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Swell Things No. 18

November 30, 2014 by Erin Fletcher


1. Looking for a wonderfully cheerful article to read with your morning coffee? Check out Adam Sternbergh’s article Smile, Your Speaking Emoji. This article details the evolution of these popular icons that have been slowly taking over our text messaging conversations. As humans we first began to communicate through imagery (think cave paintings) before slowly evolving into the written word. Emojis allow for quick communication; it’s amazing the amount of information that can be compacted into a single icon.
2. How To Be Polite is an insightful article on the practice of politeness. The author, offers some helpful hints and some of his real-life experiences. Don’t assume you know everything on the art of being polite.
3. At the end of October, Bernard Middleton, celebrated his 90th birthday! Read more about Bernard’s career and accomplishments from this article on the British Library’s Collection Care Blog.
4. What is Missing? is a new interactive online project by famed memorial artist Maya Lin. As you scroll over the points plotted on the interactive map some information appears: the longitude and latitude, a date and most important the species or natural land formations that are in danger of becoming extinct in that area. Faced with the seriousness of humankind’s impact on the Earth, Maya created this interactive map as an awareness to the living animals and plants that are disappearing every 20 minutes. Spend some time with this website, make sure you are in a quite space and your volume is turned up.
5. In 2014, the Grimm’s fairy tales are reimagined in a new and lovely artistic way. Grimm Scholar Jack Zipes translated and published The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition. The lovely artistic element of this book are the beautiful cut-paper illustrations by the oh, so talented Andrea Dezsö.


6. Interested in the learning the Hungarian alphabet? Explore all 44 letters with an eager little girl inside this beautifully designed children’s book, Ábécés könyv by author and illustrator Anna Kövecses.
7. Filmmaker Frederic Bonpapa is the creator of Life Motif, a film inspired by the neurological phenomenon synesthesia. How do you capture the sensation of seeing music? The film is centered around a CGI monkey as the space around him shifts structurally by the motion of the music. Set to the sound of Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians – Section II, the mood is altered by changing colors in the atmosphere and the very anthropomorphic facial expressions of the monkey.
8. The work of Nashville based illustrator Drew Tyndell has been featured on the blog before. But I recently landed upon his animation loops that are absolutely mesmerizing. It’s a good thing the animations ends after 15 seconds or else one might find themselves with their eyes glued to their screen.
9. Abigail Bainbridge created this wonderful and playful tutorial on Japanese Stab Binding for the West Dean Blog. A great way to introduce someone, adult or child alike, to the craft of bookbinding. Plus, you can celebrate by eating your successfully tasty book!
10. Artist Ruben Steeman drew an individual picture daily for seven straight years. Once he reach the milestone of his 2,500th drawing, he decided it was time to put them all in a book. Check out the article on BOOOOOOOM! describing Ruben’s process for creating such an impossibly large binding.


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  • My name is Erin Fletcher, owner and bookbinder of Herringbone Bindery in Boston. Flash of the Hand is a space where I share my process and inspirations.
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