Naked Beauty: Glorious Objects

I’m a double Libra (rising/moon) with a Pisces sun and I blame my astrological make up for the mash up of dreaminess and my need for balance which seems to manifest directly in my love of the classic and the well-designed.

Let’s be clear: as much as I’d really like a sailboat, I’m not interested in bling so much as the heart-fluttering gorgeousness of an amazing object or space.

With that in mind, I thought I’d  take a break from fashion to look at another kind of physical expression that makes the world a prettier place: design.

First up: West Coast edition. Jen Pearson is an Oakland artist whose reclaimed medical serum bottles are brilliantly converted into matchstick bottles. The bottoms of the bottles are hand-etched so that they’re strike-able. Incredible!

 

 

Jen also makes these amazing terrariums! You need this in your life so that every day is just that much more magical.

 

 

Don’t worry if you’re aren’t local. You can buy Jen’s pieces nationally. Here’s a handy list of where.

 

 

Getting tattooed is probably one of the more intimate physical exchanges possible yet so many great artists often work in environments that involve screamcore, taped up posters, shit-brown chairs and walls with generic designs taped to them (sailors! weed!) In a way, it’s part of the charm. Or so I thought. My tenth piece was done by Sam McWilliams at Tuesday Tattoo in San Francisco and the rustic, warmly-decorated shop that Sam shares with two other great artists was such a dream that I can’t imagine getting tattooed anywhere else.  Everywhere you look there’s wood, ocean-related paraphernalia and art.

 

A view of the shop--note the Great Highway sign and the model ship!

 

 

Old School Tattoos, Displayed Right. Paintings by Jesse Tuesday.

 

Speaking of beauty, an incredible tattoo can be spectacular. Sam is super talented and her work is a great example of aesthetic wonder:

 

Sketch by Sam McWilliams, photo by Sara Seinberg

 

 

Incredible text piece

 

 

Recently I was in LA and was lucky enough to stumble across Gentlemen’s Breakfast in Echo Park. What’s incredible about this store is less the wares (which are cool–vintage glasses, cuff links and ties, well curated) but the space.

 

Gentleman's Breakfast, photo from stylesectionla.com

 

The shop is literally the size of a small garage. Fellow blogger/life partner Michael von Braithwaite and I stopped in on a whim and randomly ran into two good friends trying on glasses. It seemed like exactly the sort of place where such a thing might happen, like a portal to another world. The walls were a deep, comforting brown and the glasses were perfectly displayed.

Additionally, the shopkeeper added to the cigar-den vibe by drinking what appeared to be bourbon out of a heavy glass while chatting with a well-dressed European dude. Now THAT’S a fucking shopping experience!

 

 

I’m a writer and notepads and pens are like fetish objects to me. Thanks to IBC’s Michelle Tea, I found myself recently exploring the paper products of San Francisco’s Gravel & Gold. Though I’ve long been a die-hard Moleskine fan, I think my affections have officially been stolen by the Tokyo company, Postalco. I found their amazing notebook at Gravel & Gold and can’t get over the perfectness of it:

 

Postalco Notebook

 

 

 

 

The muted, rich colors look great on the fabric cover and the paper is graph–my favorite!

Beautiful things make life more beautiful. I think all the time about how lucky I am to be privileged enough to surround myself with so much aesthetic wonder. Here’s to hoping your day just got prettier.

About Thomas Page McBee

Gentleman first, always. James Dean is my patron saint, poet is my gender. More about me here: www.thomaspagemcbee.com

4 comments

  1. blevit

    I love those Postalco books. Many of the teachers in the PSU design department use those.

  2. Michelle Tea

    Justin Chin turned me on to those Postalco notebooks this summer in Mexico! I knew you would find something in that joint.

  3. Jen Pearson Designs

    i found these apothecary match stick bottles at a yoga studio… these are incredible. thanks for sharing where to buy these! such an awesome concept.

    • pagemcbee

      Jen Pearson! I’m a big fan! Michael and I gave your apothecary match stick bottles as presents to our wedding party! Thanks so much for your work.

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