paper chase

January 7, 2022

I’ve been wanting to experiment with papiermâché vases, and these ones made by Jacqueline de la Fuente offer much inspiration. De la Fuente uses chicken wire to sculpt her whimsical forms and then creates a clay paste from discarded cereal boxes, egg cartons, and paper mixed with flour, adhesive and a small amount of joint compound. The environment, and minimizing her family’s waste are key to her practice. “I like the idea that these materials go through less of a process than normal recycling. Very little energy apart from my own is used to turn waste paper into a new aesthetic.” Her vases are colourful and eccentric, and while they can’t contain water, there are so many creative uses for them. This latticed one is a favourite of mine; it looks like it could have been woven from yarn.

sketch

January 5, 2022

Sometime in the depths of December, I realized that I need to explore other mediums. I love clay, and while I know that it will always be a place to which I return, I am yearning for creative experiences that aren’t so laborious. I want to try my hand at papiermâché, collage and drawing with my eyes closed. I want to play with ink and finger paints. For every 2021 triumph, there were many, many heartbreaks, and no less love, energy and time went into the latter. At the end of the year, the largest bowl I’ve ever made went to dear friends who wanted it despite a seismic crack through its base. That was gratifying. But so many other pieces never made it to the second firing, or when they did, came out looking dishearteningly shit. I’ll continue to work with clay –– it has so much yet to teach me –– while taking time each day to make something quickly and without much thought. I’ve been sketching almost daily with my seven-year-old daughter and most of the time it’s hard to decipher which drawing is hers and which is mine. I’d say that’s a compliment to us both. I’m not quite ready to show them to you, but watch this space. In the meantime, here are some beautiful crayon scribbles by artist, Jane Davies.

high art

January 5, 2022

Beautiful, exuberant and bizarre, Severine Gallardo‘s headpieces are topping my wish list for 2022. The French fibre artist attributes her love of textiles to both her grandmothers who felted, embroidered and knitted throughout her childhood. Folk art, the art of Africa and Oceania and artist, Sonia Delaunay are all inspirations. They really are wonderful. Now the question is, to wear, to display, or both?

circle line

December 23, 2021

Japanese artist, Jiro Yoshihara devoted a decade of his career to painting the perfect circle. He explored the motif tirelessly, creating countless circles with just one or two brush strokes. There are no two the same. I love the idea of dedicating oneself to one shape or one colour. Very often, its in that focus that we find endless freedom and possibility.

wings

December 22, 2021

These moths and butterflies, made with hand-painted fabric, embroidery thread, feathers, and faux fur by North Carolina textile artist, Yumi Okita are so beautiful. Some of them are tiny, while others are a foot wide. Her patterns are so intricate, and they’re all designed to be wall mounted, or suspended from ceilings with clear wire. What a gorgeous window installation a kaleidoscope of Okita’s butterflies would make.

around and around

December 21, 2021

Beautiful ceramic shapes from Humble Matter.

An abandoned cottage in Norway.

Nigella’s Christmas chocolate biscuits.

My kind of shower.

Clare Conrad’s textured cups.

Surrealist photographer, Kansuke Yamamoto.

curiouser & curiouser

December 20, 2021

Sophie Woodrow’s porcelain figures are as weird as they are wondrous. Think cats with eights legs, anthropomorphic mushrooms and horses in ruffled gowns. It takes imagination to create such fantastical creatures; imagination, and exceptional skill. They all begin as a simple pinched pot and Woodrow uses coils of clay to build them up. The surface decoration is so intricate. Have a look; there’s a creature for everyone.

pudding

December 17, 2021

It’s a wonder that any child enjoys Christmas pudding given all the booze and beef fat that goes into it. I for one loved it as child –– the more brandy butter the better. There’s something wonderfully ceremonious about setting the pudding a light at the end of the meal. I remember being entranced by that electric blue flame. Here, Cotswolds chef, Charlie Hibbert shares his grandmother’s recipes.

eclecticism

December 16, 2021

With a loo dating back 700 years, and diamond encrusted insects pinned to stone walls, Roberto Baciocchi’s Tuscan home is popping with wonder and whimsy. Gio Ponti chairs, vintage velvet sofas and graphic 80’s rugs all set within a beautifully restored 18th century house make for a surreal experience, indeed. It’s the wall colours –– ochre, terracotta and sage green –– that I love most. The painted art (below, and throughout) is so clever and unique.

around and around

December 15, 2021

Oliver Mourgue’s futuristic Djinn chair in yellow.

Tapestry weaver, Bea Bonanno.

My kind of shower.

This colour combination.

Juicy fruit candles from Nonnas Grocer.

Johannes Nagel’s beautifully imperfect forms.

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