Talk a few big birthday: 150 this year. To celebrate, the biggest manufacturer of Limoges porcelain called in a dozen artist friends to design limited-edition dinnerware. Aside from being invited to reimagine les arts de la table, participants got free rein, proving the plate to be a perfect canvas.
Conceptual artist Sarkis Zabunyan’s Kintsugi references the Japanese 16th-century strategy of fixing broken pottery with resin and powdered gold. Mythologie was influenced by the history of painter Alekos Fassianos’s native Greece. In Nabil Nahas’s Étoiles, a starfish arabesque appears throughout. With Prune Nourry and JR’s Je Ne Suis Pas Dans Mon Assiette, it’s a two-sided affair—their own hands appear in photographs on each plate’s back and front. David Lynch turned his focus from film to drawing within the Boundless Sea, which tells one story across 12 dinner plates. Sets vary size-wise from six dinner plates to twelve dinner and 6 dessert plates.
Set to coincide with Expo Chicago, the International Exposition of up to date & Modern Art, “Demons, Yarns & Tales,” opening on the Rug Company showroom September 19, will investigate the current-day role of the ancient tapestry. Featuring designs by 15 contemporary artists, the show is curated by Banners of Persuasion, an arts-commissioning organization created by Rug Company cofounders Christopher and Suzanne Sharp.
The tapestries—among them Gary Hume’s Georgie and Orchids, Julie Verhoeven’s Faraway from the Madding Crowd, Gavin Turk’s Mappa del Mundo, and Jaime Gili’s Zelada—explore such subjects as fashion, politics, and architecture in a sort that required the artists to work with unfamiliar materials: woven wool and silk thread.
With the Makers collection, Pollack has broadened its world—collaborating with five designers from an equal choice of disciplines: furniture, jewelry, fashion, glass, ceramics. The project began with VP and design director Rachel Doriss visiting the studios of designers to benefit about their creative processes, which have been then translated into the medium of material. Work with Klaus Bürgel led to Calligraphy, a viscose-cotton blend embroidered with patterns that mimic his swirling gold-and-silver jewelry. Katherine Gray gave clipped-polyester Beam and nonwoven polyurethane Mirror Mirror holographic effects recalling her handblown glass. Zeus, a drapery fabric in a polyester-linen blend made with dressmaker Liz Collins, has the looks of knitwear, while her clipped-sheer Aphrodite has an artificial raffia fringe. The playful forms in Nathan Craven’s extruded ceramic screens became a colourful cotton-polyester jacquard called Wacky. And furniture designer Matthias Pliessnig’s steam wood-bending techniques, adapted from boatbuilding, find another form in Odalisque, a silk-acrylic with a rib structure.
Headed by photographer Elliott Erwitt, Artemide’s Human Light campaigns have celebrated lighting because the center of design projects while promoting advanced technology and sustainability measures. With a set called A Tribute to Light, the corporate aims to stress pivotal moments, showing the level to which advancing technology allows designers to hide the mechanical aspects of fixtures and thereby draw attention back to form.
Elliott Erwitt, Neil Poulton with Ipparco
Carlotta de Bevilacqua and Paola Monaca di Arianello’s Empatia lamps combine a high-tech LED and light-weight-pipe core with traditional Venetian glassblowing. Processes and materials also reference designers’ existing work. Ateliers Jean Nouvel’s Objective collection, as an example, derives from ideas about architecture and cinema, with a lenslike tube containing three adjustable light sources.
