Syrie is often credited with being the first designer to use all white, and while that isn’t entirely accurate, she certainly did her part to make it extremely fashionable in the ’20s and ’30s. Syrie’s all-white rooms were never stark white — she loved to play with shades of white and mix in pale greens, peaches and blues. She also loved to modify pieces and would strip, paint, pickle or crackle everything she could get her hands on; even the most precious of antiques were made to conform to her decor scheme. Her favorite pieces were French provincial antiques, and once any dark wood or paint was lightened or removed, they became the perfect complements to her rooms in shades of white.
Furniture was Maugham’s specialty: French provincial antiques and her own designs alike received the Maugham treatment. They were pickled or stripped, painted, or finished with a secret craquelure technique. “Cut it down and paint it white,” she would order her craftsmen.
People often raved about Maugham’s bright eyes, her pale skin and her black suits and frilly white blouses from Molyneux and Balenciaga. Her prices were high—“She knew what she could get away with,” observed Victor Afia. “It wasn’t the stuff so much as her talent she was charging for”—and her identification of antiques was often “casual.” Friends remembered her kindness; staff remembered her temper: “She could say ‘Je-e-e-sus’ like she was calling down all the gods on your head,” recalled a former employee. She threw a white satin bedroom slipper at American carpet and textile designer Marion Dorn. She was dictatorial, lowering a ceiling six inches when she didn’t have enough damask for the walls, and she once told a hesitant client, “If you don’t have ten thousand dollars to spend, I don’t want to waste my time.”
The book chronicles Maugham’s role as patron to young artists. She introduced decorative plasterwork by Oliver Messel, furniture by Jean-Michel Frank and his associates, and floral arrangements by Constance Spry. She also collaborated with the architect David Adler and his sister, decorator Frances Elkins. Her influence stretched beyond London, to American homes like those of tastemaker Babe Paley in New York and Jean Harlow in Hollywood. Her work also held sway on Cedric Gibbons’s set designs for Harlow’s film Dinner at Eight (1933). The all-white set required eleven shades of white to create sufficient contrast between wardrobe and furniture. There is an incredible portrait of Cecil Beaton’s sister, Baba, in a sleek, white Goddess-style evening dress, posing in Maugham’s “Party Room,” the room that made her sought-after and that resonated with the so-called Modernist style at that time.
Read more about Syrie in the lengthy articles on the links above
13.12.2012 @ MyModernMetropolis
Denmark-based Japanese artist Yuko Takada Keller creates delicate paper installations that wash a sense of calm and ease over the viewer. Each of her suspended constructions utilizes countless triangular pieces of tracing paper meticulously dyed in refreshing, pastel hues.
10.12.2012 @ Guardian and HuffingtonPost and LearnSomethingNewEveryday-365 FactsToFullfilYourLife
The fruit came first. The English word “orange” has made quite a journey to get here. The fruit originally came from China – the German word Apfelsine and the Dutch sinaasappel (Chinese apple) reflect this – but our word ultimately comes from the Old Persian “narang”. Early Persian emperors collected exotic trees for their landscape gardens, which may well have included orange trees. Arabs later traded the fruit and spread the word all the way to Moorish Spain; the Spanish word for orange is “naranja”. In Old French, the fruit became “orenge” and this was adopted into Middle English, eventually becoming our orange, fruit as well as colour.
10.12.2012 @ FastCoDesign
The Quakescape 3D Fabricator is a machine that turns earthquakes into art. Every time the ground in Christchurch starts to rumble, this machine catalogs it in color.
Humans navigate the world predominantly by sight. And yet there are colors and worlds we cannot see. Infrared light—light whose wavelength is longer than our eyes can detect—exists all around us. But we do not see it. Yet. Scientists have engineered some proteins to “see” infrared.
