[click for link to original post] The Rise of the Backyard Office – Design Milk.
After a weekend spent turning our garage into a functioning wood shop and work space, I am excited to get making things. I came across these cute little morsels of backyard office space and it made me smile. We are always trying to find a way to make the places we live comfortable places to work. Afterall, working takes up a lot of your life, it should be connected to where you live.
Mokulock Wooden Bricks – Design Milk.
I think these are so radical!! Wood is so good for little people to play with, not plastic, not plastic (head shake).
Today I have been thinking a lot about color, specifically black and white. We are getting ready to host some friends for the weekend and that always makes you reconsider your house. I grew up in a contemporary concrete home with black carpet, white walls and stainless steel, everywhere. As it turns out I am a nature person…seems like I was a square growing up in a circle or however the phrase goes.
At this point I have branched out on my own, grown up (a little) and spent a lot of times in different styles and sizes of dwellings over the last ten years. Now I own a small Bungalow style home and as I look around, I miss my black and white.
I am posting pictures of things that remind me that I can have black and white and nature, together, in harmony. The bird wing was a gift from my mom last week. How many mom’s give their daughters bird wings? Not very many. This piece of bark is something I found on my afternoon walk with Olive girl (our dog). It is from a large Sycamore tree which in my opinion wins the prize for most unique bark pattern in sugarhouse. The way they shed gives you these nice pebble shaped cut outs that punctuate the sidewalk they land on.
I love this snapshot of Robert Motherwell, one of my favorite artists and designers from the past. This is no black and white bold chevron pattern my friends. This is a delicate piece of life and energy unfolding on the page in ultimate contrast. There is not one straight line, in life there never is.
This design project has been really fun. The new vodka brand focuses on the dieters, it’s sugar free alternative vodka that doesn’t need to be mixed with a super sugary juice to make a cocktail. As long as you have ice for your martini shaker, you are good to pour.
We have been working with a vinyl cutter to generate the pop on the bottle that the true printers will be able to achieve through a screen printing process. The only bummer with this is the color spectrum. Because we are prototyping it doesn’t make sense to try and get a roll of whatever perfect pantone we need for each bottle. I look forward to the day when we are picking those perfect morsels of color, but until then, this is a great and affordable way to work this product to life!
It sure feels like spring outside and it made me want to detour to the park for a walk in the sunshine. We just got back from a trip to Chicago and it was wonderful. I used to go to college there almost a decade ago and as many of you know, I was trying to take the plunge into the great unknown, metropolitan lifestyle. It didn’t work out for me at 18, but going back I understand the allure of that place. It is truly on of the world’s greatest cities.
Living there, I often ducked into the Contemporary Museum of Art to seek refuge from the city noise. They have shown some of my favorite pieces of work that had a profound impact on my understanding of what art is and how diverse it could be. Finding myself back there, it was one of the things I wanted to be inspired by again. It turned out that the main exhibition was called ‘Destroy the Picture’ and It left us feeling highly depressed. One piece of burnt plastic carried a sort of Japanese simplicity, that I always like but nothing to write home about. The two thing we found to be the most inspiring were a line of Cacti, perfectly gradating in size and color and a huge, I am talking HUGE Neon sign made of steel, spinning in circles outside by the front steps.
It had my thinking a lot about abstract art having the ability to project so profoundly a sense of positive or negative. I want you to know I am not completely bias, I like the blood and snowball artwork made by Andy Goldsworthy, and as I rule, I don’t totally love animal blood.
So back to the park today. The leaves are now exposed that have been stuck under the snow for the duration of the winter. These leaves have turned into ghosts of their former selves, the bones. I think the technical term is fossil leaf. I couldn’t help but gather a few because they were all so different. This sort of destruction is so inspiring to me and carries with it the magic of the world and all that nature creates without need of us to interfere.
I have been on somewhat of a creative hiatus for the last 6 months and although sometimes I feel that the wind has been taken out my sails, I also feel refreshed. I found myself saying to someone the other day, sometimes it takes more self control to do nothing than to continually do something. Well I have not been doing nothing but I have felt like an earthworm doing lots of work that to the untrained eye, seems like nothing. I have been working on creating all the systems within systems that govern an artists universe. Without methods of finding homes for all the nicknacks, doodads and materials we collect, chaos can become the way of our world. I am finally at that age in the process of calling myself an “Artist” that I know better than to have a messy studio, blindly piling things upon one and other in the name of inspiration. One of my favorite being 11×17′s.
