Brick & Mortar since 1991. Blogging since 2006. From Jason Thompson, Rag & Bone founder & creative director. We write about the things we love: bookbinding, book arts, paper arts, the bindery, personal stuff, our kids, our travels, sometimes food and sometimes art.
New Etsy seller Nicole & her Toodle Pip Studios is premiering intricate paper collages at her Etsy store. They have little lights and plastic toys & figures inside which bring them to life. I love the retro-modern feel to them. Each is lightweight, three-dimensional and available to purchase now.
But Nicole is also dropping some inspiration on us too:
Looking back at the art I made when I was a little girl, it is very clear to me that I haven’t changed a bit. I am that same happy, free spirit making art out of objects, putting lots of color into my work, and collecting and building things. I try to view the world with as much wonder and amazement as I did when I was a child. Life is short - be open-minded, stay genuine and nurture that child within! It’s a magical thing when you make art your whole life, when the urge to create is bigger than you are and you just let it come out when it wants to. I feel very fortunate to have a creative mind that constantly keeps me re-inventing my own wacky reality!
I admit I wasn’t familiar with Eva Zeisel, who is described in her biography as “…one of the first female journeyman potters”, until we ran across this set of tableware vessels at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum this week. The pieces are unfortunately tucked away in a hallway leading from the old part of the museum to the newly constructed foyer.
Crowded together with other ceramic pieces from the RISD museum collection, Zeisels simple, organic designs just popped out at us, our first thought being are these modern pieces? Not at all, they’re 50+ years old. And Eva Zeisel is still alive at 101 and has quite a following.
We thought they were beautiful and wanted to share.
I originally posted the work of Nel Linssen about a year and a half ago when we first launched the blog. See here. Recently I was looking for an old post and came across Nel’s work again.
The pieces shown here are all made from paper. She doesn’t divulge the secrets to method, but she has a minimalist style and precise technique. Are these folded? Are they laced onto a string? What keeps their twisted forms together? Not knowing is just as much fun, I love the mystery. Nel has a great color sense. These are sophisticated and understated, though if you were to wear one it would be the center of attention. Their forms are organic and look as if they would move with the wearer.
Be sure to check out her online gallery for even more eye candy. And if you’re interested in purchasing one of her pieces, they’ll set you back. Necklaces average around $1,200.00 - $1,400.00.
Our good friend Sandy MacDonald just received a nice mention of her whimsical Pez paintings over at Real Simple online. The article was written by the fabulously talented and inspiring Holly over at Decor8, what a small world…
Sandy used to work with us here at Rag & Bone, she was our “head gluer”, which doesn’t mean she glued heads. At least I don’t think so, not sure what she did on her days off. Sandy collected Pez, as you can see, we still have a few floating around the studio. She moved to California with her husband Paul and now enjoys snow-free winters and exorbitant rents. We miss you Sandy!
I don’t speak or read French, but I’m mesmerized by Miss Clara’s flashy website. Her portfolio includes these magical paper creations, some of which have been used as book illustrations and covers. I’ll leave it to our French speakers to tell me more. I can’t find much online about Miss Clara, but her website is worth the visit!
Found the work of Paul Hayes through our friend John Casey’s website. Paul is a RISD grad and San Francisco artist who uses paper to create these unique installations. I just searched Google and found a nice article Jaime wrote over at Paper Forest, take a look. Paul’s work has so much movement in it. It makes me smile - organic and flowing forms with such life and motion. Like little paper creatures.
This is what Paul has to say about the paper installation he created for the San Francisco Exploratorium:
The entire thing measures 20 feet on each side. There are about 5000 sheets of card stock in the larger section. the paper is suspended on strands of thin wire, hung from a metal grid. It took about 2 months to make.
Suzan Buckner is a collage artist and journaler - two skills that go together like peanut butter and jelly. We’d like to share images of her very colorful journal pages. It’s that time of year, SPRING! and we’re ready for color after this long winter. I was just thinking that this will be the first year that we won’t have trees outside our windows. We moved into an industrial loft with views of mill buildings and rooftops, but no trees - just a few scraggly grey ones a block away. We’ll have to fill the windows with plants this year. But I digress.
Take a look at these awesome paper vessels and objects. Designed by Hannah Lobley, they’re made by converting paper goods - most appear to be printed pages - back into solid wood-like blank forms which are worked with traditional woodworking tools.
The wood becomes paper becomes wood, re-used and recycled to become something new and useful again. Hannah calls her pieces “Paperworks”. They’re varnished to seal the surfaces and are available for sale through her website.
Photos by Daniel Lane
Hannah Lobley Showcase
Leigh, Manchester [England]
Through April 5th, 2008
Modern egg master Franc Grom creates eggs which give Ferberge a run for his money. Grom uses a small electric drill to create approximately 2,500 to 3,500 holes in each eggshell. Inspired by traditional Slovenian designs, he has been known to pierce a shell as many as 17,000 times. They’re so fragile and beautiful. Imagine the patience!
New images from MyCarita’s flickr photo set [via commenter Maj]
Urban Camouflage. This is the work of Dutch artist Desiree Palmen. The first thing I want to know is, how does she do this? It takes hours to paint each full-body, canvas-white suit. First she takes photographs of the scene then, back in her studio, she meticulously transfers the details on to the suits with acrylic paints. Toally. Cool.