3.12.2012 @ It’sNiceThat
Carlos Cruz-Diez has been exploring the kinetic movement of colour in his celebrated works, creating interactive manufactured chambers that lures visitors to rethink their perceptions of colour in their everyday lives. The installation works in a very personal way, altering the colour of your skin, clothing and anything you so happen to be carrying on your person. It culminates to create an experience that adapts depending on what chamber you immerse yourself within, drawing attention to the individual experience of processing colour through a disruption in the way that light is received and understood.
n 1856, during Easter vacation from London’s Royal College of Chemistry, 18-year-old William Henry Perkin (1838–1907) synthesized mauve, or aniline purple—the first synthetic dyestuff—from chemicals derived from coal tar. Like Friedrich Wöhler’s accidental synthesis of urea, Perkin’s chemical manipulations were designed to produce a quite different product—quinine.
Perkin set up a factory (Perkin and Sons) on the banks of the Grand Union (then the Grand Junction) Canal in 1857 to produce mauveine. This small dyeworks was located on a 6-acre site just south of the Black Horse public House, in Greenford, West London. This pub survives to this day, and remains a “local” for the pharmaceutical giant, Glaxo SmithKline, which has its world headquarters nearby.
At the Royal Exhibition of 1862, Queen Victoria made an appearance in a silk gown dyed with mauveine. In the Imperial College chemistry archives, there is a sample of silk (approx 5 x 10 cm in size) dyed with a batch of the original dye synthesised in the 1850s, and a “penny lilac” postage stamp originally thought to have been dyed with the same compound.
The new colour fell of of fashion in the late 1860s, but out of one of the world’s first chemistry “R&D” laboratories, Perkin discovered two new dyes, Britannia Violet and Perkin’s Green (the water in the nearby Grand Union Canal was said to have turned a different colour every week- depending on what dyes were being made at the time). In 1869, Perkin synthesised the vivid natural red dye called Alizarin.
You may also find this book interesting: Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World, by Simon Garfield
19.11.2012 @ Oddee
Feb 27, 2015 @ BusinessInsiderUK
Remember this post few months ago? Good news! We found a great article, and here we share it with you!
The article appeared back in 1986 but a great Greek scholar, Mr Stylianos Alexiou, in the 2nd issue of the magazine published by the library of Iraklion, Crete (http://www.vikelaia.gr/…/85-a…/publications/122-palimpsiston). Greek speakers can read it here (https://enthemata.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/stalex/).
English speakers will be happy to read this rough translation:
The Homeric «Οίνοψ Πόντος»: the colors in antiquity
By Stylianos Alexiou
The great Stylianos Alexiou left us on the evening of Tuesday, November 12, 2013, at the age of 92. In place of anything else, and since great men don’t need big words, we present today a note he wrote about the Homeric οίνοπα πόντο (:inopa p:onto = red wine open sea). Thanks to this short article, everyone, even a non specialist, can appreciate the strength of his writing and his thought. It appeared in the magazine Παλίμψηστος, Issue 2 (1986), a publication of the Vikelaia Public Library, Iraklio, Crete.
Κρήτη τις γαῖ ἔστι μέσῳ ἐνὶ οἴνοπι πόντῳ,
καλὴ καὶ πίειρα, περίῤῥυτος.
Είναι μια γη στους ρόδινους ορίζοντες, η Κρήτη
Όμορφη, πλούσια, ολόγυρα λουσμένη από το κύμα.
(Οδύσσεια τ 172)
There’s a land in the rose-colored horizons, Crete
Beautiful, rich, surrounded by waves.
The adjective “οίνοψ” (:inops) literally means reddish, “closely resembling the color of the red wine”. For the simple reason this sounds unmatching for the sea, annotators and translators explain it as “dark, black, sparky, foamy, red by the sunrise and sunset of the sun” etc. The fact is, nevertheless, that the phrase is identical with the equally Homeric “ιοειδής πόντος” (ioid:is p:ontos) (from the color of ίων (:ion) = violet), in other words mauve. To understand these seemingly strange adjectives, one must take into account that the original meaning of the word πόντος, is not “sea” in general, but “πέλαγος” (p:elagos), “the open sea; the sea far from the shore; the sea close to the horizon.”
