Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Knitting space

A number of years ago I got to see Petra Blaisse speak at Parsons about her work and one of the best moments was her telling the story of knitting the giant sock that hides the audio equipment at the glamorous Prada store in Soho. With giant knitting needles she and an assistant made the beautiful piece in their room at the Grammercy Hotel. So now we see the first in a trend toward the epic handmade.......

Knitting chairs

Expert craftperson Ruth Cross knitted this seat cover. For some reason, the knowledge of the craft involved in the piece makes it destined to be an heirloom rather than just a chair......

Monday, June 29, 2009

Building floors

I have been thinking a lot about the depth of the DYI movement and what it means to the design world. There are a number of designers that are using the vocabulary of DYI and sustainability and working within the realm of commerce. One such designer is Christien Meindertsma. I have written about this work before and even coveted it... But the project Idaho seen on his web site explores the "farm to table" culture of decorative arts. The process of getting to know your sheep and then on to the product seems more and more evident in our culture...The other interesting thing that I have seen quiet a bit is the bump up in scale of the knitting to accommodate the epic task of knitting a rug.....More to come

Sunday, June 28, 2009

building fossils....

I will finish up the ceramic series with this beautiful piece by Maggie Wells. Wells is now represented at Karkula in Manhattan.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Building the fantastic

Okay, I admit it I have the "I wants". These amazing ceramic tiles by Ashville artist Heather Knight caught my eye this weekend and I am hooked....... I like the idea of a don't touch part of the bath and such a surprise coming out of a field of dumpy subway tile.......

Friday, June 26, 2009

How function is built.

The most beloved functional pottery for me is the work from Bennington Potters in Vermont. Started in 1949 work out of the Potters Yard has been a staple of all good new england modernist households. The white series is the group to covet.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The form builder

I would assume that Wouter Dam is the most adventurous ceramicist working currently...to have the bravado not to make a secure vessel...and revel in the shape making that Richard Serra and Frank Gehry wish for. Not to mention the color. I could look at this work all day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Building form for a week

I wanted to do a ceramics series since its summer and I am in between projects and studios. The grandfather of modernist pottery is Georges Jouve. In a modernist decorative arts store you will see a Prouve piece and Mouille Lamp and a ceramic piece by Jouve all done in Paris in the 50's. I love this cylinder shape because I now know that a 6" tall cylinder is one of the first acts to master on a potters wheel. See Patrick Seguin's web site for the greatest hits of French modernism

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A furniture thought

Yatzer posted this image of a Richard Artschwager chair. I thought I would add this quote from Gord Peteran that combats this anti-chair that Artschwager promotes-"Furniture is our first sculptural encounter, after the body of the mother and slightly before spatial volumes of architecture."

Monday, June 22, 2009

The building beautiful for the beautiful.

About a year ago, one of our most talented comrades from New York had us writing recommendations for her to architecture grad school and then we got an e-mail, "I am going to Africa to design and build a school"....we were surprised but Valerie Buchheit is a very special person so- no not a real surprise... Well the school in Tanzania is done and I am tearing up at how truly beautiful it is. Well done Valerie! thank you for the pics...

Building Surface

I thought I would share my "repetition as method" endeavor. Its not finished yet but I'm inspired by
El Anatsui and Tara Donovan's work. I am trying to make a functional piece out of recycled water bottles... I will keep you posted when the piece is finished....

Repetition Builds

When I saw Miss Frida's door I was reminded of these brilliant dresses by artist Susie MacMurray. Entitled
"A Mixture of Frailties" I was awestruck by them when I first saw them at The Museum of Art and Design in NYC last year.....

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Building the same yet different.....

Of course the genius of repetition is the artist Eva Hesse. Many of her sculptures are simple , simple forms gathered together and made the same way yet belying their differences. Such personality in each vessel.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Multiple building techiques

While I have been working on this epic drapery project I have been thinking about my Icelandic friend
Frida Gylfadottir's door. Covered in rubber gloves, the door has the friendliest vibe to it. Such a nice idea.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Building with multiples

I am finishing a project were I am very deep into repetition as the method and the materiality. This stool by Natalie Kruch is a great example of this process. The simple material of a balloon transforms the stool to other ends. The press about this work says that the stool was student work and she was inspired by the Brazilian Campana brothers and their use of vibrant everyday materials ganged together to create something entirely new.

building elegant

I picked up House Beautiful for the first time in a long time and really enjoyed it. I normally am frustrated by shelter magazines because the rooms look so "store bought". The project that I enjoyed and will put in my clip book is that of the very skilled Albert Hadley. A house for a returning client that was down sizing; the rooms look carefully composed of things people cared for and the use of fabric that moved from room to room is lovely.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Building almost done.......

