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Garbage Warrior: An Eye On The Future Of Dwelling

It must be in part my starving artist background that has provided me with the drive and enjoyment for finding creative ways to upcycle found materials in my own artwork, as well as fostered a sharp eye for methods with which to keep my own household's footprint as small as possible. Even with the everyday efforts of like-minded citizens, in our emissions-belching, stuff-hungry society, there is always room for improvement; and innovation, risk and creativity are the ingredients for impactful answers.

Garbage Warrior - A Film by Oliver Hodges

This is why I was particularly inspired and enraged by UK filmmaker Oliver Hodges' documentary Garbage Warrior; an in-depth piece on the ongoing materials, methods and community-building research by visionary architect and humanitarian aid worker Mike Reynolds, and the struggles he has faced in his quest to innovate sustainable living solutions for our increasingly endangered society.

Earthship - Biotecture by Mike Reynolds

In engineering his "Earthships", which are fully self-sustaining living solutions suitable for human occupancy in even the most extreme conditions, Reynolds has innovated some seriously forward-thinking construction solutions such as the use of packed-earth tires (as heat conserving core for structural walls) and the use of upcycled glass and plastic bottles as light providers and architectural art. Oh yeah, his housing developments often include built-in agricultural solutions, so that you can save yourself the gasoline you would otherwise spend trucking to and from the grocery store (buying sad, packaged goods that much to the oil companies' delight - have been trucked and flown in from the ends of the earth!)

Earthships - Biotecture

What infuriated me about the film was the exhaustive struggle that Reynolds faced in obtaining permission to practice the experimental investigations that have paid off in such promising advances. Legal opponents of his work, (which ironically, leaves utility-companies and red-tape-happy contractors pressing their noses up against the glass of his earthships) helped to revoke his state and national architects license for some years in the 1990's.  I'll leave it to you to watch the film, but coming up on tax time (as we are all doing here in the U.S.), it pained me to watch most of the scenes involving legislature holdups and bill management as he worked with due diligence to leave room in New Mexico's state law for experimental sustainable housing sub-divisions.

Earthship sustainable biotecture

Ultimately, Garbage Warrior is a film worth watching, however riled up it made me. Earthships may not be your idea of a dream home, but there is insight and inspiration to be gained from watching this film, even if just to remember never to let the *man* throw you down for having your own point of view, or to ever subdue your creative fire.


Crostini Designs @ Oak Boston!

This just in...the long awaited opening of OAK Boston Handmade Boutique in Boston's tony Back Bay neighborhood. Keara has worked her fingers to the bone assembling a retail collection of the best handmade goods from artisans everywhere. A wide selection of designer clothing, artisan toys, unique jewelry, hand-printed paper goods and more await you at 31 Gloucester Street, just a few high-heeled steps off of the legendary upscale shopping mecca of Newbury Street.

Oak Boston 31 Gloucester Street Boston

OAK BOSTON 31 Gloucester Street Boston

A special selection of Crostini Designs handmade jewelry will be available when the store opens its doors to the public for the first time today!

Crostini Designs: Uccellino Circolo Earrings only at Oak Boston

I'm pleased to offer these exclusive designs only at OAK Boston! Be sure to stop in if you are in the neighborhood.

Crostini "Bolla" Earrings only @ Oak Boston

Crostini Designs "Sorelle" Neckalce only at OAK Boston

eighty8words Cranks It Out On A Monday Morning

I haven't even had my espresso yet, so I am super "insert mystery word here" as I write up this rare and early-Monday-morning-appropriate Etsy find. It isn't often that I showcase other Etsy artisans, but in this case, I felt compelled to spread the...word (did I mention I have yet to down my morning espresso?)

Wordsmith & Master Jeweler Chelsea Main of eighty8words creates the perfect pendants to represent that which you are feeling, or wish to convey, without the hassle of speaking!

Meticulously handcrafted from tumbled sterling silver, each word is rendered in an antique typewriter-esque font and silhouetted by an inky pool of protective, black resin. Take, for example, her "cranky" pendant below, which I have chosen to illustrate my official morning word:

eighty8words "cranky" pendant

With a selection of ready-to-wear, evocative nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns and love letters readily available in her Etsy store, most of us are good to go.

eighty8words cranky pendant

However, if you desire a special word that you don't necessarily want tattooed on your person, but would rather wear it emblazoned in shiny, sterling silver around your neck, eighty8words takes custom word orders upon request. Think of the possibilities!

In her own words:

..."for all you word lovers out there who are tired of wearing a pendant that says LOVE when you really feel like kicking someone's ass. Sometimes you just don't want to Believe in Love and have Faith. Sometimes you feel Cranky or Shy or Coy, or maybe love is too strong a word, and Smitten will do. I hear you, people, I'm doing my best to help!"

Thanks Chelsea! In my case, I think I've found my muse...



REVIEW: "Sit Down" at Gallery Z

If you haven't yet made your way over to explore the culinary and boutique delights of Providence's Federal Hill neighborhood, tonight's March installment of Gallery Night is the perfect opportunity.

Table by Kallie WeinkleImage: "Table" by Kallie Weinkle

Students from the prestigious RISD furniture design program will host an opening reception for their revealing show "Sit Down - The Process of Furniture Design" at Gallery Z, from 5-9pm. This exhibit, curated by RISD senior Kallie Weinkle, is a rare opportunity for the public to climb inside of the minds and creative processes behind the future stars of furniture design. With selections created from an array of materials ranging from reclaimed industrial scrap wood to newspaper, the exhibit holds discoveries for every taste.

CLICK HERE to read my full exhibit review, written for the March/April issue of Artscope Magazine.

Gallery Z is located at 259 Atwells Ave. Providence, RI 02903. (401) 454-8844

Recommended local dining: Sicilia's Pizza, Costantino's Venda Ravioli

Yo ho ho and a bottle of evan b. harris!

I start my mornings with a display of crankiness, an espresso, breakfast and a peek at Design*Sponge (in that order). Well, the crankiness was dispelled more quickly than usual, thanks to Grace's post on the delightful, mixed-media work of Portland, Oregon artist Evan B. Harris. As many of you know, I have a salty spot for anything that depicts banjos, or inspires the spontaneous singing of sea-shantys...

artist evan b. harris: Blue Ribbon Whale

artist: evan b. harris - Salt & Sea Piano Keys

If you are lucky enough to be in the Bay Area between today and April 2nd, make sure to visit and pay alms to his work at Rare Device!

artist: evan b. harris: Banjo Plucking Hands


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