goblet grab

A wine goblet with a handful of jelly beans for a stem. A martini glass graced by fluttering leaves. Swans and dragons, bees and honeycomb, potted topiaries, curling waves, murrini-covered spheres and perfect marbles…the myriad forms of artist-made goblets are endless. As artists have been submitting work for the first ever Artful Home Goblet Grab, we have been exclaiming with delight.Goblet Grab

Many of these one-of-a-kind and limited-edition goblets are functional martini, wine, and pilsner glasses that will glisten like ornaments on your dining table. Others are sculptures that borrow only the form of the goblet to make a statement for your collector’s cabinet. The goblets range from sophisticated to whimsical, from Venetian-influenced to Modern, from clear to full of kaleidoscopic color—and all are available only in extremely small quantities.

While preparing for the event, we were first amazed by the sculptural goblets. Standouts include the two Bee Goblets created collaboratively by Elodie Holmes and Charles Savoie. At just over 13” tall, each sculptural goblet features a stem of flameworked honeycomb, tiny sculpted bees, 24k gold leaf, and elegant six-sided flutes.

Goblet Grab

We also love Bandhu Scott Dunham’s Hurricane and Jelly Bean Goblets, which make us laugh at the artist’s unique vision and sense of humor. Perhaps you have a friend experiencing a bad week? This martini glass seeming to bend in a high wind with a lone figure grasping the stem might be the perfect pick-me-up gift.

Goblet Grab

James Byrnes’ floral goblets, with their twisting stems and delicate flower petals, astound us with their grace and detail. Paul Lockwood’s Venetian-style goblets with their ornate dragons, seahorses, and dolphins bring us back through history to the goblet-making of the Venetian tradition. And Ian Whitt’s wave goblets convince us that now is the time to lift a glass to a vacation by the ocean. These sculptural goblets can be collected for their artistic merit, their stretching of the rules of functional art, and their ability to enhance our world with the creative vision of an artist.

Goblet Grab

The functional pieces in this event include some of the most fabulous artist-made wine, martini, pilsner, and water glasses we have ever seen. Perhaps you need to find toasting glasses as unique as your friends who are getting married? Two of Robert Dane’s one-of-a-kind martini glasses seem absolutely perfect.

Goblet Grab

Or perhaps you need a grouping of elegant glasses for an upcoming party—what could be more fun than a set created by Michael Herman and Gina Lunn, available only in limited editions of 24? Or a mix-and-match grouping of pieces by several artists?

Goblet Grab

Whatever you are contemplating, you will need to move quickly. This online event is based on the real goblet grab events held at glass art openings and conferences, where the officiator counts to three and collectors run into the room to physically grab their favorite goblets. Just like at those events, there will be some urgency to get your desired pieces into your basket and checked out before someone else orders the very items you are coveting. Many of the works of art are one-of-a-kind, while others are in limited editions of 25 or fewer. It will be first-come, first-served—a virtual “Goblet Grab” event where you cannot see the other shoppers.

We hope you have fun exploring the amazing world of artist-made glassware, and that you are able to grab everything you desire before someone else grabs it first.

 

 

By |May 17th, 2015|events|0 Comments

effortless summer style

When summer finally arrives, we’re eager to get out and enjoy the warmth and sunshine—who wants to spend a lot of time figuring out what to wear? Luckily, our new Summer Collection is full of fantastic pieces that are simple and effortless—perfect for making summer style a snap.

We’re always inspired by the ways our designers pair wonderful fabrics with flattering silhouettes to create eminently wearable and creative pieces. We’ve built our Summer Collection around lightweight, textured fabrics and styles with distinctive details and flattering shapes. Whether you love bold black and white, bright pops of color, or soft, dusty hues, we’ve got you covered, head to toe!

A few favorites:

Noblu’s pucker fabric is super lightweight and cool for summer. Here, we’ve paired it with Planet’s versatile Matte Jersey Capri Leggings and CYDWOQ’S oh-so-stylish and comfortable Key Slide Sandal in Red (we also offer them in Black Pearl — believe me, you’ll want both colors!). This is a pulled-together look that could easily take you from a day on the boardwalk to a casual dinner.

Cynthia Ashby’s sweet Laurel Tunic is made from a lightly textured seersucker-like fabric. The flattering cut of the top makes it a go-to style for summer. Instead of a necklace or heavy jewelry, we accented it with Amy Brill’s Bloomers Brooch for a little more color and interest. We paired the top with a perennial favorite: Ashby’s Double Stitched Cropped Pant, a style to wear over and over, season after season. The dusty colors of this outfit are a nice alternative to typical summer brights.

