Nov. 07

 

DESIGN DICTIONARY: Blackamoor

by Lynn Byrne

Coco Chanel with Blackamoors

Coco Chanel with  a pair of Blackamoor scuplture

 “If you are going to walk the walk, you should talk the talk.”

“The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.” –Socrates 

BLACKAMOOR (RHYMES WITH AMATEUR  AND CONNOISSEUR):  A dark skinned figure, typically African,  used in jewelry, sculpture, armor and decorative arts. Blackamoors have a long history stretching back to the 17th century.  They are often portrayed in pairs.  Andrea Brustolon (1662–1732) was the most famous sculptor of  blackamoors.  Often they are shown in positions that a real person could not hold at length.

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Nov. 03

 

TOMORROW’S HEIRLOOMS: Ceramics by Adam Silverman

by Lynn Byrne

adam silverman ceramics

Adam Silverman is having a great year.  Architectural Digest has already hailed his book, Adam Silverman Ceramics,  released in late September, as the “loveliest design book of the fall season…”  In conjunction with the book’s launch, his work will be shown in museums and galleries around the world.  His first museum exhibition opened at the Laguna Art Museum on October 27.

I was extremely fortunate to visit Adam Silverman’s studio at Heath Ceramics while on BlogTour LA, where I took these pictures.  There is nothing better than a peephole into an artist’s creative process and I found it fascinating to see his mood board, works in process, and his seemingly analytical approach to categorizing different shapes.

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Nov. 01

 

DESIGN DICTIONARY: Dovetail Joint

by Lynn Byrne

Dovetail joints on drawers

Giant dovetail joints at end of wood kitchen island

If you are going to walk the walk, you should talk the talk.”

“The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.” –Socrates –

This is part 2 of a discussion of furniture joinery.   The first part illustrated a mortise and tenon joint. Joinery, or how furniture is put together, may not be a sexy subject, but it is an important one.  Recognizing the type of joinery on a piece of furniture can help you spot quality furniture and even identify an antique .  This time we will look at dovetail joints.

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Oct. 30

 

NOW AND THEN: Highlights from Scalamandre’s New Fall Collection

by Lynn Byrne

Scalamandre Zebras wallpaper; bathroom from Kate Spade's New York Apartment

Scalamandre’s Tableau fabric developed for the curtain at the Metropolitan Opera House

I always want to know the back story.  If that is a gossip gene, then I must admit guilt.  I prefer to think I am a design Curious George.

A week or so ago, I attended a presentation of Scalamandre’s new fall collection by their vice president of design, Albert Sardelli  at their showroom at the D&D.  It’s always fun to go Scalamandre’s showroom, if only to revel in their classic and fabulous Zebras wallpaper.

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Oct. 20

 

Design Icon Edith Heath + Vintage Heath Ceramics Finds

by Lynn Byrne

Heath Ceramics. Photo by Lynn Byrne

Edith Heath

Nothing beats a strong woman.

When Edith Heath, founder of Heath Ceramics,  couldn’t obtain a pottery wheel, she and her husband fashioned one out of a treadle-powered sewing machine.  Next, she wanted to learn more about the chemical process of glazes, clay and kiln firing, and could not finding a suitable class.  But that didn’t stop her.  Edith successfully petitioned the University of California to create a course in ceramics chemistry.  When  an early solo exhibition sold out, Edith decided it was time to found her own company.  Heath Ceramics, based  in Sausalito, California, was born in 1948  and by 1949 it was producing 100,000 pieces of ceramics a year.

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