tord boontje jewelry: charming

i don’t think i would feel like i was wearing a lampshade around my neck if i had this lovely necklace from iconic dutch designer tord boontje. this charming collection, entitled, er, charming, consists of delicate whimsical charms with a nature motif, and is available in packages of 3, with a 18k gold or silver plated finish.

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the collection is being distributed by artecnica, and will be available in may. if it’s a must, you can hop on the presale wagon over at charles and marie.


sculpture by vytautas kavaliauskas

enjoying the natural forms in these organic sculptures from lithuanian artist vytautas kavaliauskas. largely composed of wood, all the materials he uses are salvaged from the sea.

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more here.


glass and ceramics by jess wainer

i have got a few (not necessarily exciting) personal projects going on that are occupying my time, so i’ll only be writing sporadically for the next several weeks. in the meantime i hope you enjoy this ever-so-haunting glass and ceramic work from jess wainer. she is using a sgrafitto technique on the glass vases. very interesting.

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more intrigue here.


ruth lyne glass

you may remember the talents of glass artist ruth lyne from the last time i wrote about her. she’s been busy in the kiln and has added some new larger scale panels of glass which are just as serene and beautiful as her tabletop collection.

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if you are lucky enough to be in london you can view her collection with the cohesion glass network at the affordable art fair in battersea park, from march 12-15, 2009. the rest of us non-travelers can admire her work on her website. 🙂


dominic falcione clay sculpture: miniview

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i immediately connected with these handcrafted ceramic pieces in ohio-based artist dominic falcione’s shop the moment i saw them. they’ve got everything i love in high quality craft: the organic, tactile appeal of clay, the handsome sculptural forms, and a bonus: an true function, in this case as a vase. i was intrigued by dominic’s etsy profile, which on first read seemed oddly out of sorts with what he has in his shop, because in it he claims that he is not a potter! how can you have a ceramics line and not be a potter? well, dominic can, and with great passion. and the path he’s traveled to get there seems to flow and glide along as fluidly as his thoughts about it all…

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q: i see you’ve written in your profile on etsy that you have a metalsmithing and sculpture background. how did this all begin?

a: i never really built anything until i was about 21 years old. i was always more of an illustrator or painter. the first thing i really built was an iguana cage for my girlfriend at the time. i think it had a big impact on me because there were multiple elements to address about what an iguana cage is and how it needs to function – like heat, air flow, humidity, lighting, accessibility, security, a variety of landscape elements, etc. at the time, we were pretty attached to that cool little iguana so it was very important to make a healthy environment for it as well as make the cage a piece of furniture, a functional centerpiece to a room that incorporated a design influenced by the life that the cage contained. i got hooked on that kind of alchemic design aesthetic.

i entered college after that experience to pursue what i have always done, illustration and painting, but eventually, i began to see some metal work that other students were doing and started taking 3D courses. i focused in metalsmithing because of the small, intimate, intricate and meticulous work that i loved about drawing and painting. for me, metalsmithing evolved into small sculptural objects and i started to incorporate other materials as part of a language with metals as a base. then i began sculpture courses to make larger fabrications with wood, plaster, etc. i stuck with sculpture for a while because there was no precedent of materials – any material was part of the palette. sculpture gave me fabrication experience with materials and metalsmithing gave me experience in fabricating with precision and grace.

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from all this, i gained the experience and word of mouth as someone who knew how to design and make things well, which landed me a full time job working with a local architectural fabricator/artist john comunale. i quit school and worked in his studio full time for five years building huge architectural signage, interior fixtures like lighting and furniture, and just odd miscellaneous stuff. usually big stuff.

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q: so how did you get from this metalsmithing-sculpture combination to clay?

a: the experience at comunale’s took me away from conceptual work, or art for art’s sake. art for art’s sake was a lot of fun, but it was always expensive and very taxing for me personally in a lot of ways. that’s when i started to focus on functional work, more like art objects for the home or for an interior environment. i wanted my work to have a practical purpose. my work started to evolve from sculpture for shows and galleries, to sculpture for the home. the hardest thing i deal with as far as design aesthetics, simply because i just can’t force myself to let go of it, is how to maintain the sculptural language of materials as the vehicle for concept in practical, functional art. that’s really where the bulb vases came in. i made a decision to limit myself to one platform, and i chose the vase.

