Six Memories Reconstructed

Reconnect the Stars, Every Single One by Sandra Fettingis, 2013; Dress by Marios Schwab
Handmade items to buy (clockwise): Lampshade by Manos Mpatzolis; Body harness jewelry by This Ilk; Studs by AMCL; Bracelet by Brick and Arrow; Bracelet by Archetype Z; Studs by Anne-Louise; Necklace by Salmiak Studio; Ring by Mariana Galan

1. The mirror fragments my body, reflected in the ceiling, as I lie on the polished parquet floors of the old apartment and watch my limbs multiply, creating patterns from faultlines, conspiring against symmetry.

2. The boy brings fish, dripping with oil absorbed in the sand under our bare feet. He hands it to me, still warm, and I can smell wood smoke with a hint of juniper. City girls deserve something special, he says, and walks away.

3. The neon glow of the restaurant downstairs reaches my bedroom window as I lie awake listening to Tom Jones invoke his Delilah for the eighth time this week.

Tell Me When You Hear Me Falling by Sandra Fettingis, 2012; Dress by Giambattista Valli
Handmade items to buy (clockwise): Clutch by Fancy Felt; Abstract Composition XXXI by Jesús Perea; Earrings by Jack Liew; Ring by Fosseth; Print by Villavera; Earrings by Anousheh Barzegar; Pillow Cover by Mazizmuse

4. The monolith of golden, pink, and green candies, kept by the window in a metal Monpansje tin, refuses to yield to my efforts to separate their sugarbodies after she offers them with “Bonbon?” like it’s that simple.

5. The sugar crystals melt into the thin crepe, which I roll carefully, dangle my legs in rapture, and ask for another.

6. The white curtains leave just enough room for me to watch her through the glass door, playing the usual sequence of Chopin nocturnes, while her apron, draped across the piano, bears traces of crepe batter, before I get back to the mirror, which fragments my body, reflected in the ceiling.

Rosewater Revolution

Revolutions, they say, are not made with rosewater. But, then again, history books do not trace the footprints of fleeting perfumes as they mingle with sweat, conceal death, and intoxicate the living. Perhaps we’re won over by extremes, swayed by gallons of spilled blood, when just a drop will do, a slip of the hand while you prick your skin picking petals then crushed and steamed into clear liquid.

Patrick Gordon, Rose Pavé; Jewelry by Jiro Kamata
Handmade items to buy (clockwise): Necklace by Tiffany Key; Ring by Jasmine Scott; Vase by Jonathan Cohn; Resin Bangle by Beadevolution; Fuschia Vase by Mahaila Glass; Necklace by Hook & Matter; Ring by Kaz Evans; Ring by Spotted Dog Farm

Just a drop, on the wrist, between silk gloves and satin sleeves, so that when she holds up her hand to a nobleman the embroidered garden comes alive: small birds, flaming hearts, and scrolling vines envelop the pair in a memory sealed solely by its sweet smell. Keep the glove, she says. Only after her scent has faded does he notice the Tudor rose stitched in silver thread, a token of allegiance that shifts their exchange from personal to political. No longer did the rose wander through monasteries, for the pleasure of monks blind to its erotic charm, but in the garden of a court eager to air out the musty fumes of Catholic incense. Rosewater, married to flesh, was a personal statement, a signature more powerful than the written word. Drop by drop, it fueled the Reformation.

Flowers by Martin Klimas; The Gloves Dream by Min-Ji Cho
Handmade items to buy (clockwise): Body Oil by Rebel & Mercury; Rosewater by Elma Sana; Toner by Lalun; Rose Water by Rose Bazaar; Toner by Botanical Labs; Soap by Pure Naturalis; Bath, Body & Tea Set by Kyra Botanica; Bath Salts by The Perfumed Workshop

Just a drop, or two, or three, on your skin and in your hair, and you might just take your mind off the sweat pouring down your body. It’s summer in India and we’re about three centuries behind air conditioning. The Mughals brought peace from the north and their gardens became laboratories for the cultivation of pleasure and profit, creating scents that put Hampton Court to shame. Distilling rose petals first took place in the private quarters of the nobility, until the oil that settled on top proved sweet enough to merit a production line in the garden. And who can resist rosewater when it infuses the syrup that drips from fried dough, still warm, breaking the fasts of peasants and princes. Rosewater, then, is an essence of power, an agent of change. Which brings us back, in a way, to revolutions.

