Harriet’s Blue and White

 

Harriet Damave’s hand-painted porcelain cat brooches caught my eye several months ago and they’re still on my mind. Her technique – painting cobalt oxide on unglazed bisque – is rather unusual, she likens it to watercolor paintings because of the super absorbent surface. There are a number of other lovely items available in her shop – Harriet’s Blue and White – but I’m counting adding one of her pins to my jacket this fall.

 

 

 

 

 

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Horrible Adorables

 

I love thinking about what sort of inspiration and imagination goes into creating Horrible Adorables‘ hybrid creatures by husband and wife team Jordan Elise Perme and Christopher Lees. The colorful felt scales used to cover each hand-carved form means they skew more towards adorable than horrible, though there are notes of cartoonish eeriness present in each one’s humanlike expression. Each of their playful soft sculptures are brought to life in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Stak Ceramics

 

Heather and Myles Geyman built a friendship, marriage, and business – in that order. Chances are you’ve seen Stak Ceramics‘ super functional slip cast ceramic pieces before, because they’re everywhere. (They’re also often ripped off, unfortunately.) Whether it’s the kitchen tablet dock, the sprout planter phone dock, or any number of other minimally beautiful creations made in their Pittsburgh studio, you can be sure that they’ll help you live well.

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OATMEAL

 

Elise Birnbaum is a maker, skill collector, coveter of interesting objects, and founder of Pittsburgh-based OATMEAL. She works predominantly with clay and metal, creating pieces for both body and home that are inspired by simple things and made in a narrow, often neutral, color palette. I’ve been following Elise, and the creations she often shares on Instagram, for some time now and very much appreciate the way she doesn’t depend on color to make her pieces standout. (One of those knot necklaces is definitely on my birthday wish list!)

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Spacapan

 

A few months ago I had the chance to hold one of Margaret Spacapan’s perfectly shaped half-dome bowls, she had to talk me into it because I can be a klutz and they looked so delicate. I marveled at how it felt in my hands and kept thinking about how a human had created this thing. All of Spacapan‘s sculptures and forms with function are completely without flaw and attract me like a crow to something shiny. But for the time being I’ll just have to settle for the hope of someday owning one of her bowls.

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Reiko Yamamoto

 

Reiko Yamamoto is a modern ceramicist combining her skill in creating versatile, functional pottery with her experiences growing up in Japan. Eating meals meant a collection of handmade pottery rather than a matching set – a completely foreign concept – and Reiko has brought that approach to her Pittsburgh studio by creating pieces of various sizes, colors, shapes, and patterns that all work together harmoniously. The jewelry she creates has the same organic feel and presence, with a weight that feels substantial but not heavy.

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Hitomi Hosono

 

Hitomi Hosono‘s ceramics are rooted in both Japanese and European traditions, as she’s studied in Japan, the UK, and Denmark. (Whoa!) The super detailed foliage in Hosono’s current work sucks the viewer right in. And if you’re like me, at some point you’ll forget that what you’re examining isn’t the real thing.

“The subjects of my current porcelain work are shapes inspired by leaves and flowers. I study botanical forms in the garden. I find myself drawn to the intricacy of plants, examining the veins of a leaf, how its edges are shaped, the layering of a flower’s petals. I look, I touch, I draw.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Stefanie Herr / The Growth Imperative

 

I’ve learned more about politics in the past year than the previous 35 combined, and part of that has been about the economy which has impacted me in a very real way. Stefanie Herr’s The Growth Imperative uses six photographic relief sculptures to explore stock charts over a period of six years. Each piece is crafted by hand using pigment print on Hahnemühle photo rag, museum matboard, aluminium, and other materials.

 

“The Growth Imperative explores the spatial dimension of stock charts by translating their peaks and valleys into physical coordinates. Inspired by the neoliberal fantasy of infinite economic growth on a finite planet, The Growth Imperative maps the performance of the S&P 500 Pure Growth Index over a six-years period between 2009 and 2015 and transposes it into six sculptural objects covered with photographs of forests.

The forest is the place where growth is inevitable and vegetation luxuriates. It is a multidimensional space that expands both horizontally and vertically and devours everything within its boundaries. Exposed to the erratic and uncontrollable behaviour of the stock market, each photograph is stretched, distorted and finally broken into 440 triangular facets. Thus, The Growth Imperative seeks to unmask the self-destructive nature of neoliberal capitalism and its central role in causing serious environmental, social and territorial imbalances.

Entirely crafted by hand, each piece of the series took about two months to complete. In a world subject to the vagaries of global capitalist economy, the market constitutes the main creative force behind it and consequently becomes its true sculptor.”

 

 

 

 

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