christine kaiser sculpture

i am liking these quirky sculptures from pennsylvania artist christine kaiser. each piece is handmade with combinations of wood, metal, wire and paint. christine’s anxiety series is meant to be a visual place to focus your stress, because she believes that anxiety held in the hand or put on a shelf creates less of it in the heart. her wake up and sleep pieces tow the mysterious line of dreams and reality, and were created to be a contemporary folk tale.

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this collection is priced from $40 to $110 and is available at uncommon goods. see more great work on christine’s website.


neha chandra picasso salt and peppers

i think these picasso salt and peppers from new delhi designer neha chandra are very pretty. i like how the pepper gently nests within the salt, creating a slightly different look every time you put them together. they were inspired by the works and forms of pablo himself.

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i am not sure if these are in production but they would be a very graceful addition to a dining table if you ask me.

see more design concepts and contact neha here.

via designflute


shalene valenzuela ceramics: let’s chat!

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i like to see pretty and edgy put together in art, and if it’s bright, ironic, feminine or makes a contemporary statement about society, i am all for it. you can imagine why my head nearly flipped off with delight then, when i saw the humorous and intriguing ceramic collection of shalene valenzuela. at first glance i admired shalene’s skillful command of her chosen medium, her layered style, and all the vintage shapes and molds she uses. after gazing for a little while longer though, the forms fall away to reveal secrets, histories and legacies which tell very strong, up-to-the-minute stories. let’s have a chat with shalene and find out a little more…

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q: where do you live, and where do you create your art?
a: i currently live in missoula, montana. i lived in oakland, ca for several years (i am a california native), and moved up here to start a long term artist residency a year ago. i will be in missoula for at least another year, then we shall see!

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q: what is your background, and did you study art formally?
a: i have a BA in art practice, and a MFA in ceramics. i have been an active studio artist for several years, and have taught many classes, mainly in ceramics.

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q: what is it about clay as a medium that appeals to you most? and (without giving away any secrets of course!) can you tell us a little about the techniques you use?
a: i love the transformative qualities clay has. there’s such a wide variety of work that people have executed using the very same materials that i do: we all speak the same technical language, but the aesthetic range is amazing. my work is mainly slipcast, and i draw/paint using underglaze, and sometimes use screenprint transfers in my works, using underglaze as the printing medium. my work sort of borders on the trompe l’oeil aesthetic, but in more of a “cartoonish” manner. i want the object to be recognized, but my illustrations compose it into something else entirely. for the most part, i make my own molds, unless of course, i run across a commercial mold that is way too ridiculous to pass up.

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q: i see throughout your collection a very strong theme of women in contemporary society. has your work always had feminine motifs? how has it transformed since you started making art?
a: my work always had some element of a feminine motif in it. i have always tried to combine humor with a deeper message in it, and i think as i have grown older, i have gained more of an understanding why these topics and image styles interest me. i use “dated” imagery, yes, but these images conjure up many issues that are still pertinent today, not only for women, but for society as a whole.

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another thing i was thinking about recently… i loved to draw at a very young age, and as my character rendering skills developed, i noticed even the male characters i drew had a soft feminine edge to them, so i sort of gave up on drawing guys. even now, it takes a bit more focus for me to draw the male characters i may put in some pieces.

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q: what is the price range of your collection?
a: from as little as $15 for ceramic teabags to about $3999 for my largest piece – 99 bottles of beer. but most of my stuff is in the “affordable” range – reasonably priced functional items, and most my sculptures are below $500, unless they are large or complicated.

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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’d like to think that my body of work consists of quirky pieces that reflect upon a variety of issues with a thoughtful, yet humorous tone. i am inspired by the potential of everyday common objects. i reproduce these objects in clay through handbuilding, slipcasting, or a combination of the two, and illustrate the surfaces with a variety of handpainted and screenprinted imagery. i primarily obtain my imagery from remnants of the past (instructional guides, advertisements, family photos, tall tales), and reconstruct the images in order to convey my narrative. these narratives generally deal with topics ranging from fairytales, urban mythologies, societal expectations, etiquette, and coming-of-age issues. stylistically, much of my imagery is pulled from sources around the 1950’s era. through advertising, common objects were embraced in the most royal fashion, and through television and print, images of the “perfect americana life” were portrayed. i use these images in a manner that can deal with ageless topics.

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q: where can we go to see your collection in person? are you currently exhibiting in any shows or is there anything else meaningful you would like to tell us?
a: my studio is currently at the clay studio of missoula in my studio and our sales gallery, but i am in several shows and whatnot now and coming up. in missoula, i will have wall works in a solo display at bernice’s bakery in the month of june, a piece in the missoula now! show at the ceretana in september, a solo show at the clay studio of missoula in october, and a solo show at the catalyst in december. elsewhere in montana, you can find small works at b civilized in livingston.

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back in the bay area, i currently have work up in a group show at the grand theater center for the arts in tracy, at the natsoulas gallery in davis. i will have a piece in a group show at ruby’s clay studio in san francisco starting in late june, and will have a solo exhibit and sale at cricket engine studio and gallery in oakland (this is my former studio, where I used to serve as gallery manager). also, i am excited to be in two consecutive shows at santa fe clay in new mexico – the first is bling, opening this week (may 23rd – june 21st)! the best bet is to always check my site for updates. i do have several things in the works, and try to make updates regularly!

