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Today’s post features five exhibits I visited from the juried MADE galleries at the 2013 AD Home Design Show. To learn more about these exceptional artists, please click on their name to link directly to their website. Ok, let’s begin our journey…

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Hiroko Takeda ~ Of all the incredible art I experienced, this hand woven gilded textile by Hiroko Takeda was my favorite discovery. Her sublime play of texture and pattern is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. Using traditional and experimental techniques, she respectfully illuminates the beauty of her materials while pushing the boundaries of creation. Timeless and modern, her work will surely stand the test of time.

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Eclipse/Gold

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Joel Urruty ~ Of all the wonderful people I encountered at the show, Joel was perhaps the most fun-loving and joyful of them all, and with a laugh so contagious, I wish I could have bottled it up and taken it home with me! With every meeting, we had more to share and more to laugh about. One of my favorite moments included the back story behind his newest wall creations. Inspired by the linear repetition of his wood lined chicken coops, he cut and burned old discarded pallets into unique pieces of wall art. For me, the charred, irregular texture of the wood works harmoniously with the exacting repetition of pattern. How incredible to experience a highly refined work of art knowing it emerged from a forlorn object of storage and transport. Now that’s what I call vision.

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You are unique, just like everyone else ~ Burnt wood, 41″ x 61″

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Lotus Plaza ~ Burnt wood, 38″ x 30″

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River, river ~ Burnt wood, 31″ x 23″

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Cocobolo Design ~ I was instantly drawn to this exhibit because of its sophisticated styling and ethereal color palette. Vintage chairs work effortlessly alongside a Katherine Taylor designed coffee table and table lamp by Shizue Imai. Poetic wall sculptures by Michele Quan and Shizue Imai elevate the eye and invite conversation. Form, function and beauty unite ~ such is the result of great design. It stimulates our mind and imagination to discover a whole new world of possibilities.

“Cocobolo features ceramic artists at the forefront of their craft, eloquently transforming clay. Led by Director Benjamin Wiener, the work encompasses abstraction, decorative objects and sculpture including vessels, lighting, tableware, furniture, tiles, architectural screens and large-scale bas-reliefs.”

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Coffee table by Katherine Taylor, geometric sculpture by Colleen Carlson, table lamp by Shizue Imai, the hanging garland installation is by Michele Quan

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Wall sculpture by Shizue Imai

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Clay vessel is by Young Mi Kim and the wall sculpture is by Shizue Imai

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John Eric Byers ~ At first glance, I thought these pieces were crafted from steel but there was an intriguing counterpoint of hard and soft I couldn’t quite figure out. After speaking with the artist himself, I discovered this material to be hand carved blackened hardwood. This of course explains the warmth of texture I was feeling, but how unusual and unexpected. This one of a kind dimpled surface thoughtfully re-invents humble geometric forms, elevating their simplicity into tactile works of art.

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m1 Credenza ~ carved, blackened hardwood, brass pulls ~ 26″ x 77″ x 18″

Stool #13 ~ carved, blackened hardwood ~ 21″ x 18″ x 18″

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Wall Panel, Black #8 ~ casein paint and wax ~ 48″ x 38″

Bowls ~ turned, carved, gilded, blackened hardwood

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detail of Bowls ~ turned, carved, gilded, blackened hardwood

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v3 Cabinet ~ carved, blackened hardwood, brass pulls ~ 63″ x 22.5″ x 16″

Gilded Drum Tables ~ carved, blackened hardwood, 23.5 kt leaf ~ 20″ x 18″ diameter

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detail of Bench for Four ~ carved, blackened hardwood ~ 16″ x 64″ x 16″

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Isabelle Abramson ~ With todays advanced technologies, artists are finding new and often faster ways to hone their craft. I’m sure we’ve all experienced a textile or piece of furniture using the latest laser technologies and most likely been wowed by the results, but how wonderful to discover artists who still pride themselves on creating hand crafted, one of a kind art. Such is the case with ceramics artist Isabelle Abramson. Her meticulously hand carved porcelain bowls and vases celebrate this slow, organic process of creation. Using an all white palette, her lacy negative shapes feel altogether modern and timeless, and her brilliant play of pattern, form and texture leave me wondering what else she is capable of producing. I imagine the possibilities are limitless.