Indeed, in the Aegean, during the summer and autumn months, when the light of the sun is so intense, the sea close to the horizon very often appears to have a mauvish tint, while the horizon becomes slightly rosy-hued. This is particularly noticeable when one’s standing at the shore on a day with etesian winds and storms. The sea then looks like it’s divided into distinguishable zones, and each of these, starting from the shore all the way to the horizon, is yellow, green, deep blue and mauve. This contrast makes the impression of the slightly reddish and mauve color of the far distant sea even stronger. For this reason, in his Μυθιστόρημα (ΙΓ’) [the poet] Seferis describes the open sea as μαβί (mauve):
«Το πέλαγο τόσο πικρό για την ψυχή σου κάποτε
σήκωνε τα πολύχρωμα κι αστραφτερά καράβια,
λύγιζε, τα κλυδώνιζε, κι όλο μαβί μ’ άσπρα φτερά,
τόσο πικρό για την ψυχή σου κάποτε,
τώρα γεμάτο χρώματα στον ήλιο».
The open sea, once so bitter for your soul
raised the colorful and sparkling ships
bowed and lurched them, all mauve with white wings
so bitter once for your soul
now full of colors in the sun
Long before Seferis, (the poet] Kavafis too, in the “Morning sea” wrote
«Εδώ ας σταθώ. Κι ας δω κ’ εγώ τη φύση λίγο,
θάλασσας του πρωιού κι ανέφελου ουρανού
λαμπρά μαβιά και κίτρινη όχθη
όλα ωραία και μεγάλα φωτισμένα».
Let me stand here. Let me see nature for a little while,
The morning sea and cloudless sky
bright mauves and yellow shore
everything’s beautiful and great illuminated
Centuries before Kavafis and Seferis, and centuries after Homer, Saint Basil the Great wrote in Homilia E’ in Hexaëmeros: «υδή (θέαμα θάλασσα) όταν πραείαις αύραις τραχυνομένη τα νώτα πορφυρούσαν χρόα η κυανήν τοις ορώσι προβάλλη». (Όταν με γλυκές αύρες η επιφάνειά της ταράζεται και προβάλλει σε όσους τη βλέπουν κοκκινωπό ή γαλανό χρώμα). “When sweet breezes wrinkle its surface (of the sea) reddish or cyan color shows to those who watch it”.
The solution therefore lies in the careful observation of nature in the east Mediterranean and the Aegean sea, as well as the ways in which people who shared the same land and the same language, expressed themselves in relation to this same nature, even if centuries later than Homer.
The Greek people of the classical and post classical era used the terms οίνοψ and οινωπός to refer to the color range of reddish, rose, dark red and mauve. Nearly all occurrences of these terms confirm the same meaning, as in οινωπός βότρυς (red grape) in Semonides of Amorgos, οινωπός γένυς (red cheek) in Vakhes by Euripides, οινωπός άχνη (red foam, of the wine) in Orestes by Euripides, οινωποί οφθαλμοί (red eyes) in Physiognomonics by Aristotle (and also the mauve eyes in the poem “Far” by Kavafis), οίνοπα πήχυν (for the rosy hand of the nymph raising a torch) in Trifiodoros, oίνοπα χιτώνα (for the purple robe of Christ) in Nonnus, οινόχροα τρίχα (red-hued hair) in the Annotator of Orestes, etc. The κυκλαμίς ιοειδής (the mauve cyclamen) in the orphic Argonautica, confirms the color meaning of this adjective (today we use the term “cyclamin” for the pale rosy mauve).
