State of Lace

Ah - the weekend. For some, a break from the nine to five bore and snore. Families are pumpkin picking, men are losing bets over football, and classes take a backseat as college students booze. Wait, I’m in college, so where’s my vodka bramble? Oh ya, that’s right.. I’m in grad school - different kind of college. My weekend gets sucked into a big vacuum made by Hoover, model name "all work and no sleep", and the remains? Well there are none. The lack of weekend begins Friday evening after leaving my assistantship to go straight to an artist’s lecture. I return to my pad around 9:30, work on half drop repeats until the early morn, and then go back to my assistantship for the Saturday gallery hours of 11-4.

I admit, I make it sound grueling, but every second is worth it when I realize how surreal it is. The home of my assistantship is a 7,000 square foot sprawling ranch called The Design Center. Think Case Study Houses, or the Singleton Residence, now you’ve got the idea. This gem of a house was inhabited by Goldie Paley, the founder of CBS’ mother (a.k.a mom-in-law to style icon Babe Paley), before being donated to my university. TDC contains a huuuuge textile archive, as well as textile-manufacturing relics, apparel, and three lovely ladies behind the scenes. As if this isn’t enough to overwhelm the midwest doe-eyed girl in me, the Design Center also has gallery space where the lace-inspired work of three international artists resides: Demakersvan, Tord Boontje, and Cal Lane.

Ok ok, I’ll stop gushing and show you the damn pictures. First we have Tord. As you can imagine, hours and hours went into making this raffia curtain:


Tord's Design Studio was well-known for their beautiful light fixtures for artecnica prior to this exhibition.


Above: Midsummer Light,

come rain come shine

Above: Come Rain Come Shine Light,

Below: Garland Light  (Give me this, now, in black please):


Good stuff, huh?

But check these one of a kind bad boys out:


raffia light

Tord's maquettes of raffia designs, based on Quaker Lace sample(in top of photo):


Tord didn't stop at the raffia curtain and light fixtures.

How would you feel about this being front and center in your living room?


Yes.  This is a couch.  Yes, I've sat in it.  Yes, It's super comfy.


above photos: courtesy of The Design Center

With his lace-making approach to the couch, Tord has created a (very) modern rendition of a Victorian love seat, IMHO:


Furniture I found outside of Tord's Lace in Translation work includes the Shadowly Armchair / Chaise Lounge:

shadowly armchair and chaise lounge

Which brings me back to one of Erin's finds, a hooded wicker chair from her Round Top Round Up.

Enough with Tord, onward to Cal.  Cal Lane that is.  She's Canadian, and pretty much amazing.  She's the artist whose lecture I mentioned above.  I had seen her work in these next three photos before I saw her Lace in Translation work, which you may be familiar with also:



That's some durrrrty lace

lace shovels

Seeing her work in person, not to mention at the place I work at, is ten times better than any photograph:



Cal used a Quaker Lace Sample from the Design Center's collection as the inspiration for her burnout pattern in the grass (which as a result of mulching, I was able to give my classmates a whole new way to experience her work: through the smell of cow.)

The same design was used for her massive oil drum sculpture atop the pool.





above photos:  courtesy of The Design Center

Like I said, amazing, right??  Well, that's my rant.  Back to my unweekend plans of relaxing print work.  Ciao.

The Lace in Translation Exhibition runs September 24th through April 3rd. Visit for details.

It's Getting Gold in Here

Since Karly's gone, I thought I would do my best to gold up this hizzy in her honor. Goldeness may be next to Godliness because it's all about surface, so it only take a cheapo can of spray paint to turn even the most ordinary object into something that looks expensive and klassy. If the recession depression is getting you down, hustle out and spend $5 to give something the Midas touch. You know it's going to make you feel better. I'm here to help you pull the paint trigger with some scintillating finds that are designed to bring the bling back into your life.

marcel wanders

Zany Dutchman Marcel Wanders contradicts the age old aphorism that, "You can't polish a turd." Well, apparently you can!

richard powers

Richard Powers

Boyfriend's big black speakers getting you down? Surely he wouldn't mind a bit if you got after those nasty cases with some super shiny lussssster. Tip: wait until he goes out on a late night bar crawl to transform his AV equipment. Men can get a little touchy about their electronics, so best to let him booze it up a little. High Five sure to follow!


Once your golden piece de resistance is finis, you may want to protect it from his angry adoring clutches with a fabulous fence. Demakersvan makes gorgeously crocheted fences out of plastic coated wire in a variety of designs, including this golden girl.

gold guerrila art

While you've got the paint out, why not take a cue from these guerrilla artists and put gold back on the streets. Oh, and please start at Wall Street...

gold atm

Because we surely need some gold back in our banks! This gold painted ATM is probably worth more than the "money" inside it.

studio job

Speaking of gluttony and financial ruin, Studio Job has got those bank bitches' number with their piece, Robber Baron. Holy crackatoly, do you see the tiny guns, atomic stars, airplanes, and other symbols of technology gone horribly awry? I desperately need this as a coffee table. Since this piece costs more than a bank (which isn't that hard these days), I'll be busy trying to figure out how I'm going to make this myself.

per ranung

Per Ranung

While I try to reinvent the wheel, I think anyone could handle this as an at home project: whip out the paint can to emphasize va-va-volume in sculptures. Glossy surfaces always look rounder than matte ones. Let the model instruct you on how best to apply this rule to your fashion decisions.

rebecca duke

If you accidentally get some paint on the floor, don't worry! Just go ahead and spread it everywhere. If Dolce and Gabbana can have a solid gold bedroom, so can you.

gisele ganne

gisele ganne

Perhaps you'd prefer something more precious and smaller in scale, like these rings from jewelry designer Gisele Ganne's Divorce series. Just slip on these gold knuckles and leave a lasting impression on your significant ex's face.

ricochet designs

I also love that Ricochet Studio isn't afraid to take a golden shower. I really covet Accident for my little boy's nursery because -- as the designers themselves acknowledge -- it happens.

ricochet designs

Ricochet makes all kinds of oddly twisted ceramics with a golden flourish, like this Urn with an intestinal interior. Love these guys. Found via Sara Says Awesome's quirky blog.

For fine details like those on the Ricochet pieces, may I recommend you dispense with the spray paint and switch to Rub 'N' Buff, the most amazing product in the universe. No, I do not get paid to advertise their wares, but I should (wink) because I have covered everything from frames and knobs to thrift store junque to all manner of TJ Maxx and Ross' craptacular "goods" with the Buffer. You will be amazed at how much a tiny tube will cover.

Like, I'm pretty sure the artist responsible for this travesty could have saved himself a whole lot of money:

gold kate moss

Yes, Mark Quinn's solid gold Kate Moss statue has an estimated worth of $10 million pounds. It probably would have cost less to buy Miss Moss herself and coat her and her naughty bits in Rub 'N' Buff. After all, odds are that it would only take one tube to do the whole job.