spring is in the air…and our closets!

Spring is finally here—time to swap out the heavy sweaters for airy silhouettes and vibrant colors! You’ll find plenty of both in our Spring 2015 Apparel and Shoe Collection. We’re really excited about all the easy, effortless pieces our favorite designers have created this season. With bright colors, flattering shapes, and distinctive details, these are pieces I can’t wait to wear.

It’s hard to choose just a few favorites from this fabulous collection, but here are several pieces that stand out:

Babette amps up the appeal of her signature pleating with the bold, playful pattern of her Circles Tunic. We’ve paired it with Planet’s Matte Jersey Capri Leggings and CYDWOQ’s Attract Sandal for a casual style—try it with a skirt and heels for a dressier look.

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Talk about dramatic! We can’t get enough of the statement-making Noa Tunic by Bryn Walker. I especially love the oversized cowl neck and the unexpected pop of color from the obi belt. It’s paired here with the designer’s coordinating Long Full Pant for a stunning look.

The Key Slide Sandal from CYDWOQ is a sandal I’d gladly live in all summer. With artistic cutouts that flatter and form to your foot, this is not your average slide. Plus, it provides the great comfort and arch support CYDWOQ is known for—it really feels like you’re walking on air. Try it in shimmery Black Pearl or eye-catching Red (or both!).

Cynthia Ashby has done it again with her beautiful new Spring Vest. The lightweight linen is just right paired with her Essential Mesh Tee or layered over a tank as the days get warmer. The black contrast stitching accentuates the flattering shape. Shown here with CYDWOQ’s Dramatic Shoe, it’s the perfect transition piece.

Funny name, fabulous style: introducing the Shacket by Planet. Designed to function equally well as a shirt or a jacket (hence the name), it contrasts crisp, white poplin with a back panel of black matte jersey. Add to that great pockets and the perfect length, and this becomes a go-to piece I’d reach for day after day.

Shacket by Planet

These are just a few of the fantastic new pieces available in our spring collection. Take a look at the full collection, and discover some new favorites of your own!

By |March 24th, 2015|articles|1 Comment

artist spotlight: julie powell

Julie Powell

Julie Powell is an extraordinary bead artist who has worked with us at Artful Home for several years. Her eye for color and detail creates designs that inspire and delight. I love the way she uses different types of beads to enhance the shape of her work — they are like miniature sculptures. Stones and glass beads catch and diffuse light, and play off the combinations of colors in the intricate woven patterns.

Delphinium Cuff by Julie Powell

Delphinium Cuff by Julie Powell

It’s incredibly interesting to see the inspiration behind her stunning one-of-a-kind pieces. Sometimes a sculpture, painting, or other work of art. Sometimes a feather or gem straight from nature. Whatever the spark of inspiration, the end results are fabulous.

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Julie shares a bit about herself and her jewelry with us:

How did you get started as an artist?

I have always made things with my hands. When I was very little I sewed different colored buttons onto cloth with a needle and thread, and I just continued from there. I have no shame in calling myself a “craftsman” as well as an artist. I have always been inspired and moved by materials, especially textiles- fabrics, yarns, threads, beads. I have never “not” designed and made art with fiber and my hands.

Julie Powell

Who or what has been the biggest influence on your artistic career?

I was influenced tremendously by my mother, who is an artist. When I was young, she sewed clothing, crocheted, did wild stitcheries, macrame, decoupage, made jewelry with metal and as a fine artist she painted and drew. She was a gifted art teacher and always took me to museums, galleries and exposed me to art of all kinds. I was also inspired by Irene Miller, of The Knitty Noddy in Croton-on-Hudson, NY in the 1970’s. I would take the train for an hour ride along the Hudson river on Saturday mornings and work for a morning using any materials at all in the shop – knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, dyeing. It was a center of creativity and exploration for me.

What do you do when you need inspiration?

I do different things depending on my mood. Sometimes I get away from the process and hike or walk or run or swim to refresh my brain. Traveling is very inspiring for me, but I don’t get a chance to do it quite enough!  Other times I look at my collection of books on fine artists, architects and craftsmen- Henri Matisse, Gustav Klimt, Paul Klee, Bonnard, Sean Scully, El Anatsui. I also enjoy Pinterest and am continually inspired by images there and sharing with other people. I also love to go to museums and galleries and am mostly inspired by work that is not in my medium!

Julie Powell cuff inspired by a painting by Sean Scully

Julie Powell cuff inspired by a painting by Sean Scully

Where do you find your best ideas?

