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Design Squish Blog: SUCCULENT S SCULPTURES BY ERIC ROINSTAD - ceramic, design, sculpture, nature, sustainable lifestyle, do-it-yourself, creative environmental options, craft, organics, gardening, planting, flower pots, reusing, old and vintage, nature, environmental news, recycling tips, brooklyn, ditmas park,


climbing an oak tree, design squish blog

Oak Tree, Spring
2010, C-print, 24 x 36”, edition of 5

climbing an oak tree, design squish blog

Oak Tree, Winter
2010, C-print, 24 x 36”, edition of 5

sealed and buried for all time, design squish blog

Sealed and Buried For All Time
2010, C-print, 30 x 40”, edition of 5

Striking photographs by Joshua Citarella. 

October 14, 2010


CATEGORIES:   photography, NATURE,

October 09, 2010


design squish blog

Detail from: A Still Life of Tulips and Other Flowers.
Jacob Marrel
1681, Oil on Canvas

design squish blog

design squish blog

Details from: A Glass of flowers and Orange Twig
Abraham Mignon
1660, Oil on canvas

September 16, 2010


small treehouse, design squish blog

Read Richard Louv talk on the importance of tree houses and climbing trees:

- Last Child in the Woods: Schoolhouse in a Tree

treehouses, design squish blog

- Richard Louv: Let them climb trees

best tree house,design squish blog


September 14, 2010


design squish blog

design squish blog

Above: Shelving/vase system displaying thistles, dried plants and exotic flowers.

Daniel Goers is a local Brooklyn designer, architect and artist who has a show right now called Scrap Ecology at Brooklyn coffee shop K-Dog in Lefferts Gardens.  All pieces are made from reclaimed materials except some lighting components. Daniel has been collecting scrap materials and remaking them into beautiful designs and sculptures for some time now. His other great project is in collaboration with artist Jennifer Wong called Birdtown. Fifty birdhouses were built from recycled materials and installed in Fort Greene:


design squish blog

Daniel Goers and Jennifer Wong.

design squish blog
Above: Birdhouse from Birdtown.

Scrap Ecology aims to rearrange the raw materials of our urban and natural environments into objects with new meaning and purpose. These materials include abandoned shipping pallets from Red Hook, wood cutoffs from carpentry projects, recycled packaging, discarded architectural samples, donated plant stems and foraged specimens from Prospect Park and the mountains of Harriman State Park.


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Why reclaimed materials?

New York is a great place to find raw materials to build with.  every day the streets are filled with “trash” that can be so much more. But maybe the best reason is that material is free. The reclaimed material also tends to have more character.

Do you enjoy living in New York? Would you if you had an opportunity move somewhere where there are more trees and less garbage?

Of course, New York is a great place to be a designer but my sculptures do hint at the desire to be closer to nature.  I would love to live in a barn in the mountains but in the meantime I will work to bring nature to people’s homes here.

design squish blog

design squish blog

Above: Lamp made from glass jar moss terrariums.

Why do you think using reclaimed materials is popular today? 

It’s just marketing for many people. I like to believe that myself and many other designers simply see some intrinsic value and potential in the waste around us. What was once a shipping pallet can become a hundred new things, so why cut down another tree?  More people come to this realization and the ‘green’ movement will become less about marketing & more a part of the collective conscience.


September 10, 2010


vija celmins, design squish blog

I love this painting by Vija Celmins.


September 09, 2010


capturing fireflies on photo, nature, summer, fireflies glow, design squish blog

capturing fireflies on photo, nature, summer, fireflies glow, design squish blog

There are always many fireflies in Upstate New York and New Jersey during summer.
I always try to photograph fireflies but photos never come out as good as these.

capturing fireflies on photo, nature, summer, fireflies glow, design squish blog

CATEGORIES:   photography, NATURE,

September 04, 2010


wildflower bouquet, russian buket, derevnya, field flowers, design squish blog

“Почти каждый день Феня принорила Петру Ильичу цветы.  Она ходила за цветами в заливные луга и рвала их долго, подбирала все одинаковые: то одну ромашку, то кипрей, то подмаренник.  А когда весна входила в полную силу и всю ночь над лесом не потухала заря, Феня пробиралась в усадьбу к Липецкому и рвала там для Петра Ильича сирень. 

field flowers, bouquet on the windowsill, design squish blog

До чего она была холодная, пахучая, росистая! Прижмешь к лицу пышные ветки  - будто умоешься.  Принесешь цветы, Петр Ильич возьмет за подбородок, поднимет зардевшееся лицо, скажет: “Ех ты, сероглазая!”  - и обязательно чем-нибудь отдарит.  А потом сядет к роялю, заиграет.  сирень вся задрожит, и роса с нее польется прямо на рояль...” - Paustovsky

Read in Enlish by clicking below:

more →

August 01, 2010


aspen tree poem, wind full of wantonness, design squish blog

And the wind, full of wantonness,
wooes like lover
The young aspen-trees till they
tremble all over.