I should remind here that the development of an extensive terminology to describe the range of colors is a phenomenon typical of our times corresponding to an unprecedented development of fashion and the textile industry, as well as the modern analytic and scientific spirit. In times past there wasn’t any such terminology available to differentiate the subtleties between colors. Consequently, in modern Greek, the adjective γαλανός (galan:os) means γαλάζιος (gal:azios = bright blue), yet in Crete it means “white, pale”. Similar is the case of the adjective μαύρος (m:avros (black)): we are not speaking literally when we say μαύρο κρασί (m:avro kras:i, black wine), μαύρο ψωμί (m:avro psom:i, black bread), μαύρα σταφύλια (m:avra staf:ilia, black grapes), μαύρισα από τον ήλιο (m:avrisa ap:o ton :ilio, suntanned black) etc. Similarly, in the language of Homer, the adjective οίνοψ stands for more than one closely related color tints: the far distant sea has the color of red wine, it is “reddish” (i.e. mauve), while in other Homeric excerpts οίνοπε (reddish, i.e. brown) are the oxes.
Researches haven’t paid the proper attention to this reality. Thus, one of the meanings that have been attributed to the word οίνοψ is “foamy”. They claimed, in other words, that the Homeric man didn’t see the red wine the way we do in our transparent glasses, but rather they perceived it as something dark and foamy, inside large earthen jars, craters and cylices. For this reason, supposedly, they then called the sea πόντον οίνοπα, for its foamy quality. I wonder, did the ancients never really see this “black” wine pouring out of skinbags and into the amphoras in broad light, or never saw it spilling or staining a white clothe? Equally unsuccessful is the attempt to attribute this meaning to the oxes (βόε οίνοπε), providing that they too, when ploughing, “foam at the muzzle”. This explanation is unlikely, for a local, occasional and entirely neutral and insignificant foaming wouldn’t qualify for the creation of a poetic Homeric adjective. Besides, the word οινωπός or οίνοψ, is believed to be read in a sign in Knossos as the color of an animal (wo-no-ko-so), in other words, a certain reddish ox and certainly not a ox foaming! (See also the middle-ages and modern names of horses: Βάδεος (v:adeos, red-gray) Γρίβας (gr:ivas, gray), Μαύρος (m:avros, black), etc).
Such phrases like οίνοπα πόντον, νύκτα δι’ αμβροσίην etc, though standard, they undoubtedly have a lyrical content in Homer and they serve a poetic purpose. They convey to us how the ancient man saw the sea, his deep feeling of the night. The modern translator ought to render in his translation, as much as possible, this element of the psyche and the poetical nuances of those sentences. The modern Greek translators of Homer (Polylas, Eftaliotis, Sideris, Kontomihis) by translating οίνοπα πόντον as μαύρο πέλαο (black sea), μαύρα πέλαγα (black seas), μελανά πελάγη* (black seas), πόντο σκοτεινό (dark sea) rendered neither the right meaning nor the feelings of the poet. Really, to speak of “black and dark” as the main and almost permanent characteristic of the Aegean Sea (even in the very many occasions in the Homeric narration where it’s clear he’s referring to day), comes in complete contrast with reality! This same sea is described as White Sea, i.e. “bright” by modern Greek people. Some scientists turned to the color-blindness of the poet or the evolution theory of Darwin: ancient Greek saw the sea as black for their eyes were yet imperfect!
French, British and German lexicographers of the past, living in times when it was practically impossible to travel and briefly stay in one of the Greek islands, would naturally imagine Aegean as “dark”. Hence Voss translated οίνοψ and ιοειδής in German as “das Dunkle Meer”, “das finstere Meer”, i.e. “the dull, dark sea”. Τhey obviously didn’t seem notice that μέλας οίνος (m:elas :inos= black wine) in Greece is the red wine.
