Weekend Linkages: Throwing Axes in the Garden

Bragging rights if you know where this is and leave a comment . . .

Aubergine dip, chicken skewers and beans with dill: Yotam Ottolenghi’s Persian recipes

Bunya nut bounty: How to process and cook Australian native bunya nuts

Block ads and trackers with a Pi-hole

A Twitter thread on what a Pi-hole is

Elon’s Biggest Boondoggle: Why did the world’s richest man spend the past five years trying to sell cities a hole in the ground?

Philadelphia Becomes First City To Be 100% Parking Spots

Greene & Greene Architectural Records and Papers Collection

I Made a Strange Table We Didn’t Really Need

My friend Jimmy makes furniture in my woodshop. Sometimes he finds stuff that’s so cool that I want one for myself and we make two. Such was the case with this reproduction of an oddball, early Gustav Stickley poppy table.

Mostly known for his rectilinear “Mission” furniture, Stickley would occasionally detour into curvy Art Nouveau territory. He traveled to continental Europe in 1895 and, I’m guessing, also read German language newspapers published in American which covered the latest trends. He had a brief few years of staggering creativity and innovation in the first decade of the 20th century, quickly went bankrupt and faded into obscurity until a revival of interest in his work in the 1970s.

It wasn’t too difficult to make this table if you don’t count the many hours of filing and sanding all those tight radius curves. I wish I could say that you don’t need many tools but that’s not the case. We deployed a jointer, planer, scroll saw and hand planes. We freehand routed the poppy pattern on the two horizontal surfaces. The quarter sawn white oak came from Bohnhoff Lumber.

My workshop is right on the street so people walking their dogs and heading to the hip restaurants on Sunset boulevard see me working. I felt weird working on this particular table because it’s about as far from what’s fashionable now as you can get–kind of like Pearl Jam, but furniture. The brief fling with Craftsman style and Grunge back in the 1990s is long over, replaced by mid-century modern and unstained Silver Lake Shaman furniture. But I don’t care. I vibe with this table’s biomorphic exoticism and decadence. It’s just missing the absinthe fountain dripper.

If you’d like to make one of your own you can purchase plans here. I used these finishing directions, specifically for the “Onondaga” finish.

Weekend Linkages: DIY Fiberglass, Dark Stores, and a Cat With Magic Ears

How to make poor man’s fiberglass

In Poland, People Are Roleplaying as Americans

Oprah’s ‘happiness guru’ designed apartments to maximize joy — and they start at $5 million

Bank of America Memo, Revealed: “We Hope” Conditions for American Workers Will Get Worse

Fear of Rampant Crime Is Derailing New York City’s Recovery

‘Dark stores’ offer anything you need in 30 minutes. But there’s a human cost

A bike lane built for a car crash

Real estate find of the week

The Cat with Magic Ears

Rocking with Trash: Fulu Miziki

The performance collective Fulu Miziki, which means “music from trash” hail from what they call a “bad neighborhood” in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. This music video gives you a sampling of what they can do with instruments they fashioned out of industrial waste. A commenter in YouTube puts it well, “Just blew 3k on a guitar. Feel like an idiot these people rock!”

In a Guardian profile drummer Sekelembele says, “We hope our collective can put a spotlight on this pollution problem in Kinshasa and other parts of Africa . . . finding solutions is what Afrofuturism is about . . . if Africa is the dumpster of the entire world, it is already facing difficulties that everywhere else will face very soon.”

Watch a longer video from the 2020 Taksirat Festival