Wednesday, January 30, 2008

2d/3d: Portia Wells and Mark Cutler

Portia Wells (top images) and Mark Cutler (bottom images) are both working with a lovely sense of 2D and 3D in combination. The flatness of the drawings on the fabric lend themselves to the modernist or even minimalist forms beneath. I really enjoy the conflation of modernist and decorative aesthetics.

Broken English: Slow Movie

I have to recommend this movie to other romantics out there. It is one of the more cynical and sweet movies that "ends right" that I have seen in a while. Who would't move to Paris for love?

Monday, January 28, 2008

One lump or two?

Delft Toast

This CNC toast machine courtesy of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. They have images of people on toast in addition to this text. Personally, i am more excited about my toast matching my plate...You can view many other lovely, more decorative toast products from Minale Maeda here. This piece below is a part of their "Table Manners" series.

Aurelie Mathigot

Trash Luxe: Christine Misiak and Karen Ryan

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I have just come across an entire website that is dedicated to making art out of everyday life. Here is how they describe themselves:

SuperNaturale is an independent site dedicated to the Do It Yourself culture in all its glorious forms. From simple afternoon home improvement projects to radical lifestyle choices- we love them all. We celebrate ingenuity, creativity and the handmade.

We publish an online magazine, host an active bbs (Glitter), and have a group blog (Glimmer). Simply put we are a hybrid, a chimera, a liger—a radiant community with great editorial content.

Supernaturale is produced by Flat, a New York City-based design firm.

SuperNaturale has articles ranging from craft tutorials, digging your own root cellar all the way to the politics of drinking tea (click here to read the article). There are some really good interviews, Jenny Hart, Andrea Zittel, Garth Johnson, Annette Kesterson, and others.

Spectacular Craft Reading List

I have already purchased a couple of the books on this incredible reading list. I highly reccomend visiting the V&A site for more information about this exhibit. If you are near London or passing through, the show is up until February 17th.

  • Adamson, Glenn. Thinking Through Craft. New York: Berg, 2007
  • Bishop, Claire. Installation Art: a Critical History. London: Tate, 2005 NAL pressmark: 603.AG.0493
  • Bishop, Claire, ed. Participation. London: Whitechapel Gallery, 2006. NAL pressmark: 602.AH.0102
  • The Body Politic: The Role of the Body and Contemporary Craft. London: Crafts Council, 2000. NAL pressmark: 603.AD.2334
  • Bourriaud, Nicolas. Relational Aesthetics. Dijon: Presses du RĂ©el, 2002. NAL pressmark: 73.D.211
  • Buskirk, Martha. The Contingent Object of Contemporary Art. London: MIT, 2003. NAL pressmark: 602.AE.0286
  • Crow, Thomas. The Intelligence of Art. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999. NAL pressmark: NB.99.1512
  • Danto, Arthur C. After the End of Art: Contemporary Art and the Pale of History. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997. NAL pressmark: NB.97.0386
  • De Oliveira, Nicolas, Nicola Oxley, and Michael Petry. Installation Art in the New Millennium. London: Thames and Hudson, 2003. NAL pressmark: 603.AE.0595
  • Dormer, Peter. The Art of the Maker. London: Thames and Hudson, 1994. NAL pressmark: 22.J.165
  • Dormer, Peter, ed. The Culture of Craft: Status and Future. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1997. NAL pressmark: NB.98.0008
  • Drucker, Johanna. Sweet Dreams: Contemporary Art and Complicity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.
  • Fariello, M. Anna, and Paula Owen, eds. Objects and Meaning: New Perspectives on Art and Craft. London: Scarecrow Press, 2003. NAL pressmark: 602.AE.0725
  • The Future is Handmade: The Survival and Innovation of Crafts. Prince Claus Fund Journal 10 ( 2003).
  • Greenhalgh, Paul, ed. The Persistence of Craft: the Applied Arts Today. London: A & C Black, 2002. NAL pressmark: 603.AD.1242
  • Harrod, Tanya. The Crafts in Britain in the 20th Century. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999. NAL pressmark: ND.99.0238
  • Harrod, Tanya, ed. Obscure Objects of Desire: Reviewing the Crafts in the Twentieth Century. London: Crafts Council, 1997. NAL pressmark: 73.R.87
  • Highmore, Ben, ed. The Everyday Life Reader. London: Routledge, 2002.
  • Jeffries, Janis. Selvedges: Writings and Artworks Since 1980. Norwich: Norwich Gallery, 2000. NAL pressmark: 606.AE.0383
  • Johnson, Jean, ed. Exploring Contemporary Craft: History, Theory & Critical Writing. Toronto: Coach House Books, 2002. NAL pressmark: 602.AE.0806
  • Jones, Amelia. Body Art: Performing the Subject. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998. NAL pressmark: NC.98.1948
  • Jones, Caroline A. The Machine in the Studio: Constructing the Postwar American Artist. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. NAL pressmark: 47.Y.2061
  • Johnson, Pamela, ed. Ideas in the Making: Practice in Theory. London: Crafts Council, 1998. NAL pressmark: NC.99.0815
  • Kwon, Miwon. One Place After Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2002. NAL pressmark: 602.AC.1070
  • The Maker's Eye. London: Crafts Council, 1981.
  • Munroe, Alexandra. Japanese Art After 1945: Scream Against the Sky. New York: Abrams, 1994. NAL pressmark: ND.96.0480
  • Peters, Tessa, and Janice West, eds. The Uncanny Room. London: Luminous Books, 2002. NAL pressmark: 602.AD.0596
  • Pye, David. The Nature and Art of Workmanship. Rev. ed. London: Herbert Press, 1995. NAL pressmark: NC.95.0314
  • Rowley, Sue, ed. Craft and Contemporary Theory. St. Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1997. NAL pressmark: 399.A.0011

