I was lucky enough to be gifted that beautiful book last year for Christmas and it somehow feeds two of my recurring concerns/interests.
First, that our society has, by focusing on mass production and cost efficiency, sacrificed beauty in almost every area of life. Designer George Nelson wrote this introduction when the book was first released in 1967:
"We have come a long, long way from the kind of thing so beautifully presented in this book. To suit the needs of super mass production, the traditional natural materials are too obstreperous . . . and one by one we have replaced them with the docile, predicable synthetics. . . . What we have gained from these [new] materials and wonderfully complicated processes to make up for the general pollution, rush, crowding, noise, sickness, and slickness is a subject for other forums. But what we have lost for sure is what this book is all about: a once-common sense of fitness in the relationships between hand, material, use, and shape, and above all, a sense of delight in the look and feel of very ordinary, humble things. This book is thus . . . a totally unexpected monument to a culture, a way of life, a universal sensibility carried through all objects down to the smallest, most inconsequential, and ephemeral things.”
I hear that packaging in Japan is still an art so I don't know why we haven't been able to preserve it here...
|Mochi (rice cakes) wrapped in bamboo leaves|
|Candy bags with brightly dyed silk drawstring|
The second thing the book addresses is my ever-growing attraction to bundles which I already displayed here and there... I still can't explain why I'm so drawn to them but I can't get enough..
|Fish set out to be preserved by drying them and stringing them with straw|
|Paper packages that accompany engagement gifts; they are designed to contain lists of the gifts presented, and their decorations, as well as their shapes|
|Containers for Yokan (jam made of sweet beans); made of banmboo leaves.|
So what about if this year you remember those when you set out to pack your lunch... yes, even you, PB&J lovers (you know who you are..), there's no reason why you couldn't wrap that sandwich beautifully..