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Tuesday
Aug032010

artist profile: ben holiday

Where was your favorite place to live?
My favorite places to live is Chicago’s Uptown – the neighborhood is fantastically diverse and has jazz age venues (the Riviera, Green Mill and Aragon ballroom) that are an outstanding collection of performance spaces; Although, I look forward to my planned retirement in the Netherlands – the region has a defining aesthetic and an aura of open mindedness that is so refreshing!

What are your sources of inspiration?
The line is probably my true inspiration—understanding the line and how it can be constructed, arranged and represented to illustrate a perspective is uniquely powerful; 1920’s terra cotta architecture; shadows and their strong, yet ethereal presence; 1960’s jet era modern textiles and interior design, raw 80’s NYC transit graffiti; and the evolution of urban life.

What do you drive?
A mint colored scooter than I assembled because when I purchased it, the note “assembly required” wasn’t included!

What are your interests outside of design?
I love to travel and go to concerts. I coincidentally caught Gomez live in Amsterdam at Milkweg—it was the ultimate performance experience. Beyond that, I just enjoy searching for delight in the unexpected.

Who are your design icons?
Mies van der Rohe’s clean lines and pioneering minimalism, Tom Ford’s eye for mixing, texturing and layering, Brancusi’s ultra stylized style, Andy Warhol’s change is how we view our daily lives and the items we are surrounded by… and who ever invented the “easy open” Oreo packaging, it’s honestly the best design innovation since sliced bread.

What is your signature?
My mantra is expressing more with very little, finding ways to layer and intrigue with less. I always strive to arrange visual components so that they complement and harmonize with their context in design, art, photography, and/or architecture.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
A rug I designed for a not-for-profit organization—Arzu. They provide hope through design to women in Afghanistan by selling their hand- woven carpets and returning the profits.

To see all of Ben’s current designs for CB2, go here.

Monday
Aug022010

10 essentials: ashley

photo courtesy of: mikebaird

1. As a little girl I wanted to be a mermaid—you’d have to drag me out of the water!  I’m not any different as an adult so I learned to scuba dive in 2004. Surfing the ocean is my goal this year.

2. No matter what is going on in my daily life, yoga calms me down.  It’s the one place I can shut it all off and just breathe.

3. I love to read and I love to have books and used book stores share their history.  I wonder about the previous owners of a book—Who were they? How did they get it, what did they think of it?

4. The scan lounge chair is a great reading chair—it’s very comfortable and it looks like an art piece.

5. Discovering what’s happening in the art world.  Gallery walks are a great opportunity to meet artists and gallery owners and really learn about the art.  Plus the people watching is fantastic!

6. Traveling and discovering new places—getting immersed in the culture, even if for just a moment. 

7. Trying new restaurants, tasting interesting recipes, enjoying a great meal.  Living in San Francisco took it to a whole new level—Burma Superstar, Foreign Cinema, Tartine…

8. The ritual of morning coffee and the taste is unbeatable.  Individually brewed cups are the best.

9. Having relocated to California from the Midwest, I appreciate the ability to shop a farmer’s market all year long.  The sense of community when you frequent the market for organic locally grown produce feels as good as it is for you.

10. The simple beauty of white tulips.

photo courtesy of: ComùnicaTIphoto courtesy of: lachshand

Thanks to ashley, store manager santa monica, for this submission.

Friday
Jul302010

mix tape no.1

1. American Girl, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, 1977
2. Who Do You Love?, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, 1977
3. Won’t Get Fooled Again, The Who, 1971
4. Baracuda, Heart, 1977
5. Bang a Gong, T. Rex, 1975
6. You Really Got Me, Van Halen, 1978
7. Sweet Emotion, Aerosmith, 1975
8. Shambala, Three Dog Night, 1974
9. Fool in the Rain, Led Zeppelin, 1976
10. Somebody to Love, Queen, 1976

Thursday
Jul292010

one of a finds: seven fortunes vases

This assemblage of miniature ceramics is the vision of an emerging Chinese design collective, Spin.

In their studio just outside Shanghai, seven young designers honor the 13th Century Yuan Dynasty porcelain-making traditions of the town of Jingdezhen in stunning pieces that speak to modern times.

At the same time, they are reviving the ancient qualities of Jingdezhen porcelain: white as jade, thin as paper, clear as glass, sweet-sounding as a chime. Using only the finest Kaolin clay, natural drying techniques and authentic Jingdezhen glazes.

The Seven Fortunes, derived from Chinese mythology and considered gifts from Heaven, are each designated with an auspicious Chinese character whose meaning finds expression in the hand-shaped form of each porcelain vase. Prosperity is the largest; Joy opens wide in laughter; Health is robust.

What meaning can you interpret in Longevity, Happiness, Inner Peace and Contentment?

Wednesday
Jul282010

artist profile: maria berrios

Created in partnership with San Francisco’s Creativity Explored, a nonprofit visual arts center where artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit and sell art—animated birds, critters, bugs and fireflies buzz whimsically within the warp and weft of the entre flores y pajaros rug.

Born in El Salvador in 1959, artist Maria Berrios has been gracing Creativity Explored with her dynamic artwork and jovial nature since 1999.

Berrios works in a variety of drawing media and also enjoys printmaking. From family groupings, flora, and fauna, her favorite color—red—is well represented with all of her typical subjects. Berrios’ art making process is very slow and meticulous. After sketching a composition, she often places her subjects around the picture plane so that the piece may be viewed from any direction.

Her fantastical, naïve vision, which translates to “among flowers and birds”, is hand-tufted in great detail—using no less than in 28 colors of wool yarns—with her signature woven in each.

To spend one minute with Maria Berrios in the Creativity Explored studio, go here.