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Clare Twomey

This image is of several kids playing with porcelain birds in Clare Twomey’s “Trophy” at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The birds were meant to be taken home from the museum, challenging the conventions of both museums and craft and traditional parameters of interaction with artwork. Photo/Dan Prince via American Craft Magazine Dec/Jan issue.

Definitely check out the revamped American Craft Magazine, it is a completely new rag. Much deserving of a subscription if you ask me.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Every Day as Art II

This image comes courtesy of Emma's Design Blog. Yet another wonderful image of the everyday on display. Click here to go to Emma's blog.

This is an image of a cabinet I couldn't help but include in my recent gathering of images that are ceramic collections on display---clearly these are objects that are meant for use on a daily basis.

This image is from Fine Little Day's Elizabeth (courtesy of Camilla Engman's guest blog on d*s this week).

Slow Design

After reading the Slow Design manifesto, I find that my work is naturally gravitating towards adopting the philosophical approach to making as it is described. I have paraphrased the theory in addition to quoting several passages in an effort to remind myself to slow down in my own making and apply these most important ideas to make my work more sustainable over the long haul.

Slow Design’s 52 page ‘Slow Theory’ begins by defining the crisis in contemporary design. Concern with design’s complacency with corporate politics, globalization and a lack of attention to environmental issues sparks Slow Design’s question: “Can design rise to the challenge or is it a victim of its own success in its service to industry, consumerism…?” Slow Design encourages the design world that is enabling our rampant consumption as a society to change and slow down with the following question: “How can design deliver more sustainable patterns of production and consumption together with improvements in quality of life?”

The current beginnings of a movement towards sustainable and green-design are discussed as a marginalized aspect of contemporary design. Slow Design states that in order for this shift to slowing of design, there needs to be a larger social shift. Organizations they recommend looking at that are already subscribing to Slow Design values: Droog, Doors of Perception, o2.

In the Slow Design definition of today’s design paradigm, design is controlled by manufacture. Current design contributes to the kind of production that requires product replacement. Due to a high flow of production, short-term goals and corporate desire for growth things produced and designed now are meant to be short-lived products that do not stand the test of time—computers are a great example. “Since design is wed to both technology and economy, then design has also contributed to a perceived speeding up of our lives.” Design enables mass-production and fast turn around of new trends; this encourages consumption out of desire, not need or well-being. This in turn creates post-consumer waste and puts large demands on resources.

Slow Design asks: ”How does design respond to eco-economy challenges? How can it balance the global and the local? Will design contribute towards more sustainable ways of living, working, playing?”
“Slow Design was conceived as means to refocus an anthropocentric (individual+socio-cultural community) and environmental well-being. It is seen as a counterbalance to the existing paradigm of ‘fast design.’ It is about transforming our current materialistic and consumer vision of the world.”
“The guiding philosophical principle of slow design is to reposition the focus of design and the individual, socio-cultural and environmental well-being. Slow Design encourages those engaged in design to take a long view; envisage slower rates of consumption and production; stimulate a renewed joy in design…focus on the present rather than trying to design the future.”

Pages 18 and 39 were particularly interesting to me and I find that they clearly sum up the Slow Design Theory. I won’t include them here as I do respect their copyright on the information, but please visit their website here to download the pdf document to read all about Slow Design on your own.

In support of Slow Design I am pledging to do my best regarding the following:

1. I will set parameters in my studio practice and making of ceramic work to encourage slowness
2. Make work to satisfy real needs rather than satisfy trends
3. Minimize my ecological footprint by reducing the amount of resources I use to make my work and sell it.
4. Harness and use renewable energy sources
5. Choose to use materials in packaging etc. that can be most easily recycled or reused
6. Consider all aspects of well-being for the people using my products
7. Inform clients of the philosophy I am subscribing to in an effort to encourage education and further sustainable action
8. Avoid complacency in the design of my products through consistent re-evaluation and improvement
9. Encourage modularity

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Everyday as Art

I have been reading all about Slow Design the last couple of days in preparation for writing about it and its relationship to my own work. I have been thinking that my blog would be a great place to put my ideas down as I develop my thesis. In doing this, i have come across these three images as very good sources for my thesis project. I have been frequenting Lisa Congdon's Blog which has some images of her kitchen as you see at the left. She has this wonderful way of displaying objects of day to day use as art objects--right up my alley! I have been working on developing hooks for displaying your cup collection in a composition similar to the image below. I have also been working on engineering a cleat system for hanging bowls on the wall--making it easy to use the art you hang on the wall. Keep posted to see the work as it develops, for now it is in the developing stages...