Noir Nocturne

In one corner of a city wall, free from calculated attempts to maintain a flawless facade, clouds of soot and tar frame violent battles of paint with an army of scratches and cracks. The scene accumulates more by chance than design; stray thoughts of a passing sign maker are swallowed by the whims of the environment. When he wasn’t frequenting the seedy nightclubs of Paris in the ‘30s, Brassaï took portraits of these signs and built another layer of almost mythical significance. He believed modern graffiti to be the distant echoes of cave paintings and register the primal, frenzied rhythms of life that go unnoticed in a civilized society. His romanticized narrative is, like the walls, cracked and flawed.

Graffiti by Brassaï, 1944-45; Collages by Kazuki Umezawa; Brassaï inspired fashion from Celine Spring 2014
Handmade items to buy (clockwise): Collage by Kenneth Park; Scarf by Mahoney; Necklace by Christie Martin; Scarf by Kate Schneider; Bag by Daphne; VIII/II by Joseph Nicolia; Flask by Citybitz; Exposed by R.L. Nielsen

Brassaï’s photographs preserve what is essentially an ephemeral medium, subject to the flux of the city. As a document, it’s supposed to give us an unmediated window into the facts, of what the wall looked like. But his portraits enter into a space adjacent to reality, where each mark, taken out of its original context, plays its part in epic proportions. Like the myths of Ovid’s Metamorphosis, the graffiti tells the story of visual transformation with an undercurrent of violence. Can we really trust our eyes in a back alley?

Graffiti by Brassaï, 1944-45; Calligraphy by Yuichi Inoue
Handmade items to buy (clockwise): Painting by Paul Maguire; Bowl by David Pike; Painting by Suzanne Stacy; Necklace by Joyas Textiles; Bowl by Yaara Landau-katz; Controlled Chaos by Joseph Nicolia; Web of Consciousness by The Minimal Art Company; Bowl by David Pike

In a recorded conversation between Brassaï and Picasso, the painter remarks on the democratic nature of graffiti, that they “belong to everyone and no one.” To some extent, that’s true. Anyone can make their mark on a city wall. Unless you’re Picasso. He recounts carving a graffito into a bank’s wall during its renovation. When people found out it was a Picasso years later, the now masterpiece was cut out and ended up in the director’s apartment. Compare that with this graffito that just barely registers the double-barred cross of Lorraine, the symbol of Free France during WWII. Black paint has almost eaten away at its white stripes but the symbol remains recognizable. It’s hard to believe the stories of each graffito don’t end in Brassaï’s photograph, but continue decaying and morphing into new markings.

Glass House

When blown glass takes on a life of its own…

• Luke Jerram’s Glass Microbiology series recreates deadly viruses out of glass. Their structures are stunning yet sinister, like snowflakes gone to the dark side.

• Ritsue Mishima’s Luna interprets the moon’s craters in swirling rivers of glass.

• Thaddeus Wolfe’s Assemblage Vases look like towers of melting ice cubes, but they are made of glass cast in a plaster silica mold that results in unexpected and unique forms.

• Larissa Blokhuis’ Sea Cucumber is one of her deep sea creatures made of glass.

• This Vessel by Avolie Glass has a textured, flame-like surface tinted golden amber.

• Jan’s Sea Grass extend their glass tendrils in shades of pink and plum.

• Joy’s Mid Century Sculpture layers panels of glass with different color tints and textures.

• This Moonshine Bottle by Pablo Glass has a shimmering white surface wrapped in green coils.

