The images above are the very few I took during my minimal outings at NCECA in Philadelphia, and include some favorite pieces from a quick jaunt through the PMA (Philadelphia Museum of Art) and one great building somewhere in the city with curved leaded windows. (You can see more of my favs from the PMA here.)
The next group of pictures is from jaunts near my home. The first two are from a building in Amherst, MA. I love the tall, slender windows and contrast of brick and stone. The second is a detail of the stone and how they used brick dust in the mortar leaving the stones looking like they are outlined in hot pink. The rest of the images are from two visits to Historic Deerfield in central Massachusetts not far from our home. Since I wasn’t allowed to take pictures in the historic homes, most of the pics (except the barn detail and canopy bed detail) are from pieces in the visible storage cases of their museum. I see different things in each image, from ideas for form and detail to appreciation for handmade and craft like the last two images of the mended bowl and plate.
These last images are a favorite each of something I saw while teaching at the Penland School of Arts & Crafts (the garden bottle tree in Bakersville) and the Appalachian Center for Crafts (one of the many hand-painted signs on campus) this summer. And last but not at all least are two images of the Statue of Liberty I took when I did a lecture for the Brooklyn Potters Guild.
I’m getting better not only at remembering to take my camera with me, but actually remembering to take pictures as well, and hope to share more of what I see and figuratively bring home to my studio with you here.
First row, from left: Vase Gauffré by Ionna Vautrin & Guillaume Delvigne for Industreal;Brasilia stripes cone vase by Jonathan Adler; Panier percé by Guillaume Delvigne & Ionna Vautrin for Industreal; Second row: Helix tall vase by Jonathan Adler;Hula Hoop by Cristiana Giopato for Industreal;Burano by Michele de Lucchi for Industreal;Blooming over cup by Mina Wu & Jan B. for Droog; Third row: Anamorphic cups by Ross McBride; Royal Delft vase by Marcel Wanders for Moooi; Grooveware by Ross McBride;Gravy boat and spoon by Eva Zeisel; Fourth row: Airborne Snotty Vase by Marcel Wanders; Fifth row: two more Royal Delft vases by M. Wanders for Moooi;Table Stories by Tord Boontje; Last row: Primavera tile by Tord Boontje for Bardelli; The Other Side Ceramics by Tord Boontje for Moroso; and Still Lfe: Black Bisque by KleinReid.
I’ve done a couple of past posts with wallpaper, furniture and home furnishings by designers I enjoy, so thought I should point out some ceramics too. (See past posts under Favorites and Influences.) I find these objects and the concepts behind them intriguing (most from the last eight years), and this group of designers are some of my favorites: Boontje, KleinReid, McBride, Vautrin & Delvigne, Wanders and Zeisel. There is a strong and curious connection between studio artists/potters and industrial designers: kind of a chicken-and-the-egg history with overlap and sharing (or co-opting). (Objects that weren’t simply white and black (and royal blue apparently) were scarce. There must be practical as well as design reasons for the lack of color.) I feel it’s important to be aware of what other artists in my field are up to, and awareness of form and concept for mass and high-end design markets feels equally important, especially as the lines between art and design have blurred. Ultimately though I agree with a friend and find these objects smart, appealing and inspiring.
Last weekend (4/12-13), I was a participant in a two-part symposium held in conjunction with an exhibition at Harvard University’s Busch-Reisinger Museum called “A Taste of Power: 18th-Century German Porcelain for the Table“. The second symposium day, entitled “Extravagance and Drama“, entailed demonstrations and image presentations by me and two other artists, Gala Sorkina and Nicole Peters, at Harvard’s ceramics studio. “Tables of Content” was the title for the first day of symposium lectures, and while I think we were great, that day’s lectures were superb.
Two of my three favorites were about the transition of tableware vessels and sculptures made of sugar and silver into porcelain. This huge part of history was completely new to me. Maureen Cassidy-Geiger of the Arnhold and Frick Collections gave a wonderful lecture called “Sugar and Silver into Porcelain: The Conditorei and Court Dining in Dresden under Augustus III“. (She pointed out that since sugar can’t last and silver could be melted down, the porcelain vessels were often all that remained of this stage of history.)
These first two images though come from Ivan Day who gave a lecture called “The Edible Edifice: Sculpture for the 18th-Century Dessert Table“. Mr. Day is an expert in the field of British and European culinary history, and not only does he know it, he makes it! He made the baskets, bird and flowers above from sugar “like in olden times”, shaping the sugar paste like clay. Though he explained to me that the sugar is actually easier to use than porcelain. (I’m still absorbing that fact.) Ivan also made the filigree, brightly colored centerpiece above and white, columned building featured on this table, from sugar. Amazing. I took lots of notes, and am excited for this new discovery of these old forms and shapes. (I was very flattered and honored that he came to watch us demonstrate the next day.) The third of my favorites was by Valerie Steele of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.). She presented images and ideas from an exhibit she curated last year called “Fashioning Luxury“. She gave a wonderful overview of the history of haute couture, gender and class in clothing, and explanations of curious phrases like “popu-lux”, “mass-tige” and “stealth luxury”. Among the myriad of books she has written, one is on corsets (The Corset: A Cultural History), she was described in The Washington Post as one of “fashion’s brainiest women”, and on her blog, she has an interview with John Galliano. Need I say more?