Holiday Models

It goes unsaid that we have all experience never-ending model-making nights at the studio. Meticulously slicing away at museum board and dabbing on Elmer’s to ever-so-carefully piece together what we hope will be a masterpiece. Well, imagine having one of these for a review! The first image is Sugar Castle which took 400 hours to make. The creator, Executive Pastry Chef Jean-Francois Houdre was inspired by European architecture and used a variety of tools to create this cookie-beast, including X-Acto knives, glue guns, and rulers (sound familiar?). The piece features a motorized base which allows the castle to slowly rotate (that could definately come in handy during a crit) and a hole in the base accommodates wires for lights in the pulled sugar pane windows.  The second image features a tasty Victorian-era rowhouses. They take about 50-60 hours to complete and are made using a wood rasp to fit the gingerbread molds together and the icing shingles are piped onto the roof using a ruler and toothpick. The windows are glazed with carmelized sugar panes. I don’t know about 400 hours for a castle, but a 50 hour model seems very reasonable. Perhaps I will make a model out of gingerbread for my next review.





Pigeon vs. Crow

In Boston, we share space with three warm-blooded creatures:  squirrels, pigeons, and rats.  Squirrels are generally well-loved and rats are hated.  Pigeons occupy a more ambiguous territory but are ubiquitous in successful urban spaces – think Trafalgar Square and the Piazza San Marco.  But how far outside of the city do pigeons live?  In Fairfield County, Connecticut, big black crows are the dominant nuisance bird both because of their size and color, but mostly because of their distinctive “caw caw” call.  Is there a hidden pigeon-crow boundary that tracks through Milton, Roslindale, West Roxbury, and the parking lots behind the stores in Coolidge Corner?  Do pigeons and crows do battle along this line?  Is there a negotiated DMZ to reduce casualties?

Tim Love


Illustrative N.C. Wyeth Maps


These are my new maps. I love them. They’re in the old school split hemisphere style; highly illustrative and showing the paths taken by some of the world’s most significant explorers.

The eastern hemisphere map is decorated with portraits of the men who charted the new courses and the western hemisphere features Poseidon and a mermaid keeping watch over the oceans.

– Billy


Dutch Architecture 5 Euro Coin


Dutch artist Stani Michiels has designed a commemorative 5 Euro coin honoring the history of Dutch architecture:


On the front, Dutch Queen Beatrix is constructed with names of important Dutch architects while the back has a ring of Dutch architecture books that create the outline of the Netherlands in negative space. The birds flying between the books are arranged to mark each of the provincial capitals of the Netherlands. The artist used an internet search to determine the popularity of each architect whose name is used on the portrait of Queen Beatrix; the names are ordered from most to least popular as the spiral tightens (congratulations Rem, good effort Rietveld).  Check out the artists blog for some insight into the design process…







I was just in New Haven this past weekend – visiting the old haunts – including the newly renovated A+A (love it or hate it?).  The old corrugated monster looks great: the super Rudolph section is now freed and legible, the furniture is new.  I couldn’t believe, though, how pale the new History of Art building was in comparison. While the Rudolph building can almost handle being adhered to – it’s strong enough – the poor little Yale Daily News building is completely overwhelmed.  The joints between the two (three?) buildings are handled with a complete lack of grace, and the details (window mullions, materiality of the façade) feel tinny compared to the concrete and masonry gravitas of its neighbors.  It’s easy to be a critic, it’s true, but it’s hard to imagine that this is a building that will age well.