• Michael Sparks’ Vase covers hand-blown glass with painterly strokes of gold, green, and purple.

• Ilaria Sadun’s Waterfall is a cascade of rings made from recycled bottle glass.

Bird Nest

Our selection of nests expands on the usual mix of twigs and feathers with metal, porcelain, and paper.

• Bianca Tuckwell’s The Growth That Is Our Own Cradle documents abandoned bird’s nests in the English countryside. Side by side, you can see how each nest is a unique, delicate construction of hundreds of leaves, twigs, and other materials. For this Blackbird’s Nest, she categorized the ingredients against a grid.

• Bale Creek Allen’s Nest is made of bronze twigs and crackled glass eggs.

• Scott Wurzel’s captured this Osprey Nest on one of the dead cypress trees of Honeymoon Island.

• Rebecca & Scott’s Ring is hand carved in wax and cast in sterling silver, topped with a bird sitting in its nest.

• L’Officina’s Bowl is a nest made of wool threads dipped in porcelain paperclay.

• The Ceremonial Home’s Bebibeddo is an indestructible nest that rests three concrete eggs on a branch of iron.

• Corinne’s Bird Nest is a closeup of intertwining branches.

• Golem Designs’ Bowls are ceramic nests covered with a black metallic glaze.

• Eva Clarke’s Sleeping is a nest that holds three ceramic heads.

• CeeBee’s Bird Nest Bianco is made from rolled up pieces of fashion magazines.

Silver Skyline

We were inspired by the steel, skyscrapers, and grid structures of Manhattan to look for their counterparts on a smaller scale.

• Scott Witt’s photograph of Manhattan taken from the window seat of an airplane shows a silver dust of lights extending into the night.

• Joan Miró’s Figure and Bird has a triangular body of layered steel and a spherical head from which three axe-like objects emerge, kind of like a modern Medusa.

• The KTZ Spring 2014 Menswear Collection layered stripes on stripes, mixing industrial fabrics and traditional cloth for a hybrid of urban and tribal.

• Mark Poulin’s Earrings are made of sterling silver with horizontal stripes reminiscent of Art Deco.

• PityFab’s Pendant has the wavy stripes of damascus steel framed by sterling silver pegs.

• Nancy Ryall’s Birch Earrings and Pendant are silver leaves pierced with thin stripes.

• Dmdmetal’s Ring is made of faceted sterling silver carved with stripes.

• Spexton’s Men’s Wedding Band is made of titanium inlaid with argentium silver.

• Muriel’s Necklace suspends three cones with concentric stripes.

• Maxime Proulx’s Earrings are made of sterling silver oxidized to highlight stripes.

Count Down

Can you tell we never payed attention in math class?

• Olaf Holzapfel’s 15/27 displays numbers through folded layers of Plexiglass, tinted with blues and purples that give it the quality of shimmering water.

• Jack Stauffacher’s Wooden Letters and The Rebel Albert Camus are descendants of the Constructivist collages of the late 1910s and 20s.

• Joe & Renee DeLeon’s Number Three is filled with an abstract painting of blue, black, and yellow brushstrokes. Their Black Numbers are a dense cluster inspired by Mad Men.

• Claudia Varosio’s Typographic Poster is a black-and-white retro design inspired by the movie Groundhog Day.

• Wendy’s Numbers Collage is a scattered mix of different typographic styles in blue.

• Magalerie’s Number 8 is a photograph taken in Marseillan in the South of France.

• Sarah’s Numbers Poster is a cluster of nine available in different color configurations.

• Jaroslav Seibert’s No. 6 has a worn, vintage feel offset by the bright blue and red contrast.

• Michael and Katie’s Numbers Poster displays the elegant curves of your lucky number.

July Flowers

With embellished tights and a bottle of cloying perfume, we walk through a meadow of resin.

• Ray Geary’s Red Rose suspends a silk rose in a cube of clear resin, dissecting and dispersing its petals with surface reflections.

