The Paper Jewelry of Janna Syvänoja

On the off chance there is a word to sum up the jewelry by Finnish artist Janna Syvänoja, it would be ‘organic.’ The major component in her work is paper – namely clippings from discarded phonebooks and newspapers. In meticulously curving each piece of paper around a steel wire, Syvänoja evokes a delicate and elegant fluidity through her forms – as if they are arrested in mid-motion.


Texture plays a major role in her paper jewelry, both in a visual and a tactile sense. Printed words and letters are rendered illegible, reducing their meaning to tiny moments of color and tone. They instead create a unique quill-like pattern throughout each piece.


The process behind each work is an open one. In adding each layer one by one, the artist allows for each piece to grow in its own direction. The patterning on the surface of her works is not predetermined. Rather it is created by a combination of happenstance and the will of her materials.

 Click on the thumbnails in the gallery below for more images of her work. Syvänoja doesn’t seem to have her own website, but you can find more information about her and her process online.

Filson – Leather Field Satchel

            American heritage brand Filson has worked since 1897 to maintain its reputation as a leader in crafting stylish and durable outdoor goods. That said, their Leather Field Satchel raises the bar on both counts.

3/4 View

            Like all of their products, this briefcase is hand-made in their Seattle factory. Filson only sources vegetable-tanned bridle leather, which is notable for both its strength and character.  Everything is stitched with a heavy bonded nylon thread and fastened together with brass hardware.

Back Pocket & Strap Detail 

            As always, be sure to check out some detailed images below!

CMYK – Blue Collection

The fundamental thread that ties this blog together is a celebration of the creative spirit. Having recently rediscovered my collection of inspirational clippings dating back to high school, I’ve decided to periodically gather and display found images on Procured with the hope of kickstarting something – anything – creative over the weekend.

A Closer Look at Women’s Selvedge Denim

Despite the proliferation of quality denim brands around the world, there is little emphasis placed on producing women’s selvedge denim. From what I understand, there are three factors that preclude an almost inevitably frustrating search for the proper pair: availability, sizing, and price. However, though it takes some time, there are jeans out there which suit different body types and budgets.

But before diving in, it’s important to fully understand what selvedge denim is. Basically, selvedge is a term used to describe denim material made on old-style shuttle looms, which produce a clean and finished edge which will not unravel (see image below). Selvedge denim is notable for its strength and character, making it easy to recognize for an aficionado.

Samurai - Geisha Pink Selvedge Detail

Samurai – Geisha Pink Selvedge Detail

Another characteristic of selvedge denim is that it is often left “dry” or “raw.” This means that the fabric is untreated after dyeing, allowing fades to develop over time with everyday wear. A key point about dry denim is the fit. When washed, it can shrink up to 4%. But keep in mind that most denim is 100% cotton, so it also stretches to conform to your body type to certain degrees. The biggest mistake one can make when buying raw denim is to purchase a pair that fits perfectly out of the box. They should always be a bit snug to allow room for them to relax.

Raleigh Denim "Davie" Jean

Raleigh Denim “Davie” Jeans

So why aren’t all jeans available in raw denim from old style looms? The best answer is profit margin. In the mid-20th century, American denim companies ‘upgraded’ to more time and cost efficient methods of manufacturing and exported most of their shuttle looms to Japan. (Fun fact: Japan is now regarded as the world leader when it comes to producing quality denim…)

In any case, there are options available for women in search of selvedge. I’ve curated three pairs which stand out based on the differences in fit and features between them:

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Judging A Book By Its Cover

Small confession: I unabashedly judge books by their covers. So far as I’m concerned, a story can be a beautiful thing and there is no shame in adorning it with a beautiful image. It is in that spirit that I decided to gather a small gallery of book covers which deserve to be appreciated in their own right. To keep things objective, I only selected books that I haven’t read (save for one) to prevent the content from influencing their aesthetic qualities. In any case, check out some really phenomenal visual work in the gallery below. If you’ve read any of them, it would be interesting to hear your takes on the given covers!

Black Creek Mercantile & Trading Co – “Trap” Belt

Profile – Brown

 It’s always a pleasure to find straightforward goods. This unisex belt from Black Creek Mercantile & Trading Co. is a great example of elegance via restraint. It consists of two components—a single strip of American bridle leather and a cold rolled steel buckle to hold it in place. Structurally the steel rod functions in the same manner as the gigantic, ostentatious cowboy buckles we see on TV. It is finished up with solid copper rivets and burnished edges. Check it out in both colorways below.