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Carved Porcelain Lace Fruit Bowl with intricate lace-inspired design. Glazed with a matte white glaze. Measures approximately 12.5″ in diameter and 6.75″ in height.

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Detail of the Carved Porcelain Fruit Bowl

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Detail of Porcelain Vase ~ Six-sided, white porcelain vase with hand-carved detail. Measures approximately 13″ in height and 9″ at widest diameter. Glazed with milky white matte glaze.

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photography by danielle boudrot for a thoughtful eye

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Last year, spring arrived with 74 degree temperatures, sunny daffodils and birds in song. Today, on spring’s eve, Mother Nature rocked our world with yet another fierce snowy blast, cold winds and maybe a bird or two in song. What a remarkable contrast to the March of 2012…

But when it comes to art and design, here’s hoping the NYC 2013 Architectural Digest Home Design Show remains true to form, delivering innovation, brilliance, and even a touch of fantasy. Last year’s show opened my eyes to a whole new world of creativity. I met inspiring artists from the MADE galleries, filed away thoughtful insights from the AD design seminars, and was blown away by the gorgeous and sustainable furniture made by companies like BDDW and Tucker Robbins, just to name a few…

To whet our appetites, I thought I’d share a sampling of my favorite installations from the NYC 2012 DIFFA’s Dining by Design event (held in conjunction with the AD Show). It was a magical place, uniting art & design all in an effort to provide direct care for people living with HIV/AIDS and foster preventive education for those at risk.

 I can’t wait to experience this year’s magic! Hope to see you there!

Architectural Digest Home Design Show ~ March 21 – 24, 2013

Pier 94, 55th Street at Twelfth Avenue, New York City

Resource Furniture

New York School of Interior Design

Herman Miller

Benjamin Moore

Neiman Marcus

David Ling

Slade Architecture

Ali Tayar with Jones Falls Furniture Company, Custom Digital Printing by Wolf-Gordon

New York Times

Kravet

photography by danielle boudrot for a thoughtful eye

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The November 2012 issue of Architectural Digest is aptly titled “Before and After” and features thoughtful transformations by the likes of Alex Papachristidis, J. Randall Powers and Terry Hunziker just to name a few…my favorite makeover is featured on the cover and was conceived by designer Nate Berkus…located in a 19th-century Greenwich Village building, the apartment possessed the charm and “imperfection” Berkus was searching for but was in dire need of a facelift…so the designer worked his magic and with the help of architect Carlos Huber, transformed this tired apartment into a chic home filled with beloved art, antiques and found objects collected over a lifetime…

What I love most about this interior is how he re-invented the “shell” (new floors, windows, grasscloth, paint) to best support his existing furniture and art…he is able to live with the pieces he loves but in a fresh “new” environment…how wonderful!

“There’s no other place in the world that tells a story of who I am more than this space I’m sitting in right now.” ~ Nate Berkus from the AD video interview

photography by Pieter Estersohn for Architectural Digest

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Washington D.C. based architect Donald Lococo and interior designer Darryl Carter fused their talents to create a Tudor revival for the 21st century…flowing spaces and sun-washed rooms echo the wants and needs of a modern family while the raised paneling, oriel window and Gothic-style fireplace offer architectural gestures from the past…the clean, neutral palette provides a serene backdrop for Carter’s thoughtful mix of antiques and custom furniture…

Who knew a Tudor could be bright and inviting?

photography by William Waldron for Architectural Digest

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“When I got to New Mexico, that was mine…as soon as I saw it, that was my country…I had never seen anything like it before but it fitted to me exactly…it’s something that’s in the air…it’s just different…the sky is different…the stars are different…the wind is different” ~ Georgia O’Keeffe, age 92, from a video interview taken around her home in New Mexico

July 1981 ~ Georgia O’Keeffe’s home and studio in Abiquiu, New Mexico…photography by Mary E. Nichols for Architectural Digest

