Archive for February, 2008

daisy print by christina muraczewski


oh my.

i think i love this limited edition print, made from a painting by california artist christina muraczewski. and not just because of that faux bois, but because it’s so orderly.


there is motivation behind it all, according to christina:

when i go to the store i plan to buy five things or in groups of five so i remember what i was supposed to get. i organize and categorize by a number of different systems. i make lists of activities and items and place already “checked off” activities or items on the list to get a head start. never is there room for the diagonal. a rectangle functions better as a square. a crack in a wall must be repaired. the order of natural elements must be left to its integrity. everything must match.

by employing minimal characteristics, i create formal and informal relationships that are usually subtly depicted to mimic a kind of ethereal experience desired by the minimalists, one that is disrupted purposefully by a foreign element: humor. humor in the form of obsessiveness, senselessness, or sarcasm defines the absurd to serve as a balance to the mundane. the attempt is to fashion a new hybrid: minimalism as the backbone and idiosyncrasy as the fuel. this hybrid is meant to sit in the “in-between”, the balance of abstraction and representation, the literal and the conceptual, sincerity and superficiality.


oh my.

find this print in all its glory at 20×200.

carmel killin textile design: miniview

i enjoy the work of sydney artist carmel killin, aka etsy seller feedthedog. there is something hopeful and inviting in the appealing limited edition and one-off screenprinted cushion covers and wall hangings she creates. i like her textures and earthy colors and simple art styles, and i like the natural fabric she uses. ever curious to know a little bit more about the brains behind the operation, i asked two quick questions…



q: how did you get into designing?
a: the truth of it is, i’ve been “seeing” and visually “re-imagining” the world around me since the dawn of time, or at least since the age of 12 when my parents (who have no taste whatsoever, god bless ’em) moved the family to a hideous new brick house in a freshly created suburb with no trees. the unbelievable ugliness of my interior and exterior surroundings at such an impressionable age had me begging my parents for years to follow my fabulously detailed design suggestions. to no avail. at the same time i was writing short stories and had a spurt of published fiction in my 20s. at university i dabbled in photography and film making, which led to many years working in the film industry. i’ve had no formal training as a designer, i have just always been attracted to the visual world and the desire to interpret what i see, give a common object a new visual story. as a devotee of DIY philosophy, i love doing short courses. knitting, sewing, screen prining, felting, welding, dyeing… done it. with a few non-design-related degrees under my belt i fell into tertiary teaching, but after learning the basics of computer design applications started teaching graphic design to university students. i still teach design, though these days it’s all studio-based and hand-crafted projects. which of course i adore.




q: what inspires you?
a: i think my love of story telling informs a lot of my visual work, though not in any obvious way. i’m also really captivated by the wonderful skewed shapes and lines of children’s drawings and their rough, scribbly colouring-in technique. i love odd creatures, plain creatures and silhouetted shapes. old national geographic magazines from the 60s and 70s have fabulous animals with wonderful personalities. a blank piece of highly textured fabric excites me with all the possibilities and challenges it presents. i love shapes and lines in the landscape, shapes and lines in common, plain objects. details, like stitching, shading, trims, buttons, are delicious to me. so too, unexpected combinations of pattern and texture, objects and things. oddness, whimsy, humour are very attractive to me.


well, after reading her answers doesn’t it all makes sense now!? two thumbs up!

if you’re a local, you can frequently find carmel at the paddington market in sydney. if not, see and purchase the available collection at carmel’s etsy shop, and be sure to check out her humorous, well-written blog too!

thank you carmel!

measuring tape lamps by chrissy angliker

swiss-born multidisciplinary designer and artist chrissy angliker is a recent pratt grad who has created (among many other clever things) these boldly graphic measuring tape pendant lamps.

chrissy_angliker_measuring tape_lights

chrissy_angliker_measuring tape_light_black_whitechrissy_angliker_measuring tape_light_black

chrissy_angliker_measuring tape_light_yellow

i can imagine the soft glow emitted from their tightly handcoiled shades, and love the idea of these in a craft room (duh) or a little vestibule or foyer. what a cool thing to come home to!

the lamps can be seen at the los angeles branch of the permanently cool reform school. but you can also order them from her directly: $100 for the black and white light, $120 for the yellow and $130 for the multicolored. be sure to check out her great portfolio too while you are over there!

compact, modern speakers by scandyna

now we can make a strong individual statement about our personal style not only through our choices in music but the way we listen with this gorgeous speaker collection from danish company scandyna. the curvy collection includes the drop, micropod and minipod styles, whose funky organic shapes and poppy colors appeal tremendously to me (and i especially enjoy the drop shape).






this is a company that’s been around for 40 years striving to create the highest quality audio equipment possible. clearly (and lucky for us!), modern clean design is a priority for them too.

available at the conran shop, decibel and audio vision sf.

cool stone base lamps

my husband has a tippy lamp test that he has used on all the lamps in our house we have ever purchased together. he pokes the body of the of a potential candidate with his finger and if it falls over, he refuses to buy it. he thinks it’s a sign of a poor design if it happens (and i think it’s because of what a very affectionate orange cat might do to it!). anyway, i love these simple table and floor lamps with their jute shades and chunky stone bases, because they’re not going anywhere.



