Gravel & Gold
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Archive for "Books"

Vintage Book Sale!

2 May 2013
Cassie McGettigan

A large selection of our vintage books will be 25% off from Friday, May 3 – 6 . Come by the shop, take a gander and take home something special. 






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Making WET: The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing

16 April 2012
Cassie McGettigan

WET: The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing was an insanely rad magazine published out of Venice Beach by Leonard Koren from 1976 to 1981. Gourmet bathing was covered in full, no doubt, also girls, interviews, and features including Dribble, Places, Non-Human Life Forms, Food, Architecture, Fashion, the Last or Back Page–but what really lasted was its avant-garde graphic design.

WET’s philosophy of bathing, however, has made only limited cultural inroads. Its basic tenets are:

~Water, steam, air, and mud—and the energy to heat them—are precious resources to be cherished and conserved.

~Cleanliness is next to impossible (but keep trying anyway).

~Nakedness is almost always an excellent idea.

~In addition to all its other charms, bathing is an accommodating metaphor.”

That was taken from the intro to the book. The book! Making WET: The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing. In it, Leonard tells the story of the making of WET from its early formation to its emergence on the international pop-culture scene. The book also includes an extended commentary on the process of making WET, along with images from the magazine and advice for making such a creative enterprise happen.

We have copiessss….

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Nin Kit

15 December 2011
Cassie McGettigan

Here’s a nice little Anaïs Nin starter collection. A Woman Speaks was new for me. It’s been a pleasure to read through this Major Arcana auntie’s extra-literary words and thoughts. And certainly, it’s always a pleasure to come across copies of Little Birds and Delta of Venus designed by Milton Glaser, whose book of design we celebrated yesterday.

From the top left, we have Waste of Timelessness and Other Early Stories, published by Magic Circle Press, 1977. A Woman Speaks: The Lectures, Seminars, and Interviews of Anaïs Nin, edited by Evelyn J. Hinz and published by The Swallow Press, 1975. Delta of Venus, published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1977. Little Birds, published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979.

Milton Glaser

14 December 2011
Cassie McGettigan

My scanning/re-photographing abilities reached their limits with today’s book of choice, this wonderful overview of Milton Glaser’s designs published by The Overlook Press in 1973, so I’ve decided, dear reader, to resort to others’ work in this department. Probably I should do this more often, as I often feel that my poor attempts to transfer images from books up to this blog takes away from the majesty of the images, and certainly the online experience doesn’t come close to holding a book full of them in hand.

In any case, interested parties can see plenty more of Mr. Glaser’s designs at and buy prints at I’ve taken the statements about these images from the wonderful overview book that we have available at the shop—plenty more where they came from, and a great reason to invest in the book itself.

These Cubismo blocks on the cover of Art in America were commissioned by the magazine as part of a series featuring toys designed by American artists. My idea was to produce a cube made up of sixty-four plastic blocks. Each plane of sixteen blocks contained a different design motif. Most of the blocks were designed so that, placed together, they produced a variety of continuing patterns. The educational premise was to expose the child to the idea of producing a series of changeable images without a naturalistic framework. They sold poorly.

A poster for an art show whose purpose was to support the effort to end the war in Vietnam.

The illustration on this page was for an article in Signature, the Diners Club magazine, suggesting how good coffee can be evaluated. I own the blue coffee pot and it is a favorite possession.

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