Georgia O’Keeffe ~ 94 years old, July 1981

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It should come as no surprise to me that I would fall head over heels in love with Richard Shapiro’s Malibu retreat…I have adored his work for as long as I can remember so when this magical home appeared on the pages of Architectural Digest, it was just another wow moment for me to take in…Shapiro worked closely with architect Douglas Burdge to create a home that feels altogether ancient and modern at the same time…let’s take a closer look at the details

Living Room ~ pristine steel windows enhance the rough beauty of frescoed plaster walls…4 Shapiro designed chairs happily co-exist with a 17th century Italian gilt-wood mirror and antique Cypriot fireplace

Kitchen ~ Basalt (a volcanic stone) and black lacquer cabinets combine to create a dramatic statement in the kitchen…the linen covered sofa is custom fitted to the alcove…how romantic!

Quite possibly the most artful staircase I have ever seen! The steel balustrade winds up to the master bedroom and bath…what an effortless marriage of wood, stone and steel…truly a masterpiece!

A timber staircase was designed to resemble the weathered ramparts of a Moroccan fort…pure genius!

Library ~ A daybed covered in mismatched stripes creates a cozy nook for reading in the corner of the library…table is 15th century Italian…painting is by Shapiro

Photography by Miguel Flores-Vianna for Architectural Digest

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Hats off to Margaret Russell and the entire team at Architectural Digest for enhancing their web presence with larger photos, personal interviews, and wonderful video content! After reading my July 2012 issue of AD, I was thrilled to discover some delicious extras on the AD site! To supplement the Vicente Wolf article and photos, archdigest.com added a Q & A along with a brilliant video interview! I was lifted to new heights! The video offered me a priceless look into the eyes of the designer…seeing his expressive face and hearing his thoughtful voice was a more powerful and memorable experience than I could have imagined…thank you AD! I can’t wait to see what else you have up your sleeve!

The photos in today’s post are from the July 2012 issue of AD and feature a glorious 3,200 square foot apartment in downtown Manhattan overlooking the Hudson River…designer Vicente Wolf worked closely with his clients to create a space that is both luxurious and minimal ~ custom-made sofas, upholstered in a VW Home mohair, mingle with a pair of 18th century Chinese horseshoe-back armchairs…a soothing palette of gray, beige and taupe unify the space and echo the natural hues of sky and water…floating arrangements of seating create a sense of openness and calm…worn textures play with pristine new finishes…

Wolf’s masterful approach transformed this high rise apartment into a one-of-a-kind oasis…balanced, beautiful, inviting and luxurious, it embodies all that his clients hoped for and so much more…please enjoy!

photography by Pieter Estersohn for AD

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It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic,
Of all things physical and metaphysical,
Of all things human and all things super-human,
Of all true manifestations of the head,
Of the heart, of the soul,
That the life is recognizable in its expression,
That form ever follows function. This is the law.

~ Louis Sullivan, 1896

Let us continue our journey through the MADE gallery…a quest for form and function inspires beauty and purpose…a silver teapot is both three-dimensional sculpture and a utilitarian serving piece…a bronze and concrete table effortlessly unites art, sculpture and furniture…each one of these artists balances innovation, craftsmanship and beauty such that the lines are blurred…everyday objects evolve into soulful expressions of art…

Kaminer Haislip ~ designer and silversmith

“The balance between my aesthetic and a successful function defines my creative approach to product design in silver. I am inspired by the concept of enhancing domestic functional rituals through traditional techniques underpinned by a contemporary approach to design and production.

As art and function combine to create design for living, utilizing an object to perform a function contributes to that design. In my view, functional objects display both the visual and conceptual relationship between art and living. Specifically, through the intrinsic ideas of my work’s visual theme, function, and ergonomics this relationship is exhibited and accentuated. For me using a teapot that inspires thought and effectively works enhances the process of making tea. The activities of contemplation, favorable usage, and successful function take place within one domestic ritual. My work strives to demonstrate this theme and is inspired by interaction with functional objects.

Fine craftsmanship is an equally important aspect of my work. My design approach is not steered by fashion or trends, but focuses on timeless quality that is durable and lasts. I am devoted to exceptional craftsmanship and all of my work is exquisitely fabricated by hand. My concepts vary for different series, but all of my work is unified by elegant design.

