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#a434 :: Z-card robot

April 26, 2009

I’ve posted some Z-Cardz before – they’re nifty little 3-D models that you assemble from pieces that you punch out of precision-die-cut 2-D plastic cards. This is not one of their better ones – and I guess that’s why I’m posting it – as an example of Not Good Enough. Warner Bros. cartoons had their […]

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

#a430 Spun aluminum pillbox

April 22, 2009

I’m at the far end of the wire. The warmth of the crowd rises up into the moldy canvas peak of the tent here. It pours from their eyes, their upturned, open mouths. I toss the balance pole into the air, pivot the other way, catch the pole and head back across the wire. Their […]

Filed under: Aluminum, Container, Ephemera, Facsimile, Fetish, Microfiction, Model, Objet | Comments (0)

#a429 :: Rotten witch fingers

April 21, 2009

A Halloween candy bowl kept at the back of our cupboard finally (pardon the pun) gave up the ghost. Used to be you would reach into it for a tasty treat, and a little infrared sensor triggered an animated rubber witch’s hand to snatch at yours and a voicebox would rasp, “Trick or treat!” This […]

Filed under: Facsimile, Jetsam, Object of the Month, Part | Comments (0)

#a379 :: Las Vegas tiki culture artifact

March 1, 2009

The Aku-Aku Restaurant opened in 1960 inside the much-fabled Stardust Casino in Las Vegas. When the Stardust was imploded in 2007, mob-culture journalist Nick Pileggi called it “the Bellagio of its day, the most dazzling casino out there.” The Aku Aku ran for 20 years.=, a veritable temple of tiki culture (Here’s its appetizer menu). […]

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

#a363 :: Bronze and stone sculpture

February 13, 2009

It’s rare that an object straddles the razor-fine line between art and camp, between craft and kitsch. Yet here is a little man of bronze, made to recline in the cup of a water-pocked stone. His blobby countenance, his Giacomettian proportions keep him from being a thing of manufactured cuteness and maybe lend him a […]

Filed under: Art, Facsimile, My father's HLOs | Comments (0)

#a362 :: Leopard’s victim

February 12, 2009

A leopard, savaging a prone man. The man’s head has snapped off the sculpture, which makes it extra-poignant. I love the way this is rendered, his spots suggested by little rings of bronze, his tail curled down between the man’s legs and shoulders hunched in a pose of Darwinian dominance. Fitting, for the week of […]

Filed under: Art, Facsimile | Comments (1)

#a360 :: Temperance-era novelty bar tool

February 9, 2009

This conflicted fellow was cast in pot-metal and chromed in cheap silver probably more than 100 years ago. His top-hat is a jigger, his feet end in a spoon, the better to mix you a nice drink and present you with a little moral dilemma in the bargain: Do you spoon something into your drink, […]

Filed under: Artifact, Ephemera, Facsimile, My father's HLOs, Objet, Tool | Comments (2)

#a359 :: Silicone dolphin

February 8, 2009

If there’s a story behind this creature, my father will have to supply it. It arrived in a box of things he offered for photography, and it suggests nothing but a happy life aquatic, swimming through the dust in a drawer and surviving on pencil shavings until he’s required to dance on his tail, chatter […]

Filed under: Facsimile, Miniature, My father's HLOs, Objet, Toy | Comments (0)

#a344 :: Chrome-plastic miniature cutlery

January 24, 2009

This nation has bought into the culture of preciousness from the very first needlepoint sampler of the earliest Don’t Tread on Me flag. We can’t say we invented it- I think we can thank the Egyptians or the first culture that ever created chubby little fertility-goddess fetishes for that. But the U.S. has a by-God […]

Filed under: Adornment, Ephemera, Facsimile, Jetsam, Miniature, Tool | Comments (2)

#a341 :: Obama campaign pin

January 21, 2009

I never repeat heavy little objects. I mean, never. My little daily obsession can be a cruel taskmistress, sometimes commanding me to find something cool to post even when nothing cool has come through my life. But like an idiot samurai, I live and die by a code set in motion long ago and over […]

Filed under: Adornment, Artifact, Ephemera, Facsimile, Fetish, Objet, symbol, Tool, weapon | Comments (0)

#a339 :: Potato Gun

January 18, 2009

I scoffed at these things, which used to appear alongside ads for X-ray spectacles, sea monkeys and GRIT on the backs of Marvel comics when I was a kid. Potato gun. Hah. My friend Phil has a BB gun that he once used to nail the pillar on a house nearly a block away once, […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Facsimile, Toy, weapon | Comments (0)

#a326 :: Porcelain doll head

January 5, 2009

He was rendered in porcelain bisque, no bigger than the end of my thumb many, many decades ago. This angelic countenance stands ready to receive whatever whim, benediction or mad wish a child of 18XX might bestow upon him. If he had a body, it’s gone now. No matter. Capped with glazed curls, his smile […]

