Voyager Journal
Happy Birthday Hermann Rorschach!

Today is the 129th birthday of Hermann Rorschach, the guy behind the famous ink blot personality test (weirdly, he also looks like our very own Robert, but that is for another kind of analysis!)

Besides being a revolutionary Freudian psychiatrist and master of psychoanalysis, he also has deep roots in the creative arts. Rorschach had a extraordinary childhood, rich in intellectual, artistic and cultural stimulation. His father, a local art teacher, encouraged young Hermann to paint and draw. He was even koo koo for Klecksography (a Swiss childhood game of creating images out of ink blots). So much that he won the childhood nickname of Klecks.

In 1917, He was the first researcher to use inkblots in analyzing how patients projected their own associations onto seemingly random stimuli. By viewing these abstract blobs, he was able to develop one of the most famous and recognizable tools of psychoanalysis.

By the 1960s, long after his death, Rorschach's ink blot test was the most prominently used projective test in the US. Though sometimes seen as controversial, the test is still used today in courtrooms, schools, hospitals and jails to assess emotional issues.

To celebrate his birthday, we will be rocking his famous ink blobs, reinterpreted in this season's Wood Wood collection. We've thrown together a couple of our favorite looks for a variety of stylish personality types.

Wood Wood Violetta Shirt in blot white

Wood Wood Violetta Shirt in blot whiteMaison Scotch Long Tailored Jacket, First Rite Silk Rolled Trousers in blackMiista Pandora Boots in black

First Rite Raglan Contrast Blouse in cream & black, Wood Wood Kim Pants in blot print, stylists own socks and boots

Wood Wood Kim Pants in blot print, Hope Grand Sweater in black (sold out), Shannon South Tote Bag (in-store only), Chamula beanie (in-store only), Miista Allison shoe

NY Hat Co Felt Fedora in Grey, Wood Wood Jolette Longsleeve Pullover in SandWood Wood Kim Pants in blot print, Chaussure Lapin Lace up Oxford in camel, Reid Damnit Clutch (sold out)

Happy birthday Hermann! We love your ink blots!


* for all in-store items, please email inquiries to info@revolversf.com

The Devil's Teeth

Just 30 miles outside the Golden Gate, many San Franciscans don't even realize they are there. I had never heard of them until my landlady's son made mention of them. He told us that on clear days they were visible from our house on the hill, our castle in the sky, here in the Excelsior district. But as it was August and we were in the midst of full-on foggy season, I had to wait to catch a glimpse...

From the first time I spied them, they totally captured my imagination. I could easily and readily see myself living out my lifelong Island of the Blue Dolphins fantasies in some such magic place. They are the Farallon Islands and their history is rich and fascinating. From the Spanish word farallón meaning "pillar" or "sea cliff", the Farallones, today, exist as National Wildlife Refuge. The islands were once responsible for San Francisco's growth as fur trappers and eggers ventured to the Devil's Teeth (as the Farallones have been sweetly nicknamed) to reap nature's rewards, meanwhile throwing many seal and bird species' futures in jeopardy. Now closed to the public (and rightfully so; the island's native species have been pillaged and plundered over the centuries), the closest we can get is a ride on whale watching tour out of Sausalito. So close, yet so out of reach! Their mystery lives on.

Even more disturbing than overhunting and poaching is mention in both Wikipedia's Farallon Islands article and Rebecca Solnit's Infinite City's Poison/Palate chapter and map that the area surrounding the Farallones was at one time home to nuclear waste disposal sites!

We can paint a better picture of what these islands are and how vital the Farallones' ecological health is by watching documentaries (such as this one by Robert Talbot, marine photographer/cinematographer & preservationist; HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!) and reading books (such as this one by Susan Casey, writer/researcher & great white enthusiast). While you stop to ponder the Farallon Islands, I leave you with these images from the Farallones' past and present: 

Farallon Islands in the mist

Rainbow over the islets with the North Farallones in the distance

"Eggers" took nearly a million eggs a year in the early years of San Francisco from the bird-covered Farallones Islands 27 miles west of the Golden Gate. A war broke out in 1863 between factions who desired sole access to the eggs, resulting in two casualties. But these weren't regular old chicken eggs; these were the nasty eggs of seagulls and murres. Yum.


Oct. 7: San Francisco State College coed Myra Thompson failed in her attempt to become the first person to swim from the Farallon Islands to San Francisco. She was pulled out of the water only 2 miles short of her goal. She had swum through the treacherous waters for 241/2 miles before she had to give up, exhausted. The 22-year-old had been in the frigid water 18 hours. Her handlers in the escorting boat reported that she had swum strongly until within sight of the lights and bonfires at the foot of Taraval Street on Ocean Beach but then became exhausted and incoherent and was forcibly removed from the water.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/Attempt-at-Farallones-to-San-Francisco-swim-fails-2499161.php#ixzz24bAysLRU

Meadowsweet Dairy, "For The Birds", concrete rubble over stainless steel blind with artificial bird nesting boxes, SE Farallon Island, CA, 2000.

Bedlam Boy, an elephant seal, moves up the terrace toward the house.

Fur seal pup on the Farallon Islands

Smiling great white

Photo by Jenny Erbes, courtesy PRBO Conservation Science.