Additionally, designing and creating custom commission jewelry and objects for clients is another facet to my metalsmithing. A commission piece merges the client’s vision for a specific object with my technical and artistic ability. For me this combination is a unique approach to designing, because it creates an opportunity for my work to take a direction it otherwise may not have gone in.” ~ Kaminer Haislip

Andrea Mihalik ~ Wild Chairy Studio

Andrea Mihalik’s creations infuse the sustainable construction and ornate details of salvaged vintage furniture with the unconventional modernity of imaginative, sometimes “wild” fabrics and textiles. Resident artist and owner of Wild Chairy Studio, Andrea’s hand-crafted pieces combine the nostalgia of old world stateliness with the bold whimsy of contemporary upholsteries, resulting in usable art that’s unexpected and unique.

Wild Chairy creates one-of-a-kind pieces of functional art using old world techniques and only the finest materials that are earth friendly . Each piece is done by hand using coil springs, horse hair, Italian twine and organic cotton to breathe new life into these recycled vintage treasures.

Andrea’s adept use of organic and “green” materials has allowed her creations to be described as “funky and refreshing” and “delightfully workable examples of stylish and wonderfully conscientious, sustainable decor.”

A graduate of Tyler School of Art and former award-winning photojournalist for the Philadelphia Daily News, Andrea’s natural instincts for visual composition, artistic curiosity and world travels inform the details of every piece she creates.

Michael McClatchy ~ Concrete and Steel Furniture

“I use steel for structure and form with polished concrete for color and texture. The combination of these two materials allows me to create architecturally dynamic pieces of furniture with unexpected warmth.” ~ Michael McClatchy

Michael McClatchy began making sculpture and working with metal in his teens in Chicago. After attending the Art Institute of San Francisco he went on to make large scale figurative and abstract sculptures. Drawing on his skills as a sculptor Michael started a line of whimsical steel furniture in 1990. In 1995 he started to use concrete for many of the table surfaces. This new element added an unexpcted warmth and richness to the work.

Michael currently lives and works at his studio in New York’s Hudson valley.

Rafael Avramovich ~ Work and Design

“Simply put, Work and Design are the principal elements, which define my approach to creating a unique form. I begin with a certain concept in mind, but it is through the physical process of doing the work, while letting the piece grow and take its own form.

My intention is not only to create beautiful furniture, but to evoke emotion as well. It is essential to me that the viewer is left with a sense of empathy that goes beyond the visual.

Living in Harmony Collection started in 2009, most of my work is built using a variety of materials – blacken iron, bronze, rust steel and more – representative of different nations and assembled together to create beautiful and harmonious objects that will hopefully inspire.” ~ Rafael Avramovich

Zachary A. Design ~ lightweight outdoor furniture

Zachary A. Design proves that fiberglass with the right treatment is quite convincing as cement. Made of fiberglass and stone, the all-weather Van Dyke chairs have the look of cement at a fraction of the weight yet will not blow into your neighbor’s yard. Their clean lines and iconic design will feel equally at home paired with a matching end table in a garden, or grouped in fours, poolside, for a cool modern look. The Van Dyke chairs seem as though they have been around for decades, showing age and wear, adding interest and story without the required time. In 2009, the first Van Dyke chair was conceived by working with the terrazzo-like technique of mixing coarse aggregate with a malleable substrate. The result is a finish that is unique to each piece, none exactly the same, that looks like a heavy piece of stone or cement.

Alex MacMaster and Limahl Asmall ~ macmaster

Alex MacMaster launched ‘MacMaster’ in 2009 specialising in contemporary lighting and furniture products. The creative studio is run by award winning designers, Alex MacMaster and Limahl Asmall who share a passion for exemplary design and an appreciation of the many time-constraints busy clients are burdened with. MacMaster’s exclusively ‘hand-made to order’ approach offers shorter lead times and a streamlined service from initiation to receipt of delivery.

MacMaster’s contemporary lighting and furniture is designed in-house and is exclusively Hand-Crafted in their production workshop nestled in the rolling countryside of Worcestershire, Great Britain. The environment is ‘traditional meets modern’ with state of the art technology side by side with 1970’s, Wadkins and Sedgewick cast iron machinery which has been lovingly restored to its former glory. A small Showroom is located in the London premises, housed in a design district which overlooks the Thames.