German born Veronika Teuber’s attraction to books began with an interest in literature which has developed into fetishizing them as objects. Books have that kind of hold on me as well, most of us I guess. Don’t you get that feeling when you walk into a great bookstore for the first time, or cross the threshold of your favorite library? Veronika’s wax books, by sealing shut their pages, have become objects only, neatly packaged and tied shut for us to admire, but never read.
A modern house becomes dehumanized when its books are replaced by electronics. The electronics display a trivial immediacy that always occurs within the same, unchanging frame. And because the accumulation of objects, and especially books, are the expression of memory, the superimposing of past and present, I feel that the time we are living in is murdering Proust.
D. W. Winnicott, the British psychoanalyst, theorized that artists are people driven by a conflict between the desire to communicate and the even stronger desire to hide. These enclosed books are not only the antithesis of the digital age, they are also packages of personal interpretation that simultaneously reveal and obscure what the books actually contain.
Wow, would you look at these images? Kumi Yamashita utilizes shadows in a clever way in her unique art. She focuses bright light at an oblique angle against different materials - letter and number blocks, aluminum - to create these wonderful shadows of people. The art is so ephemeral but the shadows look very realistic.
Reminds me a little of an exhibit Ilira and I saw in Boston where Tim Noble and Sue Webster created what appeared to be piles of garbage, seemingly random mounds of crumpled paper, crushed soda cans, empty boxes, etc, but when a light hit them the right way, shadows of people would appear on the walls.
Below is a video of one of her kinetic shadow sculptures.
California’s Cuban expat Elsa Mora, who goes by the name Esita, is fabulously talented. She works with paper, felt and porcelain and illustrates charming little girls in natural and supernatural settings. Her self-written “About Me” page is inspiring:
My name is Elsa Mora but you can call me Elsita. I am a full-time Artist who wants to do something good before I die. If my art doesn’t have a big impact on the world (which, given the odds, is more likely to happen) at least I want my children to remember me as someone who was happy to spend some time on planet Earth.
Wonderful! Visit her Etsy site to go shopping. Elsa also has a blog. Her work reminds me of a kinder version of the French artist René Laloux’s fantastical worlds. As I was looking through her Etsy site, I kept thinking, how could someone be so talented in so many different mediums. I’m inspired.
Martin describes this work as igenious assemblages. He lives and works in New Zealand and is an avid collector of sixties object d’art. His eye for collecting shows in the re-use of vintage objects, which have a beauty beyond their original use: spatulas become wings, tailight lenses turn into eyes, salt shakers become bodies.
These sculptures have been inspired by industrial design from the 50’s and 60’s. Each one contains original pieces from that age which have been collected from various sources. Junk shops, Charity shops, Garage sales, markets, Car boot sales, sides of the road, skips, internet auctions. Each quirky and individually named character or fabrication is born out of yesteryear’s discarded paraphernalia.
You can see more of his work in person at the Letham Gallery in Ponsonby, New Zealand. Preview June 6th 2008.
The Electro Family look like they came right out of the Robots movie. Sarah Vos created this mish-mash family from electric parts, tea kettles and other metallic flotsam. They have a lot of personality. Sarah is also the creater of Familie Foef plush creatures, one-of-a-kind dolls ready to adopt and name. Visit her Flickr pages for the robots, and the Familie Foef site for the dolls.
Sarah King over at the design collective Evening Tweed created these typographic pieces of fruit for the latest issue of Graphic. She’s a wiz with organic, flowing, typography. What can be more organic than fruit?
Stefana McClure manipulates text and two-dimensional paper works into small scale sculptures by slicing them into thin strips and then rolling them into spheres. A map of the world is transformed into a globe - clever! Dvorak’s New World Symphonies turns into a little world.
Jim Denevan makes freehand drawings in sand. Like Andy Goldsworthy and English Crop Circle creaters, Jim finds suitable canvases in tide-washed and smooth sandy beaches and draws these incredibly technical geometric patterns. It must be pretty difficult to draw such large patterns while standing only a few feet above them. I could do that with string walking in a circle, but he’s doing this freehand. Like Goldsworthy’s nature installations, the work is temporary and lives on only in photographs. Nice gallery at the site
At low tide on wide beaches Jim searches the shore for a wave tossed stick. After finding a good stick and composing himself in the near and far environment Jim draws– laboring up to 7 hours and walking as many as 30 miles. The resulting sand drawing is made entirely freehand w/ no measuring aids whatsoever.
Seattle based artist Casey Curran makes kinetic sculptural wall pieces utilizing books. Two of my favorite types of art: Book art & kinetic / automata structures. Casey says this about his work:
We can look at the text of any book and see the wealth of information contained in the writing, but in addition to the writing we can see a structured assembly of signs. It is the values we place on those visual arrangements that describe the meaning of the signs. Meaning thus evolves from meaning.
You can see a video of Casey’s Fly piece over at Make
These are photoshop creations by Viennese artist Mladen Penev. Titled, “The Power Of Books”, they’re part of the artwork collection at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. More at Mladen’s website.