laura blumenthal ceramics

hurrah! spring is here, and here are some lovely little plates and cups to celebrate the season from philadelphia potter laura blumenthal. graphic designer laura uses terra cotta, stoneware and porcelain with techniques like silkscreening, handbuilding and carving to create pretty combinations her collection.

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laura_blumenthal_turquoise_plate

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purchase these pieces and see the full (and very affordable) complement at her etsy shop.

via creature comforts


martha rich mixed media paintings

i just saw these fantastic paintings on the sfgirlbybay blog and had to write about them immediately. they’re part of the painting a day exercise california artist martha rich has just wrapped up, called freedomwig. martha has created a collection of acrylic, collage, ink and pencil pieces that have consistent underlying themes of insecurity, the trends people follow to achieve acceptance and the ultimate disappointment that occurs once they realize how absurd it all is. according to martha, the series is inspired by “all the ads we see during our lives informing us of the bad smells we make, our lack of prettiness, that we are too fat, and all our flaws that will cause others to like us less.” wow.

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martha_rich_never_easy

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as a child, martha worked as a television and print ad model. the rediscovery one of her old j.c. penney shoots lead to her obsession with vintage department store catalogs from the 60’s and 70’s, as well as her signature style: an imperfect interpretation of all those stiff model poses, undergarments and beauty products found in the pages of those wishbooks from days gone by.

i love these works. i simply love them. the naive style, the stylish motifs that salute previous eras, the layers and expression, the sweet feminine palettes that belie a message that a lot of people don’t want to see or hear. these are strong statements to stand up and make in a world where superficiality, quick fixes and the next best thing abounds. but the hook is here and holds you because martha isn’t preachy about what she is trying to get across. the positive, affirming message of seeing the value in just being yourself comes through loud and clear. and that is music to my ears.

these pieces are in an exhibit which has been extended over at the la luz de jesus gallery in los angeles through january 27 (hurry!). check out what is still available here, read the rest of the sf girl’s blog post here and while we’re at it let’s not leave martha’s main website or freedomwig site out either!


beanwad handmade jewelry

love these delicate but still funky pieces of gemstone jewelry from local artist erin costello – another renegade craft fair find!

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erin_costello_beanwad_multi_gem_necklace

erin_costello_beanwad_labradorite_earrings

erin_costello_beanwad_ruby_necklace

erin_costello_beanwad_chandelier_earrings

purchase her work here.


suzi blu art

i like this girly heavily textured art from new jersey artist suzi blu. she’s using a combination of acrylic paint, mica powder, colored pencil, ink and beeswax to create these folksy outsider compositions.

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suzi_blu_girl_and_cat

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suzi_blu_dare_to_believe

i like the scratchy surfaces, bright colors and positive messages she conveys.

see her blog to find out what she is up to, and check out her flickr stream, video log, ebay or print shops to see much much more!


studio archirivolto charme chair

i don’t care that these are $795 each, i’m hatching a plan now to cook up a scheme to somehow see these in the flesh and maybe sit on them once… to me this is the perfect feminine/masculine chair. glamorous and curvy, but made from macho materials of aluminum and leather, from the brilliant minds at italy’s studio archirivolto for fasem.

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LOVE.

see for yourself at fy2k or the conran shop.

via betterlivingthroughdesign


shino arihara illustrations

tony over at thumbtack press just got some new work in from california artist shino arihara, but the older stuff is great too!

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shino_arihara_the_bigtime

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shino_arihara_lampsshino_arihara_window

purchase shino’s prints at thumbtack press and see more work on her website.


linen and silk sachets from estelle billot

i love these sweet little pillows and sachets from french designer estelle billot. estelle grew up in burgundy and studied business in paris. her company, nature et poesie, and the designs she creates are inspired by her french heritage, travels and favorite childhood memories. her distinctive products are accented by french words and poetry.

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her poetry is translated into english and is included on a hanging tag on each item.

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the poems are so sweet — the one on the dove pillow says, “beautiful as a dream, light as a cloud, a travelling dove, soars in the air so pure, and embellishes the azur…”

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i love her delectable color palette and happy, simple shapes. i also love the touch of luxury from the european linen, dupioni silk and french lavender she uses to make her lovely products. any of her pieces would make a truly wonderful gift!

see estelle’s website to find a shop near you.


naomi kobayashi illustrations

i almost went insane when i saw these beautiful illustrations by japanese artist naomi kobayashi.

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although she shares the same name as the famed textile artist, i do not believe they are the same person (and i certainly hope someone will correct me if i am wrong).

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i am struck by the strong childhood themes, delicate dreamlike imagery and the sheer, poetic style.

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seriously, it’s making me nuts.

an extraordinary talent.

see her full portfolio here.

via knowing i would


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