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Lost Mapping 09.21.2009

Posted by Dan Sheehan in Links.
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Waiting for the final season of Lost? Me too. January 2010 can’t come fast enough. I’m excited to see how J.J. Abrams et al. can possibly wrap up a show that has built itself on becoming more confusing every time it provides explains itself. It’s also bee hard for fans to get a leg up on information, mostly because all of it is seemingly contradictory. For instance, I’ve always assumed that mapping the island would be impossible. However, it seems that the creators have at least been consistent enough to allow for some cartographic sleuthing. Check out some good quality island maps created by Lost fan yung23, Here.

Thanks Super Colossal


Burning Man Shelters 09.14.2009

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While webcams at Burning Man are akin to the Fonz’s water skiing escapades, here’s a cool blog post with some of the shelters found in Black Rock City.

Thank you Tiny House Blog

Can you tell I’m hard at work on construction documents today?

Hot Links: Strange Maps 09.14.2009

Posted by Dan Sheehan in Links.
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I’ve always wanted to meet a mapmaker.  It’s one of those trades that has a foothold in both the creative and rational worlds.  The mapmaker is a spatial artist. (like architects)  Yet they are also tasked with organizing relationships between pieces of information.  Here’s a blog that celebrates maps and the folks that make ’em.

Strange Maps

Styrofoam Art 08.24.2009

Posted by Dan Sheehan in Reviews.
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Don't you just want to cradle it?I was first introduced to the work of Matt Neyens at the esteemed Lighthouse Roasters here in Seattle.  Now, three years later, I have four favorite pieces hanging on my walls.  Each oil painting is a different perspective view of the same styrofoam packaging piece.

Initially what jumps out of each painting is the simple almost ‘pop’ depiction of subject.  Next, is the subject itself: styrofoam.  trash.  It is here that the work becomes deeper because the observer is faced with the questions of “Why?”

Styrofoam is not one of the more regularly depicted objects of the time (any regular visit to Etsy reveals hundreds of birds, power lines, ships, bears, wolves, trees, etc.) but it still elicits a nostalgic and emotional response.  I remember the childhood struggle to save styrofoam forms from the trash (where they never fit) through reuse; as building blocks to complement cushion forts or as massive spaces in which to deploy my Battle Beasts.  Somehow though, these big, light, clumsy objects always found their way (awkwardly) into the trash can.  I was faced with the truth that they were only good for their original use, to house the object that they contained.

Neyen’s work gives styrofoam a second respectable use, as subject.  He does so by depicting it as pure form through gray-scale planes and edges.  Variation in tint (especially in the edges) is subtle, drawing the careful observer into the work.  Looking deeper, we realize that these broad strokes that create edges must hide construction lines.  These drawings are in fact meticulously constructed in perspective.  Such construction transports his work out of the school of pop art and into something else.  Classical?  Architectural?  Perhaps both.

One thing is certain, the depth of Neyen’s catalog betrays his passion.  His work is not limited to styrofoam reproductions, nor oils.  A quick browse reveals renderings of containers, bottles, people, compact discs, and more of the most mundane everyday objects.  Artists performing this level of study are rare in today’s artistic age, where the market demands that work is made quickly so that it may be sold cheaply.  Neyen’s work is quality, and worth taking a look at.



The four perspectives at home

Reinmiller Veranda 08.17.2009

Posted by Dan Sheehan in Portfolio.
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View from house

View from house

The clients wanted to enclose their favorite outdoor patio space so that they could enjoy their Cougar Mountain views year round.  A simple corrugated metal shed roof served as the perfect design solution.  The roof, which will eventually oxidize to a rustic finish is oriented to provide maximum shade during hot summer months but is tall enough to let a low sun in during winter.  The structure is composed of clear cedar posts, beams, and rafters.  Ornamentation is simple and discreet, relegated to cut beam ends and cast steel post to footing hardware.

Phase II work will consist of a custom outdoor fireplace.

View from interior

View from interior

View from yard

View from yard

And we’re back! 08.17.2009

Posted by Dan Sheehan in BnB.

It’s been a couple of crazy months here in a hot Seattle summer.  Not only have I moved to a lovely home in the Central District, but I also have a new job at an amazing bakery in Ballard.  The dust is settling on our wood floors, the garden in the backyard is in full swing, the internet is connected, and the housewarming is scheduled.  I have some exciting new material in the weeks ahead:  conceptual design for an outdoor veranda, predesign for master suite cabinetry, an investigation into Architects and 9/11 truth, and ruminations on some great work by a local painter.  Time to get blogging.

Cluttered and cute.

Cluttered and cute.

And if anyone is trying to get rid of some large bookshelves (perferably solid wood) drop a comment.

– Dan

What was Missed… 06.22.2009

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While we were in New York we missed another fine public art display from Free Sheep Foundation.  Blast.  These are the folks of Motel Motel Motel.  With installations by Bread and Buttress’ favorite local artists, Lead Pencil Studio and Awesome!, Moore Inside Out must have been stellar.  Anyone get there?

