Sometimes you find decor inspiration when you are least expecting it. The other night, we ducked inside Noodie’s on 9th Ave in NYC for a quick pad thai before a concert (not just any concert, but Leonard Cohen at Radio City). Faced across from this wall full of gorgeous Asian bowls, I could hardly concentrate on my chopsticks. Going up at least 20 feet high, there were about 175 bowls of various sizes drilled onto the wall. The large ones were statement pieces, the kinds you’d use to impress guests with a whole sea bass; others were standard issue rice bowls that are about 99 cents each at Pearl River. To make an impact like that, you’d have to quite a collection of your own, but I think 10 to 15 plates would be a good place to start. The key is to have a palette of colors that work well together — here it was a mix of browns and blues with some pops of red. To adhere to the wall, you’ll need an electric drill with a diamond head drill bit, a C-clamp, spare wood pieces, masking tape, a friend, and patience. Here’s how it’s recommended over at Ehow:
How To Drill A Ceramic Plate To The Wall:
1. Cover the place on the ceramic plate where you want to drill a hole with a strip of masking tape, then mark the exact point for the hole with a pencil dot on the tape. The masking tape will prevent the drill bit from slipping when you begin drilling though it.
2. Place a flat piece of scrap wood on the surface underneath the plate. Position a G-clamp around the wood and plate, place a small piece of scrap wood between the top of the clamp and plate, then screw the clamp closed to hold the plate firmly in place.
3. Fit your drill with a diamond bit of the appropriate size for the hole you want to drill. Set the drill to a speed of 100 to 200 rpm.
4. Recruit a friend or family member to spray the drill bit with cold water as you work when you are ready to drill through the plate. This prevents the bit from overheating.
5. Position the drill bit over the pencil mark on the masking tape and hold it at a perfect right angle to the plate. Begin to drill slowly and steadily without applying any additional pressure. Don’t be tempted to speed up or press down as you work, just take your time and let the drill bit do all the work.
6. Stop drilling as soon as you feel that you have gone all the way through the plate and into the scrap wood underneath it. Un-clamp the plate, wipe it clean with a soft rag and remove the masking tape.
We’re dusting off our cocktail shakers and getting ready to cozy up with Don Draper in tonight’s overdue return of Mad Men. The year will be 1968, and the show’s set design will no doubt be getting groovy. The transition from mod, streamlined mid-century design to organic and shaggy late 60s should be interesting. You can see the mood shift already in the new official poster. Gone are sharp graphics and free-falling silhouettes. They’ve been replaced with hand-drawn lines and pencil shading. It was created by an illustration master Brian Sanders and it is reminiscent of the kind of work that was frequently found in magazines like Reader’s Digest in the early 70s. Not only does the drawing hint at the drama that may lie ahead, but it also the change in fashions. (Note the wide striped tie — radical for Don.) Unfortunately, the team at AMC has not made the new work available for purchase. We might just have to pick up one of these more classic graphics from Needle Design, below, available through Fancy for $30.
This giveaway is now closed
As a ceramic artist in Portland, OR, I began to hear about Mudshark Studios from friends in the clay community a few years back. It wasn’t until they began producing lighting for Rejuvenation (I used to work for them) in 2011, that I really fell in love with what they were doing. I had always been curious about ceramic production work and slip casting, so I decided that I had to learn more about the company and what they did.
Mudshark launched in 2006 and has been making waves in the design world since, not only attracting commercial clients like Kohler and Ann Sacks, but also working with individual artists and designers from all over the country. Co-founders Chris Lyon and Brett Binford set up the studio with a goal to educate others on product design, clay manufacturing methods, and provide a high quality finished product, while designing work of their own. Today, in addition to Mudshark, both artists pursue their personal creative interests in other businesses, like the Portland Growler Company and Bretton Sage Designs.
I caught up with Chris and Brett recently and thought it would be a treat to see what happens in their studio from day to day. Here’s a look at the magic of Mudshark…
And just like that, you have a hand-made piece of Portland goodness, in the very functional form of an oil cruet.
Want a chance to win one of your own? Hop on over to Brett’s design site Bretton Sage Designs and check out his olive oil and balsamic vinegar cruets. Then, come on back to Shelterrific and leave a comment telling us which one is your favorite. On April 1st, we will select a winner at random (no foolin’!) and send you the oil cruet of your dreams — compliments of Mudshark Studios and Bretton Sage Designs.
There’s a decorating trend bubbling up that we’ve noticed but have tried to overlook. You know, those boldly-colored graphic prints that remind you of waiting in the dentist’s office when you were a kid? Yes, we’re talking about Marüshka prints, which were extremely prevalent in the 70s and 80s and now seem to be extremely hip, as our friends over at collectorsweekly.com have pointed out.
The Michigan-based design collective started making affordable, Japanesey woodblock prints in the mid 70s. Marüshka prints originally cost about $24 a piece and were on linen or cotton canvas and would be silkscreened by hand, stretched, and fitted to a wood frame. Nowadays they’re popping up on design blogs like Apartment Therapy, and knockoffs are in trendy catalogs like Urban Outfitters.
As much as we appreciate bold graphic prints (we are huge Marimekko fans) we are on the fence about this resurgence. What about you? Waiting-room prints: Yay or Nay?
Today the postman brought us a fresh collection of 2013 catalogs brimming with spring colors and patterns that we’re not quite ready for just yet. One thing did jump out at us though: This new collection of stoneware at Williams-Sonoma that is crafted by the famed Jars Céramistes in the South of France. Jars is known for their stunning colored glazes, which it began creating in 1857. Today, the family-run business produces over 50 amazing colors for their pots and it has created five unique colors for WS. Naturally we gravitate toward the vibrant orange, but dream of having a collection to mix and match with. Click here to see some of the company’s collection today, and be sure to watch the video below, which shows the attention behind the Willams-Somoma range. Durable, chip resistant and timelessly styled, the plates sell for about $100 for a set of four.