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#a161 :: Rabbit’s foot

July 24, 2008

Filed under: Fetish, Found Object, Life form, Objet, symbol | Comments (0)

#160 :: Battlefield artifact – bullet and cigarette case

July 23, 2008

At the bottom of the trunk. In the dark. For the past 34 years. Where she had been pushing it ever since he left. Perhaps. The card in the Royal Fusiliers Museum says: Cigarette case belonging to Pte F C Shuter 10th.Bn. Pierced by a German bullet 10th.July1916 – The Somme

Filed under: Artifact, Fetish, weapon | Comments (0)

#a154 :: Antique race car

July 17, 2008

The vehicular fetishes of young Britons of the 20th century line the crowded shelves of the marvelous Brighton Toy and Model Museum. This land-speed monster dates from the 40s or 50s.

Filed under: Facsimile, Fetish, Miniature, Model, Toy | Comments (0)

#a147 :: Perfume bottle

July 10, 2008

I found this little beauty in a basketful of them in an Indian curio shop on Melrose Avenue. The high-impact barrel was molded and lathed in bone-colored plastic, then hand-notched for detail. You unscrew its cap for a trace of your favorite stink-nice, and the rest of the time it sits on your dressing table […]

Filed under: Fetish, symbol | Comments (0)

#a146 :: Wiimote flashlight

July 9, 2008

The world’s hardshell exterior surrounds a doughy heart of kitsch: Anything initially cool – the remote to a Nintendo Wii game system, for instance – can impart its cool to common objects by simple mimicry. Bluntly put, things that look like other definite things are automatically “better” because of the same dim-witted value system that […]

Filed under: Facsimile, Fetish, Miniature, Model, Tool, Toy | Comments (0)

#a145 :: Metal turtle

July 8, 2008

Was he forged in lava? Does he swim in mercury seas? Of tinfoil jellyfish is his diet made? He came into our house from I know not where. He is small, heavy, perfect.

Filed under: Artifact, Facsimile, Fetish, Objet, symbol | Comments (0)

#a144 :: Rosary

July 7, 2008

Another Tuesday, another morning with little Kylie, the niña pequeña she cared for three days a week. She trudged uphill once more, the rosary draped over her fingers. “Nomini patri et fili et spiritu sancto,” the sign of the cross trailing from her lips as she kissed the little madonna milagro and worried the yellow […]

Filed under: Adornment, Fetish, Microfiction, symbol | Comments (0)

#a140 :: Shrunken-head tiki mug

July 3, 2008

My wife gave me this for my birthday a couple years ago, to add to my growing collection. Tiki culture is a marvelous cross-pollination of camp, partying and 50s mass-marketed hipsterism. This one was designed, slip-poured, glazed and fired by Tiki Farm, but if you’re hunting for others, Munktiki turns out some beauts. You pull […]

Filed under: Art, Facsimile, Fetish, Miniature, Model, Objet | Comments (0)

#a134 :: Word beads

June 27, 2008

The notion of the exquisite corpse is simple: By juxtaposing random words, you create a new reality. You can manufacture newfound logic that approaches poetry. Or you can hash a bunch of meaningless verbiage that probably only sounds really cool after a couple of bong hits. Leave it to the American kitsch industry to commoditize […]

Filed under: Adornment, Fetish, symbol | Comments (0)

#a133 :: Pig lighter

June 26, 2008

“So what are you gonna write – that your wife spotted this on a counter at 7/11 and had to have it?” Yup. Happy birthday, my dear love.

Filed under: Facsimile, Fetish, Miniature, Tool, Toy | Comments (1)

#a132 :: Korg Kaossilator dynamic phrase synthesizer

June 25, 2008

Fair warning: I held Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson in very high regard when I was, like, 13. I thought Frankenstein was the single coolest thing I’d ever heard played on keyboards (after “The Well-Tempered Synthesizer”). I keep Amon Tobin and DJ Spooky on heavy rotation these days. I am a hopeless synthesizer slut …

Filed under: Fetish, Instrument, Toy | Comments (1)

#a131 :: The NeoCube

June 25, 2008

Magnetism enchants and mystifies me. These 216 neodymium magnets – each 3mm thick – cling together in clouds when crushed, in polyhedrons and exotic coils when aligned. I roll them between my fingers, and they snap together with the surety of pure particle physics. They form a collective entity, a hive colony of homogeneous individuals, […]

Filed under: Fetish, Objet, Part, Toy | Comments (1)

#a130 :: Stogie

June 23, 2008

My vices are few and far between. But this evening, while my family is away camping, leaving me to a regular work schedule and an empty house, I had my once-every-six-months cigar. This 9-inch-long Gurka has been sealed in a glass tube – perfectly preserved, I might add – since William brought a box of […]

Filed under: Fetish, symbol | Comments (0)

