Ask the Dust by John Fante
This year, delight your pals with a present you created yourself or gift them with materials for handiwork-to-be. It doesn't take much to get making! Here's a few of my tried-and-true faves and a few from the wishlist.
This ceramic salt-and-pepper shaker––set in a compact, nesting design––is fun to use, easy to clean, and aesthetically pleasing to look at.
The autobiography by celebrated (and famously hard-living) guitar legend Keith Richards.
For a geometric touch of grey in the living room, look no further than Ikea's Andrea rug. The hand-woven, 100% pure new wool floor covering has a naturally durable thick pile that will withstand daily wear and tear. Spill a little something on the edge? It's alright. It will get by.
A simple shape and splash of color make this small stool from Seattle-based Chadhaus a surefire hit in pretty much any room of the house. It's made from locally sourced, sustainably harvested hardwood, and equally good for sitting, foot-resting, and keeping your book handy near the sofa when you get up to grab a sandwich from the kitchen.
We pretty much never tire of books that compile modern houses. Generally there are some well known designers featured (Lautner, Jaffe, Noyes) but books like this one are also a great place to discover lesser-known talents.
The Oregon State Insane Asylum, opened in 1883 on a hill just east of Salem and renamed the Oregon State Hospital in 1913, became in part a warehouse for the state’s anonymous unwanted. When residents died and went unclaimed by family, their bodies were cremated with the ashes remanded to copper canisters, which in turn themselves got warehoused. Decades passed, the canisters blossomed forth with all manner of colorful corrosions, the hospital started getting shut down, well into the process of which, around 2005, with what remained of the hospital under new leadership, the canister depot itself came to light. The photographer David Maisel rushed to the scene to compile the remarkable record that has become the book and traveling exhibition, Library of Dust.
Fifteen writers, artists, photojournalists, historians, and cultural critics respond to David Maisel’s remarkable photographic excavation of a warehouse of ashes otherwise lost to time.