The dictum ‘minimal waste for maximum output’ informs an ecological awareness that permeates the design and production cycles. The challenge, is therefore to create impactful and strikingly beautiful furniture and lighting that adheres to ecological values and principles. The products, whilst technically challenging, are hand-produced using exacting techniques learnt and adapted from the world’s finest traditional craftsmen.

MacMaster uses natural timbers hand-picked from suppliers who source Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified timbers. FSC is an international non-government organization set up to promote the responsible management of the World’s forests. Timber is globally regarded as one of the most beautiful, versatile and naturally renewable resources.

“Furniture should be as much an artistic statement as it is functional. I design to make a visual impact, to stimulate the imagination and to have an elegance that realizes timeless appeal.” ~ Alex MacMaster 2009

Daniel Levy ~ fine porcelain dinnerware and accessories

2012 Top Pick ASID Award in the Architectural Digest Home Design Show

Daniel Levy has been creating fine porcelain dinnerware and accessories from his studio in NYC since 1982. With a balance of utility, beauty and craftsmanship, each piece made by Daniel is individually signed and dated, hand decorated with colored porcelain slips, glazed and finished with multiple layers of 22k gold or platinum. Subtle variations in pattern, tone and color are the vitality of the work that separates this studio craftsmanship from factory mass production.

photography by danielle boudrot for a thoughtful eye

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One of the greatest gifts I received at the AD show was talking with artists from the MADE gallery…their passion for creating beauty, in a world where there is too much emphasis on the superficial and a general lack of understanding for the artistic process, lifted me to a higher place…their work fed my soul…with each conversation, my respect and admiration grew…they live and breathe the creative process…forever exploring…forever growing…forever evolving…

Let us begin with a closer look at 6 of the many gifted artists I had the pleasure of getting to know…

Vessel groupings by glassblower Devin Burgess ~ db glassworks

“Devin Burgess intensively works vessels that have been expertly blown with off-center necks and arranged to maximize the interplay and tension of their graceful forms. Surfaces are elaborately wheel-cut, or, cross-hatched with cane to take drawing techniques into three dimensions. This is notable work that defies expectations of symmetry while finding new harmony through refined execution as it blurs the boundaries between design and sculpture.” ~ The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet

Click here to watch a fascinating video of Devin talk about his work and his creative process

Yvette Kaiser Smith ~ crocheted fiberglass sculpture

“I create my own fiberglass cloth by crocheting continuous strands of fiberglass into flat geometric shapes. These are formed and hardened with the application of polyester resin and the use of gravity. Small finished units are sewn together with fiberglass into medium sized blocks which assemble to form a larger unit or grid structure.

Using traditional methods, I create artwork that has been contemporized by the use of industrial materials, mathematics, and the language of art and architecture. This work engages math, an underlying principle in all of life, as a structural foundation by utilizing the grid, prime numbers, the Fibonacci sequence, the numbers Pi and e, and Pascal’s triangle.

The sculptures refer to dialogues dealing with the nature of being human, of individual and collective identity. The “Identity Sequence” Series considers identity codes: internal patterns that code the individual, external codes, and individuals and masses.

Math is inseparable from nature, from us. Numbers represent the human search for knowledge, as the search for numbers went on for thousands of years. The material and process itself speaks to identity. A body of crochet resonates culture, society, history, tradition, labor, time. The work is as much about process as it is about identity. Process of making, process of questioning, process of abstracting. Identity issues are a tool within the process of finding a new form.” ~ Yvette Kaiser Smith

Charles A. Johnson ~ decorative accessory sculpture

website ~ http://www.cajohnson.biz/

2012 Top Pick ASID Award in the Architectural Digest Home Design Show

Texas born Charles A. Johnson has been restoring stone and metal for over 9 years. His specialty is the outdoor garden ornament; repair in stone and fine finishes on metals. During this time, Johnson has had first hand experience of seeing the seasonal effects on outdoor ornament in the Northeast. Most of his clients are in Westchester County, NY and Greenwich, CT; but, there are objects that he has restored all over the US. He has done restoration work for Barbara Israel Garden Antiques, Bunny Williams, Treillage, Steve Abeles of Balsamo Antiques, Marty Shapiro of Finnegan Gallery, and Steve Rose of Rose Garden Antiques.

