MAY 2012 - The General Aesthete

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Vintage Swiss Army Flashlights

From a long-forgotten reserve of army surplus in Switzerland, these official Swiss army flashlights are obviously of lasting quality, as well as a great icon of utilitarian design.

Made with a steel housing and a large clear lens, the flashlight also includes filter sliders for red or green light, as well as a Morse code setting.

The flashlights were made in Italy for the Swiss army, circa 1950-1960s; as they’ve already been around for decades, chances are they’ll last a few more, something you can’t say of today’s shoddily made counterparts.

Vintage Swiss army metal flashlights are available at Dijital Fix, $40. A new battery is included.

Sheds Series by Filip Dujardin

Filip Dujardin is a Belgian photographer who is perhaps best known for his Fictions series, a visual materialization of architecturally impossible structures he created by combining and manipulating photographs of mostly already existing buildings. Though selections from this series have been floating around the internet for some time, Dujardin’s images are certainly worth reexamining, as his ability to blend the line between surrealism and extreme clarity is remarkable, putting the brain to work, trying to comprehend reason and function.

My favorite of Dujardin’s work, so far, is his more recent Sheds series. Traveling the Flemish countryside, he photographed self-made structures, as he describes, “architecture not built by architects.” These “sheds,” made mostly of leftover farm materials, are captured in such a way that they echo the inexplicable quality of Fictions.

More at: Filip Dujardin

Salt Cellars by Culinarium

Jordan Castro, the man behind Culinarium, creates skillfully-casted, hand-burnished concrete kitchen and table accessories. The special blend he uses has taken years to perfect, and is composed of extremely small particulate, very little water, and reactive recycled pozzolans, a combination that results in very strong, smooth concrete that patinates beautifully, and actually becomes more durable with time.

Culinarium’s designs lean toward utilitarian, with simple form and straightforward-practicality, emphasizing the material used. Perhaps the most expert design is Culinarium’s salt cellar; available in multiple sizes, and fitted with an aluminum scoop, or simply lidded, this modest vessel is handsome beyond any decorative table piece.

Castro does experiment with variations in color, and sometimes he’ll employ simple, but striking decoration. His eye and hand with this often cold-in-appearance material make for strict designs that are also texturally organic, a combination that is not only stylish, but artful.

Culinarium designs are available at the Culinarium Store on Etsy.

Above: Small Salt Cellar, $34