Saturday, May 30, 2009

fresh out of the kiln

Now available at RISD Works.

still life saturday with shoes

The above images by photographer Peter Lippmann take my breath away. I found them via LeBook, and highly recommend their website. Go here for more images from this series, they are all equally stunning.

The painterly still lifes are an ad campaign for Christian Louboutin, whose website is so much fun. Not only does this incredible designer makes swoon-inducing shoes, he also has a great sense of humor.

The images were styled by Amandine Moine, creative direction by Nicolas Menu. Why don't they have websites? I want to see more of their work.

Friday, May 29, 2009

late nights

Last night I stayed up (really way too late) finishing up an order for RISD Works. I was applying decals to glazed pieces, and for some reason it took me hours. I was thinking of Amelie when she composed the lost love letter by combining cut up passages from existing letters. Amelie was shown in fast forward during her process, I wish I had that fast-forwarding power. New ideas kept coming to me, and I had to take some time to make them work.

Decals are a perfect medium for a graphic designer who loves layout (me). The process goes like this: I search vintage books for etchings (which are in the public domain), I scan the images in, I print them out on decal paper with a special ink cartridge, I cut out the images and arrange them on a glazed vase, plate, cup or bowl.

I love that the end result becomes a functional object to interact with on a daily basis. I'm a big proponent of surrounding yourself with art, and using it.

The decal-ed pieces from last night are in the kiln, firing away, and will emerge tomorrow morning. I'll take some pics of my new ideas then. In the mean-time, here is a poem from Rumi I was experimenting with a few months ago.

This poem works better when it travels over a series of plates. The viewer has time to reflect on each passage while moving from plate to plate. Plus, you can have a table set with Rumi's words, how fantastic.

This series is in the collection of Karen Fleer, a writer.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

the unpredictable louise boscacci

Eight unsaid

Roll call

Collecting names

Bowl for 264 species
photographs from Rex Irwin Art Dealer (visit their website for more of Louise's work)

Louise Boscacci makes functional objects with a twist, in fact, she makes sculptures, which could be mistaken for functional objects. Her work is unpredictably gorgeous, layered with meaning and time. Louise plays with sgraffito, inlay, and stencil, creating ceramic poetry. I love her subtle use of handwriting, it beckons you to come closer, to become intimate with her work.

Read more about this incredible artist here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

why didn't i think of this? {part one}

photograph by notcot

photograph from designglut

"By combining a simple glazed wall tile with an iconic teacup, Hookmaker creates a place to hang and hold small objects." Fun and functional, sells for $30 at

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

artist in her home: no. 4

Visiting Jennifer French and her husband Rob in their recently purchased home is a treat. The food is always gourmet-delicious, and the setting is inspiring. Every room in Jen and Rob's house is a feast for the eyes, every wall carefully considered.

I have been a long-time fan of Jen's work, first admiring her Christmas ornaments at the RISD Alumni Holiday sale when I was in grad school. How fortunate that a few years later, our paths crossed in Pawtucket, where we became neighbors, and friends, in a renovated mill building. A year ago, Jen and Rob moved into a new house and have created a sophisticated, playful, and inviting home, decorated by Jen's incredible eye for beauty and a talented hand for painting. Here are a few details (click on the images for a larger view):

Jen's most recent work: collage, drawing and painting, reminds me of Russian folk tales I grew up with.

A collection of animal statues look stunning against the rich dark color of the living room.

Art Nouveau details, hand painted by Jen on the living room walls.

A series of skulls from animals collected by Jen's family.

An arrangement of hand painted and transferware plates in the kitchen.

A piece of wood Jen found in the back yard now serves as a coat hanger in the front hall. The antique ornate hooks were sent by Rob's father.

I was lucky to have traded two of my tiles, shown above, for one of Jen's paintings. It makes me happy to see the tiles displayed in Jen's dining room. They are in such good company, like the gorgeous paintings by Mara O'Day, shown below.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

hello from france, and other places

photographs courtesy of Harmonie-Intérieure

This morning I received a very sweet email from Fabien Barral, who, with his wife, creates gorgeous typographical wall decals (view flickr images here). Their company is called Harmonie-Intérieure, which started as they began to decorate their country house near the central mountains of France.

