

Beautiful Blue

I’m a total fan of blue lately, the deeper and more saturated the better.
I especially like the playful nature of this kitchen back splash.
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