#a128 :: Japanese bug collectible

June 21, 2008

This life-sized stag-beetle toy came pre-fetishized from Mitsuwa Marketplace, our favorite Japanese supermarket. The Japanese culture of packaging dictated that F-Toys Confect. manufacture the 3-inch-long, hand-colored, pre-assembled dorcus titanicus castanicolor from 12 hand-assembled parts, encase it in a two-piece, blowmolded thermoplastic container sarcophagus, box it in cardboard emblazoned with myriad messages via multiple fonts printed […]

Filed under: Facsimile, Fetish, Toy | Comments (0)

#a127 :: Aluminum pencil sharpener

June 20, 2008

I love the precision of this dramatically machined little block of a tool. Each hole feeds a standard diameter pencil’s point up into a carefully positioned groove, at a particular angle. Each groove pushes the pencil against a steel sharpening blade at a blade of a different length – assuring you a fresh point of […]

Filed under: Fetish, Tool | Comments (0)

#a121 :: Geode

June 14, 2008

I could probably Google the metamorphic process that built this pocket cavern. Wikipedia also has useful information, I’m sure. But then I’d be burdened with that knowledge every time I looked at another one. I’d rather retain the mindset I have now – the same wonder that attracts my 8-year-old son, from whom I borrowed […]

Filed under: Fetish, Objet | Comments (0)

#a120 :: Silicone clown fish puzzle

June 13, 2008

A lifetime of desiring and acquiring manufactured things has warped my brain, reprogrammed my very lizard DNA, I’m sure of it: This toy’s translucent color and pungent, exotic-plastic aroma make it seem good enough to eat. I pull it apart into convenient, bite-sized pieces, and consider the options: reassemble? Or devour?

Filed under: Facsimile, Fetish, Model, Toy | Comments (0)

#a119 :: Broken cleaver

June 12, 2008

I am going to tell you a story now. A man fell in love with a woman. She fell in love back. They married, and to celebrate their marriage, they journeyed to Beijing. They toured the city, mesmerized. They ate rich and pungent food. They heard lush choral music sung by brightly-dressed acrobats in vivid […]

Filed under: Fetish, General, Instrument, Jetsam, Model | Comments (0)

#a115 :: Ivory manta ray

June 8, 2008

We swam with manta rays in Hawaii last summer. Yes, it really was that idyllic. We tell ourselves it was kharmic payback for a summer of pain – our dear friend Keith died horribly and too young, we were both working 14 hour days and struggling to be with the kids, our daughter broke her […]

Filed under: Adornment, Art, Facsimile, Fetish, Life form, symbol | Comments (0)

#a114 :: Household wasp

June 7, 2008

The wicked thinness of this creature’s waist reminds us that if there’s a God, he/she/they/it lies in the fractal diversity of perfect biology: The wasp is built as light, tough, fast and wicked-cool as a Harrier jump jet, a Flexible Flyer, or a Baron Margo motorcycle . If ants had motorcycles, they would ride wasps. […]

Filed under: Fetish, Jetsam, Life form | Comments (0)

#a104 :: Chocolat Michel Cluizel, Paris

May 28, 2008

My wife’s boss brought these back from Cannes – a tightly-boxed array of wicked little chocolates. Put aside, pour une seconde, the drug-nerve reaction that ordinarily would have you gobble these down with all the brainless gluttony usually reserved for chugging-Hershey’s-kisses-until-the- growing- pile- of- foil- wrappers- threatens- to- interfere- with- the- wi-fi …

Filed under: Edible, Fetish | Comments (0)

#a101 :: Lens mechanism

May 25, 2008

Clockwork is a wonderful thing to begin with. Couple it with optics and it carries the promise of alchemy. I once spent hours poring over used-gear cases at camera shops, camera shows, flea markets, staring at oblong packages of brushed aluminum and black leatherette. I was a photo geek …

Filed under: Fetish, Jetsam, Part | Comments (0)

#a100 :: Atwood HexBaby

May 24, 2008

Little slabs of steel, plasma-cut and and grinder-shaped by hand. Peter Atwood makes rock-solid finger tools. ‘Nuff said. This one’s good for prying open paint cans and yanking stubborn nails and splitting things and opening beers. Coupled with the Leatherman and the chain mail, it makes my keyring a nasty fistful of metal. Which is […]

Filed under: Fetish, Tool | Comments (1)

#a99 :: Neodymium cube magnets

May 23, 2008

One hundred twenty-five cubes of high-power synthetic magnets, each barely three millimeters on a side, stick together tightly. Pull them apart and they align into strands, each North pole sticking to the next one’s South. Strong polar attraction plus weak sideways attraction means a strand bends and flops – and defies efforts to reassemble them […]

Filed under: Fetish, Toy | Comments (1)

#a97 :: Iron box wrench

May 21, 2008

This beautiful little enigma began life as a hot rivulet of molten iron, poured into a sand mold with a precise 5/8ths-inch hex opening at one end. After knocking it out of its mold, its maker probably quenched it, heat-treated it again and then dipped it once in black paint and (after waiting a respectful […]

Filed under: Artifact, Fetish, Objet, Part, Tool, Toy | Comments (0)


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