Welcome to my blog! This site is specifically dedicated to the pursuits and engagement of crafty young men who make fantastic things and things fantastic. As a life-long crafter and after 10 years in the craft business, I find that there just isn't enough being offered in the way of crafts for men. Every now and then there are some cool patterns that some of us would actually wear, but on a whole most patterns are written for women, by women and allow women to make and learn while most men are still waiting for a chance to learn through the making of things that are actually useful and handsome! So, let’s get crafty guys!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bulbs and Bronze

This morning I woke up a little late, knowing that I didn’t have to work until 1 pm at my friend Matthew’s shop Fancy Tiger Clothing. I took my time with morning coffee and strolled a few blocks from my house to Denver’s Botanic Gardens. I am a total dork for plants and right now some of my favorite miniature bulbs are in bloom. The first thing that I noticed upon entering the garden this spring is that there is an exhibition of Henry Moore’s fabulous sculptures. Moore was an English abstract sculptor who made bronze works in extremely large scale for the outdoors. When I was 19 and living in Beijing I had an opportunity to see others of his works in an exhibition at the national museum on WanFuJing where I often shopped for my groceries. I love them for a garden. They provide such substance and weight and when placed into an ever-changing landscape-they provide the opportunity to partake in a natural setting while being in the human mind, and critique, much like we do when going to a gallery or museum show.
(For more info on Moore check out the foundation in his name: http://www.henry-moore-fdn.co.uk/hmf/)

The second thing that I noticed during this visit was the Miniature Iris Reticulata. They are so tiny that they can bloom with hardly any leaves/spears at only 4 centimeters in height! They are amazing for a good splash of color and if you think you see them coming up at the end of March, be aware because they can look like grasses and you wouldn’t want to treat them like a weed. Check to see how juicy the stem is and let them go to bloom if you think they might be a little something different. (If you would like to plant some go shopping for bulbs at the nursery in the autumn. Like all spring bulbs that is the time to plant them. Give them a good dose of bone meal and be amazed the following year.) At one point in the garden there is an amazing little section that the garden treated naturally by burning the grasses, much like would happen in nature. Through some of the collapsed and the chard poked out a patch of these gems. Omigod I freaking love em! I cannot wait to plant some this fall so I have some of my own next year.

So you might think I am a queen about this and think to yourself, What does any of this have to do with men and crafts? Well, a lot! Men who garden are usually fitter, have a better eye for what exists in nature when taking part in any outdoor activities and it is a really great hobby to take up. Not only is it a great work out, but it is like any creative craft; a palette; a time to relax; and an investment in something that offers more than just a beer with friends or a new t-shirt because it lasts and the money and effort put into a garden will show through time and give you back more than a shopping habit or a night out on the town. Go to your local botanic garden and get inspired like I have. Effing plant something this year!

My garden…doesn’t exist anymore L I lived in the same house for 6 years and had to move this past fall. It broke my heart to leave that garden. This year I am living in a studio apartment with a huge balcony so stay tuned for a few gardening projects for containers as I am sure I will be doing quite a few. The miniatures, bulbs, veg, and flowers, mixed with a few essential herbs and green-manure crops are a good way of approaching this plan. Not only do they require less space but they also have a fiction affect as in they make everything around them look bigger!

Gardening has always been the best form of meditation that I can find and I realized this when I was only a kid, at the Denver Botanic Gardens in the Japanese garden. The light pink magnolia in the north-west corner of the garden (pictured below) made me rethink everything that I knew about nature. A hybrid that had taken years and years to be developed into this shape and form and to this day I always make sure to visit when it is in bloom for its shear impact on my perception, the way man has impacted nature and the familial encounters that I have with it every time I see it in bloom. It is like an old friend or sibling and I hope it lives as long as I do.
Have fun in your garden this year guys and let me know what you are doing?


1 comment:

  1. hi zach! i am so excited you have started a blog! i hope it is okay if i follow your blog... i am not a crafty man, but i try to be a somewhat crafty girl. every time i come to fancy tiger, you help me come up with great ideas, so i just want to see more of your creative ventures and get inspired! i think it is great you are starting a blog and i wish you much success. :)