Category Archives: Art

Sculptures in Porcelain by Rachel Kneebone – on view at the Brooklyn Museum

RACHEL KNEEBONE ‘Shield IV’, 2010. Porcelain. Photo: Stephen White

A few weeks ago, a good friend came to Brooklyn for a visit. It was a beautiful day out so we walked the loop in Prospect Park and then stopped by the Brooklyn Museum. It really is a wonderful museum, I can’t say enough about it, and I think my friend was quite impressed, too. Among the many stunning exhibits, one in particular stood out to both of us, the art of Rachel Kneebone. A British artist, who works from London, she is particularly known for her finely sculpted porcelain pieces that often contain tangles of body parts.

Until August 12, 2012, the Brooklyn Museum has some of her pieces on display in an exhibit called Rachel Kneebone: Regarding Rodin. Certainly worth checking out as the photos below do her work no justice. The amount of detail, especially in the piece ‘The Descent’, really needs to be witnessed in person in order to gain a full appreciation.

I suppose what really captured my attention is the way in which Kneebone uses a very traditional and elegant material, such as porcelain, in a very unexpected way. For me, when I see her work, I think of Italian porcelain sculpture from the 18th century. However, the subject matter is quite different from that which Kneebone is depicting. In this way, for me, her work is also connected to that of Inge Jacobson, in that it is also a traditional art form used in a modern context.

– Stephanie,

‘The Paradise of Dispair’ and ‘The Descent’, both on display at the Brooklyn Museum.

For comparison: Centerpiece, ca. 1775–80, Italian; Cozzi factory, Hard-paste porcelain. From the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


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More Vintage Design Inspiration – Album Covers

Wonder what Beethoven would think of this album cover...

So, I’m not the only one in this household who likes to bring home random finds. A little while back, my husband came home with these old records. I have no idea where he found them. Right now we just have them sitting on our bookshelf. I would love to get a record player so that we could actually listen to them. Maybe one day… Anyway, just thought I would post some photos of them for a little more vintage design inspiration.

– Stephanie,

Love this illustration.

The back of the album.

The diagonal lines give this a very late 70s or early 80s vibe.

A very psychedelic Vivaldi!

I really like this one...

Memories...this was HUGE when I was kid.


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Vintage 1960s Design Inspiration – from the USA and former USSR

I love this photo from a 1960s Life magazine. The story is about finding a cure for cancer. The way in which this photo is taken makes it look like a painting to me. It reminds me of a certain artist's work...I just can't put my finger on it at the moment.

Last week I took Pascal on his morning walk. As I rounded the corner, I noticed a pile of old magazines just sitting, forlorn, on the sidewalk. Around Park Slope, people often just leave items on the sidewalk for anyone to take. So, I just had to grab them. It was an odd mix of Life magazines and communist themed magazines from the 1960s. Once I got home, I leafed through them and was completely taken by the beautiful photos and the simple and elegant page layouts. So, following are some of my favorites. Part of me wants to tear these magazines up and try my hand at collage making, part of me wants to take the photos out, as is, and frame them, then the other part of me wants to leave these magazines exactly as is. What to do?! Anyway, just thought I would share my find and pass on the inspiration!

– Stephanie,

A photo of Russian farmers. With all the grains making a dot pattern, this one reminds me of some paintings by Seurat.

I love the clean simplicity of this layout form USSR Soviet Life Today, circa 1962.

Beach time, Russian style! I love how the woman in the middle is still, basking in the warmth of the sun, separate from and oblivious to the the crowd.

A super trippy 1960s ad.

The Russian car of the future. I would love to have this, it could totally fit into just about any street parking spot.

I'm sorry, I will NOT be able to attend your dinner party...
One thing that has certainly improved is food staging and food photography. This just looks rough.

A very real fear of the time. It reminds me of all the old signs I see around NYC about buildings that contain fallout shelters.

Another great layout.

A story concerning flooding in Florence, Italy. It was very sad to see all the photos of art that was destroyed.

Another photo from the Life magazine story on finding a cure for cancer.

Jackie and Robert Kennedy from Life magazine.

Vintage ad for fur.

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Embroidery by Inge Jacobsen – a traditional art form used in a modern context

A Burberry ad with a detail in embroidery by Inge Jacobsen.