I thought I would share these awesome renderings that have been done for the developer package for 272 21st Street. The uber talented Gordon LaPlante did these drawings for us....So exciting. The project is very near completion. We got a great shout out from writer Bridgette Steffen of Low Impact Living about the buildings that were on the Dwell house tour and Remodelista spotted LBC and made us feel GOOOD.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Building foliage

The New York Times introduced me to the work of Paula Hayes this last week. A landscape artist she seems to have quite a way with the ordinary planter...... I can not say I have ever seen plants look so happy in a container before......

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Building Bohemia

I have been struggling with a paper trying to communicate that the 19th and 20th century Artist House is the perfect example of the Modernist Manifesto. Formal boundaries of the domestic are broken down, the decor is an expression of travels and experience rather than riches and work and life are blended into one. How academic of me to not put the three examples together visually. These are the parlor of Olana-1891,The Bloomsbury group's Charleston circa 1920 and finally the Eames House-1949. Is that the same rug!????

Monday, June 15, 2009

Building tough.....

Our buddy Will Randolph brought the beautiful Tom Kundig:Houses book over yesterday and it was not until I saw this stair and door images that I remembered that these images had been on my wall in Brooklyn for ages. This stair case is a stair to aspire to.....The entire unit made out of mild steel, handrails and all-the storytelling that goes on on the door hardware is something else as well.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Building history

We popped up to Oxford again to take in some Shakespeare... And get a peek at a little known Calvert Vaux Villa that was built in Oxford. Vaux was the designer jointly responsible for New Yorks Central Park, Prospect Park and Fort Greene Park.. I know his work from research on Olana in upstate new York-never did I dream that a building of his would be in Mississippi. The building is clearly an example of Vaux's
Cottages and Villas
series, part of his collaboration with Andrew Downing...but was the story behind the construction? Some citings say completed in 1859, some say 1861 where it was left incomplete due to the war......More stylistic mysteries here in Mississippi.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Building odd again

In the realm of all things "slightly off" Yatzer introduced us to the work of Studio Pepe. They are mostly stylist for publications but they have a body of work that really is interesting and gets you thinking beyond mere consumption. The work also fits in this summer's tread of "The Absurdist"

Friday, June 12, 2009

Building the odd part 2

I finished the new biography of Flannery O'Conner by Brad Gooch. At first I was not that engaged but like a O'Conner novel it comes from a very subtle sensibility. I particularly enjoyed the sketches of Atlanta-turns out one of her dear friends lived up the street from my parents first apartment and the hospital she went to was our neighborhood one. It did make me want to go to Andalusia Farm in Millage ville, Ga. for my next pilgrimage.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

building the odd

It's looking like an "absurdist summer", non-reality cooking shows and even the Prius commercial has a strange hyper-reality feel. But we must not forget the queen of the absurd yet beautiful is Merit Oppenheim the swiss surrealist artist.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thought Building

I came across this quote by Henry James this morning while reading the New York Times... For me words to live by. "I call that man rich, who can satisfy the requirements of his imagination." From Portrait of a Lady. Image by Rinne Allen, Loveseat by Annie Coggan

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Building stories

Ah if I were in New York I would rush to see the work of Canadian artist Gord Peteran at the
Museum of Art and Design. I admire his complete disregard for function.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Building symbols

I have been reading a lot about conceptual artist John Latham's work recently. I can not say I have figured it out but his house-officially called the Flat-Time House with a giant book inserted into the front window has me thinking.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Building Calm

We are sort of working more than Blogging this month. But we have been thinking about work spaces of artists and writers and what kind of space brings about a piece of mind. Is an artist house a vehicle for the work or vehicle for the life style or just a vessel for work? These beautiful images found through many a blog are of Georgia O'Keefe's Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. The rhythm and rigor of her life is still very much in evidence. These photos are by Robert Reck for Architectural Digest.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Place Building

I am working on mock up of stitching/drawings/maps for another series of furniture. I was really taken with Faulkner's Rowan Oak and reading about his tireless energy to revive the house and grounds...It is an overwhelming sense of loyalty to place that I think is very prevalent to the south....I am going to be working on a series of maps that illustrate this connection....oh sounds so formal/academic-we'll see.

Building business

Brooklyn designers Korneel Bouman and Ulla Florholmen have "put out their shingle"! The Brooklyn Design Company is ready for business. Their web site is really fun to interact with, changing photos of Brooklyn Street Life, a "things we like section" and some beautiful work. I particularly like these book projects very clear-

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The shape of building

When we were at The Birmingham Museum along a long row of not very good pieces of ceramic was a very tiny basalt tea cup. Imagine my surprise when the description card said the piece was by James Turrell. Evidently in the 90's Turrell worked with the British Wedgewood company and produced a series of ceramics that embraced the Wedgewood tradition.....Such a nice moment looking at that very delicate tea cup.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Building walls

I spied some of Phoebe Washburns work the other day and it reminded me of the Campana brothers wall at the Moss gallery in Soho. The interesting thing is that the "vibe" is so different. Washburns work is so protestant and the Campana brothers is so so Rio, so 90's....! It great how a small change is gesture of a material can evoke time and place.