The modern Greek translators of Homer who learned ancient Greek from the West, they gladly accepted those renderings for οίνοπα / ιοειδή πόντον. Only Pallis rendered the former, in his Illiad, with the irrelevant “γαλαζό” (bright blue) and “αφρογάλαζο κύμα” (foamy blue wave) or with “κρασύ πέλαγο” (wine-like open sea)! Kazantzakis and Kakridis write το πέλαο το κρασάτο (a winy/scarlet open sea), improving Pallis. This solution, faithful as it may be to the Homeric text, is not really poetic, neither suggestive of any image and impression. The same can be said for the renderings of ιοειδούς πόντου as “μενεξέθωρου γιαλού” / faded violet seashore (Pallis), “μενεξιά πελάγη” / violet open seas (Eftaliotis), “γερανιά πελάγη” / geranium-like open seas (Kazantzakis-Kakridis, but also “μαβί πέλαγο” / mauve open sea). Let me include here Bérard’s translation as well: “vagues vineuses” and Mazon’s: “la mer aux teintes de lie de vin” which means “like the lees of the wine” which is indeed mauve. Maybe the best rendering of these ancient terms is just “μαβιά πελάγη” / mauve open seas (since we now have a term for the distant sea), or, more freely, as «ρόδινοι ορίζοντες» / rosy horizons.
With οίνοπα and ιοειδή πόντον, we therefore witness once more that in the artistic poetic speech, by some peculiar observation and sensitivity, a pointing out of details, unnoticed for the most part in the day-to-day experience, is being made, and this pointing out is expressed with terms that transcend the lingual daily routine. However, Homer is not lacking in ordinary terms color for the sea. This is signified by terms such as Ποσειδών κυανοχαίτης (cyan-hair Poseidon) and κυανώπις Αμφιτρίτη (cyan eyed Amfitrites). And there is also (just once) γλαυκή θάλασσα (glaucous sea).
Pictures (in the blog post):
1st on the right: Saffron gatherers. Mural in the Cape of prehistoric Santorini.
2nd on the left: Cyan-monkeys. Mural in the Cape of prehistoric Santorini.
3rd on the right: Mural in the Cape of prehistoric Santorini.
May 26, 2015 @ NewRepublic
In her new book Outside Color, University of Pittsburgh professor M. Chirimuuta gives a serendipitously timed history of the puzzle of color in philosophy. To read the book as a layman feels like being let in on a shocking secret: Neither scientists nor philosophers know for sure what color is. “Of all the properties that objects appear to have,” Chirimuuta writes, “color hovers uneasily between the subjective world of sensation and the objective world of fact.”
Read more at New Republic
May 25, 2015 @ TheSpiritScience
Bartholomaus created a record player that translates the different colors and textures of tree rings into music. Rather than use a needle like a record, sensors gather information about the wood and turn them into piano notes.
Read more at The Spirit Science
May 21, 2015 @ ThisIsColossal
The private commission produced by K&CO and Pliskin Architecture is called Asylum, a title the artist chose “because the act of creating it pushed my mental and physical endurance so far that I wasn’t sure I could complete the task,” he shares with Brooklyn Street Art. For almost a century starting in 1839, the island was also home to the New York City Lunatic Asylum. The vibrantly luminous gradients that define the area around the pool contrast starkly when viewed against the rest of the surrounding landscape, creating a surprising oasis of color.
See and Read more at Colossal
BLUE ALCHEMY: Stories of Indigo is a feature-length documentary about indigo, a blue dye that has captured the human imagination for millennia. It is also about people who are reviving indigo in projects that are intended to improve life in their communities, preserve cultural integrity, improve the environment, and bring beauty to the world. BLUE ALCHEMY was filmed in India, Japan, Bangladesh, Mexico, El Salvador, Nigeria, and the USA.
Find out more in the links above
May 18, 2015 @ DesignTaxi & Instragram
Oak & Ink Creative is a Melbourne based design studio run by Matthew Deutscher. We like to focus on what we do best which is effective design solutions. We specialise in branding, art-direction, graphic design and anything print or web based.
Inspired by people, PANTONE colors and themed Instagram accounts, Matthew Deutscher plans to meticulously match the photos he takes to their PANTONE spot color and upload them onto Instagram to create a color coordinated visual feast as you scroll through his feed.
Find out more on the links above
May 17, 2015 @ TokyoReporter
Take more ZINC !