Stripes? Check. Pockets? Check. Vibrant color? Check. All that plus a flattering bubble hem, and you have the Sleeveless Eclipse Dress by Heydari. We paired this soft-as-a-tee-shirt statement dress with the lightweight polymer Nocturne Pendant by Klara Borbas and Loop d Loop Hoops by Leia Zumbro. We used the Attract Sandal by CYDWOQ to show that you can wear this style with a long dress just as easily as you can with a cropped pant or shorter dress — see it with other pieces in the collection.

These are just a few of the extraordinary new pieces from our Summer Collection. Take a look at the full collection for even more pieces that have plenty of artful style and effortless comfort to make looking great for summer a breeze!

By |May 10th, 2015|articles|0 Comments

art on fire: the beauty & drama of raku

Raku in progress by artist Bruce Johnson

Raku in progress by artist Bruce Johnson

Apple by Bruce Johnson

Apple by Bruce Johnson

As someone who loves all things clay, I am fascinated by the many “alternative” methods of firing — those that take place outside of a traditional kiln. One of my favorites is raku. I have tried raku several times, and found it to be a lot of fun—it’s fast-paced, hands-on, and it yields gorgeous yet unpredictable results. Plus, there’s the thrill of handling glowing hot artwork and setting things on fire…safely, of course!

A piece that looks like this during Tom Neugebauer's raku firing...

A piece that looks like this during Tom Neugebauer's raku firing...

...May end up looking something like this. (Fire Circles by Tom Neugebauer)

...May end up looking something like this. (Fire Circles by Tom Neugebauer)

It’s relatively easy to participate in a raku firing with the help of more experienced artists, as I have. However, to become proficient at this technique takes time, dedication, and plenty of trial and error. The artists highlighted in this post are truly masters of this unpredictable technique—able to walk the fine line between control and chaos to create work all their own.

Matte 292 Raku Vessel by Ron Mello

Matte 292 Raku Vessel by Ron Mello

Plato Grande Rojo by Candone Wharton

Plato Grande Rojo by Candone Wharton

Raku was developed in 16th century Japan and was used primarily to create ceremonial tea bowls. However, traditional Japanese raku and contemporary American raku are not the same thing. American raku, popularized in the 1950s by ceramic artist Paul Soldner, was inspired by the Japanese technique, but with key differences.

In Japanese raku, once pieces are removed from the kiln, they cool off in the open air. This process creates distinctive, earthy color variations. In American raku, once pieces are removed from the kiln, they are quickly placed in a container full of combustible materials and covered with a lid. The combustible materials immediately catch on fire, creating a special “reduction” atmosphere in the closed container.

Tom Neugebauer and other artists prepare to remove raku pieces from the kiln.

Tom Neugebauer and other artists prepare to remove raku pieces from the kiln.

Neugebauer places a red-hot piece on a prepared area of sawdust. He will then cover it with a metal container.

Neugebauer places a red-hot piece on a prepared area of sawdust. He will then cover it with a metal container.

“Reduction” refers to the reduced oxygen content of this type of firing. Because the container is closed, fresh air cannot reach the fire. Without fresh air, the flames consume all available oxygen, then start to pull oxygen molecules from the clays and glazes. This process creates specific chemical reactions in the clays and glazes, resulting in fascinating colors and patterns that can’t be achieved otherwise.

Air Plants and Ocean by Phyllis Pacin

Air Plants and Ocean by Phyllis Pacin

There are several ways to create a reduction atmosphere (using a gas-fired kiln, for example), but raku is by far the most dramatic. It results in a remarkable range of colors and effects, from richly crackled glazes to shiny, metallic finishes, and from brilliant colors to earthy, smoky hues. Every artist must experiment to find out what results are possible with raku, and which ones they like best—and even with plenty of practice and experience, the raku artist must embrace unpredictability, serendipity, and the occasional broken piece.

Raku Pears by Mary Obodzinski

Raku Pears by Mary Obodzinski

Having your precious artwork break during firing is always a risk in ceramics—but even more so in raku. That’s because the rapid temperature changes expose the work to a significant amount of thermal shock. Artists counteract this by using special types of clay that can better withstand this shock. Even still, nothing is guaranteed. Additionally, because raku-ware is fired at a low temperature, it is not considered to be food safe or water tight. Raku-ware is best enjoyed as sculptural or decorative works of art rather than as functional pieces.