- Thomas Moore (From Trees of America)

July 30, 2010


sheep poo paper, environmentally friendly materials, design squish blog

sheep poo paper, environmentally friendly materials, design squish blog

Paper made out of sheep poo.  I personally touched it and it is very very soft.


trees of america, book found in park slope, design squish blog

trees of america, book found in park slope garbage day, design squish blog

From the book:

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I or you:
But when the leaves hang trembling
The wind it passing thro’.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing by.

Christina G. Rossetti

July 26, 2010


beautiful bowerbirds illustration, drawing, design squish blog

“The most notable characteristic of bowerbirds is their extraordinarily complex courtship and mating behaviour, where males build a bower to attract mates. There are two main types of bowers. One clade of bowerbirds build so-called maypole bowers that are constructed by placing sticks around a sapling, in some species these bowers have a hut-like roof. The other major bowerbuilding clade builds an avenue type bower made of two walls of vertically placed sticks. In and around the bower the male places a variety of brightly colored objects he has collected. These objects — usually different among each species — may include hundreds of shells, leaves, flowers, feathers, stones, berries, and even discarded plastic items, coins, nails, rifle shells, or pieces of glass” - Wiki.


summer flowers, upstate new york, harriman state park,

The most cheerful thing I know is the calm, the silence,  which are so delicious,  both in the forest and the fields.

-Jean Francois Milllet

summer flowers, upstate new york

July 19, 2010


design squish blog

design squish blog

design squish blog

design squish blog

design squish blog

“Man can better set up in a small house than in a huge castle.” - Leo N. Tolstoy

design squish blog

“With the loved ones you can be happy even in the smallest of places.” - Leo N. Tolstoy.

design squish blog

July 03, 2010


soviet environmental posters, design squish blog, red book protects nature

“Red List protects nature” - The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, founded in 1948, is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species.

soviet environmental posters, birds-doctors of the forest

“Protect birds - they are doctors of the forest”

soviet environmental poster

soviet environmental poster, design squish blog

“Cut down one - plant ten”

design squish blog

“Welcome, my feathered friends!”

June 25, 2010


design squish blog

Sun Boxes  are installations by Craig Colorusso powered by the sun via solar panels. There is a different loop set to play a guitar note in each box continuously. These guitar notes collectively make a Bb chord. Because the loops are different in length, once the piece begins they continually overlap and the piece slowly evolves over time.

The sounds of Sun Boxes have been described as both soothing and energizing. A unique combination of adjectives often used to describe yoga, or meditation. When experiencing the piece, Sun Boxes allows the participant to slow down, and notice the subtleties of the composition unfold. With the abundance of technology and hustle of this culture it is a much needed concept to not only be allowed, but also encouraged to slow down.

June 22, 2010


a forest floor still life, design squish blog

Forest Floor Still Life by Otto Marseus Van Schrieck. Otto was a Dutch painter best known for mysterious dark close-ups of the live undergrowth of forest floors that give detailed views of
wild flowers, weeds, thistles, and mushrooms, lives of insects.

Even though it is not really a still-life, I think this painting is particularly amazing because of how still it is.

June 04, 2010


bike ride to fort tilden, Fort Tilden, Far Rockaway, Brooklyn, NY

bike ride to fort tilden, Fort Tilden, Far Rockaway, Brooklyn, NY

Located on the Rockaway Peninsula Brooklyn, NY, Fort Tilden is mostly a natual area that was a former United States Army installation.  Fort Tilden today is largely a natural area of beach, dunes and maritime forest. Most of the old military installations are abandoned, though some buildings have been renovated and are used by local arts groups. Atop one of the old batteries, Battery Harris East, is a viewing platform offering 360-degree views.  Fort Tilden includes some of the most secluded beaches in New York.

