31 July, 2009

Alma Matters

Posting about Jessica Hess' work yesterday, Karla Wozniak's last month, and Alex Lukas' (above) in March has made me think about how amazingly far some of my fellow alumni have come in just a few short years. I am so proud to be part of such a creative and talented group, and I thought it would be fun to put together a post featuring a some of my RISD contemporaries that I have been hearing about lately.

I am a huge fan of Woody Shepherd's paintings. I would love to own one someday, when I can get one through my door (they are quite large!).

Jen Corace and I just missed each other at RISD but became friends when I started selling her work in my short-lived retail store a few years ago. Her illustrations and fine art have been getting a lot of press lately, and she is my fiercest Boggle competitor.

It was really fun to see Wyeth Hansen and Ryan Dunn's company, Labor, honored by the Art Director's Club in their Designing Minds series. Both these guys played a big part in designing our yearbook when we were at RISD, which was incredibly cool, and now they're making music videos for Mobius Band, titles for Vh1 documentaries, identities for AIGA... you name it!

When Allison Cole isn't writing and illustrating comics, or designing surface patterns, or selling her handmade goods, she also makes these intricate cut paper pieces of art that I think are wonderful.

The design world has been crazy for Julia Rothman's surface design and illustration work for a while now, and for good reason. Julia also does web work with fellow RISD alumni Matt Lamothe and Jenny Volvovski for Also. You can see her in another Designing Minds episode here, and in the D*S produced series Design By the Book, starting here.

I stumbled upon Jordon Wolfson's work in the Whitney Biennial a few years ago. His conceptual pieces are always very interesting. This one was part of the Biennial and I thought it was great.

Amy Voloshin (nee Eldon) runs the Philadelphia-based textile company Printfresh with her husband Leo, and also sells great screenprinted t-shirts through Moonblood. Amy's wedding was featured in Martha Stewart Weddings last year- gorgeous!

My friend Jane Kim makes the most amazing paintings and installations using recycled construction material. She was selected for the prestigious San Francisco Dump residency this year, and I love all the work that came out of it.

Chika Eustace is probably the first person I met at RISD- she was my R.A.- and I ran into her last weekend at Renegade. She makes really wonderful wallets, t-shirts, and other accessories under the brand Chikabird.

If you read any of the major design blogs, you will recognize David Wiseman's incredible ceramic, metal, and glasswork, such as this gorgeous fireplace. David was also selected to be part of the Cooper Hewitt museum's Triennial exhibition in 2006, and has been featured in numerous home magazines.

Rob Dobi designs t-shirts that I see everywhere I go. His distinctive, bold graphics are always clever, but what I really love are his photographs of abandoned buildings- he really captures something in these places that is both eerie and beautiful. Dobi has also done illustrations for quite a few publications and bands (notably Fallout Boy) over the years.

Katie Vida's paintings are full of the flat colors I love so much. She's shown her work in a number of galleries and is currently in the graduate program at Yale.

I was thrilled to see Matt Fairbank's furniture featured on Design Sponge recently. His unexpected combinatinos of materials and beautifully clean lines are no surprise based on the work he did while we were in school.

Susie Ghahremani has always been industrious, selling buttons, shirts, wallets, stationery, and art, as well as recording music under the name Snoozer. Her work has been featured in galleries all over the country, and I'm never surprised to see one of her illustrations pop up. She currently has work at Giant Robot in Los Angeles and New York.

Jenine Bressner was one of the artists featured in the much-talked about documentary Handmade Nation. Her lamp-worked glass jewelery is really stunning.

Marissa Nadler has become a very successful singer. I was sad to miss her show in San Francisco a couple of months ago (it was during Passover, unfortunately).

You might have seen Katherine Gerdes on Project Runway a couple seasons ago. I thought she was kicked off way too soon; her clothing has always been very fresh, wearable and beautifully cut. I love the button detail on this dress.

Of course there are thousands of very successful RISD alumni out there (and I am sure I am also missing a bunch of my friends here) who weren't my contemporaries, notably Dale Chihuly, Shepherd Fairey, Nicole Miller, Seth McFarlane, Gus Van Sant, The Talking Heads, David Macauly, Francesca Woodman, etc.. You can always find alumni work for sale at RISD/works.