This last weekend, my husband and I took a walk down Rodeo Drive. We spotted a Georg Jensen store and decided to take a look. As some of you might have already read on this blog, I am quite a fan of the jewelry at Georg Jensen. While we looked around, I noticed some of the Georg Jensen ads from this past year, but with the difference that they were entirely done in embroidery. I fell in love. To see a traditional art form like embroidery used in a non-traditional way was rather unexpected. My mother does embroidery and has for years. However, the pieces she works on are much more old-school and tend to lean toward florals or birds. To see this medium used for high-fashion was very inspirational. I always love to see a contrast between old and new, traditional and modern, whether that be in art or architecture, and Inge Jacobsen manages this mix effortlessly. How amazing would it be to have a portrait of my French Bulldog, Pascal, done in embroidery!

So below are some of the images she created for Georg Jensen, both the original image and her embroidery versions. You can check out her work on her website, or her facebook page, or her blog.

Also, don’t forget to check out our FREE LETTERPRESS WEDDING INVITE GIVEAWAY!

– Stephanie,

A Georg Jensen ad. On one of my favorite chairs.

The Inge Jacobsen embroidery version of the above ad.

Another image for the ad campaign.

The Inge Jacobsen version.

She also does magazine covers, this one is of Beyonce. Here the embroidery has a slightly unfinished and rough feel.

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Gorgeous Art Deco Buildings in Los Angeles

The stunning entrance to the Eastern Columbia Building.

Walking around downtown Los Angeles, the amount of stunning Art Deco buildings is really quite amazing. It seems nearly every other building is a testament to the energy and optimism of the jazz age. What I also find particularly interesting is many of these buildings seem to be rather uninhabited. They are frayed, either abandoned or under utilized. However, strangely enough, this makes them even more interesting to me for a couple of reasons…

I live in New York City. Of course, there are a great many beautiful Art Deco buildings in Manhattan as well. However, for the most part, they are used, lived in and have pretty much always been since their construction. In Los Angeles, this downtown is a place of such potential, whereas Manhattan already seems so done, so developed. Here, there is so much possibility. At night it is rather desolate here, downtown. The streets are rather bare, save for the handful of people sleeping on them. However, there are signs of small cafes, independent book stores, restaurants and little galleries popping up. People are seeing the beauty of these buildings and slowly moving back into them and creating something new where there was once just a boarded up shell. It is great to see a downtown in such transition, especially one with such beautiful architecture.

Anyway, here are a few photos from my wanderings around the city. Don’t be surprised if some of these patterns pop up in our designs in the near future.


– Stephanie,

The clock tower on top of the Eastern Columbia Building. The blue terra cotta tiles are beautiful!

Love this tile pattern. Have no idea what building this is.

Another unknown deco building.

An Art Deco building located on Broadway.

There are a number of Art Deco movie palaces lining Broadway. Most of them have seen better days.

Another movie palace.

A building that is neo-gothic in style. I would imagine it was built around 1915 or so, or right before Art Deco. It is a great example of a lovely building that seems rather empty now but has so much potential.


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A memorial to Michael Jackson and Bubbles – an afternoon at LACMA

Michael Jackson and his companion, Bubbles the chimp. A dazzling memorial in gold! Ceramic by Jeff Koons.

On Saturday, my husband and I explored LA a little more. One of our stops was LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A great museum. Currently they have an exhibit, California Designs,  that is certainly worth checking out. Looking at all the mid-century design was inspirational and gave a small window into the ideas and concerns facing the people of that age. Of particular note to me was the board game on display, “Boom, or the Golden Age.”

Boom! or the Golden Age...Endorsed by Atomic Scientists!

At this point in time, the threat of nuclear war was certainly on the minds of people in the Unites States. I suppose what really got me was the fun and innocent way in which this whole concept was presented on a board game, with a Leave-It-To-Beaveresque young woman smiling on the cover.  To see the the very real fears of the era, juxtaposed with the glossy and prim varnish common of this time period, was perhaps one of the more eye-opening parts of this exhibit for me.

Following are a few more photos from our trip there.

– Stephanie,

St. John the Baptist by Jeff Koons.

Louis by Jeff Koons.

A rather uncomfortable looking bed by Robert Therrien.

This large race track (Metropolis II) reminds me of LA traffic, except it moves faster.

Another view of the race track.

It was huge and watching it was hypnotic.

A view of the city from the roof.

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