Lotta Inspiration*


I got my dates mixed up for Lotta Jansdotter’s studio sale recently, but all was not lost as the designer happened to be in her studio that Saturday and very kindly let a friend and me poke around. There were still lots of lovely things to peruse (check) and purchase (uh, check and check).

A quiet look behind the scenes in Lotta’s workspace was a treat. She has an artful way of arranging beautiful utilitarian objects in neat groups.

Her ingenuity with pattern and use of images from nature are everywhere on display.

* Apologies to the designer for the rather obvious pun…

Postcard Mashup

I made holiday cards out of some old postcards I’ve had lying around for years. None of them inspired me on their own, but mixed up and matched together, I found a use for them. 

Here are the originals:

I also made this one by combining a postcard of NYC graffiti with the kaleidoscopic image above:

This one plays on the different textures and patterns in the two different images:

Happy holidays!

Ali Aschman and Others This Holiday Season

South African artist Ali Aschman will be showing three new pieces in a one-day silent auction party (with snacks, drinks and affordable art) at Cinders Gallery in Williamsburg (103 Havemeyer Street) this Sunday, Dec. 20, from 4-7pm.

The auction of works, titled The End is Like the Beginning, spans a broad range of work, some of it lyrical, some of it creepy (I’m not going to lie to you).

Matthew Feyld

Travis Millard

Jungil Hong

Allyson Mellberg

Mel Kadel

Kiersten Essenpreis

But back to Ali Aschman (who has a very inspiring blog called Miseryland, by the way). She will be installing another artwork in the window of Desert Island Comics at 540 Metropolitan Avenue, similar to her Minotaur installation from The Wassaic Project in August. (See a very cool NY Times slideshow of the Wassaic Project here.)

Swing by the book store from Monday, Dec. 21 onwards to check it out. It should be up for at least a month or two.


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Do you have any idea how many artists work in the Gowanus Canal area? 150, according to the Annual Gowanus Artists Studio Tour (A.G.A.S.T.), which I visited last weekend (although there must be even more). I spent three hours wandering in and out of artists’ studios at 94 9th Street — only one of 28 venues where artists work near the canal.

The awkward thing about studio tours is that you never know until you venture into the close quarters of the studio, with the artist hovering nearby, how you will respond to the work.  How are some highlights of the work that I liked.

I don’t know what Abraham McNally’s art is all about, but I like it’s elemental nature. That’s his print, above.

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This mirror-edged pile of firewood, snapped in his studio, has taken on different forms in previous work:

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Raw nature meets human artifice in the way he combines materials, like hay and constructed wood:  

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And stone and maple veneer:

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The two meet again in his drawings and prints:

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Brian Adam Douglas has carved a reputation as a street artist, aka Elbow Toe. Locals may recognize some of his images from the streets around Brooklyn.

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The public got a peek into his studio, where he displayed floor-to-ceiling woodcuts that he uses to make his incredibly detailed prints, and a series of twisted takes on popular stories that he sold for $30 a pop – a real steal!

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Douglas just launched an online store on his website, and some of his prints are also available on etsy.

Lauren Collings makes vibrant, flat paintings that remind me of David Hockney’s work.

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Collings displayed some studies and smaller works:

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I am developing a bit of a thing for the top piece in the above photo.


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Sweater I repaired with felted wool at Platform21‘s installation, Governor’s Island

‘Flamingo’ by Alexander Calder, Chicago

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Wool at Christien Meindertsma’s installation, Governor’s Island, NYC

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Isabel’s shoes, Marion and Duncan’s house, Cape Town

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Friday assembly at my cousins’ private school in Johannesburg, South Africa 


CNA Plaza, Chicago

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Murat Küpçü’s booth for his store, Double Knot, at the Architectural Digest Home Show, New York

Plates & Records Supper Club

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OK, OK. I know I’ve been a bad, bad blogger recently. I can only tell you that I hit a bit of burnout at work this summer – precisely the time you’re supposed to be loafing off, slipping out of work early on Fridays and dashing off to beach locations near and far. Instead, I was chasing deadlines, and pulling some late hours. Well, boo hoo to me.

One of the cool things I did this summer was attend the Plates & Records Supper Club. This was the second time that Joann Kim, Ram Subramanian and Andrzej Nowicki threw this bash for their friends and this time the menu was South African.

On the way to the bar in Bushwick that was hosting it, I was treated to a gritty artwalk.

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But on to the important stuff–the food.

On the menu:

Cocktails: Cape Town Collins and Malawi shandy

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Chicken and veggie mini-pies

Watermelon, arugula and feta salad

Bunny chows (a quarter loaf of bread scooped out and filled with curry – see pic below)

Grilled corn in herb butter

Spinach with ground nuts

Milktert with rasberry coulis

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Post-dinner treats included live music in the alleyway alongside the bar. One of the acts was none other than Jon Burgerman, whom I coincidentally wrote about for the Elle Decoration blog a while ago. He seems to be branching out from hyperactive doodles to deadpan rap.

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Incidentally, you should check out his exhibit at Giant Robot in the East Village, “My American Summer,” which closes Sept. 16. The guy elevates doodling to a high, high art.


Architectural Digest Show 003BDDW’s booth, Architectural Digest Home Design Show

Stone Barn Farms 001Greenhouse at Stone Barns Farm, Westchester, NY

Architectural Digest Show 021Lindsey Adelman lights, Architectural Digest Home Design Show 

Hawzien_(15)Town of Hawzien, Ethiopia

Stone Barn Farms 009Greenhouse at Stone Barns Farm, Westchester, NY

OHNY 2008 069The Highline, 34th Street, NYC

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My cousin Nate eating macaroni, Bedford, NY.


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Carved yellow pages by Long-Bin Chen, Tribeca.



Church of St. George, Lalibella, Ethiopia.


Cardboard boxes, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Cardboard boxes, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.



Under the ‘L’ train, Chicago.


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Buttermilk and feta rolls, Neigbour Goods Market, Cape Town.


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Birch trees, Brooklyn Heights.

Maker’s Market at Socrates Sculpture Park

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The humidity and mud did nothing to diminish the pull of the Maker’s Market in Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Queens this weekend. There were three tents chock full of a fantastic variety of furniture, glassware, ceramics, jewellery, textiles and art curated by R20th Century, America Craft magazine, the Isamu Noguchi Museum and ReadyMade Design.

I admit: I was overwhelmed. I got triggerhappy with the old camera, which died on me four booths from the end. Here’s what I saw, sans commentary. 

From R 20th Century, glassware by Jeff Zimmerman, robot figures by Rusti D. (Deimos), and soft scultpure toys by Renate Müller:

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Hope Ginsburg/Sponge (that’s her talking to the lady with the psychedelic blouse):

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Esque Studio:

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 Produce Design:

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 Jewelry by Eric Silva:

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 Spring Gallery:

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 Sanam Emami:

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 Thaddeus Wolfe Glass:

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Elyse Allen Textiles:

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I think my most favorite thing was the stool by Hivemindesign. It is made from reclaimed and salvaged wood and the elements can be taken apart and stacked any way you want.

What was yours?

Storm, Friday night

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I rushed outside soon after the intense downpour on Friday night, when the sunset cast an eerie yellow light and the clouds were shaped like scoops of ice cream. But what I got were these strange photos that look like Armageddon on Cranberry Street.

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The camera intensified the reds in the sky – it really didn’t look like this at all.

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A couple of blocks away, the Brooklyn Heights promenade gave a more dramatic view of the clouds.

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