I tinker and play in my mind with forms and colors that I have done in the past. I peruse my sketch book, which I keep daily, and take off from there. I look at jewelry and textiles from history and from my contemporaries. I draw, do watercolors and sketch constantly and have done so since I was in High School.

Julie Powell sketch

Describe a breakthrough moment.

I feel as though I have break through moments every day. Often I dream about an idea for a piece. I wake up and sketch it, and then try to execute the vision in reality. When I am able to recreate what is in my mind into a 3-D object, I find it very satisfying and fulfilling. Just that process is mind-blowing to me.

Julie Powell

What do you love most about being an artist?

I love that I can be surrounded by colors and surfaces- tiny pieces of glass that catch the light, in all shapes and forms. I love the intensity of the scale and the engineering involved in designing and making. I love the excitement of a challenge, but I also love the quiet peacefulness of threading the beads one by one and weaving them in my fingers and through the tension of my hands. I love how any piece grows row by row, stitch by stitch, without knowing how it will emerge. I love that I can make mistakes and rip them out and try again. It is a fluid, meditative process for me. And I love working with color. Making piles of beads, jars of stones and stones and being surrounded by them as I work is heaven.

Julie Powell studio

We’re thrilled to feature an exclusive online trunk show of one-of-a-kind necklaces and bracelets by renowned jewelry artist Julie Powell. Created entirely by hand, each exquisite work of art is completely unique — and available for a limited time only.

By |March 20th, 2015|spotlights|4 Comments

artist spotlight: david patchen

There are a few artists on the Artful Home site whose work consistently elicits a single word response of: “WOW.”  David Patchen is in that elite group — his art glass sculptures and vessels are absolutely exquisite. The amount of detail expressed in his work is incredible. He uses intricate patterns of cane and murrini in stunning colors shaped into beautiful, impressive forms.

Mixed Murrini Resistenza

I love the way that light plays off of and is diffused by the different stripes, windows, and colors in his works. The shapes and colors created draw your eye across the entire glass form. They’re large, and yet somehow delicate; while heavy and substantial, the details make the pieces incredibly intricate. Patchen explores how light moves and bends, using opacity and transparency in contrast. Each piece is a unique combination of colors and shapes in glass that provide interest and attract you to look more closely.

Mixed Murrini Resistenza

Patchen’s love of molten glass began after viewing a demonstration in a local studio. Giving up his job in marketing, he devoted himself to his creative passion. Early in his career, he traveled to Italy to study under glass master Afro Celotto, and was able to use the education to refine and improve his techniques.

Image courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle

Image courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle

Each of Patchen’s works are composed as if he is writing a symphony — tiny pieces of glass come together like notes in harmony, working with and against each other to create the final, beautiful form.

Murrini works are created when he composes highly-patterned glass tiles, carefully places them into a mosaic, and then fuses them together into a glass bubble before blowing the final sculptural shape.

David Patchen

Other pieces are created using the canework technique. Patchen meticulously arranges and fuses colored glass rods, shaping them into a final form, and then encases them in thick, clear glass to add depth, weight, and stability.

Red and Amber Foglio

There is something so appealing, so mesmerizing about David’s work. Each new piece is more stunning than the last. The beautiful forms draw you in, begging you to look closer. The kaleidoscope of cellular shapes and colors evoke the feelings of an ocean reef, dancing ribbons, or swirling skies — they hypnotize and make it difficult to look away.

Video courtesy of Olivari Olive Oil
We are thrilled to present a breathtaking collection of David’s one-of-a-kind pieces — all 10% off for a limited time only in our Flash Gallery. Think of it as a gallery event without the wine and cheese — a special collection of exceptional artwork, featured March 12th through the 22nd.

By |March 12th, 2015|spotlights|1 Comment

exciting new jewelry

As Artful Home‘s Associate Merchant for Apparel and Jewelry, I have the opportunity to see exciting new jewelry on a daily basis, and I love seeing all of the extraordinary things artists create.

I’d like to take a moment to share some of the new artists, pieces, and trends I’ve come across recently, and share with you a little about why I find them so fabulous:

Acrylic & Gold Beveled Cuff

Acrylic & Gold Beveled Cuff

I love the geometric forms and bold fashion-forward style of Jennifer Merchant‘s work. Jennifer is known for her technique which involves bonding printed papers, gold leaf, and other materials between layers of solid acrylic. These cuffs are a great way to add a fun, personal statement to your wardrobe.

