Thursday, June 30, 2011
On that first trip upon stumbling into Nancy I became enamored with Aaron Murray ceramic objects and brought them back to sell at the Sky High Gallery holiday pop-up last year. Since I happened to be in Seattle this past week visiting family and signed up the Gallery to sell at the East Side Green Market this season it was perfect opportunity to pick out some new items in person. Aaron brought out boxes of work for me to sort through, his style is so unique and it's really difficult to pick which work to bring home. I think I did a good job of picking out a variety for Milwaukee a bunch of one of a kind decorative ceramic beer cans, cups, bowls and owls of all shapes and sizes. It's always such a treat to be invited into a beautiful cozy space where people live and work and Aaron and Kate's was so my kind of spot. Filled to the brim with tiny amazing objects arranged and tucked into every corner. I loved it.
If you happen to be in Milwaukee on a Saturday's from 10-2 this summer [we will be there most Saturday's but check out the Gallery site for a detailed schedule] come check out Aaron's work in person.
I loved seeing all Aaron's dishes piled in the dish-rack & cupboards. And also the integration of Kate's garland's draped beautifully around the house & Aaron's ceramic and woodcarving's leak out into their garden.
Some day I would like to have the majority of my dishes in my kitchen all be from artists I know. Starting slowly....
Additional photos from the visit here.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
[from the Print Shop Forever website]
Treasure Balls: Southeast Asia, edition of 10, $35 each
Hand cut & rolled crepe paper, hand picked ephemera from Thailand & Bail, Approx 4" in circumference, 2011
Treasure Balls: South East Asia series are the creation of artist, curator, filmmaker, collector and author Faythe Levine. Generally based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Levine also spends much of her time traveling the world coordinating programs surrounding handmade and creative empowerment. During these travels she compulsively photographs her explorations of markets, fairs and boutiques documenting her travels through her blog “I Was Born in 1977″. Through her exploration, her creative process has continued to evolve now incorporating small, obsolete souvenirs, which have spent lifetimes on shelves overlooked by others. As time has passed, this ephemera has found a place within her work. Inspired by the “Surprise Balls” she saw in 2008 at Kisok in New York, Levine has dubbed her version “Treasure Balls”. These art objects can be left as a mystery or slowly unwrapped to unveil the treasures hidden inside. This series is inspired by her recent travels in Bali and Thailand where there is no shortage of small, beautiful and bizarre objects. Each Treasure Ball contains 15 small treasures.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Annie Larson's studio, Minneapolis MN
On Wednesday morning I had arranged ahead of time to meet with Annie Larson a designer best known for her knitwear. I met up with Annie, her boyfriend- artist and graphic designer Eric Carlson and their friend and collaborator Crystal Quinn who runs a new space called Dressing Room. We hooked up at Modern Times a brand new cafe my friend Dylan Alverson just opened in South Minneapolis (eat here! great locally sourced menu with both meat & vegan options- highly recommend). Like so many of the makers I know Annie, Eric and Crystal have their paws in a number of creative endeavors so it's slightly difficult to pick the online spot to direct you. I feel I should mention Hardland/Heartland another collaborative project that both Eric and Crystal work under along with Aaron Anderson.
After our great breakfast we went over to Annie's live/work space that she shares with Eric. The timing for my visit was great since she had just returned from Miami where she had been working with Jim Drain in his studio so we had a lot to talk about. Annie and I had never met in person and I can't remember when I first saw Annie's work online, but I do know when I saw it I immediately sent her an email to connect and since then we have stayed in touch. Meeting someone I respect creatively in person is always the final selling point if I truly appreciate what they make. Annie was the perfect example of that because her articulate honest thoughts about design, where she want's to see her work and her process made me an even bigger fan than before. My only regret is that we only got to spend a short amount of time together.
