- Arts and Design
java mod mug art
A couple of years ago I opened a Zazzle store called "Java Mod" . The idea was to have simple coffee mugs with my art on them. This lens will show you some of the designs. The designs are from my own digital art and watercolors. I used Corel Painter for the Mondrian series and some of the others and simply scanned and digitized the watercolor art. If you'd like to open your own Zazzle store it's a pretty easy thing to do.
A design by me, based on Mondrian's technique of painting. I did the artwork in Photoshop CS2 at 300dpi resolution.
This mug has one of my watercolors on it, titled "Wedges". The original watercolor measures about 12 x 16 inches.
Vas 8 Mug
This design is called "Vas 8". I originally did this as a large poster several years ago. If you click on the mug you can see all of the mugs that it's available on....
This design is "Mondrian #2". (click on the mug to see different views of it)
WHAT MAKES A GOOD CUP OF COFFEE
A good cup of coffee is taken for granted by most people. Little do people know how much effort it takes, and how many events that must happen just right to make that single cup of good coffee. There are five major factors which effect the quality of coffee; quality of beans, roast, grind, packaging and water.
Coffee is an agricultural crop and is subject to a host of conditions while growing that directly effect the coffee flavor. Rainfall, sunshine, temperature, elevation and soil chemistry all contribute to the bean. By the way, have you heard those coffee advertisements that claim their product was "Mountain grown"? That's because ALL coffee is mountain grown. Pure marketing.
The degree to which coffee is roasted is extremely important. Roasting changes the chemical properties of the bean, roast too much and the coffee tastes bitter or burnt, roast too little and not enough volatile oils are released causing the coffee to be weak.
The granulation of the coffee determines how much surface area is present to extract the volatile oils. Too coarse a grind limits the extraction of volatile oils resulting in a weak cup. Grinding too fine over extracts the oils which may result in bitter coffee.
The packaging material must have oxygen barrier properties to keep the coffee fresh. Simple plastic film has almost no protection, it must be metalized.
Proper water temperature is essential to brewing good coffee. The brewing process heats water to 195 - 205F and saturates the grounds for approximately three minutes to dissolve the volatile oils. It is the oils that carry the flavor we taste. Water quality is equally important as temperature. Hot tap water should never be used to brew coffee. Preferably filtered or bottled water should be used, as coffee tends to amplify any flavor that may be present in the water.
This design is a watercolor that I did years ago called "Mechanica". (click on the mug to see different views of it)
This design is called "Like Pollack" because it does resemble a Pollack.
Piano Keys Abstract
This design is from a watercolor that I did called "Piano Keys". The original watercolor was small: about 9 x 12 inches and the original is in a private collection. (click on the mug to see different views of it)
Mondrian #3 Mug
I came up with this design that was influenced heavily by the French artist Mondrian. (click on the mug to see different views of it)
How To Choose Coffee Beans.....
Find a specialty or gourmet shop where the salespeople are knowledgeable and will spend some time educating you about the different kinds of beans. Ask if you can taste coffees before buying them.
Buy only freshly roasted coffee. Ask the coffee salespeople when the coffee is roasted (many specialty shops will roast coffee daily) or, if you're buying coffee in the supermarket, check the bottom of the bag for the date the coffee was roasted, or at least a freshness date.
Stay away from bins where the beans are splintered or broken.
Trust your senses. Good beans look and smell appetizing.
Determine what kind of coffee you enjoy: mild or full-bodied; floral-tasting, nutty or winy; and so on.
Learn about the different coffee-growing regions and which varieties are highly regarded; discover which regions produce coffee that matches your tastes. Most coffee is grown in Latin America, Africa and Indonesia.
Determine your roast preference. Different roasters treat their coffee to lighter or darker roasts. "French roast" and "Italian roast" are two terms for darkly roasted coffee, although the actual beans aren't specified.
Consider blended coffees. Many specialty shops offer their own custom blends, but there are standards as well: Mocha-Java, for example, is a famous blend of coffee from Yemen (Mocha) and Java.
Store coffee beans and ground coffee in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. If you won't use the beans within a week, or ground coffee within a few days, keep the coffee in the freezer.
This is a digital design that I did in Corel Painter. (click mug to see possibilities)
This is a digital design from a photo project titled "Luminous Corner".
This is from a watercolor of mine called "Balance".