5 Uniquely Smithy Things to Adorn Your House

Tuesday June 05, 2018 Written by Smith

Pin Up Science          

Earlier this year the world said farewell to Stephen Hawking, a man who did more than any other to change the way we think about the fabric of space. Hawking’s most famous contributions to astrophysics dealt with black holes and wormholes, the theoretical singularities that link two otherwise unconnected portions of space-time. While these enamel pins from New Orleans label Strike Gently Co. don’t have anything to do with Hawking per se, they’re still perspective-altering celebrations of the thrill that comes when mathematics and reality collapse in on themselves. And for that we think Hawking would be proud.

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Ahead of the Curve

The curious nostalgia for things that are vastly more cumbersome and annoying than the technology that superseded them has already made fetish objects out of vinyl records and typewriters, among others. That being the case, there seems no good reason why vintage graph paper should not enjoy a similar revival in its fortunes, as opposed to mass dispatch to the recycling bin. London giftery Present & Correct is selling recording rolls of 1970s graph paper at around $55 for 20m x 27.5cm, or about $25 for 20m x 11cm. Ideal for people thinking of sketching extremely long historical tapestries.

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Drunk by Design

Bottle openers are so inexpensive and ubiquitous it sometimes feels like they appear spontaneously, like mushrooms after rainfall. You could settle for the disconcertingly flexible Bintang bottle opener you have no memory of purchasing, or you could make a conscious decision to purchase this solid brass, improbably shaped Craighill number, available in Australia from Compendium.

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String Theory

The Appalachian dulcimer, like many things associated with country music, gets a bad rap: written off as a hillbilly zither built to be strummed by folk whose superfluity of fingers and/or absence of thumbs makes plucking a banjo forbiddingly difficult. This, like most dismissals of country music, is ill-informed. From the Appalachian dulcimer, a skilled player can wring both the sparkle of the guitar and the melancholy of the pedal steel. (Here’s proof, if you need it.) Californian company Wolfum offer a range of beautiful dulcimers for around $300 a go. Pleasant though they are to look at, it would be an outrage to leave them to languish as mere ornaments.

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DIY Camera Kit

Getting down to the fundamentals of photography has just been liberated from the camera obscura set. The CROZ is a pared-down digital camera you can build yourself, and it’s designed to make you concentrate on taking photos rather than fiddling with metering modes so long you miss your shot. It’s available in acrylic but, c’mon, we know you’re going to go full steampunk Ansel Adams and get the wooden finish with brass fittings.

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These items are featured in Smith Journal volume 27Find your local stockist or buy a copy from our online shop

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