Fabian's email read: "I really like your work/world and so want to share mine..." This made me particularly happy because that is exactly why I started my blog, to share my world and to learn about others'. Fabian's world is magical, how fortunate am I to have gotten a glimpse of it?

Fabian's email has inspired me to share some more artists, and their worlds, who I met through my blog:

Deb at your destiny is golden: Deb's writing is poetic and entertaining, she opens my eyes to the magic of everyday.

Cindy at quaint handmade: writes beautifully, and lately has been sharing her experiences in the digital photography class at ICP. Cindy's photography is a treat.

Brooke at inchmark: Brooke and I met at Martha Stewart, and have reconnected through our blogs. I am such a fan of anything Brooke makes, and writes, she is one talented lady. Her life is filled with stunning craft projects and lovely books.

Ulku who runs Irving Penn's fan page on Facebook: it was wonderful when Ulku wrote to me after I posted about her Irving Penn page on my blog. Ulku (a Turkish name) is originally from Ankara, but has lived most of her life in London. She has expressed interest in starting a blog, and I am so looking forward to when she does.

Friday, May 22, 2009

diana fayt

photography courtesy of Diana Fayt

I was first introduced to Diana Fayt's work by Dawn Sinkowski, a senior stylist at Body+Soul with whom I had the pleasure of working with for two years. Dawn, an artist and a sculptor, has a unique eye for styling a photo shoot. Her work is a fine balance of color, texture, and gorgeous, unique pieces. Diana Fayt's work falls into the gorgeous and unique category. Diana creates paintings on her ceramic forms. I love the layers of drawing on top of color on top of texture.

Diana's website is wonderful, don't miss her story. For frequent updates on her shows and work, follow Diana's blog. And then there is her etsy shop. She is an inspiration.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

music in the family

Yesterday I received a package from my younger brother, Mike. The package contained two CDs (details are above): one of his band's (Push Pull) music and the other a promo for his recording studio, Russian Recording. Both CD sleeves are beautiful, the graphics are inventive and sophisticated.

Most in my family are visual artists, but Mike is blessed with the music talent as well. At a very young age (five maybe?) he sat down at a piano and started playing, everyone's jaws hit the ground. When he was seven, or so, I took him to an audition where he played the violin, and I cried through the whole thing. I was so proud of him.

Now Mike runs his own recording studio out of an old warehouse space that he recently renovated. It sounds like he is booked every day, including the weekends. He also writes music, plays the guitar, and sings in his band. Pretty impressive for a twenty-something. Ok, enough bragging.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

wednesday beauties

photographs courtesy of Nicolette Camille

photographs courtesy of Ariella Chezar

This morning I woke up in need of some beauty. Could it be the sunny day urging me to surround my blog with flowers? The tough conversation last night? Or the fact that I don't have a garden of my own, or even a balcony for that matter? Whatever the inspiration, looking at the work of Ariella Chezar and Nicolette Camille makes me happy. And brings back memories of my grandmother's gardens. A good way to start the day and chase out any cobwebs.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

swan point cemetery

Off of Blackstone Boulevard in Providence, RI is a beautifully landscaped old cemetery called Swan Point. There are indeed swans a plenty in the Seekonk River, to which the cemetery gently slopes. I wonder which came first, the swans or Swan Point Cemetery?

Swan Point is walled off by an ancient stone wall, the kind where no mortar is used to hold it together. There are sarcophagi and tombs, and weeping angels. There is also gorgeous typography. Some of the stones were cut more than a hundred years ago, yet the letter forms are precise, the letter spacing perfect. It is a peaceful place for an afternoon stroll, especially if you are looking for typographical inspiration.

Monday, May 18, 2009

porcelain carpet

Marek Cecula is an incredible craftsman, porcelain bends to his will. I am amazed at the control he has over this finicky material (which gives me so much grief).

Here is Marek's description of the process used to create the above installation (yes, it's a series of porcelain plates):
"The original carpet was photographed and scanned into the computer. The pattern of the carpet was then mapped to the shapes of the plates by software. The final digital material was then transferred into ceramic decals, which were applied on the plates and fired. The decorative pattern covers the round surfaces of the plates in consistent directions, creating a 'porcelain carpet'".

And here is Marek's description of himself:
"I am seduced by the role ceramic plays in our lives and the aesthetic values it carries. I am a watcher, an anthropologist, who is constantly discovering how we form relationships with these objects and their functions."