In September  of  2013, Lyons , Colorado, the small town in which I live, was devastated by a flood. My house was untouched by water, many others in my neighborhood were not as fortunate, some lost everything. The bulk of the infrastructure in Lyons was wiped out, and the town had no sewer, water, gas or electric for two months. So most people left, stayed where else they could for those two months.

I make my living by screen-printing. My shop (which I run with my wife; it is our only source of income) is also in Lyons, so we were put in a bit of a fix. There was no reason for us to relocate after the flood, everything we had was here in town, ie, no jobs elsewhere to report to freshly showered, and no kids to get off to school. We had to figure out how we were going to get by.

Our living situation was the easy part, we have more than enough camping gear that we were fine at our house. Work was another story, we were going to have to figure out a way to clear out the jobs we had booked, or we would lose them, and the money that we had sitting on the shop floor in the form of unprinted raw goods would go a long way;  really it would get us out of this jam. It was somewhat of a given that we wouldn’t be booking any new work for a while.

So once we were able to travel freely in and out of Lyons (Lyons is in a valley that was temporarily isolated by the flood, and then for a while longer, was evacuated by the man, so if you left, you couldn’t get back in), we bought a generator powerful enough to run a makeshift drying system. Water was the trickier part, we need a wash tank to make and reclaim screens. So we bought the water tote pictured above and placed in on a stack of pallets and that was enough to (barely) gravity feed our power washer. It was enough that we were able to get our work done, put the money in the bank, and come out the other side of this whole mess. It was a shitty year, but so many people who I consider friends had it much worse.

This blog is mostly about my cars and the adventures we have in them. Finding this pic, which I took after I bought the water tote and mounted it on my roof for transport, made me think of another aspect of the cars we own. They go through experiences with us like a loyal dog. So even though the best memories I have of my car  will probably involve fishing or romping around in the desert, there will always be these other memories, the hard times, as well as the random shit we went through.

Dress – Robe à la française, 1775. Ivory silk brocarde. France. ©The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Takashi Hatakeyama.

This textile with its complex weave pattern also features a variety of different threads including chenille, silk floss and twisted yarn for motifs. It shows of the outstanding skills made in Lyons, famed in the height of quality and design. Kyoto Institute

“Empire”: TV’s Contemporary-Art Gallery

“Empire,” the most-watched prime-time show on Fox, is now in its second season. The show’s four-stage Chicago set doesn’t feel like a contemporary art gallery; it’s much less pristine, and the artwork hangs inconspicuously on the walls amid the on-set chaos. But the art world’s influence is clear. The paintings on display, mostly portraits, represent a generation of celebrated works by black artists, which have toured America’s museums during the past two decades. The works sit underneath special lighting, designed to show off their powerful imagery when the cameras are rolling.

Read more from Antwaun Sargent on the show’s art-world accents.

Philippe de la Salle or de Lasalle, Les Perdrix | The Partridges, fabric design for interiors, 1771-72, Lyons, France.

This design was commissioned in the early 1770s as part of the decoration for a salon in the Palais Bourbon in Paris. Ten years later it was used again in the Grand Palace in Peterhof, the country residence of the Russian empress Catherine the Great. In the Peterhof Palace, the textile was used in a boudoir that was decorated en suite, meaning that the same textile was used for the walls, furniture covers, and curtains. It was a popular pattern, and in addition to the Museum’s piece with a pale blue background, examples with different background colors such as red, green, and yellow exist in other museum collections in the United States and Europe.

The work of designer and entrepreneur Philippe de Lasalle came to the attention of Catherine the Great through their mutual acquaintance, the philosopher Voltaire. In 1771, Lasalle produced several woven portraits of reigning monarchs, including Louis XV of France and Catherine the Great. Voltaire owned one of the portraits of Catherine and praised its likeness in a letter to her. Examples of Lasalle’s designs were sent to the empress and she became a patron.

The partridge silk was one of several Lasalle fabrics subsequently imported for the Russian palaces. Lasalle was also commissioned to design wall hangings to commemorate an important military victory which were hung in the Chesma Palace, and another silk showing peacocks and pheasants was used in what became known as the Lyon Drawing Room in the Czarsko Selo Palace.