A series of shallow salt evaporation ponds designed to produce salt from sea water or brine are situated just south of San Francisco; water is fed into these ponds and drawn out through natural evaporation, which allows for a harvest of five to eight inches of salt per pond.
The most unusual aspect of this process is the coloration that occurs naturally as a result of microorganisms thriving as salinity levels increase. The specific colors indicate salt content as well as the type of microorganism breeding within, and during the waters evolution, which can take up to five years, the microorganisms shift color alongside the water’s organic changes.
The existence of these organisms and algae make for more than an exciting and strange color show, but a rich ecosystem, supporting millions of shorebirds, waterfowl, and other wildlife, whilst regulating water conditions to develop higher quality salts.
This curiosity of nature has been artfully captured by photographer Julieanne Kost during a decidedly purple period, illustrating not only the surprising colors, but the striking geographic orientation of the ponds.
More at: Julieanne Kost (Behance)
1. Hide and Seek: The Architecture of Cabins and Hide-Outs, $42; 2. Tom Dixon Spice Grinder, $125
3. Snow Peak Titanium Coffee Press, $60; 4. PLANT Face Oil, $30; 5. Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A2 Speaker, $399
6. Umbra Shift/Paul Loebach Cup Lamp, $180; 7. RS Barcelona Mon Oncle Grill, $375; 8. Mad et Len Graphite Candle, $90; 9. 11+ World Desk Clock, $49; 10. Midori Brass Pencil Case, $68
All too often, evergreen candles and room sprays smell more like the grocery store cleaning aisle than an actual forest, not the case with Juniper Ridge’s Christmas Fir Cabin Spray.
If this isn’t your year for a fresh-cut tree, or you just love the fragrance of the outdoors inside, forgo the synthetic candle recreation and go straight to the source: utilizing traditional methods of steam-distillation, enfleurage, tincture, and infusion, the spray is made from fir, cedar, and pine, all wild-harvested in the Pacific Northwest.
Founded in 1998 by wilderness enthusiast Hall Newbegin, Juniper Ridge approaches fragrance in a way that is both industry defiant and historic, as the techniques used are the same as 100 years ago. Forgoing mass production, synthetics, and excessive description, the scents speak entirely for themselves, and rely on nature to dictate the notes, harvest-to-harvest.
If you’re more interested in provenance, Juniper Ridge has a collection of cabin sprays, each dedicated to its place of harvest, as well as their complete line of personal fragrance and product.
2 oz single-batch Christmas Fir Cabin Spray, $30
More at: Juniper Ridge
Photos: Juniper Ridge
Thomas Prior is a New York-based photographer; while Prior shoots a wide range of subject matter, his work has a clean, hyper-real mood that makes for photos that can be both subversive and arresting.
This series was taken at the Eisbach (German for “ice brook”), a small channel branching off the Isar River in downtown Munich; at one section, there is an artificial wave that has been ridden by “river surfers” since 1972.
More at: Thomas Prior
Directed by Yoann Lemoine (Woodkid), featuring Anja Rubik.
While it seems like there is a subscription service for just about everything these days, Paris-based Pharmacie, a monthly sock delivery service, sets itself apart with both excellent branding and superior quality product.
Constructed in Northern Italy by a father, son, and grandson-run operation that uses traditional methods employing the finest yarns, hand-linked toes, and dedication to all aspects of quality during production: the socks aren’t just the product of a good factory, but considered the family’s badge of honor. Sure, socks that look decent can be produced much easier and cheaper, but with a sincere dedication to quality distinction, their construction is never off-shored or shortcutted.
Pharmacie’s sock patterns are sophisticated, but not entirely dry, and the unknown makes for a good surprise come the beginning of each month.
Subscription rates from £20 per pair for three months, to £18 for twelve months.
More at: Pharmacie
Located on Vindö, an island in the Stockholm archipelago, this house is a project of architect Max Holst and developer Strömma Projekt AB.
The property is set amongst granite outcrops, pine trees, and blueberry bushes; the site positions the house on the edge of a gorge, where it is propped on black concrete plinths, making for placement that puts the forest’s trees at perfect eye level.
By carefully considering the layout: bedrooms at back, the children’s being modestly sized to allow for a hallway that acts as a spacious playroom, and a generous open-to-kitchen living area, the house leads you to the large sheltered terrace at front, where you are balanced between dwelling and nature.
The house’s construction makes use of a simple material palette rooted in local building techniques; from the unfinished interior surfaces to the dark exterior, the minimalist character results in lodging that is both harmonious and respectful to its surroundings.
More at: Max Holst Arkitektkontor
Photos: Hannes Söderlund
Einstök Ölgerð (brewery) is located 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle in the fishing port of Akureyri, Iceland. Specializing in traditional and craft ales, the name “Einstök” is the Icelandic word for “unique.”
With brewmaster Baldur Karason at the helm of production, the brewery’s output ranges from specific seasonal ales (think Arctic Berry, brewed with bilberries), to their standard lineup that includes Icelandic White Ale: a classic witbier with orange peel and coriander, Toasted Porter: a medium-bodied malty brew with notes of toffee and dark chocolate, and Icelandic Pale Ale: a clean brew with robust hoppiness. All of Einstök’s beer begins with a foundation of pure water that flows from prehistoric glaciers down Hlíðarfjall Mountain, then through ancient lava fields.
Einstök’s brews rate very well on Beeradvocate, and are surely worth trying if you’ve not already been sold by the handsome label.
More at: Einstök
Earlier this year, in a project titled Exobiotanica, Japanese plant and flower artist extraordinaire Makoto Azuma conceived a “Botanical Space Flight.”
Azuma and crew traveled to Black Rock Desert in Nevada, where they launched two of Azuma’s pieces into the stratosphere. A 50-year-old pine suspended from a metal frame, and an exotic floral arrangement were lifted above Earth with the assistance of JP Aerospace, using a large helium balloon fitted with camera equipment. And while this altitude is not “space” in scientific terms, the 17 miles above these pieces were lifted to certainly lends itself to fascinating imagery that makes one think about the context of natural things and how humans can manipulate that.
Azuma describes the striking in-air scenes poetically: “A pine tree confronting the ridge line of the Earth,” and “a bouquet of flowers marching towards the sun, hit by the intense wind.”
More at: Makoto Azuma