Monthly Archives: May 2009

Sam Maloof 1916-2009

Sam Maloof

Maloof Latch

Ronald Reagan and Sam MaloofSam Maloof has passed.

He was a rare specimen, admired by Ronald Reagan, Rene Russo & very much by me.

From the LA Times: “His business card always said ‘woodworker.’

‘I like the word,’ he once said, his eyes brightening behind large, owl-eyed glass frames. ‘It’s an honest word.’



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Out with the Old Party

Dearest Friends and Friendly Supporters of the shop,

We are very, very pleased to let you all know that Gravel & Gold has found a new home in the Mission. At the end of this month, we will be shutting our doors on Treat Street and dismantling our teeny-tiny space so that we can start moving to our new location on 21st Street @ Lexington.

G&G Treat Street

We’ve taken over the storefront you may have visited in the guise of Minnie Wilde—it is much larger, light-filled, and just a half a block down from Valencia Street, right next door to Serrano’s Pizza (have mercy). We are so excited to have the opportunity to expand the goods in the shop, show more art, lounge more comfortably, try on vintage dresses in an actual trying on room, readily supply tea + snacks, and offer more workshops, more music, and community building exercises (aka parties), which are the best. But before we go, we’d like to wring one last, very excellent party out of the old spot. Therefore, come

Party with us.


May 28th

Seven O’clock

We will be offering lots of items at a great discount, from furniture to fixtures, though you can rest assured that many of your favorite standbys will still be available in the next location. However this may be your one chance to find discontinued stripey shirts on sale.

All hail stripes, and The Weekend Starts Here, via RECTO + VERSO.

Thank you all so much for your support of the store this past year. It has been a terrific adventure. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible this Thursday and on down the line at the new spot.

Dark Store

Big Love to all,
Nile, Lisa & Cass

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Keeps You Warm, Keeps You Sharp

Quilts, of course, are composed of tiny parts that make a spectacular whole. And when you think about it, so are mathematical theorems. But it took Elaine Krajenke Ellison to figure out that tiny quilted parts could express rainbow-colored mathematical expressions while also being just plain awesome. Shown here are but a few of her Mathematical Quilts, and I’ve included her explanations beneath each one.

clifford torus quiltClifford Torus – This work stems from work in the late 1800’s. The image of the torus results from projecting a sphere into the fourth dimension. Pioneering work on this topic was done by Thomas Banchoff at Brown University. His work, Beyond The Third Dimension was an inspiration to me, so I quilted his discovery!

mascheroni cardioid quiltMascheroni’s Cardioid – Mascheroni constructions are compass only constructions. In 1797, Lorenzo Mascheroni proved that all constructions can be done with a moveable compass alone. (One must imagine that two points determine a straight line). Napoleon was so fascinated with Mascheroni’s work, that he had the mathematician teach his French mathematicians and generals.

sierpinskis_trianglesSierpinkskis Triangle – Waclaw Sierpinski, 1882-1969, was a Polish mathematician that was very interested in patterns, including Pythagorean triples. This triangle, a fractal, was found on the floor of a church in Anagni, Italy. This oldest fractal dates to 1104. It is said that this fractal, named after Sierpinski, is the first fractal in the fractal alphabet. The quilt is owned by the London Science Museum.

the_wheel_of_theodorus_c5paThe Wheel of Theodorus* – Theodorus of Cyrene participated in the Cyrenaic school of moral philosophy. He tutored Plato and was a Pythagorean. His lifetime spans 465 to 398 B.C. During this time period the Greeks just started using written numerals. Further, the concept of the irrational number developed around this time. This quilt starts with an isosceles right triangle with sides 1, 1, and the square root of 2.

*Also note that the quilter/author appears to be wearing a sweatshirt quilted with her Sierpinkskis Triangle design.

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27 sounds manufactured in a kitchen

John Cage.
For Wendy.

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Gothic Dolphins

Gothic Dolphins

Update w/ Ira Glass (grumpy).

Ira Glass

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Choose Yellow

Meet Judy. We met today at Discount Builders Supply, both of us after shelving.


Judy has eight one-color outfits in her wardrobe: pink, green, sage, blue, orchid, periwinkle, white, and this, the yellow. I do not know how the green differs from the sage, but I go with it, accepting the clarification that orchid is a form of orange,  however the orange lipstick does not go with the orchid ensemble. Obviously.

Judy in Full Yellow

Each morning, Judy wakes up and decides which color to go with, and then wears that one color head to toe, jewelry, socks, and all. What’s really amazing about her whole approach, visuals aside, is the emphasis on streamlining. When I first spied Judy, I right away assumed that she had an enormous clothing collection, that this incredible outfit was the result of a vast amassment, a tantalizing glimpse. But no. She explained that the eight monochromatic outfits were all the clothing she owned and that she rotated them one at a time. The reasoning being that, “Monochrome makes life simpler.” I admire this reasoning, so often found only among goths and icy city-folk of the black persuasion, and I’m so pleased that the day we met was a yellow one.


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What We Can Live With

Double, Sara Bright

oil on panel

Berkeley MFA 2009

Stoke out. Sara’s final MFA show is tomorrow night at the Berkeley Art Museum. The opening reception will run from 5:30 to 8:30pm, with Kater Murch on bass, and the show will be up through June 21st.

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