jennifer grimeyser photography

interesting things from new york-based artist jennifer grimeyser.

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see more here.


identity tank decorative ceramic tiles

You did not think I was finished writing about artists in Brooklyn on Etsy, did you? One more: cool decorative ceramic tiles with hand drawn details from the creative hands of Identity Tank.

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See more here.


paul balmer paintings

I love these dusty, dusky, earthy colors and the shapes and patterns of the buildings in the cityscapes series of oil paintings from South African-born, New York-based artist Paul Balmer. Paul’s world travels and experiences living in Australia (where he studied art) have shaped his softly abstract yet representational style.

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See a lot more intrigue on Paul’s website (love everything, esp his new monoprints!), and if you are in the Boston area, check his work out in person at the Arden Gallery now through October 29th, 2008.

via Le zèbre bleu


reina mia brill knitted wire and ceramic sculpture: let’s chat!

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when my cool friend burt came back from the acc show in baltimore, he told me that he really enjoyed the ceramic sculpture collection of new york artist (and recent donor to locks of love) reina mia brill. of course when i looked at it i went a little nuts. i love the clever combination of color and form, all the intricate detailing and facial expressions and most importantly the freedom these pieces give to my imagination when i look at all of them. let’s have a chat with reina mia and find out a little more!

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q: where do you live, and where do you create your art?
a: i live and work in a remote section of the bronx in new york city called city island. i like to call it the mythical island in the bronx because in all the 10 years i lived in manhattan i never heard of this place. my boyfriend dan grew up here and we are living in the actual house where he grew up. city island is a very unique place… it is an old fishing village trapped in time. my studio is in the basement with two windows at ground level where i say hello to all stray cats, birds and even snails that come and visit me.

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q: what is your background, and did you study art formally?
a: i have an mfa from san diego state university in jewelry and metalsmithing which was where i got started knitting wire. i made hand-knitted wire jewelry for five years out of graduate school. i never was really happy making jewelry, it just seemed practical at the time. so in 2001 when i received a $7,000 fellowship from the new york foundation for the arts i decided to finally ditch making jewelry and do what i always wanted to — make sculpture. i also hold an undergraduate degree from fit (fashion institute of technology) in accessory design which is why my creatures are always very well accessorized.

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q: so, why wire and clay? and how did you get to that place of combining the two (along with several other materials)? have you always worked in multiple mediums?
a: up until last year i only worked in knitted wire over a stuffed fabric covered armature. all the hand sewing was killing me. i wanted to be able to make work quickly. working in clay is not quick but it is quicker than sewing by hand. now i am able to build the figures faster and more sculpturally. after the pieces have been glazed i will embellish all the clothing and sometimes the bodies as well in knitted wire.

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q: these pieces are exquisitely detailed and must be very labor intensive. (without giving away any secrets of course!) can you tell us a little about the techniques you use?
a: i first start with a drawing usually found in one of my sketchbooks. the figure is then hand-built in a low fire clay and glazed with underglazes. i use two very old-fashioned knitting machines to knit the wire. one is a sock-knitting machine from 1923, the other is a big double bed passap machine from 1960. i can create beautiful dimensional patterns off of the passap machine which i usually use for the clothing. the sock-knitting machine creates a sinuous knitted tube that i like to use as skin covering. i knit with very thin gauge coated copper wire that has been coated with a polynylon coating for color. once the figure has been fired i determine which areas are to be covered in wire. sometimes it is just the clothing and eyes and other times it is the entire creature. the knitted wire is stitched to the clay body by hand and then tacked with an epoxy resin.

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q: i see a common thread of expressive human emotions as well as physical animal traits in these characters. did it come naturally to blend the two?
a: i have been drawing since i was a kid. my dad and i used to play these creature drawing games together. we would start with a blank piece of paper and then one of us would draw the first creature. the next person had to draw a creature interacting with the one on the page. we would keep drawing until the page was filled up trying to make the most outlandish creatures.

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q: what is the price range of your collection?
a: i offer a wide range of prices. on the low end i do creature illustrations framed in knitted wire as well as wearable creature brooches. these works sell for $95 to $250. my standing and wall sculptures start at $275 and increase in price depending on the size and the labor involved. two figures i made for an exhibition in poland last year stood just under 5 feet. they each sold for $10,000 but i spent 6 months creating them.

