10 Days in Japan: Day 4

I’m in Japan. I’ve traveled halfway around the world to be here and I’m standing in the corner of a dark, dingy factory watching hot carbon steel cool on a bed of bricks. Just minutes ago those were cold, characterless pieces of steel, and now they are knives. In the course of the coming weeks those knives will be touched by many skilled hands in this small factory. The knives will be tempered, sharpened, polished, and sharpened some more. A wood handle will be attached to those knives, they’ll be boxed up, and shipped out. People will pay handsomely for these knives (they are some of Japan’s finest), and with any luck they will continue to make the knives better. Through years of use, and care, what was once faceless and impersonal will have soul.

Stay tuned for tomorrow as I learn to forge my first nail…  

All my best,

Peter Buchanan-Smith
Best Made Co.


It is reported from ‘Abdullâh b. Mas’ûd – Allâh be pleased with him – that he said:

“One should get used to the idea that if everyone on Earth disbelieved, you would not disbelieve. Do not be an im’ah (characterless).” He was asked, “And what is an im’ah?” He replied, “A person who says, ‘I am with the people (I do what they do).’ Verily, there is to be no following examples in evil.”

Ibn Battah, Al-Ibânah Al-Kubrâ Vol.1 p33.
Source : Sayings of the salaf

Plastic Fantastic ! By Peter Chang

“The materials I use are inseparable from my ideas – the plastics have a present-day integrity that reflects the age in which we live. Plastics, unlike some natural materials are basically characterless, anything you make out of them only adds!”

Bracelet: Acrylic, polyester, polyurethane, foam, paint, silver. Peter Chang (1944-)
Glasgow, Scotland 2004

Bunny-heads Jealousy

You all asked me for longer stories so here you go. I hope this suites, sorry for the long wait everyone. Enjoy ! Thanks for the support!

Summary: Sasha becomes jealous over the fact Klaus is tutoring another student and spending more time with her. Klaus makes his point in a steamy passionate way. NSFW, read at your own discretion, all characterless are legal ages on 18. Mature Content. 

Keep reading

I used to write songs a lot. find inspiration in everything and just want to sing because it was a way to express myself. when he and i got together i lost interest in singing any longer and i thought it was because i was growing up and finding other things to feel passionate about. but now I’m realizing i changed so much of myself for him. he used to hate so many things i made myself small and characterless so i could be whatever he wanted to mold me to be.

Makoto Kikuchi. Japan Architect Nov 1988, 46
“The computer is itself a space and the omni-talented imitator of all things. In the beginning, it is only a characterless expanse. Then you call a name into this space by typing. In response to this name, a certain datum object is born and recorded into the system. It is bound by nothing and has no characteristics of its own.”

Makoto Kikuchi. Japan Architect Nov 1988, 45
“These seemingly solid objects appear in a plain, characterless space but only as long as they seem to be solid. All man-made things must crumble. Objects created in memory-space too must sooner or later vanish without a trace. But their image was that of something you had never seen before. Even if you have the idea of having seen them before, you do not know them. They are the things dreams of are made of—fragments from the future.”

honestly if there’s one thing I wish I could get through to people in fandom  it’s the fact that sometimes I like characters for what they could be and not for what they currently are

but everyone assumes that because I say I like a character, especially a problematic I must ignore their flaws; or if I write them growing past them, I feel like people think I’m erasing those flaws or ignoring them or that I’m trying to turn them into a cinnamon roll who has done no wrong

I’m fully aware that a lot of characters I like are pieces of shit, but I refuse to believe that they are fully irredeemable, and it’s that potential for redemption that I like. It’s about how I imagine them being after they realize they’ve done wrong.

but also like….not even for just problematic characters, but characters that people think are one-dimensional and stupid and characterless, background characters that people dislike for being flat or useless; I’m interested in what they could be if given the chance to grow on their own


Top: Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi

Bottom: 16th century Lombard school copy

I thought it would be interesting to contrast a work by Leonardo and a later copy to highlight the quality of his technique. 

The faces: Leonardo’s face shows remarkable subtlety, with soft modelling and lots of smoky sfumato. This effect would be achieved with thin layers of oil paint, taking great time and skill. In contrast, the copy is crude and painted in a much less time consuming, much more black and white style. It lacks delicacy and any sort of close attention to a model. For example, the eyes are particularly dull and characterless. 

The orbs: Leonardo’s depiction of the glass orb shows close attention to and study of an actual example. At the bottom and side, Leonardo has included the tiny bubbles and imperfections within the orb. There are tiny highlights and the artist has studied the refraction of the hand. Also, there is a highlight observed at the bottom. In contrast, the copyist’s orb is bland and poorly observed- he has entirely avoided the challenge of depicting glass altogether! 

The hands: Leonardo’s hand is carefully observed, with shadows, highlights and, perhaps most importantly, actual joints! Unlike the copyist, who has made rubbery tubes for fingers. Also the fingernails are bizarre. 

The fabric: Leonardo’s treatment of the fabric shows subtlety, delicacy and close observation. He successfully gives the impression of mass. In the copy, you can clearly see that the double fold, meeting directly at the elbow, is copied but altered sightly from the original. However, the copyist shows little subtlety- the folds are schematic and clearly not observed from life.