Buddy Carr Skateboards

A friend of mine just sent over a link to Buddy Carr Skateboards, which are some of the most well thought out boards available on the market. Each complete is a product of a collaboration between skater/business owner Buddy Carr and New York based graphic designer Antonio Carusone. Currently there are six skateboards in their line – each of which sports a unique aesthetic and functional personality.

 The brands creative drive hinges on the idea of cohesion. Every element within a given skateboard is in harmony with the other components. Though they source trucks from third party brands (i.e. Independent or Bennett), Carr and Carusone employ custom-routed urethane wheels to specifically match the riding style of each board, whether it’s a mini-commuter or a longboard.  Similarly, the grip tape is laser cut in six unique motifs to add some visual appeal to the top. As for the graphics, each deck is screen printed by hand in a limited edition of 100. It makes a good argument for those who consider these boards to be veritable works of art.

 Check out the Buddy Carr website by clicking here, and be sure to scroll through the gallery below for some high-resolution images. Also, feel free to leave your impressions if you’ve had the opportunity to ride on one of the 600 Buddy Carr boards out there!

Taylor Stitch – Summer Indigo Shirts


When the team at Taylor Stitch creates a new collection, they are inspired by a certain theme. For Spring/Summer ‘12, the label released a limited series of shirts embodying the ocean as understood through traditional Japanese patterns. The line is composed of four pieces, which each feature a different print in variations of indigo and white. Though the kanoko (“dappled”), sazanami (“ripple”), ariso (“rough seashore”), & shizuku (“trickle”) patterns all originated in Japan, the shirts are cut and sewn in the US with great attention to detail. Like all of their readymades, the Indigo Summer prints are crafted with single needle construction, refined with French seams, and adorned with sustainably harvested horn buttons.


Be sure to check out detailed images of each shirt in the gallery below. You can find more information about Taylor Stitch on their website – including an in depth look at their custom tailored shirt service.

Art as Product – A Survey

For romantics like myself, it can be difficult to see an upside to the commercialization of art. But I’m trying something new (namely a brief bout of optimism) and have found that the relationship between art and product is tacitly flattering. The fact of the matter is that we as humans appreciate art, but very seldom have the means to acquire it. Instead, we constantly surround ourselves with images of our favorite pieces, whether they are in calendars or storefronts. With that in mind, here is a small collection of some of the best, the worst, and the most surprising moments of art in consumer culture.

1) Dada Pillow

 This pillow is screen printed by Draga Obradovic in her studio in Como, Italy. The text was derived from Dadaist sound poems which were spoken, sung, and recorded during the mid 20th Century.

2) Louise Bourgeois Tea Towel

In collaboration with Third Drawer Down, Louise Bourgeois printed a limited set of tea towels which are available at the MOCA store. Of the series, the untitled ‘tools’ cloth is a particularly threatening choice of imagery for such an unassuming kitchen item.

3) Yves Saint Laurent – Mondrian Dress

This YSL dress debuted in 1965 to celebrate (or perhaps appropriate) Mondrian’s legacy in the De Stijl movement of the early and mid 20th century.

4) Jeff Koons for Kiehl’s


The most concrete example of art commodification lies in the process by which Jeff Koons creates his sculptures. To be technical, his pieces are made in a literal factory in SoHo where up to 30 assistants are conscripted to build his work for him. With this in mind, it was hardly surprising when Kiehl’s announced a partnership with Koons to design the bottles for it’s “Crème de Corps” collection.

5) USPS Abstract Expressionist Stamps

Just incase you were tired of Lady Liberty, USPS launched a series of 10 stamps which feature works from prominent American Abstract Expressionists.

6) Masterpiece Gallery Skateboard Decks

 Last but not least, Masterpiece Gallery released a series of over 180 skateboards which feature prominent artworks dating back to Raphael’s “St. George and the Dragon” (c. 1505). Vermeer’s “Lacemaker” (c. 1670) is a definite favorite, but other decks featuring works by Hokusai, Cassatt, and Renoir are close seconds.

“Le Moulin de la Galette” (1876) – Renoir

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