One of the advantages of having a press pass at SOFA is being able to photograph art within a dangerously close proximity and I am delighted to be able to show you a few examples of why I am a big fan of texture and neutral hues.
Above is an etching by Claudi Casanovas called “Arbol – Inmovilidad en el paisaje (Tree – Stillness in the Landscape).” From a series of delicate hatch marks, Claudi creates an impression of bark from a giant tree onto a rather large piece of handmade paper. At sixty inches wide, this print is absolutely soothing to look at and bursting with texture.
Below is the work of ceramicist Annie Turner, who created these handsome organic Eddy Spoons and Mussel bowls. The gray finish reminds of a glaze which is literally made from Quick Crete.
The above pieces were shown by Galerie Besson a fantastic gallery from London, whom I have to thank for coming to Chicago.
Each year a few hundred famous galleries come together to curate the fantastic International Exposition of Sculpture Objects & Functional Arts also known as SOFA. I braved up the courage to blog about this year’s show held in Chicago, got myself a press pass(Thanks, Ann Host!) and photographed some of my favorite galleries and artists. This entire week I will be sharing my experiences at SOFA Chicago 2008 with you, including an exclusive interview with Suzanne Carlsen.
Last night I, along with 200,000+ Chicagoans congregated Downtown to welcome our 44th President of the United States. It was the most inspirational and transcending experience I’ve had in long time. The crowd was peaceful and calming considering how many of us were in one place.
I have to share some great news that made my Monday morning shimmer. Senior editor Megan Lane Patrick wrote me, “I just wanted to let you know that we at HOW Magazine were so taken with your site that we have listed it as one of our Top 10 sites to see this month.” Considering that I worshiped this publication throughout my college years, I am pretty ecstatic to have caught their eye. -Of course this is all the doing of Also-Design who created our website and have actually been featured in HOW Magazine for their animation talents.
Ashes & Milk is happily mentioned here for all of November. Also, I must mention Megan’s fantastic caption about us, “I’m not sure which I love more, the design of the products sold here or the site itself.”
The above piece is a gift to me from the artist Yoran Morvant and his partner Julia. The motif is drawn perfectly to fit the natural curve of the stone resulting in the most unexpected and gorgeous use of pattern.
When I inquired about the story behind the creation of these stones, Julia told me that Yoran composed the very first Pierres Graphiques as a present for her. I, of course, thought this was absolutely romantic. I guess I am sucker for things like this. -When the act of making is motivated by some sort of adoration and its purpose is to offer a part of oneself to another.
Yoran created a fantastic collection of these stones especially for Ashes & Milk. You can see the whole collection right here.
Packaging off three Pierres Graphiques in brown kraft paper, nettle yarn, and Yoran’s hangtags which are artworks in themselves. Each one is a drawn by hand and an extention of the actual stones.
This post is part of a two part series. You can view the second post [ here ].
Our current featured artist is the lovely British Ceramicist Helen Beard, who created the above piece especially for Ashes & Milk as part of the most adorable Bird Cup Collection. I am in awe with the texture detail of Helen’s brushwork, each stroke carefully placed to represent feathers on the wing, tail, head and downy chest. The sky blue wash around the mouth of the cup is the perfect aviary for this little Warbler.
When Heather emailed me to say that she loved our new website and that she was going to write up an article on Elle Decoration, I was extremely flattered. Especially because I immediately recognized her as Skinny Laminx, and she remembered that last year I had purchased two of her graphically stunning tea towels. It’s neat how that happens: when a circle is completed between people.
Last year when I was looking for a website designer for Ashes & Milk, I worked up the courage to ask Grace for a recommendation in which she was awesome enough to refer me to the design team who created her blog. Also-Design is a three person company split between New York City and my own lovely Chicago. When I first met the husband and wife team of Matt and Jenny, I instantly liked them. I thought, “They remind me of friends of mine” and “we’ve probably been in the same places before and happen not to meet.” As it turns out we are neighbors, literally located within a few blocks of each other. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know them in addition to working with them to create Ashes & Milk. I look forward to the many West Logan Square gatherings to come, especially the 4th of July (wink).
I also wanted to acknowledge that I learned something invaluable from being featured on blogs like Design*Sponge and Decor8 that reach a wide audience. People have expressed various perspectives mostly positive and some challenging, equally rich in content and satisfying to hear. For those of you who shared your thoughts, I thank you for being so open and giving me more insight about what we are aiming to do at Ashes & Milk.
The idea of Ashes & Milk came into being one year ago as I began sharing photographs of my artwork on Flickr. Initially these posts were for friends and family, as a way to offer them some shy, unspoken details about me. Over time I found myself within an online community, consisting of a group of people devoted to expressing a visually enhanced life. It was when I sold thispiece to a fellow Flickr enthusiast that made these relationships from the internet a reality. I wanted to expand on these connections by creating an online gallery space called Ashes & Milk, where patrons can buy original artwork directly from the site.
The work offered at Ashes & Milk are one of kind pieces that are made by hand, created by one person, designed for one person. This project has been implemented with great care and thoroughness: from devising a website with Also Design, to curating artwork from around the world, and learning about the people whose work represented. As I have spent hours upon hours examining artists and the things they make, I have fallen in love with each person’s unique process of construction, and their driving force of creation. Artists are gifted with the ability to step outside of themselves and to observe the world around them with such great detail. In response they compose the most unexpected, beautiful things, a quality that I so endear and can never get enough of.
I hope you enjoy this site as much as I have putting it together.
A special thanks to:
My husband Adam – for his genuine thoughts and heartwarming support. Jen – for spontaneous discussions and pointing out my literary redundancies. Matt – for troubleshooting and his smart use of code and algorithms. Anja- for the encouragement to open up and share. Carol – for having a piece of me in her home. Jenny and Matt – at Also Design for a gorgeously fun website. Besty – for her art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner. Nadine and Nick – at Sonnenzimmer for beautiful hand-printed business cards and marketing collateral. Jim – for his problem solving and technical support.
All the Artists – for being the source of inspiration that founded Ashes & Milk.