Recently, during a trip to the New Paltz Craft Fair in upstate New York, we found modernist influences in many of the artisan’s works. First, we were very impressed by the rich, vibrant colors of the beautiful, hand painted glass bowls, plates and trays by Margarita Carreras. Each is a one-of-a-kind modernist creation, using reverse hand painting on glass. Gold and silver leaf acrylic paint brings just the right amount of “bling”, and the high gloss glaze brings these fabulous colors to life. Functional and beautiful, we found these creations to be one of the stars of the Fair. Visit blackbeansandrice.net for more of this artisan’s beautiful work.
The secret is in the glaze. You can’t find this glaze anywhere else in the world. It can only be made in one place.
It is also one of the most beautiful shades of blue on the planet. It has an iridescent quality that can only be slightly appreciated in some of the images included here.
I was lucky enough to tour in Iran (Persia) extensively, 20 plus years ago. I had a truly unique perspective during my journey. I was the daughter of well-known American Museum of Natural History artist, whose native land was Persia, now Iran.
When we visited Hamadan in central Iran during one excursion, it was still quite a primitive small town. Many of the homes had no real plumbing. But, they had numerous shops, filled with fabulous azure-like blue ceramics, all in ancient shapes, in all sizes, all handmade by the locals and their ancestors. It was an amazing sight – against the color of their sandy soil the mass of blue was like heaven.
Almost all of the pottery from Hamadan was made in a blue glaze color unique to the region. Nowhere else could they reproduce this milky, not-quite-turquoise, not-quite-aqua, color with the same tone. The mineral content in the soil and water caused the glaze to create a blue unlike any other, and took on almost ethereal qualities. We saw many shops filled with ancient artifacts as well as newly-thrown pots. Large water urns and huge plates adorned shop floors. Some of these dated back as early as Darius the Great (Achaemenid Empire) circa 550 B.C.
Local potters knew they had a good thing when great interest began being paid to their glazeworks. So, most of the town kept making these fabulous blue pieces in amazing sizes and shapes. We bought a lot of blue that trip.
Today, I still have a plate from Hamadan that sits in my living room, shown here. After traveling to Hamadan and learning about its history, I now look everywhere for the elusive blue. And I wonder young potters are making beautifully-glazed blue pottery in Hamadan today.
Feel free to leave comment and let me know if you’d like to hear more!
Award-winning photographer Robert Goldwitz offers modernist and abstract photographs. The fabulous capture, “Shawangunk Dawn”, won the Best in Show Award at the 36th Annual Mount Saint Mary College Art Fair. It has a quiet, ethereal effect and mesmerizes the viewer with its warm colors, evoking a totally American West story, even in upstate New York.
“Minnewaska Winter” (above top) has a fabulous modernist feel with repeating black lines contrasted on the white of the birch trees against the snow. “Desert Ramada” (bottom right) appeals to the modernist architect in all of us. These gems are available as framed work of art, and are a terrific choice as focal points in any luxury, minimalist or modernist environment. Visit robertgoldwitz.com for more.
Beautiful and elegant glass creations caught our modernist eye last month, at the New Paltz Craft Fair in New York, from artist/designer Amalia Flaisher of Sand and Water.
These colorful abstract glass designs are fabulous for any contemporary setting, and are produced with meticulous attention to detail.
Help encourage our local artists by supporting their tremendous efforts. The images shown here from www.glassartists.org. Visit them for more information about the artist.
E-mail Amalia directly at email@example.com for more information on where to buy these fabulous modernist pieces.
Marimekko, established in 1951, is a Finnish textile and clothing design company known for their iconic original prints . The fun, colorful and innovative designs became an instant sensation in 1960 when Jackie Kennedy appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated wearing a fabulous sleeveless Marimekko red dress. Sales soared. These brightly colored textiles, simply designed with minimal ornament, allowed mixing and matching in fun new ways. They became iconic images of the time.
Simple black and whites were designed as perfect accompaniments in modern decors. The brightly colored upholstery fabrics made their own statement and were used in many of the fine modern interior designs of the era.
Recently there has been a amazing resurgence in Marimekko’s popularity. The iconic fabrics are showing in many luxury modernist interiors as accents and focal points.
When used as accents, the vibrant fabrics draw you in to almost any modern environment and cause many smiles.
Marimekko continues to design and manufacture new clothing, textiles, bags and other accessories, all with their magical signature style.
Placemats and pillows…bags and wall art… Check them out, and be inspired.
At the BDNY (Boutique Design New York) show recently, our modernist eye caught new and exotic materials being used in many innovative and exciting ways. Many designers will be using these unusual and eclectic pieces for their luxury, modernist environments.
Interesting fabrics and new textures create warm, inviting spaces and make fantastic conversation pieces. Keep your eyes open for rough canvas upholstery materials and neutral animal prints used in new ways to warm up modernist home interiors.
The Write Type has been developing creative branding solutions successfully for many iconic brands for over 20 years. Their client list reads like a “Who’s Who” of dynamic marketing. For web, print, display or package, The Write Type’s creative expertise and production experience has been credited with many successful brand stories. They have designed and produced over 70 full line product catalogs, in many industries, and continue to provide graphic and production solutions for many iconic brands.
Visit twtype.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation on your next graphics project.
We recently met and marvelled at Isaac Abrams, who, we later learned, had founded the first gallery of Psychedelic Art in the world in 1965. A painter, sculptor and animation artist, Isaac has work shown in venues such as The Whitney Museum of Art in New York, The Tate in Liverpool, and dozens of prestigious art galleries throughout the world. We were mesmerized by the amazing detail and colorful displays in his work.
Isaac continues to produce vibrant paintings, perfect as focal points for any modernist setting, that boggle the mind in their clarity, color, and detailed precision work. Many of his paintings are also available as prints for framing. See more of his collection at isaacabrams.com.
Our modernist eye recently found great chair designs from Dan Gomes at Heartwood Furniture. His fold-up, mid-century style patio or indoor chairs are amazingly portable and truly comfortable. The steam bent legs and ergonomic design make the Scoop™ Chair a winner. The cushions are comfortable and the entire chair folds up flat for easy portability. The beautiful, smooth finish of the woods and easy care Sunbrella fabric on the cushions, makes this an easy ModernistToday “thumbs up”.
Other great designs include “Bermuda BenchTM” – the seat section pulls out and fits inside the back for flat storage. This robust and sturdy bench provides comfort and easy portability, making it a great choice for any outdoor event or sun area. Go to Heartwood’s website: letssit.com for ordering information.
Lise Bouvet creates fabulous eco-friendly jewelry and colorful, contemporary Shibori silk scarves. Her modernist jewelry designs are delicately hand-formed, created using primarily recycled gold and silver. Her simple design aesthetic draws you in.