Puzzle Vessel with Copper and Crackle Glazes by Lance Timco

Puzzle Vessel with Copper and Crackle Glazes by Lance Timco

The next time you look at the spectacular colors and patterns of a raku piece, imagine the transformation the piece went through. Imagine the artist pulling the glowing hot piece out of a sweltering kiln. Imagine the piece sending sawdust up in flames as it is placed in a metal container. Imagine the rich scent of wood smoke in the air as the artist waits to see what the fire has wrought upon her work. Understanding the process and the dramatic appeal of the technique will help you to enjoy the beauty of raku pieces and the incredible skill of the artists who create them.

By |May 6th, 2015|articles|0 Comments

artistic inspiration from the garden

As an avid gardener, I am enthralled by the beauty and diversity of the plant world. Whether it’s the blossoms of ornate lilies and delicate violets or the intriguing forms of sprouting ferns and ripening fruits, the shapes, patterns, and colors of the garden are an endless source of fascination for me.

Likewise, many artists draw great inspiration from gardens and the wider world of nature. Whether capturing a plant’s growth in a photograph or rendering flower buds in sterling silver, these artists do more than simply record what they see—they interpret the natural world through the lens of their own experience. Here are several works of art I particularly love—pieces that explore the details of the botanical world in creative, original ways.

Laura Zindel creates elegant ceramic pieces decorated with intricate drawings. Each image is first drawn with graphite on paper, then transferred onto the surface of her hand-built earthenware pieces through a screenprinting process. I love the way she captures the spiraled form of new fern leaves in a graceful, symmetrical composition.

Lisa A. Frank says of her work, “My intention is to capture my wonderment and love for the mysteries of woodland environments.” Using a flatbed scanner as a camera, Frank creates a fascinating tableaux of wild mushrooms and colorful flowers that is rich with contrast and detail, setting a dramatic mood.

Lilacs are a quintessential spring flower—a sign that warmer weather is here to stay. Every spring, I look forward to the fragrance of lilacs wafting through the warm spring air. Sarah Hood renders delicate lilac buds in sterling silver, transforming something so ephemeral and joyful into tiny works of art to wear.

Dwo Wen Chen depicts diverse plants at various stages of growth in this remarkable hand-painted ceramic piece. Layered imagery and subtle gradations of color create an energetic yet harmonious composition that reflects the verdant growth of a garden in full bloom.

Hummingbird moths are fascinating creatures, and photographer Lori Pond has captured a flock of them enjoying the nectar of a lavender plant. She uses a shallow depth of field to create a beautiful contrast between foreground and background, and a longer shutter speed to capture a sense of movement in the moth’s wings.

Ouida Touchon adds color and depth to this woodcut print using the chine colle technique, carefully layering pages from a children’s fairy tale book to her paper before creating her print. This piece is also a play on words: a “fairytale pumpkin” is a real pumpkin variety, but it is given new meaning when the pumpkin is actually composed of fairy tale images.

I live in the north, and so to me, cacti are exotic houseplants. But to artists from warmer landscapes, like Sooyoung Kim, cacti are a vital and treasured part of the local landscape. I love Kim’s interpretation of a cactus in bloom in this striking pendant accented with gleaming pearls.

Whether they find their inspiration in a desert garden or a mountain forest, artists draw upon the spectacular details of the natural world to create pieces full of beauty and meaning. Seeing these works of art inspires me to look at the world—and my own garden—through fresh eyes.

By |April 29th, 2015|articles|1 Comment

fashion revolution

On April 24th, 2013, 1,133 people died when the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. They were killed while working in sub-par conditions for familiar fashion brands.

Last year, on the first anniversary of this disaster, Fashion Revolution began as a way to call for transparency and change in the fashion supply chain. Fashion Revolutions is backed by a global coalition of designers, academics, writers, business leaders, and parliamentarians calling for systemic reform. We at Artful Home wholeheartedly support this mission.

In their own words, Fashion Revolution organizers explain: “By asking consumers, designers, brands, and all those who care to ask the simple question, ‘Who Made My Clothes?’ we envisage a change in perspective that will lead to a deeper understanding.”

Cynthia Ashby (photo courtesy of Nancy Merkling Photography)

Cynthia Ashby (photo courtesy of Nancy Merkling Photography)

We know our artists and designers by name. We have shaken the hands that sew our clothes. We support these people who create such extraordinary things and make a living through sharing their work with us — and we gladly bring the beauty they create into our closets and lives.

fashrev01

Join us and show your support for a change in the fashion industry.  Share a selfie of what you’re wearing and ask #WhoMadeMyClothes?

Follow us today on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as we share the designers who made our clothes.

By |April 24th, 2015|events|Comments Off on fashion revolution