Beautiful and bizarre things to buy: From Chef’s knife by Miyabi to Corkers by MonkeyBusiness
In this weekly compendium of objects of desire, also a Vanities column by Swapan Seth
Serious Toys: Chef’s knife by Miyabi
Made in Seki, the home of Japanese Samurai-sword makers, this 8-inch knife by Miyabi is a favourite among professional chefs across the world. The Miyabi Morimoto Edition Fusion Chef’s Knife (pictured here) has a scalpel-sharp blade that is layered with a beautiful Damascus pattern.
At Amazon.in; Rs23,371.
Idol Art: Ganesha by Lladró
The Spanish makers of porcelain figurines launched this 17-inch Lord Ganesha sculpture last week. Each of the garland’s 250 flower petals have been shaped by hand. Limited-edition collection of 1,800 pieces.
At Lladró stores across India; Rs4.5 lakh.
Mark Your Calendar: A year of love’ by Aastha Atray Banan
Author of Games Girls Play and Crave, Aastha Atray Banan collaborated with designer Shawn D’souza to create this calendar (September 2017-December 2018) with quotes and illustrations depicting a full circle of romantic love.
Write to @aasthaatray and @dsouza_ee on Instagram;Rs600.
Tracking Titles: 100 Contemporary Brick Buildings by Philip Jodidio
This new volume, published by Taschen in July, puts together some of the most innovative brick structures from around the world built in the past 15 years, including the Tate Modern Switch House by Herzog & de Meuron. The author has previously written monographs on architects like Tadao Ando, Norman Foster and Zaha Hadid.
At Amazon.in; Rs4,928.
Table Manners: Corkers by MonkeyBusiness
From the family-run, Tel Aviv-based design studio Monkey Business, these cork wine stoppers come in several fun series, including robots and animals.
At Mnkbusiness.com or Designboom.com/shop; $8 (around Rs500) each, plus shipping.
By Invitation: Vanities
An ode to things you don’t need but must have
THIS WEEK: Lofree wireless mechanical keyboard
As you roll over your 50th, you find yourself landing up in the lap of nostalgia. There is an air of assuredness to it. A fine familiarity. A certain comfort. Like butter on hot toast. Or tutti-frutti. And you are bound to agree with me that technology, more than anything else, has plundered nostalgia. I still have a rotary-dial telephone on my work desk at home. On most evenings, I dial my mother’s number and speak with her. There is something therapeutic about the rotary dial. It calms you down. Like an Ativan 2mg. As a writer, the tools of my trade have evolved over the years. There was a time when one would write copy in longhand (at this point, I must digress, but indulge me. I grew up in Calcutta. We were weaned on a cursive diet supplemented by Vere Foster books, which forced us to perfect our handwriting). When I started work, we would use typewriters and then came the tsunami of tastelessness, with the keyboard leading the charge.
But thankfully, just when I thought the apocalypse of etiquette was upon us, I bumped into the largely lovely Lofree.
Lofree is a wireless mechanical keyboard inspired by the classical typewriter. It comes with well-engineered round keycaps that are kind to stubby fingers. The keycaps are raised. They come with Gateron switches that replicate the aria that you hear while typing on a typewriter.
Yet the tempo of the times is not lost upon this cherub.
It has both a wireless and a wired mode.
It prays at the church of multitasking. You can pair up to three devices at one go. It also has shy backlit options to it.
And an inspiringly intuitive auto-sleep mode.
In a world heartbroken by the noise of Scaramucci and the twerking of Nicki Minaj, the Lofree is like Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata.
In particular, like an excerpt from its last stanza: With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
(The Lofree is available for pre-order at www.indiegogo.com. For $129, or around Rs8,000, plus shipping.)
Swapan Seth is CEO, Equus.