Friday, 28 February 2014

The Easily Distracted....

Every Monday morning, in the fall, I'd look forward to my inbox, and an email from
Miranda July and her celebrity pals.

Well, kinda.  It was an email where she asked her celebrity friends to take part in an experiment with her, and submit an email with the parameters that she had set.  I had to sign up to be a part of her project, and was curious about the content of the emails to come.

One day her request was, "send me an email with a photo of yourself in it", and "an email that includes a dream you had".  So, it was 20 weeks of reading emails from Lena Dunham,
Kirsten Dunst, Sheila Heti, and many others.  It was a pretty provocative project, not so much for the content of the emails (celebrities are just as boring as we are), but for the exploration itself, in how we represent our voice through email, and in Miranda's words,

" Privacy, the art of it, is evolving. Radical self-exposure and classically manicured discretion can both be powerful, both be elegant. And email itself is changing, none of us use it exactly the same way we did ten years ago; in another ten years we might not use it at all."

I began to find the lack of personal information in some peoples emails most revealing
and wondered how much they were honestly sharing/holding back, again, all of the same
concerns that July has in her work, which I think made this project really successful.

The full description of that project is here:

That intersection of privacy, public/private and the curation of ones life are persistent subjects in Miranda July's artwork, and films.  She just released a cut scene from her film, "The Future", which illustrates all of the objects and sources of her distractions and obsessions.  A good reminder for the weekend, to get outside, and walk away from the tethers of the online world.  After watching the film, I wondered what would be my most precious thing? What object would I hold hostage?  What object would you hold hostage?I'm leaving my cellphone at home.

Here is the video link:

Friday, 14 February 2014

Make your own masterpiece.

On a sunny fall day in 2000, I stood in my little worn black leather booties, on polished marble floor, staring, slack jawed in front of The Night watch , in the centre of Amsterdam. 

Nothing really prepared me for that sea sick swirly feeling in my gut the first time I encountered those paintings hung and just out of reach, behind the velvet ropes in the museum.

Those paintings, that I had stared at, as a child, in a well worn coffee table book, brought back from Holland by my mother, when she lived in Amsterdam, from the Rijksmuseum, were heavy and mysterious, and a source of much inspiration, and awe.

I just learned that about a really inspiring project and contest that the Rijksmuseum has launched, called Rijkstudio, where they are calling for artists to create a piece based on a historical works from their collection.

They've teamed up with Etsy, to inspire entrants and encourage designers, artists and creatives to submit their own works.....

Below are my favorite Etsy and Rijksmuseum Rijkstudio collaborations, the first is by Canadian artist and lingerie designer, Angie Johnson of Norweigen Wood , from Montreal who designed her stunning lingerie pieces based on the circa 1660-1670 cabinet by Johann Spitzmacher and, these amazing ceramic plates by German artist, Evelyn Bracklow, of Laphile studio, who based her swarming ant designs on selected details from a 17th century painting from the collection.

The full article about the collaboration is here: on the Etsy blog.

Maybe you will create your own masterpiece?

High Waist Panties - Rijksmuseum Collaboration - black mesh and digitally printed spandex


limited edition * LA PHILIE for Rijksstudio * wall plate * No. 2

limited edition * LA PHILIE for Rijksstudio * wall plate * No. 3


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Design Week 2014...New Works!

For Design Week 2014, I was tasked with an exciting design create works that were tabletop pieces.

I'd been wanting to showcase some minimalist salt cellar and extravagant tea strainer designs for sometime that had been living in my sketchbook, and thought that this would be the perfect opportunity.
The salt cellars are made from solid Walnut and Bass wood which is a common southern Ontario tree. I fabricated solid brass, minimalist spoons for these pieces perfect for a special dinner setting, or visible spice storage.
The tea strainer is based on traditional antique versions, hand fabricated in metal and reference floral silhouettes and symbols. In this case, the Pacific Dogwood, it is designed to rest on the opening of the mug, using loose tea leaves and pouring hot water over...a ceremonial end to the meal.

Each of these objects celebrates the importance of sharing a meal and experiences collectively. These pieces serve to elevate the experience by emphasising the ceremonial, functional, and traditional serving objects, in a contemporary context.

As the experience of sharing meals together as a family or group becomes more of a scarcity and a special event, the objects in a place setting too should reflect the importance of the moments spent together.

Project dimensions: Variable. Approx. 5"x4", 2.5x2.5", 4x2"
Materials: Basswood, Walnut, Brass, Nickel Silver.