Lifestyles: Artfully arranged
There are books about flowers, and then there are beautiful books about flowers—and Handpicked is squarely in the second category. Every detail makes this a rich sensory experience, from the creamy linen spine and embossed cover to the lush photographs that are a study of light, dark and color. Sought-after Brooklyn floral designer Ingrid Carozzi prefers asymmetrical designs and likes to pair her blossoms with nontraditional containers, such as old tin cans (she loves the typography, which adds “character and a sense of where and when”), old jars, boxes built from salvaged wood and vases spiffed up with a bit of gold paint. You’ll learn the lingo—“gestural element,” “blender,” “special note”—and tricks and tools of the trade, plus “recipes” for some of Carozzi’s signature arrangements.
CARVE YOUR MARK
Speaking of beautiful books, Heirloom Wood boasts many aesthetic features similar to Handpicked in its presentation of woodworker Max Bainbridge’s guide to carving functional small objects for the home. Like Carozzi, Bainbridge is relatively new to his craft, having started three years ago with “a book, some YouTube videos, and a large box of band-aids.” These pages reveal the advantages that Bainbridge’s background in fine art and spirit of determination brought to his lifelong interest in wood. Bainbridge first explains the selection and sourcing of his medium: Only hardwoods will do for carving, such as birch, a go-to for Bainbridge. Usable pieces are easier to come by than you might assume. Next he provides a run-down on tools, with two carving essentials being the hook knife and straight knife. The projects that follow build in complexity, from an eating spoon to other utensils, boards and bowls. Special finishes—faceting, scorching and ebonizing—are also covered, as is the critical skill of tool sharpening. As Bainbridge explains, a ready blade cutting wood should sound like “fresh snow crunching underfoot.”
TOP PICK IN LIFESTYLES
In 2010, the artist Julia Kay ended a project she began three years prior: creating a daily self-portrait. “I was ready to stop putting myself in every picture, but I wasn’t ready to stop drawing every day,” she writes in Portrait Revolution. Out of that ending came Kay’s collaborative “Portrait Party,” a virtual gathering of artists on the photo-sharing site Flickr. Participants submitted images of themselves from which other members created portraits. Some 50,000 portraits later, we have this collection of the most interesting specimens, compiled from more than 1,000 members representing more than 55 countries. The portraits are grouped by medium (everything you can imagine, including an iPhone Walkmeter app!), style and theme, with a following chapter on featured artists, plus tips for portraiture and creating your own portrait party. You may never think about faces—or portraits, or the sharing of art and inspiration—the same way again.