Turning Japanese: here and now

June 20, 2012 § 1 Comment

japanese brass fine ballpoint pen (packed)

In the Baker household we are obsessed with all good things Japanese. At home, we have a multitude of origami paper, on Raw Dice we stock copious amounts of MT tape in various colours and have recently added various types of Japanese stationery to our list. I think we are naturally drawn to the ethos of Japanese design. It seems that our purchasing decisions for Raw Dice are pretty biased towards finding objects that we like to have in our home and work environment. I would describe our style as not so much as ostentatious but we aim to be as honest as possible. A product to be of good quality is always paramount to us as individuals. I think we are naturally drawn to clean and simple lines, with a view of the aesthetic.

I am no expert on Japanese design but it seems that cultural differences are prominent in all aspects of Japanese aesthetics . Theories behind Japanese design are based on 7 principles of Kanso, Fukinsei, Shibui, Shizen, Yugen, Datsuzoku and Seijaku.

Isabella, who is our budding craft maker is always busy making origami boxes, cranes, frogs etc. At the age of 11, she is already pretty entrepreneurial, having set up stalls on a couple of occasions to raise money for good causes. Selling  origami boxes filled with sweets is always a hit with her client base!  MT tape gets used to make pencil cases and books etc. Once we have a good art and craft portfolio, I shall post some of her creations here.

Here are some new stylish products we have in stock, which include pens, kraft envelopes, rulers, pencil cases, notebooks and brass implements such as number clips, label and index plates.Visit the website (Raw Dice) to see the full range.

Japanese brass ballpoint pen

Midori Kraft envelopes – set of 6


Wallpaper and other stories

November 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Where did November go? I have been asking myself this question when I realised that I hadn’t written anything for such a long while! Apologies to you all. Life seemed to go up a gear in November for me with multiple birthdays, multiple exams, pink days (breast cancer), yellow days (children in need) and etc. Phew, thank goodness this month is over!

Raw Dice has been taking off too. We’ve been shipping to the States, Europe etc. It feels good to have a global voice. Of course, leading up to Xmas is a busy time too. We’ve been looking at getting in new stock.

I have been decorating too. With the purchase of a new piano, a lot of furniture maneuvering has been going on. I also came across a couple of rolls of wallpaper that has transformed the setting. There is a bit of a story behind the wallpaper, which I will share with you.

I was out in Salisbury one day back in October when a particular shop display caught my attention. They had some wallpaper on a roll just hanging there, amongst their display of clothes (which is primarily what they sell). The designs of the wallpaper were very distinctive and eye catching, so I went in to ask who they were made by. Alas, they were not available since it was made as a commission for themselves. Never being one to be discouraged by such a minor inconvenience, my next question was what they were planning to do with them once they changed their display? My phone number was duly noted and I was told they would let me know. Roll on a month or so, I was out in Salisbury once again when I noticed that the display had changed. I go in and ask, and yes they can sell me the wallpapers, they only have 2 rolls of each design. I snap up a roll of each (at this moment I have no idea what to do with them).

Roll on a day and my purchases are discovered by David. Not difficult since I had put them next to the new piano. Given that the wallpapers are quite distinctive, I thought that he would ask me what I was thinking of and was I mad to even contemplate such a busy pattern in a north facing room with low ceilings! Saved, David being a man of infinite taste. So he was up for wallpapering there and then, choosing between the 2 designs. I did have to go and buy some more rolls from another branch. Here are the results to see. It really did transform the room and I am very happy with it.

The story goes on. A few years ago, when we were out visiting Lewes in Sussex, we went into one of our favourite haunts – Bow Windows Bookshop. It is a beautiful bookshop selling old and rare books. My copy of R.D. Blackmore’s Lorna Doone came from Bow Windows as a suprise present from David. The wallpaper has extracts from Lorna Doone. So, the piano, wallpaper and Lorna Doone now all sit happily together.

Book Club

September 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

There is a pretty cool place around the corner from us in Shoreditch called ‘The Book Club‘. It serves food and you can play pool if you so wish. They have monthly listings for events ranging from music, poetry, talks and readings to workshops etc. All under one roof! Is this what they call a ‘cultural revolution’?

So sitting here I thought I would start up my own Book Club. Well sort of… the usual modus operandi is that everybody reads the same book and it gets discussed at another meeting (usually with liquid refreshments). I am pretty particular about the books I read (stuck in the mud, I guess), so I don’t usually go in for book clubs.  I thought I would tell you what I am reading and you could let me know if you’ve read it and liked it. If not, then I don’t mind, we don’t all have the same taste in books, clothes, art and films, do we?

Did I tell you about my obsession with books and their covers? I do have a passion for them and in another 10 years I will have to move to a bigger house to accommodate them all! I decided to revisit Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’. It is the Penguin Hardback Classics clothbound edition.

These are some old books we have collected of Aubrey Menen, just because we like the jacket designs. I’ve only read one called ‘Dead Man in the Silver Market’. It was very amusing. There is a great website for second hand books AbeBooks.

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