Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wise words from Chuck Close

This is precisely what I needed to read this morning, and what I need to remember every morning:
“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case.” Chuck Close, from Andrew Zuckerman's book, Wisdom

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Rem Koolhaas lights up the Venice Architecture Biennale

This year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, which kicks off in just a few days, will display an illuminated archway designed by biennale director, Rem Koolhaas, and created in collaboration with Swarovski.

Luminaire is installed at the entrance to the Monditalia exhibition, where Koolhaas tells the history of Italy through its relationship to architecture. The wooden structure (some 20 feet high and nearly 65 feet long) was built by a family of craftsmen in Puglia and references the grand Renaissance façades of the city’s famed palazzi. The arch is decorated with over 30 pounds of tiny crystals that sparkle against thousands of colorful glass lights.

A brief video from the biennale’s set-up (oddly set to music that sounds like Sweet Home Alabama) gives a glimpse of the arch’s installation, and perhaps new meaning to Koolhaas’ famous quote, “Infrastructure is much more important that architecture.”

The 14th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia runs from June 7 to November 23, 2014.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Good advice from Hutton Wilkinson

I stumbled across Hutton on television this morning... just in time to hear this little kernel of wisdom: 

"If you hate your house, you hate yourself." 

He's right. 

Make your home beautiful and comfortable, a respite and an inspiration. You'll feel so much better for it.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Playful palaces designed by Alessandro Zambelli

I first learned about Italian designer Alessandro Zambelli when I included his recently released 3D-printed pendant lamps in my Whole Home column for Take Part (which you can find here). But I've only just now seen the Palace line of porcelain and glass table wares that he designed in 2011. (Where have I been?!?)

The dishes and glassware (all inspired by Italian architectural monuments) play on the idea of tourist souvenirs but are an entirely charming, practical, and cleverly designed presentation. Am absolutely in love with them. The rooftops double as serving dishes. The plates have floor plans! Part bento box, part doll house, part puzzle. It's a tabletop toy for grownups.

I'm sold.

Palazzo Ducale, with two bowls, a dish and a tray

Palazzo Signoria, with six plates and a serving dish

Battistero (my favorite!) is a breakfast set comprised of six cups, a creamer and sugar, a tray, and a covered container

Torrione, with six square dishes and a small container... for jewelry or hors d'oeuvres, you decide

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Dainty but potent

I've been in love with the work of Swedish ceramist Åsa Lindström since finding her little snaps cups in a shop in Gothenberg years ago. She's long been involved with the Stockholm craft collective Blås & Knåda (such an incredible place!) but I think it's wonderful that she's also now opened her own little boutique in the city, as well as in Gustavsbergs. Though I'll always be partial to her original series (Torsten, Vera, Anton and Ellen are in our cupboard), her new floral designs are definitely calling my name... especially the blackberries, heather and tulips. Perfect for spring. Pass the akvavit!