Annie's designs are sold under the label "All for Everyone" and each piece is made-to-order in her studio (see above & below) on the Brother knitting machine that sits intimidatingly with it's metal teeth and skinny metal arms threaded with bright color cotton yarn. When I got to touch her work in person, it sealed the deal and I now know I can't live without at least one piece from her collection in my closet. Once you check out her site I think you will know why- the bold pattern designs, color pallet and fantastic ability to photograph & document her pieces makes it difficult to not appreciate what she creates.
Annie Larson & Eric Carlson
Annie Larson: Work in progress
On Thursday I was invited by Monica Moses, the editor of American Craft Magazine to swing by the new office and do a quick on camera interview for their blog. I urge all of you living in the twin cities so take advantage of their craft library that is open to the public (info on their site)- it's an amazing resource.
Friday's 10am lecture to to the 350+ conference attendee's was titled DIY Handmade: Ethos and Aesthetics of Today’s Craft Culture. I got a lot of positive feedback from both young and old conference attendee's. In-between my lecture & film screening I had quite a bit of down time and I was able to make it over to the Unraveled DIY festival. Vendor highlights for me were Re Rae, Suz and Roo, ashley-moe and Earth Grown Crayons. My souvenir for the weekend was a beautiful hand painted silk shirt from designer Rachel Rose that had her work set up at the SDA trunk show. Handmade Nation screened in the evening as a double feature along with Woven Lives a new documentary film by Carolyn Kallenborn. It was really fantastic to be a part of the weekend's programing at the SDA conference- I got to see a lot of familiar industry faces and of course met a bunch of new people- by far the best part of my job.
Additional photos from Annie & Eric's space can be seen here.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Sometimes a string of events happens in my life and I look back and think, what the hell? And, this past weekend was the perfect example of just that.
The original plan was to spend the weekend shooting for the Sign Painter Movie in Cincinnati. The day before we left Sam mentioned that the Indy 500 was that Sunday and he was planning on going. We have a group of friends that go every year- camp the night before, hang out and get wild. Camping in a field with 300,000 race car fans is of no interest to me. But, I was trapped- no flights that timed out from either Cincinnati or Indianapolis. So what's a girl to do? I rolled with it.
Thursday we left on schedule. Cincinnati is a quick, especially when Sam is driving, 6 hour drive from Chicago. As we approached the city we passed this billboard with a giant dinosaur. Obviously it was for the nonsensical Creation Museum ("Brings the pages of the Bible to life...Children play and dinosaurs roam near Eden’s Rivers"). Sam and I being lovers of all things ridiculous we knew we had to fit it in. And that is how a simple work weekend gets derailed.
Friday was awesome. We did our long awaited interview with Tod Swormstedt, the director of the American Sign Museum who I had met last December when screening Handmade Nation at the Contemporary Art Center. We had also been in contact with Justin Green and had our fingers crossed an interview would pan out on Saturday before we left (it did). Justin is a sign painter and well known comic artist. His voice is such an amazing addition to our film and it was awesome to get to meet him. If you want to read more about that segment of the trip I wrote about it on the Sign Painter Movie blog here.
Justin Green, downtown Cincinnati
After the most amazing, motivating interview with Justin and before driving to Indianapolis, we headed 30 minutes out of the way to the wack-job Creation Museum. I sorta knew what to expect- I had seen photos & a post on Vice a while back. Unless you happen to be in Kentucky (right across the border from downtown Cincinnati) and want to spend $20 seeing it yourself, I personally felt I had to, or are a devout Christian that relates, I'd say that Vice article is probably enough.
Garden of Eden Penguin
Noah's Ark diorama
Two hours later we met up with our crew of about 15 in a parking lot and drove into the field where hundreds of thousands of drunk people were "camping". The Indy 500 is filed in the nonsensical category with the Creation Museum in my mind. 24 hours of seeing how the other half lives was more than enough and I can now check that off my "done" and "never again" list.
The highlight of the Indy 500 for me was Liz eating her birthday burger cake, post race, right before we got in the car and drove home.
Last weekend's moral of the story was that the Creation Museum & Indy 500 were two desserts I didn't need but ate anyhow. The end.