The truth is, things get lost in the piles and if you have no way to access them, you might as well have left them on the side of the road…or wherever you found them (a road is not that far fetched). So here I am, organizing piles of papers that have come from photocopy machines across the country. All it takes is ten dollars to buy a handful of binding posts at the hardware store, a 3 hole punch (I’m sure your parents have 5 if you don’t have one from junior high) and some good music. I spent the time to categorize them into black and white, color, inspiration from books and my own photos and project sketches (this could include the most important photocopies of dying leaves and seed pods from the yard to glossy presentations made to the Director of the Board).
The irony of having had these loose papers around for years is that I know how to bind books. At any moment I could have figured out some killer custom method of organizing, but that in itself became a project altogether and got put on the shelf like so many do. The root of the problem existed in the issues I had with finality, “But what if I need to add something, or subtract something, I could never rip it out!?” And this panic put me into non-binding-paper-stacking comma. As I’ve been earthworm-ing, I’ve worked on ditching the anxiety and getting serious about why, year after year, I’ve been dragging these papers (and collections) around? I’ll be damned, it’s because they ARE inspiring after all.
This Artist Amy Friend creates magical pieces by combining vintage photographs and light by selecting moments to punch through the paper. It reminded me of a project I did my Junior year of college. I had a dream dictionary that I cherished. A professor asked us to redesign the covers of our favorite books. After turning my entire dorm room into a lighting studio, I ended up with something similar to this. I cut out the word ‘dream’ in large letters, Times Roman, and hole-punched the bottoms of them into oblivion so they were disappearing into thin air. I attached them to a plastic sheet and lit them from behind. The outcome was so exciting I was beside myself. I will have to find that book cover and post it.
Check out some of Amy’s work here > Amy Friend | Atti Gallery.
The painter Claire Sherman is a real inspiration. I feel like she beautifully walks the line between contemporary and traditional brushstrokes. Her quick color hits the mark every time and leave me feeling awestruck.
(I couldn’t post her images form her site so I found this nice collection on a fellow artists site. Thanks Hannah at angeloulake.blogspot.com!)
find her work here > clairesherman.com
Last summer while Annie and I were in NYC, we happened upon the windows of this talented artist. His work is very clean and very bare, often keeping all of the pieces the raw material and color. I have been known to be a pretty serious Calder mobile fan and I think these are the perfect next generation of the master mobile maker’s pieces. The windows we saw were made from little styrofoam balls and balsa wood that had been hooked up to a small motor, turning each sculpture around the mannequin. It was pretty magical.
Check him out here
“It wanted to create something vivid and geometric, something that left the box in it’s element but gave the viewer a different perspective.”
[I didn't get the name of this gentleman who took the photo but he was with a PR firm out of New York]
From the Artist: History and Landscape as inspiration
“The new City Creek Center gets its name from the water that runs down City Creek Canyon into the heart of Salt Lake. Incorporating this element of the landscape adds a layer to the project, creating a foundation for me, as the artist, but also illustrating the evolution of downtown Salt Lake City. This creek has been center stage before. Twice it has flooded our streets creating rivers out of roads but now can be seen flowing through the city in beautiful features throughout the downtown area. I really connected to the idea of the water becoming the courier of this timeless jewelry, carrying in the current diamonds from Fifth Avenue. I hope to capture the spontaneity and movement of the water through the windows, bringing a sense of excitement that reflects the feelings surrounding this store opening in our city.”
Above are a few sketches from the process. The materials were provided by Tiffany, the incredibly beautiful and iconic blue box. Can I just say, after having spent many hours dissecting these boxes, they truly are the nicest box I have ever come across. The attention to detail and the materials used to craft them are top shelf. They have to be to carry the jewelry that is placed in them. If you haven’t ever held a box before let me fill you in on something, look very very close, the entire box is covered in a pattern of Tiffany ‘T’s that are almost so small you can’t even see them. It’s what gives this box the luxurious satin feeling that is well known by Tiffany aficionado.