Stranger Article

Walking the High Line 06.22.2009

Posted by Dan Sheehan in BnB.
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An old railroad becomes a parkBread and Buttress was in upstate New York this past weekend to celebrate the nuptials of our college roommate.  Congrats to the Leaders!  We also had the good fortune of being able to spend a day in New York City which we filled with, you guessed it, pastries and architecture.

The focal point of this visit was the brand new High Line Park in Chelsea.  A long, linear park, its foundation is an old elevated rail line that runs for eight blocks, three stories above the pavement.  Gardens and walkways weave their way along the steel structure, mingling with the occassional railroad track or switch.  Paths are created with long and tapering precast concrete blocks, emphasizing the linear nature of the park.  Stopping points are plentiful (lounge chairs!) and allow for great views of the Hudson between Chelsea’s old brick warehouses.

The place was packed with people at 3pm on a Friday.  Most were doing as we were, satisfying their curiosity.  Though midst the gawkers, others were enjoying meals, romantically strolling, or getting exercise.  This place is getting some use!  Our plus one even remarked that it would be a great place for a wedding reception.

All in all, a successful project that does what a city park should, provide some nature and relaxation for its inhabitants while maintaining a connection to the urban fabric.  Chelsea is a great backdrop for the High Line, the old factories mixed with new eyepopping projects show the evolving dialog architects are having with the city.  (side note: some architects aren’t listening too well, while others have been more successful.)  The design team of the High Line gets it.  Props to DS+R et al.

Freshly planted garden should look nice in a few yearsDangerous curves ahead

Frank Gehry, look what you've done!Benches emerge from the pavers, slick.

Chelsea streetscapeTakeout from Donuts Lunchonette, Brooklyn.

Obvious Metaphors Afloat at Venice Biennale 06.15.2009

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American artist Mike Bouchet has a great idea for the Venice Biennale, but…


Take a moment and watch the Youtube vid.


Chocolate Chip Cookie Mashup: Tollhouse vs. Specialty’s Bakery 06.09.2009

Posted by Dan Sheehan in BnB.
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thawing cubes!It’s a great day when you can make chocolate chip cookies, regardless of, well, anything.  The kitchen fills with the cookie smell, all activities outside the home must be put off, conveniently forcing you to relax and bake as the kitchen fills with the nostalgic aroma of warm cookies.  And, of course, there’s the raw cookie dough.

Our favorite recipe has always been Nestle’s Toll House classic cookie recipe.  This is primarily because it is conveniently located on the back of a bag of their bagged chocolate chips.  However, my overwhelming problem with these cookies is that they tend to turn out like little pillows of homogeneity.  (though not nearly as uninspiring as Joy of Cooking’s recipe…what gives Rombauer?).

Fast forward to a few weeks back when fellow cookie lover Nancy posed the following: “How can we emulate the deliciousness of a cookie from Specialty’s Bakery?”  Whoa, great idea.  For those of you that don’t live in the Pacific Northwest, Specialty’s is the de facto source for cookies in Seattle and the bay area.  Their cookies are squarish, super thick, soft creations.  Serious cookies.  The company website even allows you to sign up for email alerts that notify you of warm cookies near you!  We challenge you to find a better chocolate chip cookie.

same ingredients, different results!Most chocolate chip cookie recipes have the same ingredients and method of preparation.  Variation in the final product therefore occurs in two distinct parts of the recipe, ingredient proportions and finishing (aka, forming and baking).  Here’s our variation on the old classic in Bread and Buttress’ attempt to emulate the qualities of a local classic.  Note that we like our cookies chunky, so there are a few additional embellishments in this first effort.

Bread and Buttress’ Chocolate Chip Cookie

  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • ¾ c. brown sugar
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 1 t vanilla

Cream together at medium speed for 10 minutes.

  • 2 c. AP flour
  • ¼ c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 c. chopped/ground pecans
  • ¾ c. old fashioned or quick oats
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 c. chocolate chips

Meanwhile, mix these dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

  • 2 eggs

yes, frozen.  note the remnants from squaring the cookie block.  make round cookies with 'em.Add eggs to creamed butter/sugar.  Once incorporated, begin to add the dry ingredients in three separate batches, mixing each time until just incorporated.  Cover a cutting board that will fit in your freezer with a piece of wax paper.  Spread dough out on the cutting board, forming into a rectangle one inch high.  Place another piece of wax paper over the top and smooth down.  Freeze.  After a couple hours or even days, remove from freezer and cut dough into 1” cubes, allow each batch to thaw on cookie sheet for 30 minutes.  Go ahead and eat frozen remnants of dough raw.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  Center of finished cookie should NOT be browned but rather light and raw looking.  This ensures a gooey center.


Here are some links:

Flickr user JDong has some shots of Specialty’s cookie selection.

Here’s another emulation recipe without the chunks.

Good Easts episode on chocolate chip cookies via youtube.