• Makoto Azuma’s Bottle Flower series inverts the bonsai tradition and invokes perfume with glass vases stuffed with various plants and petals. Their lusciousness turns into repulsion when you try to imagine the smell of rotting flowers in water.

• These Tights would make a 18th century French aristocrat squeal. Those sequins! If anyone knows their source, do tell.

• Sumner Smith’s Ring encases red baby’s breath in clear resin.

• Topaz Turtle’s Bracelet has tendrils of chocolate brown and tiny bubbles meandering through green resin.

• Sarah’s Earrings are tiny dewdrops of clear resin holding real yellow flowers.

• Sylwia’s Ring is made of interlacing resin dots in pink and black.

• Lolly Jo Lolli’s Necklace frames light pink resin in sterling silver and suspends it from a stainless steel cable.

• Dino Daisy’s Ring surrounds vermillion resin with a sterling silver band that can be personalized with words of your choice.

• Tania Padovan’s Ring rests a drop of bright red resin in a clear band.

• Melissa’s Bracelet is made of bubblegum pink resin – true arm candy.

La Chasse aux Papillons

Being swarmed by insects was never more stylish.

• Kate MacDowell’s Buzz looks like one of Ovid’s forgotten tales of metamorphoses, the one in which our hero doesn’t merge with nature. Her white porcelain sculptures depict an uncomfortable, even destructive interaction between man and nature.

• This Netsuke, dating back to the 19th century, is a small wood container that would have been attached to a man’s robe to store small personal belongings.

• Elsa Schiaparelli’s Necklace is part of her 1938 Pagan collection inspired by the flora and fauna of Botticelli’s paintings. By framing the metal creatures in clear Rhodoid, she turns the rather unpleasant sensation of insects crawling on your skin into a fashion statement.

• This Praying Mantis and Long-Horned Beetle by Elegant Insects are life size pins made of out sterling silver using the lost wax casting method.

• Connie Luebbert’s Proverbs 6:6 is a Chinese brush painting that reminds you to “go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!”

• Matteo’s Moth is a detailed watercolor that depicts both sides.

• Mireille Boucher’s Pendant is a beetle cast in sterling silver and suspended from a silver cable chain.

• Bruce Gray’s Giant Ant is Kafka’s dream constructed from acrylic-coated steel. His Bug spreads its steel skeleton wings from a body made of spheres and found objects.

• Madame Tetrallini’s Anthropomorphic Entomology is a tiger-like insect hand-cut from black paper and pinned with an original “Karlsbader Insektennadel Nr. 1.”

Neon Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils
– Wordsworth

• Zhu Jinshi’s Tiantong Temple has its foundations in thick layers of oil paint slathered on the canvas with shovels and spatulas. His abstract landscape are a cross between German Expressionism and traditional Chinese ink painting.

• Takuro Kuwata’s Kaigari Shino Bowl goes against every unspoken rule of wabi tea bowls. The cracked platinum glaze resting in globs on a neon yellow surface seems a far cry from black raku ware. But, in a way, Kuwata is just bringing deliberate imperfection up to date.

• Thomas Kiesewetter’s Mars are alien assemblages of geometric parts that recall Vladimir Tatlin’s corner reliefs of the 1910s.

• Ursula’s Desk Lamp is a vintage yellow gooseneck with a black and white cloth cord wrapped around it.

• Carolina’s Shawl is made of light cotton voile printed with a yellow graphic pattern.

• Rib & Hull’s Wallet is made of bright yellow leather with raw edges.

• Peter Gilroy’s Bracelet is made from retired street signs with a rich surface of scratches and cracks.

• Coy’s Scarf is an eclectic combination of houndstooth and leopard print with neon yellow tassels.

• Rex & Telle’s Necklace frames brass parallelograms with a string of yellow glass beads.

• Devon Clark’s Earrings are daffodil yellow triangles with sterling silver ball chains.

• L.G. Barne’s Teapot has a dark blue-green glaze dripping over bright yellow.