$129 and $199 respectively at west elm.

via bltd

poppytalk handmade market – march

spring is nigh and look at the colorful reminders we have at the handmade market from poppytalk:


sterling and resin jewelry from melanie favreau


sweet office accessories from simple song designs


fun prints from cate anevski for her bees knees industries


polaroid sx-70 print photography from aly and rob for their isofoto

check out the rest of the market out right here.

best of the week on roadside scholar

greetings friends!

i will be at the wonderful evensong spa this weekend for a special treat with a dear friend, so in the meantime please enjoy some fun highlights of the past week here, in case you missed it. you can click on the photo to read the posts, and click on the text links for more info about the company and the item.


beautiful ceramic lights from scabetti and authentic’s supercool bravit candle

bocina squaredetails_frames

auerhahn’s bocina watering can and those clever angled corner frames from details


a wonderful interview with francesca vitali of frucci designs

thanks so much for stopping over during your busy week! stay tuned for next week’s cornucopia of stylish art, illustration and sleek modern design – lots more grrreat stuff!

frucci jewelry design – let’s chat!

(ed. note: welcome first-time readers! if you enjoy this article about fru, please click on the other categories to the left to enjoy even more posts about other talented artists and designers. better yet, feel free to be impulsive and click on subscribe to the right, and i will bring the good stuff to you instead! thank you for visiting!)



i had to remember to breathe when i saw these wondrous paper creations from california artist francesca vitali, aka fru. this talented designer from rome, italy crafts stunning jewelry from folding and weaving layers and layer of papers, then integrates them with other materials such as copper and leather to create her gorgeous frucci design collection. everything is so precise and pristine, with well defined edges, but still soft and wearable. and i love her color combinations and finishing details. let’s have a chat with fru and find out more!

q: where do you live and where do you make your jewelry?
a: at the moment i live in southern california. i’m here because of my work. i’m a penitent scientist trying to transition into art. i make my pieces mostly at home, i have set up a little corner studio, but to tell you the truth i generally spread my work in progress everywhere. i also have access to a jewelry studio at my school, where i work with metal…especially soldering metal, which is something i’m not allowed to do at home!


q: what is your background, and did you ever study art formally?
a: for the longest time i’ve regretted not pursuing my creative nature by studying art! my formal education background is in science. i got my “laurea” in chemistry in italy and my phD in organic chemistry in switzerland. since then, i’ve being working in research as structural biologist at a different university, but something changed since i came here (to the united states). i started thinking again of my art education, and last summer i attended my very first formal class in metal, at penland school of craft. that experience changed my life! after penland, i signed up for a class at calstate fullerton taught by a great metalsmither, christina smith, and next spring i’ll attend an intensive two month jewelry course in san francisco. and i’m also considering applying for grad school.



q: can you tell us a little bit about your collection?
a: i started this new line of woven/folded jewelry almost three years ago, when my sister, who knew how much i enjoy working with paper, got me some pre-cut paper strips. she knew one day i would come up with a good use for them…and i did! i like to repurpose old techniques with new media. one of my preferred techniques at the moment is weaving. i’m still experimenting with new paper shapes, new paper sources and new combinations of materials. i use shopping bags, old magazine pages, old catalog pages from my lab, coupons, old maps, museum newsletters, and new paper too. so far this has been a great creative process that is still evolving!



q: do you think there is a connection between art and science, and do you find inspiration in the combination?
a: i definitively think art and science are connected and the link is nature. for me, it is interesting to attempt to both understand and describe nature. i’ve been creative all my life, and for some time i thought science could be creative too…but there is nothing in the world that gives me as much pleasure as working on one of my pieces!



i get inspired by everything surrounding me, i guess. i never really know exactly where my inspirations come from, because normally they all come during the night while i’m sleeping. sometimes i wake up in the morning with an idea and i can’t stop thinking of it until i make it happen! kind of crazy, no?!

q: does it come naturally to you to blend the left brain analytical type of thinking with the right brain creative way?
a: i don’t know if it comes naturally, because i’m dyslexic and so to me left or right makes little difference! i will say that while my “right brain” background is self-taught, luckily i come from a family of great crafters (my mum is a great knitter, and my grandma was an excellent embroiderer).


q: what is the price range of your collection?
a: i like to give my customers lots of choices, so i have a broad price range ($9 to $250). people can just “taste” my paper jewelry for few dollars buying the cubetto earrings, or they can select very elaborate pieces that of course are more expensive.



purchase fru’s collection at her etsy shop, and be sure to check out fru’s flickr stream to see more beautiful things.

thank you fru!

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