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q: what is your inspiration for these works? do you have a message you want to send through these pieces?
a: i do lots of sketches. i will study people, usually children on the street for a variety of poses. children’s faces are the most fun to watch for their devious little expressions. the animal/human imagery has just come naturally. when i study human faces, so many are very similar to animal faces. animals, however, offer a wider array of eyes, ears, feet and mouths to come up with my own species of creature. my work does not have a message. i love that it makes many people laugh and smile and remember their childhood. other people are scared by my work and that’s interesting too. the work is open to individual interpretation.

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q: where can we go to see your collection in person? are you exhibiting in any current or upcoming shows?
a: i am currently in three exhibitions around the country. the first is called contemporary repetition at the long beach island arts foundation in new jersey. it’s on view now through june 16th. the second is called contemporary crafts at the jrb gallery in oklahoma city. the show just closed but the work might still be there for a little while. the third is a traveling exhibition called fiberart international 2007. this show opened last year in pittsburgh and will be traveling through 2009. currently the show is in charleston, west virginia through june 22nd at the clay center. this show is accompanied by a beautiful catalog as well. i also show work regularly in new york at the eclectic collector in katonah and mano a mano in bronxville. i will be selling my work myself at the following craft shows: the niada conference in las vegas at the show and sale on july 27th; the doll and teddy bear expo in washington, dc august 9th and 10th; and back again in dc in november for the washington craft show. in 2009 i will be at acc baltimore in february and most likely craft boston at the end of march.

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thank you reina mia (and thanks to burt for the great tip)!


re jin lee art and ceramics

i saw this simple and handpainted porcelain and dish set on cribcandy the other day and decided to investigate. such beautiful minimal design! turns out, new york-based artist re jin lee, or rj, is not just a ceramic artist but also a wonderful illustrator. and her strong linework is less minimal and more robust to me. a very fine combination if there ever was one.

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see rj at her website or at her etsy and dawanda shops.


caravan bracelet collection by scosha

remember those little braided friendship bracelets you used to make for your little friends in grade school? no? that’s okay. even if you don’t you might enjoy these linen and flax bracelets with cute button closure and pretty 18k gold and gemstone details from the caravan collection of australian born, new york-based designer scosha woolridge.

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see the full selection and lots more at scosha’s website.

via refinery 29


cake ceramics

although brooklyn’s cake is comprised of four industrial designers who work in a variety of materials, my eye naturally goes to their retro modern ceramic collection, and let me tell you i am liking it a lot.

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the colors and shape of those cups are really perking me up too.

check them out at the supermarket and also see their website for more cool products.


susan graham sculpture: miniview

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i thoroughly enjoy the thoughtful construction and loose style of these metal animal sculptures from new york artist susan graham. her handmade menagerie is created from the idea of a three dimensional drawing, with a single continuous strand of steel or copper wire used for as long as possible for stability. special attention is addressed toward the character, gestures and expression of each animal, which makes it difficult to choose a favorite! ever curious to know more about the brains behind the operation, i asked susan three quick questions…

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q: how did you get into making these sculptures?
a:
i made a wire animal a long time ago as an art assignment. a teacher brought in a live rooster in a cage (this was in ohio, where i’m from) and asked us to use wire as a medium and capture the character of the rooster.

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q: do you have an art background?
a: i do have an art background. i had started school in chemistry at ohio state university and then switched to art-sculpture and photography – because that’s what i had always wanted to do. i moved to new york city and started a degree at the school of visual arts, but did not finish. i was afraid of getting too much in debt and not being able to afford an art studio here. i have a whole other art career besides the wire animals – i show at a gallery in chelsea called schroeder romero.

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q: what inspires you to create?
a: i am not sure what prompts my desire to create, but it is constant – a basic need. i do my art, i sew clothes sometimes, i make the wire pieces, i like to make cakes. it just seems to be built in.

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susan will be exhibiting in future tense: reshaping the landscape at the neuberger museum from may 11th – july 20th, 2008. be sure to see her etsy shop for her wonderful collection (or to commission your favorite animal), and go here to see some of her photographs from a recent exhibition she had at the philip morris branch of the whitney.

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thank you susan!


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