30 July, 2009

Jess Hess

Jessica Hess is another artist I went to RISD with, whose work just blows me away. She has an exhibition opening at Fourth Wall Project in Boston on August 7. If you live in the area, you should stop by. Here is a sampling of her varied, and always beautiful work.

The Pursuit of Happiness

I hope that you've been reading Maira Kalman's beautifully illustrated monthly blog at the New York Times, "The Pursuit of Happiness," in which she is exploring American democracy. If you haven't, you should definitely check it out. I was so excited to see that this month's entry, which was published tonight, features one of the Jello molds from the Gowanus Studios competition I posted about yesterday! You can see a picture of the original mold here. Here are some of the other illustrations from Maira's previous blog entries (some are from last year's blog, "The Principles of Uncertainty"). They are wonderful in the context of her posts, but I also think they are beautiful enough to stand alone.

29 July, 2009

More Jello Art

Here are some other kinds of art you can make with Jello, besides molding it. You can use the gelatin as a printing surface to create hectographic prints. Or, you can print the Jello itself, like this. Pretty cool, huh?

Architectural Jello

I mentioned Liz Hickock in my last post, so I thought I'd share a couple pictures of her work as well. She replicates entire cities in gelatin. These pictures are from her molds of San Francisco.

London-based company Bompas & Parr is also making architectural Jello molds (below) and even held a competition for them in 2008. You can see more photos from that competition here.

Jello Art

You may recall that I have a fascination with Jello. I posted last year about some of the gelatin art that is going on in Mexico these days, and I am sure you are familiar with Liz Hickock's Jello architecture. I just discovered that last month a much more avant garde Jello art competition was held in Brooklyn, at Gowanus Studio Space. These are pictures of some of the amazing entries, from the Gowanus Studio Flickr page.

Holy Roller

I am so excited! I have been waiting for the Roberta Roller Rabbit online shop to open for ages, and now it has! Check out her beautiful prints on home goods and clothing here.

24 July, 2009


I made this last night. I wish I had taken more pictures because we had dinner on the patio, which was beautiful. I made an enormous salad Ni├žoise, and delicious sangria made with Moscato di Asti, nectarines, plums, key limes, kumquats, and grapefruits. With the light from the lanterns in the fig tree, and dozens of candles twinkling in jars, I thought the table looked magical... just very hard to photograph! After dinner we came inside for dessert and Patrick took a few photos (including the one above) for me.

19 July, 2009

How I Survived the Craft Show

I have a confession: craft shows are incredibly boring. Yes, it is wonderful to meet our customers in person, and make new connections with other vendors (and be inspired by their work), but the truth is that spending 8-9 hours sitting behind a folding table can be dull. Luckily, my wonderful friend Marina and I always do these shows together (we share a booth), which essentially turns a business opportunity into a social one, but even we can run out of things to talk about by the second day of a weekend show. We always come prepared with snacks, and this time we brought mini Babybel cheeses, one of my lunchbox favorites as a child because of the red wax coating which made for all kinds of creative fun.

Reverting to our 10 year old selves on Saturday, we immediately made ourselves bright red fingernails from the wax, and then suddenly... we started making miniatures. On Sunday we also brought the "Bonbel" cheese, which has yellow wax, and tools. By the end of the day we had hot dogs, pizza, donuts (old fashioned, Boston cream, cruellers, and classic glazed), potato chips, layer cakes, eggs and bacon, popcorn, soft serve, spaghetti and meatballs... even a Twister Dog! I didn't have a camera with me, so these were taken with my phone, but luckily our friend Shauna took some really great (more detailed) pictures that you can see on her blog, here.

18 July, 2009

Renegade, Day One

Today was Day One of Renegade, and I thought I'd share a few favorites I spotted around the show. I'm sure I'll have more tomorrow.

Stationery from 16 Sparrows.

America the Beautiful woodcut poster from Tugboat Printshop.

Painted portraits from Treatzone.

Bottle print from Small Stump.

Prize ribbons from My Imaginary Boyfriend.

Wood pins from Timber!.

Gorgeous posters from Mat Daly.

Wooden eggs from Miss Natalie.

I also really liked some of the textile prints from Cosmonaut but can't find any pictures of them.