Filed under: Artifact, Facsimile, Miniature, Part, Toy | Comments (0)

#a324 :: Fuse-Bead eyeball

January 3, 2009

My son shambles in, his hand covering his brow. “Dad, I hate to tell you this, but I’ve got a terrible case of pinkeye.” “What??? Oh, no. C’mere, let me see.” He turns and I see this fantastic Fuse-bead concoction clapped to his face. It’s still warm, fresh from the iron. I’m doubly thrilled – […]

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

#a285 :: Toy compass

November 25, 2008

Were you lost in the wilderness, this would not help you out. Its needle swings wildly, influenced by the pulse of your hand, the mass of nearby metal, the wind, the whims of its Chinese manufacturers. It is a toy, smaller in diameter than a quarter, and if you put it down on the burning […]

Filed under: Facsimile, Found Object, Instrument, symbol | Comments (0)

#a281 :: Cupcake topper

November 21, 2008

More than 500 million human beings live in absolute poverty. Right now. Their lot is not changing. More than 15 million children die of hunger every year. Starve. To. Death. How many children is that? Numbers are pretty meaningless when you’re talking about entire nations of people, but do some math: Remember the faces of […]

Filed under: Art, Artifact, Ephemera, Facsimile, Fetish, Found Object, Jetsam, Miniature, Model, symbol, Toy | Comments (0)

#a253 :: Desk cleaning time

October 24, 2008

You own a lot of shit. You accumulate more of it every day. Sometimes, you have to pick through it to get your desk clean. And you make little piles. That might or might not be photographs of your life told in debris. And yet, you never seem to get rid of the things as […]

Filed under: Adornment, Art, Artifact, Blahg, Ephemera, Facsimile, Fetish, Found Object, Instrument, Jetsam, Life form, Miniature, Model, Objet, Part, symbol, Tool, Toy, weapon | Comments (0)

#a230 :: Tintype

October 1, 2008

Balefully he stares at the lens and struggles to hold his pose. The photographer has gone to lengths to make him appear comfortable – with a little wall and urn upon which to lean poeticallly – and “natural” – with tufts of grass and twigs underfoot and a bough of oak leaves overhead. But he […]

Filed under: Art, Artifact, Facsimile, Found Object | Comments (0)

#a229 :: Marx mule deer

September 30, 2008

Back in 1969, the Louis Marx and Company was casting its “WILD ANIMALS” series in plastic. These beautiful little facsimile animals were hand-painted (in Taiwan, according to the garish and lush four-color offset-litho box) and turned them loose in the wilds of American family rooms. The box copy says (in all its unproofread glory): MULE […]

Filed under: Artifact, Facsimile, Miniature, Tool | Comments (0)

#a228 :: Candy corn

September 29, 2008

o thou wicked junk corn syrup all sticky sweet rot my teeth, you fiends

Filed under: Edible, Facsimile | Comments (0)

#a223 :: Sawyer View-Master

September 24, 2008

In the 50s multimedia realm of celluloid filmstrips and magnetic tape, this was, arguably, the iPhone of its day. You could get “reels” of stereo photos or cartoons on virtually any subject – 8 shots each – and completely immerse yourself in 3-D imagery – even sometimes with a soundtrack. Sawyer’s View-Master put images of […]

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

#a215 :: Bus

September 16, 2008

Parallel to the spine of the bus: LEYLAND ROYAL TIGER COACH MADE IN ENGLAND BY LESNEY (and then just beneath the engine compartment) #40 From my wife’s collection.

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

#a214 :: Miniature tempura

September 15, 2008

Tiny morsels of molded silicon, hand-daubed to an irresistible crunchylookingness. Only 900 yen. The linchpin to a successful front-window display in your 1:8-scale restaurant. From the same niche of Japanese collectibles culture as this

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

#a191 :: Metal ant

August 23, 2008

A birthday gift from my aunt. I kid you not. Eight rods of steel, artfully bent, and welded to three metal spheres. Where’s he off to? What’s his business?

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

#a169 :: Happy Hippos

July 31, 2008

Like hippos emerging through river foam (?), Kinder brand Happy Hippos are hazelnut-cream cookie pods dipped in thick-grained sugar and given a few squirts of color in each eye just prior to put into individual cellophane wraps and released to a cute-susceptible public. They’re also yummy.

Filed under: Edible, Facsimile, Miniature | Comments (0)

#a159 :: Stanley “stubby” screwdriver

July 22, 2008

From an antiques mall in Brighton. 50p. Don’t laugh. You’ll need one some day. I love the way the aluminum has corroded on the blade.

Filed under: Facsimile, Objet, Tool | Comments (0)


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