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i love the vase right now because it can be sculptural, ornamental, functional, and holds something that no human can really make – a symbol of our size, understanding, and place in this infinite universe of mystery and wonder as well as a symbol of life and death.

to answer your question, i would have to say that i don’t really look at it in that way. it is really just another addition to the palette. i try to use materials that make sense in the language of the object itself. it is an alchemic design approach, and the bulb vases are a successful example, for me, of that kind of harmonious design – hence, harmonix craftworks. the materials, form and function of an object create a language. and, like words in a sentence, they must be symbiotic with each other to be cohesive and understood.

you can find dominic’s work and get in touch with him at his etsy shop.

thank you dominic!


leaves of clay ceramics

Beautiful functional and sculptural stoneware with great organic style from the talented hands of North Carolina potter and Etsy seller Michele Humphrey for her leavesofclay shop. Each piece is imprinted with different leaf species from the trees nearby.

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I am pretty sure I need to touch these right away.

See more at Michele’s Etsy shop and the Leaves of Clay website.


jenny flanders photography: miniview

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what you see is what you get, or wysiwyg. have you ever heard that phrase before? i usually think of it with regards to lotus spreadsheets. i also think that it applies to good food that is essentially naked and perfectly seasoned, which requires talent and effort to achieve. now, i also think it applies to the beautiful work of photographer jenny flanders. jenny is able to capture the essence of her subjects in a very intimate, authentic way. her macro shots are so inviting, and her abstract shots compel me to look a little bit longer and think about how she shot them, and how she brings out the best in them using this wysiwyg style. no primping or preening at all. just purity, plain and simple. i wanted to know a little more, so i asked…

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q: where do you live and where do you create your work?
a: i live in seattle, washington, and i create much of my work just walking around my neighborhood. (i try to stick to what i can reach from the sidewalk rather than trespassing in my neighbors’ gardens.) i also spend quite a bit of time in central washington state, which is orchard and wine country. and of course i always take my camera on vacation!

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q: what sold you on photography? what do you think makes it stand out from other art mediums?
a: i haven’t figured out another way to make art that satisfies me enough that i’d display it in my own home. photography stands out from many other mediums in that it’s more accessible. it’s relatively easy to acquire a camera, and it’s more portable than an easel, a sewing machine or a pottery wheel. photography can also be more “concrete” than other art forms, and i think that gives it great power to help people see the world differently.

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q: you’ve got two shops on etsy: one with your nature images, and the other with your abstract collection. do you have a favorite motif?
a: i’m going to have to go with “natural abstracts.” 🙂 there are other things that catch my eye, but a lot of them just don’t fit with my nature photos. hence, my rather neglected second shop.

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q: your images are largely if not exclusively unadorned (and by that i mean unenhanced digitally). what made you make that decision, and what do you think is the main benefit of this style?
a: well, i’ve moved from not knowing how to digitally enhance my photos to having some idea but still thinking they look pretty good without it. beyond removing a stray speck of dirt, how can i improve on nature? time is definitely a factor, but editing really isn’t the fun part for me. maybe i’ll develop that interest someday and open a third shop!

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q: if you could shoot anywhere in the world, where would it be? and why?
a: the first place that comes to mind is hawaii, or anywhere lush, tropical and exotic. brazil’s atlantic forest is known for its biodiversity — 20,000 plant species ought to keep me busy for a while! i also need to pay my brother a visit in brooklyn, since the botanic garden there is considered among the best in the world. the why is probably pretty evident when you look at my “main” shop, but i’m truly fascinated by the details nature has to offer.

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see more of jenny’s work at her two etsy shops.

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thank you jenny!


pussy willow earrings by stephanie simek

talented portland multimedia artist stephanie simek has added these absolutely lovely pussy willow earrings to her jewelry collection and i think they are fabulous. i love how graceful and delicate they are, and i especially love that they are made with actual plant matter. the earrings themselves are made of oxidized sterling silver.

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i’ve got a thing for pussy willows. that really does not sound right, but i said it anyway. my pussy willow standard won a prize several years ago at the chicago flower and garden show. it has since passed on into the next plant life, so i am happy to see stephanie’s much longer-lived interpretation.

purchase the earring and see much more right here. and if you want to know more about stephanie click here for an interview i did with her recently.


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