Javier Mariscal with Lotek and Naoto Fukasawa with Demetra
1. Cyla table lamp in handblown glass in amber with bamboo base by JGoodDesign.
2. Counterweight pendant fixture in ash, brass, and marble by Roll & Hill.
3. Mica pendant fixture in black American walnut and polymer by Cerno.
4. Table Torch in maple and steel and Floor Torch in walnut and steel by Stickbulb.
5. Woodrum chandelier in reclaimed white oak and brass by Mattermade.
6. Genies pendant fixtures in flat-packed Tasmanian oak by Grandeliers.
7. Eikon pendant fixture in ash with magnet-attached removable shade in steel powder-coated mint by Schneid.
8. Wood Light lamp in plywood, tulipwood veneer, and steel by 13&9.
1. Right table lamps in blackened steel and handblown glass in violet and opaline by Assembly Design.
2. Hulotte Eight pendant fixture in tinted crystal and MDF by Compagnie des Cristalleries de Saint Louis.
3. Tyler table lamp in handblown glass and blackened white oak by Egg Collective.
4. Gia Globe pendant fixture in glass, brushed brass, and ceramic in gold by Avram Rusu Studio.
5. Signal desk lamp in aluminum painted Powder White and glass by May Furniture Co.
6. Muffins Wood table lamps in oak and handblown glass by Brokis.
1. Porcelain rug hand-tufted in wool and bamboo silk by Tsar Carpets.
2. Emoticon rug hand-knotted in a wool-silk blend by Stile BK.
3. Boulder rug hand-tufted in wool and linen in Pawpaw by Helen Yardley.
4. Gold Coast rug hand-knotted in wool and hemp by Shivhon.
5. Oneness rug hand-tufted in wool by DNA Design Lab.
6. 1/S3631CA rug hand-tufted in wool and nylon by Brintons.
7. LX03826r2 broadloom in wool and nylon by Tai Ping.
8. Satura floor covering in rubber in Callisto, Vulpecula, and Monoceros by Nora Systems.
Emperadoro and London Grey
Inspired by natural marble, the additions to Caesarstone’s Classico, the gathering of quartz-composite surfaces, employs nuanced color combinations and painterly veining. In Emperadoro, maple-brown rivulets animate a rich mocha field. London Grey layers charcoal highlights onto an opaque gray ground. White swirls amid Piatra Grey’s slate-gray ground. Dreamy Marfil captures the creamy undertones of ivory, or marfil in Spanish. One-upping the genuine thing: The composites are more immune to stains and scratches.
Piatra Grey and Dreamy Marfil
When Duravit launched Starck 2 in 1998, it was an instant hit, lauded for its elegant, aqueous forms. This year’s update offers nuanced refinements—and an additional dose of the organic modernism that distinguished Philippe Starck’s originals. The revamped 232360 wash basin gently fans out toward the wall, lending a fluid touch.The generous 700331 tub now integrates a headrest for additional comfort.
23260 and 232144
The formerly round 232144 flat basin was transformed right into a subtly asymmetrical oval. The 720126 shower tray, now available as a square in addition to a rectangle, has a rim height of just 4/5 inch, because of advances in ceramics technology.
Suminagashi, meaning “floating ink” in Japanese, is the world’s oldest known surface marbling technique and has long been used to dye paper and upholstery with patterns created by pigments floating on water. Since 2009, Pernille Snedker Hansen, founding father of Copenhagen-based Snedker Studio, was developing her own tackle the method, creating wooden flooring with a similar characteristics as marbled paper.
“I carefully let the colours drip onto the water bath and that they spread. After I see something interesting, I capture it by transferring it to paper,” she explains in a video about her Marbelous Wood collection, a nominee for a Biennial Prize on the Danish Biennial for Crafts and Design. Hansen, who studied textile design before attending Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, uses paper to check patterns and strategies before dipping wood into the ink bath.
Rather than imitate the grain of the wood with brown dyes, Hansen’s patterns emphasize the structure of plain pine boards with bright colors. “It’s like looking in a microscope and seeing the grain magnified,” she says. “I’m also drawn to the organic and dynamic process, which I’m not completely answerable for.” Because each board captures a moment of pattern at the water’s surface, every body is exclusive.
Hansen talks about her work as a reinterpretation of traditional domestic flooring, the biggest wooden surface in most homes. She presented the Marbelous Wood—Refraction collection at Danish Crafts’ MINDCRAFT13 exhibition in Milan during Salone 2013. Her inspiration included the geometry of traditional parquet floors. “Back then, more importance was attached to the floors,” she says. “My goal is to amplify the best way we sense the materials and surfaces in architecture.”
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Ones to observe: Four O Nine
Ones to observe: Studio FM Milano