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  • Michael Krakovskiy 9:47 pm on January 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Agriculture, dealer, Japanese pottery, Kintsugi, Maintenance, metal staples, modern craftsman, , ,   

    Kintsugi: Beautiful Repair 

    The legend goes like this: a Japanese shogun broke his favorite Chinese tea bowl, and sent it back to the same artisans who made it for repair. The bowl came back properly repaired with glue and metal staples. The shogun could not believe his eyes: ugly staples connecting delicate pieces of porcelain – surely that was not the right way to do it. In response Japanese artisans invented kintsugi: a technique of repairing broken pottery with special gold-containing laquer resin. Pieces repaired in that way became even more beautiful and valuable than when they were whole. After seeing a few repaired pieces in museums I have no doubdt that the story about wealthy Japanese breaking their favorite tea bowls on purpose just to have them repaired is true.

    These two bowls were on display in a museum somewhere in Washington.

    kintsugi-museum-1

    kintsugi-museum-2

    I recently purchased this Karatsu tea bowl. It was excavated from an old kiln and is estimated to be of the 1570-1620 vintage. It was repaired by a modern craftsman using a similar technique called doutsugi which uses a gold-copper alloy. It cost me about $180. Is it authentic? Probably – the dealer seems to be reasonably reputable. I’ll greatly enjoy drinking tea out of it.

    This (as it’s often the case) made me think of my own craft. A huge part of my job is putting software Humpty Dumpties back together. Is any of my work this elegant? Of course not, but I can think of some examples. Apache – or “a patchy” comes to mind. It’s a beautiful piece of code glued together with other beautiful pieces of code. Then there’s Pressflow – a fork of Drupal that glued it back in many places where the original was cracking.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 9:19 pm on July 26, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Agriculture, , Banana cultivar groups, Banana cultivars, Bananas, Cavendish banana, , Grand Nain, Musa, MUSA ACUMINATA SUPER DWARF CAVENDISH, Super Dwarf Patio Banana Plant   

    Super Dwarf Patio Banana Plant -Musa- SALE* 

    MUSA ACUMINATA SUPER DWARF CAVENDISH BANANA

    Forget about huge banana plants that need a lot of room. This unique super dwarf allows for growing inside the home, on the porch, or close confines of a patio. Has a very symmetrical and compact appearance: 2′-4′ in height. Can produce tasty fruit inside or out. Has been used as ground cover around base of palms which provide strong vertical elements. Easy to grow in containers down to 8″ in diameter. Because of its size, our most versatile banana. Hardy in Zone 8 and higher.

    Comments: This dwarf variety makes a great potted plant for any patio. It has an attractive mahogany colored trunk and will produce a small edible fruit even in a container. Light: Full Sun/Part Shade Bloom Season: All Year

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 10:23 am on November 18, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Agriculture, , , Muji, Muji store, , , Soybean, , , Williamsburg, Yesterday   

    Muji-Shmuji 

    Yesterday I went to see the new Muji store in SoHO. I’ve never seen so many hipsters and so many $800 baby strollers concentrated in such a small space outside of Williamsburg. Spent about half an hour in the store, but could not find anything to buy – there were some good and hard to find soy sauce pourers, but I already have a similar one.  The rest seemed to be well designed kipple. Also, the items only seem well priced to those who willingly buy the strollers I mentioned earlier. The selection was rather small – maybe the forthcoming flagship store will be better…

     
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