Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lyndie Dourthe - Curiosités Under Glass

There was always something infinitely and uncomfortably attractive about walking into biology class and seeing the specimens arrayed in all their yellowed, formaldehyde-y glory. The salamanders, birds and other beasts almost made the teacher's interminable lectures bearable. Almost.

So it's to be expected that our eyes were drawn like lead filings to a magnet (gratuitous science class reference!) when we first happened upon Lyndie Dourthe's Curiosités Under Glass. Hand stitched, beaded, and burned encyclopedia illustrations on stuffed canvas guaranteed to turn any 'ews' into 'aahs'; displayed under removable glass to facilitate admiration both with eyes and hands. See available pieces in our webshop.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Insect Lab

"Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster."

Oh, Steve Austin. Sure, our parents' generation had Bonanza and Rawhide defining what it was to be a man; that rugged, horse-riding Marlborough Man of a man, tough when he had to be and gentle only to his mama, with calloused hands and weathered features. Thankfully by the time I rolled out and around, Lee Majors was already running around in that red tracksuit with a sound effect that none of us who watched the show will ever forget and were most likely emulating on the playground (dje-je-je-je-je-je!!!).

One of my first imperatives was the acquisition of the Bionic Man Doll (sorry folks, Action figures, for all their impressive accessories, are still dolls), featuring the amazing roll-back skin on his arm that revealed the 'bionic' components beneath, and don't even get me started on how amazing it was that you could look through the back of his head and see via his 'bionic eye'.

It's funny (ha ha) how much childhood obsessions carry through into adulthood. When I first saw Mike Libby's Insect Lab specimens my eyes widened, my jaw dropped, and the same sense of excitement filled my stomach as the first time I saw the Bionic Man in his box. And I'm afraid that while the Bionic Man will always have the nostalgia factor behind him, these amazing specimens put my old doll to shame.

Borrowing from science fiction and fact, Insect Lab customizes real insect specimens with antique watch parts and other technological components. From ladybugs to grasshoppers, each is individually hand adorned, and original- a unique celebration of the contradictions and confluences between nature and technology. The pieces aren't intended to function, but playfully and slyly insist that they could. For me the most difficult time will be when I have to relinquish the illusion that they're mine and watch as some lucky customer takes them home. See the available pieces listed in our webshop

Monday, August 3, 2009

the Otherist

Fledglings leave the nest, puppies are weaned, and children move out of their parents' houses (or should). Realizing that change brings new challenges and rewards, we here at egg mercantile have decided it's time for us to hatch into something different. Happily, not every metamorphosis has to be as brutal or depressing as Kafka's - on the contrary, we're as excited as a fuzzy caterpillar about to break free of the cocoon and spread its wings for the first time. Don't fear, friends and neighbors, we'll still be and have all the great things you've already come to associate with egg mercantile; stunning ceramics, wonderful wool, beautiful bags, wicked wallets and other hard to find treasures that refuse to fall prey to my articulate alliteration. So we continue turning a blind eye to the standard; to the run-of-the-mill; to the mundane and the typical. We want only the exceptional; the memorable; the unconventional; the other.

We're changing our name to reflect this continued focusing of our collection towards merchandise that is anything but ordinary, so effective immediately egg mercantile will be transforming into The Otherist. We also hope that the name change will help clear things up for passersby who just read the sign or those who hear our name in polite conversation. Because in answer to the questions that were on far too many people's lips; no, we do not sell eggs. Nor do we sell everything to do with eggs. Or chickens. No, you can't have yours scrambled sir, and no, ma'am, you cannot have yours poached. And no, 'egg mercantile' is not a special brunch dish or something you can order at the Chinese takeaway.

Looking forward to seeing you either in the shop or online at, and

Joshua & Steven
-the Otherist(s)