Sky & Water Through the Branches Pendant

Sky & Water Through the Branches Pendant

The organic feel of Ben Dyer‘s jewelry is one of the things I love most about his work. Each one of his pieces has movement, which is both unique and graceful. His pieces are great for everyday wear or for special occasions, and the amount of detail in each is truly beautiful.

Silver, Red, and Jewel Tones Echo Necklace

Silver, Red, and Jewel Tones Echo Necklace

I wear a lot of neutral-colored clothes, and Julie Powell‘s new pieces are perfect for adding that much-needed pop of color to any wardrobe. Her pieces not only exhibit an intricate amount of detail, but can truly become conversation pieces. Her interplay of color and texture is a sight to behold.

 

Jungle Fever Stacking Rings by Nancy Troske

Jungle Fever Stacking Rings by Nancy Troske

Carved Prong Set Pyrite & Bimetal Rings by Heather Guidero

Carved Prong Set Pyrite & Bimetal Rings by Heather Guidero

Stacking rings are a trend that I can’t stay away from. These versatile rings can be worn singly for a minimal statement, or stacked for a bolder look. I love the animal print inspired look of Nancy Troske‘s Jungle Fever Stacking Rings, and the sculptural feel of Heather Guidero‘s Carved Prong Set Pyrite & Bimetal Rings.

What new pieces are you excited about?

By |March 2nd, 2015|articles|5 Comments

why we love what we love

Each of us is drawn to a work of art for different reasons. Some feel the call of a discipline – glass, ceramics, metal. For others it a theme – modern, abstract, floral. For many it’s difficult to define what draws us to a piece. What is it about any piece that speaks to our soul? Because that is what art does – it speaks to our soul, and calls to us to fall in love with it.

It would be easy to say that pieces simply remind us of a time or place. Spending your childhood summers at the ocean shore may draw you to works that feature ocean themes – fish, sea creatures, the ocean waves. Spending time in the southwest could make you crave works that feature desert landscapes. Days on the ranch may draw you to works that feature horses.

Memories may be part of what draws us to a piece but there is much, much more. Each artist uses his or her work as a voice. The story is different for every artist and every work of art but there is still an unwritten and unspoken narrative around a piece. It may tell of a dream or a wish or a hope. It may tell of a place in time. It is a way for an artist to express without explicitly using words. It’s this voice of the work that speaks from the artist to us. This voice that pulls us back to the pieces we love. The artist is telling us something that we may not be able to fully comprehend or put into words, but our soul understands the story.

Because we can’t often put into words what it is that draws us to a piece, it can be difficult to define what we love. You’ve heard the phrase, “I’ll know it when I see it.” Because the moment when we lay our eyes on a work of art is the moment we will know if the story the artist is telling resonates with us.

Perhaps you’ve had an experience like this: you’re walking through the artist booths at your local art fair and suddenly there in front of you are pieces you’ve never seen before…but that you can’t take your eyes off of. If you’re like me, you’ll spend the next half hour in that artist’s booth enjoying each and every piece. And, if you’re like me, the work will draw you back to it at least once more before you leave the art fair. It is the unspoken story that is drawing you back.

You may have noticed the pieces I’ve included here. These are some works that genuinely speak to me and seem to share their story with me. Over the years I’ve started to understand that I’m not drawn to specific colors or disciplines. I’m drawn to organic, elegant work that often has some connection to nature and has a simplicity to it. The simplicity of these pieces can offset the complexity of the artist’s work. On the most basic level the Nicolas Bernard vessel is a simple form rendered in clay. But Bernard’s use of a bright, unexpected color for the medium along with the graceful textured slip elevate the piece from a simple ceramic form to a work of art that calls me back to it again and again. You can see similar threads in the other pieces. On some level do they harken back to a childhood spent appreciating nature? Absolutely. Do they bring a calming escape from the business of day to day life? Of course. But beyond that I feel in all of these pieces that there is some part of the artist that is speaking to me on a level that words cannot convey.

There are so many pieces that speak to me that it is impossible to share them all with you in this post. Therefore I’ve created a Pinterest board with thoughts on what it is about various pieces that really draws me to them. Feel free to share your thought on each piece. If one of these pieces speaks to you, let me know what it is that draws you to it, what story it tells you. Or share with me the pieces that speak to you – either post in the comments below or tag us (@artfulhome) on Pinterest. I would really like to read your comments and see how your life is impacted by living with art.

By |February 27th, 2015|articles|0 Comments