April 19, 2010


design squish blog

The discovery, which the researchers reported last week in Nature, supports research showing that birds are dinosaurs, having descended from a group of bipedal dinosaurs called theropods.
Dr. Prum and his colleagues, meanwhile, had set out on a similar quest. Working with paleontologists at the Beijing Museum of Natural History and Peking University, the researchers began to study a 150-million-year-old species called Anchiornis huxleyi. The chicken-sized theropod was festooned with long feathers on its arms and legs.

mohawk dinosaur true colors
Above: Mohawk Dinosaur

Scientsts were able to assign color to individual feathers and thus work out color patterns for the entire fossil of Anchiornis huxleyi, a small, feathered, two-legged dinosaur that lived roughly 150 million years ago.  The animal would have weighed about four ounces (110 grams) and appears to have had a dark gray or black body and wings with some white feathers that gave it a stripe pattern, plus a reddish-brown crest and speckles on the face. ( Source:  New York Times and Discovery News)

March 30, 2010


early spring moss

after winter moss

moss after snow early spring

Early spring moss in upstate New York. 


March 21, 2010


design squish blog

“I have been trying to visually find a means to express the turbulence, sadness and strange beauty that comes with personal struggles, relationships and dealing with one’s own personal history in a more poetic way. Whenever something arises in my life that is profound, I find that nature always mimics it, and some of the shots I take grow into more rich personal symbols as time advances. I am interested in this use of image as a sort of personal time-capsule of my own struggles with anxiety, self-doubt and frustration”  - Allison

design squish blog

design squish blog

design squish blog



February 23, 2010


trouvelot november meteors

November Meteors

astronomy scientific illustration, mare humorum

Mare Humorum. From Study made in 1875.

trouvelot astronomy sun as revealed by telescope

Sun as Revealed by Telescope and Spectroscope

February 20, 2010


design squish blog

White Wolf in Mossland, chromogenic print

Canadian artist Adam Makarenko creates series of dioramas which are then photographed with altered perspective.  Influenced by science and nature, Adam creates photographs concerned with human manipulation of nature.

adam makarenko photography, nature

Pursuit, chromogenic print

adam makarenko photography, nature

Cessna, archival pigment print

design squish blog

HWY Drive, chromogenic print

adam makarenko photography, nature

There is a raven on our way down the northern highway

Adam grew up in Atikokan, Northern Ontario, where the caribou once roamed. “When Adam was growing up there, Atikokan was coated in red ore dust, and boasted two of the largest ore mines in the world. It was nestled in the heart of the Northern Ontario wilderness, isolated from the rest of the world. In 1980 the mines shut down, and it was at that point when Adam began to nurture his artistic ideas by exploring fields of endless moss, muddy swamps, thick boreal forests, and abandoned open pit mines” - from website.


February 18, 2010


andrew wyeth and trees, spring beauty

Spring Beauty

Found on EMPIRICISM, new blog aimed at keeping track of all things beautiful, innovative or interesting.



beetle love, valentines day card

I actually do not remember where I found this post card or who made it but I really love it.

February 14, 2010


Ivan Shishkin, Winter

Ivan Shishkin. Winter. 1890.  Oil on canvas.

Ivan shishkin, Winter detail

(Winter, detail with bird)

Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin born in 1832,  was a Russian painter who is known for his realistic forest landscapes, paintings of wildlife, grasses and especially pine trees. I like the tiny details in his paintings. Click on the images to see in full resolution.

Ivan Shishkin. The Rye Field

Ivan Shishkin. The Rye Field, 1878. Oil on Canvas,

Ivan Shishkin. The Rye Field

(The Rye Field, detail with grasses)

Ivan Shishkin. The Rye Field

(The Rye Field, detail with birds)


January 19, 2010


canola field

Have you ever walked in or passed by a large bright yellow field of flowers? Rapeseed (Brassica napus) is a bright yellow flowering member of the family Brassicaceae (mustard or cabbage family). In agriculture, canola are certain varieties of rapeseed oil, or the oil produced from those varieties. Today 80% of the acres sown are genetically modified canola.

January 08, 2010


design squish blog

design squish blog

Victorial from Tel Aviv, Israel and originally from Kiev, Ukraine makes these beautiful, delicate mesmerizing photographs of the natural world with different vintage film cameras.

“And he retraced his wanderings in those deep old lanes that began from the common road and went away towards the unknown, climbing steep hills, and piercing the woods of shadows, and dipping down into valleys that seemed virgin, unexplored, secret for the foot of man. He entered such a lane not knowing where it might bring him, hoping he had found the way to fairyland, to the woods beyond the world, to that vague territory that haunts all the dreams of a boy.”
Arthur Machen

-Inmost Light on Etsy

January 05, 2010

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