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thank you shalene!


pugilist round up

i’m not quite sure why i keep doing these round up posts, and yet i am still compelled. maybe it’s because i like looking at them in other blogs? anyway, please enjoy this random boxing theme (and i don’t even like boxing!)…

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photograph from the future hype collective’s etsy shop

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mini gloves pendant from montreal’s roadkill

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velvet embroidered boxing gloves from hello craft lovers! (via craft)

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nat fleischer’s mid-century boxing guide on ebay

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metal boxer sculpture from the art exchange’s etsy shop

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vintage lady boxers photo on ebay

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limited edition boxer print from byvikink’s etsy shop

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stencil painting at mark traughber’s etsy shop


kelly newcomber art

i am enjoying the happy colors and stories told in minnesota artist kelly newcomber’s art. kelly is inspired by a multitude of things electronic, and expresses their usefulness and collected poise in paintings, prints and lively little stoneware sculptures painted with acrylics. i am enjoying the everyday objects interconnected with larger human ideas, and the randomness that all seems to make sense in these pieces. there’s science and technology and astronomy – and love – all bundled up here into irresistible, vivid packages.

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i love the idea of these prints in a kid’s room (and wish for those sculptures on the sideboard in my living room!). there is something so very appealing about those little sculpture guys. that chocolate keypad reminds me of a blackberry device (or something else of that ilk) to keep track of yourself on.

now, if those pdas would appeal like these pieces do in real life, we’d really be cooking with crisco!

if you’re passing through new mexico, be sure to stop by the roswell museum and art center to see the artist-in-residence alumni show that kelly is participating in, now through january 13, 2008. if you can’t make it to the desert southwest, see kelly’s website for her portfolio and visit her etsy shop to purchase these lovely items and more!


paula mccullough art

have you ever read an artist or crafter’s blog out here on the interweb that really moved and affected you, because the writings were so authentic, and then looked at their work and found a mystical holistic connection to the blog content and style? if you do, i want to know about it, but for now i will show you one i found: self taught artist from paula mccullough. the blog is all about paula and her personal, passionate journey of making art. in 2003 she packed all her belongings up and left arizona to pursue her true vocation. after some brief stops and travel through the united states, she came to settle in vermont. now, four years later, through curious trials and experimentation, she has created a broad collection of work that ranges from photography to mixed media, which is almost exclusively made with found objects. sculpture is crafted from puzzle pieces; clocks are created out of discarded industrial scrap. through her writings, we have a ringside seat to read about the creation of these works and the reasons behind them, but through her collection we receive a very intimate glimpse into the mind and heart of an artist.

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paula can find the soul of the object, whatever it is and despite its original purpose, and reveal its beauty to us. or is it her own soul and beauty? i know that if i were to place one of her pieces in my hands and hold it, that focused energy and urge to create and pure expression is what would resonate. and that, that precious human emotion, is the true mark of the artist.

see paula’s work in person at the west branch gallery in stowe, peruse and purchase a large selection of her pieces on her website, and read her compelling thoughts on being an artist on her wonderfully written blog.


jennifer maestre sculpture

(ed. note: welcome first-time readers! if you enjoy this article about jennifer, 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!)

look closely at the fantastic sea creatures created by south african born, massachusetts based sculptor jennifer maestre and you will see that they’re made of pencils. that’s right, you heard me. jen’s current work is skillfully crafted from hundreds and hundreds of colored pencils. they’re cut into one inch pieces, sharpened and then drilled through to become beads, and then sewn together using a peyote stitch. in each of these incredible works you can feel the approach-avoid paradox from her medium – a clear and surprising achievement (and one of her goals). you can also see the genesis and extension of a simply fascinating idea.

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all that contrasty tension in the spikey points and smooth, undulating surfaces serve as reminders of all that is dangerously attractive in nature. the textures, at first glance, give way to a certain complex reveal that comes from deep inside a person who is not only a visionary, but also a truly enlightened master of color.

i love to see the progression and throughlines of artist’s work, and jen’s website is a fabulous example of this. knowing that she started out with the idea using nails when she was a student (see the first 3 photos above), and then having it evolve organically into pencils and then being nimble enough with the concept to extend this thought into something wearable and accessible to people who aren’t hardcore collectors is truly extraordinary and seems so purposeful, and successful to me.

and i want to touch everything, even though they’re sharp, and stick my head inside that tall guy with the gaping hole at the top, to see all the spikes in there. to stare. and think and evolve like the piece itself must have done.

see more magnificence on jennifer’s website.

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bonus: check out her beautiful pendants, pins and small sculpture in her etsy shop!

via designboom


steampunk pac-gentleman sculpture

look at the wonderful details on this crazy steampunk “pac-gentleman” sculpture from uk artist doktor a. this description written by the artist says all ye need to know about this 9″ wonder:

“when this game was first released in 1880 it was so hugely popular in taverns and inns that the bank of england was forced to mint more threepenny bits to keep up with demand. the game was created by messrs. nam & nam and co. as a novelty pastime for the masses. outdoing the previous top public house game of shove ha’penny. “

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very clever and very funny!

this piece is part of the spit and polish toy show through november 30th at cardboard spaceship in santa cruz.

see more paintings and sculptures on doktor a’s website.

via technabob


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