The Friday Five: Happy Thoughts

These words make me happy.

via Creative Something

via Stag

via Piccsy

via French By Design

via FFFFound

Enjoy a lovely weekend!


Delicate strength

Today I’m spotlighting award-winning Japanese artist Kasuyo Aoki with a few pieces from her Predictive Dream series.

The porcelain pieces have an ethereal, sinuous-ocean quality, don’t they? Not to mention some of the skull-inspired shapes. I love how easy it is to get lost in the movement created by the swirls of porcelain.

Happy White Wednesday, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

All images courtesy of Kasuyo Aoki.


Art: Steve Ellis

Last fall I featured some artwork that I spotted at ‘wichcraft in NYC. Since then a few people have asked me about the artist but unfortunately I had no idea who painted this very cool extra large muffin tin…

Park Ave. muffin tin, Steve Ellis

But I do now!

After a bit of investigative work (i.e., a few emails sent to ‘wichcraft) I learned that all the artwork in ‘wichcraft locations is by NYC-based artist and art instructor Steve Ellis. The series, entitled Tools of the Craft was commissioned by ‘wichcraft in 2006. Some of Mr. Ellis’ prints are available for purchase here (prices range from $150-$800).

Astor Place Percolator, Steve Ellis

Union Sq Espresso Machine, Steve Ellis

Chrystler Meat Slicer, Steve Ellis

Record Player, Steve Ellis

for MOMA Store, Steve Ellis

Images courtesy of Steve Ellis.

Many thanks to Lauren P. at ‘wichcraft for helping me out.


Forging French doors

This week I had the most exciting time meeting and getting to know one of Canada’s foremost window dressers, Philip Minaker. Having created hundreds of major storefront windows during more than 25 years as a style director for many iconic Canadian and international retailers in Toronto and his home town of Winnipeg, Philip is a fascinating individual unlike any other.

His boundless creativity and problem-solving know-how are only surpassed by his sweet and fun personality. Philip is a fashion force and he’s put on countless runway shows and deconstructed trends working for various styling and retail roles at The Bay, BCBG, Lipton’s, Eaton’s, Mondi, Parachute, and the list goes on and on.

He is known for his stunning sales-boosting windows and his ‘let me show you’ philosophy about sharing his fashion knowledge. His windows are known to increase sales; a job well done, then. Look for his work coming up at Toronto’s downtown Josephson’s in the next few weeks- he told me that he’s currently fabricating the set pieces for the fall windows.

Beyond having a keen eye for styling, trends and balance, Philip is an incredibly talented artist and he creates much of what you see in his displays. Today’s French doors featured below are an example of his incredibly simple take on getting what you need: make it yourself.

When I met Philip on the weekend during his first of two moving sales, he invited me in his home where he has these gorgeous antique French doors behind a bed (those aren’t for sale, though, sorry! but just DIY for these and drop in on Philip’s second sale for other very cool stuff).

These gorgeous French doors are not real; they’re two large format prints of doors that are glued to large pieces of foam. The antique look is truly outstanding and the quality of the print here is just right, working in favour of achieving that natural aged look that the doors have.

The best part about all this is that they weigh nothing! They’re made of foam! You know, the inch-and-a-half rectangle sheets of white foam from the craft store. So simple. Philip told me that he cut the print and foam in the curved shape at the top and he has another piece that creates an archway to really bring it all together. I think they are spectacular just like this.

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Images courtesy of me via Philip Minaker

You’ll want to be there for Philip’s second moving sale in a few weeks, September 13-16: he is parting with some of his window dressing treasures including props, decorative urns, industrial art, art hangings and artist canvasses, art that he has created, beautiful vintage mannequins, and so much more.

You’ll love meeting Philip- just drop in to say hi and check out all the fascinating pieces of his career that he’s selling to new good homes, and meanwhile take a look at his moving sale ad on Kijiji- lots more pics there to see what he’s got on the floor (including Herman Miller La Fonda chairs…).


Marketplace: West Elm + South Africa

If you can’t make it to South Africa…

photos by Mathilde

photos by Corie & Jeff

but crave a South African vibe in your living space…

via

then West Elm’s recent collaboration with South African designers and artisans might be just for you! The collection of ceramics, textiles, furniture and home accessories has been growing in popularity since it hit the marketplace just a little while ago. Some of my favourite pieces are white (duh!) and they are simple, structural and functional.

Mick Haigh oversize serving bowl, $63.09

Potter’s Workshop napkin set – black shields, $21.39

Ceramic Matters candleholder, $63.09

Anthony Shapiro pillar candleholders, $84.48-$105.87

Source dining chair, $212.81

Pedersen + Lennard hooks, $12.81

Note: All prices are in Canadian dollars. Some items are not available for international shipping.

Many thanks to Mathilde, Corie and Jeff for allowing me to use their photos from their trips to South Africa.


Art: A Noiva by Joana Vasconcelos

Take a closer look…this is not your average chandelier.

A Noiva (The Bride) by Joana Vasconcelos

A Noiva (The Bride) by Joana Vasconcelos, via Le CentQuatre

At first glance, this is just a gigantic (as in 5m high) chandelier. But with a closer inspection, you’ll discover that this sculpture by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos is actually made up of tampons. Yes, tampons. Over 14,000 of them!

A Noiva is at Le CentQuatre in Paris until mid-September 2012. Joana Vasconcelos also has an amazing exhibit at Versailles until the end of September 2012.

Many thanks to CC for sending this my way.


Art: StudioTwentySix2

Chicago-based Studio TwentySix2 combines painting, printmaking and graphic design to offer an exciting and innovative mix of designs and prints in a variety of mediums. Here are just two examples of the work to come out of this studio.

White Space signed archival print, $30

Design Inspiration signed archival print, $30