Other than restoration, Johnson also creates one of a kind decorative accessory indoor/outdoor sculpture. Last year Johnson won Best in Show for his Quince at Gallery 364 in Brooklyn, NY. His training in classical sculpture combined with his experience in restoration, make these mineral based sculptures weather ready and things of timeless and universal beauty. Showcasing simple form in a noticable way is Johnson’s goal. He strives to present organic objects in a heroic manner thus bringing attention to usually unnoticed form. These pieces have archival life, are signed and numbered and the purchaser will receive a certificate of authenticity directly from Johnson.

These sculptures are designed and hand made completely by Johnson, in America. Because he has been working with superb restoration materials, these sculptures are made from only the finest materials around. No polymers, acrylics, resins, fiberglass or GFC is used in Johnson’s all mineral based sculptures. Imperfections in these sculptures are intentional and are sometimes designed to trick the eye; culminating from Johnson’s intense study and work in the profession of antique garden ornament restoration.

 Each piece is unique because of how the material is hand laid into the molds and hand stained. These pieces are not mass produced. Johnson has sculpted prototypes for garden ornament reproduction, worked at Studio EIS in Brooklyn, NY and worked as an assistant on The Leonardo Da Vince Horse at Tallix in Beacon, NY under sculptor Nina Akamu. Johnson trained under sculptor T.J. Dixon of S. California for many years before earning a masters degree in figurative sculpture from The Graduate School of Figurative Art of The New York Academy of Art in 1997. He has private commission sculpture in Hong Kong, Boston, Dallas and San Diego. With over 25 years of related experiences, Johnson also holds a certification for stone restoration from Cathedral Stone in Hanover, MD.

Christine Triebert ~ cameraless photographs

“My current work consists of still life botanical photographs made without the use of a camera. Using locally found organic subject matter I express nature’s forms in clean minimalist lines, muted tones, subtle shadows, and the play of interacting shapes.

Cameraless photography is a historic process in which light-sensitive paper is exposed in direct contact with an object. Combining this early photography method with 21st-century technology is the basis for my work.

My unique still life prints of botanical subjects present a dynamic, contemporary interpretation of a classic theme.” ~ Christine Triebert

Paul Sunday, painter ~ Pamela Sunday, sculpter

Paul Sunday lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. A former actor and performance artist, Paul shifted his emphasis to photography in the late ’80s and began painting in 1995. He describes his work as “fragility, erasure, impermanence. I’m interested in borders where genres and disciplines overlap and function as hybrid practice. I am influenced by cities, water, empty rooms, and silence. My paintings grow out of a lifelong obsession with light.” ~ Paul Sunday

Pamela Sunday makes hand built ceramic sculptures inspired by nature and science. She is known for her meticulous craftsmanship and for testing the limits of her chosen materials both in surface and form. Sunday lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

photography by danielle boudrot for a thoughtful eye

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Where do I begin? The Architectural Digest Home Design Show was all I imagined it would be and so much more…priceless conversations with leaders in the industry such as Margaret Russell, Darryl Carter, Vicente Wolf and Tucker Robbins left me breathless…thoughtful designer seminars about sustainability, art, architecture, photography and travel inspired me to look deeper and explore these subjects from a new perspective…breathtaking original art, design, furniture, objects and lighting from the MADE exhibitors, a gallery featuring more than 160 participants, touched my heart…artful installations by larger companies such as Ligne Roset and BDDW illuminated a variety of new forms, finishes and textiles…

This week, I plan to highlight my favorites from the show…from famed architect Robert A.M. Stern’s new collection of furniture to the organic beauty of handwoven rugs by Orley Shabahang, I hope this post offers you a closer look at some of the beauty I experienced last week…

Robert A.M. Stern, Rams Collection

2012 Top Pick ASID Award in the Architectural Digest Home Design Show

Royal Mail Stamp Rugs

Ligne Roset

Niedermaier

BDDW

Orley Shabahang

Tucker Robbins

photography by danielle boudrot for a thoughtful eye

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