A collection of cat whiskers, the shape of women’s lipsticks, the backs of famous paintings, and lost animal flyers: these are just a few of the so-called “ordinary” things that me and my team of contributors celebrate in my first book.

“Blake taught us if the doors of perception were cleansed, we might see the world as it is: Infinite. Peter Buchanan-Smith and his cohorts have been propounding something perhaps even more marvelous: The infinite potential in every single bit, and the infinite variety, in the human capacity for marvel and astonishment.”— Lawrence Weshler

Excerpt: The Collection of Eddie Simon

“I always kidded around with my customer at the barbershop. I told them when they went down south they should wave their hands and push the warm air up. So one of my customers decided to bring some sand back.” And thus began one of the more spectacular collections — of earth, air, and water — gathered from around the world and sent to Eddie Simon, a barber from Philadelphia.

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TITLE: Speck
AUTHOR: Peter Buchanan-Smith
PUBLISHER: Princeton Architectural Press
DATES: 2001
CREDITS: Peter Buchanan-Smith (creative direction and design); Meaghan Kombol (production); Ron Barrett, Shannon Fagan, Jesse Gordon, Stacy Greene, Steven Guarnaccia, Cyrus Habib, Grant Heaps, David Horowitz, Maira Kalman, Knickerbocker, Robert Lemons, Phil Milstein, Ian Philips, Lauren Redniss, Angela Reichers, Wade Shuman, Eddie Simon, Dan Taylor, Richard Torchia, Mark Ulriksen, Amy Unikewicz, John Willis, Adam Yates (contributors to Speck).