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Wednesday
Aug122009

creativity explored

Creativity Explored is a non-profit visual arts center in San Francisco where local artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit, and sell their artwork. Initiated in 1983 by Florence and Elias Katz based on the principal that all people have the ability to create, and that artistic expression is a viable means to self-growth, they support artists with workspaces, materials, and studio sessions.

Over a year ago our San Francisco store manager asked the staff how they could connnect with local organizations, and voila they discovered Creativity Explored. They soon coordinated an in-store event where select artists were invited to paint one of our bentwood dining chairs; they were then auctioned and profits directly benefited the organization (two examples are shown above).


We loved the chairs and continue to admire the artwork and artists on their website. So starting this Fall, in an effort to combine our eco- and social-conscious causes, we married the two and came up with a reusable canvas tote featuring artwork by a participating artist.

For our first collaboration, a limited edition of 2700 gallery totes will feature “Houses” by artist Antonio Benjamin; and for every tote produced, a percentage of the proceeds will go directly to Creativity Explored. Each tote is made of 100% unbleached cotton with lead- and cadmium-free inks.

Would you like to know when our next project debuts? In the meantime, Creativity Explored has themed exhibitions planned through 2009. Check out their website for the roster and selected works available for purchase.

Wednesday
Aug122009

one of a finds: palace portrait painting

This original palace portrait painting is hand-painted by an almost extinct community of Bollywood artists known for their kitschy, glam movie posters and sets. With the Mumbai film industry’s move to digital vinyl billboards, the talent of these fine artists is no longer in demand.

Once required to produce up to 20 posters a day during their movie days, this special initiative provides the artists not only a source of income, but the opportunity for a slower pace focused on their skills and passion for painting.

In an effort to keep this art form alive, this limited edition of 228 paintings has been commissioned from the hands of the original masters. This portrait of a regal couple painted in black and white with theatrical color highlighting only jewelry and costume details, harkens back to the romance of a lost age and an iconic art form.

Wednesday
Aug052009

welcome!

We’ll keep it simple.

At CB2 we stand for good design and affordable values. Our selection is edited. Our aesthetic is focused on modern living. We are passionate about our commitment to eco and charitable causes, and we take to heart the social concerns of our customers.

We’ve created this blog so you can be in the loop and involved in the conversation.

We invite your thoughts and questions, your ideas and photos of your spaces.

Tell us, what are your essentials? And what makes your address your home?

We’re always open and we can’t wait to hear from you!

Wednesday
Aug052009

CB2 exhibits at dwell on design

In its second year, Dwell on Design was held just weeks before our blog went live—June 26-28th—so we wanted to take the first opportunity to share our participation in this outstanding event. In addition to displaying most of our outdoor furniture and accessories, we gave directions to our new Sunset location and handed out—and ran out of!—reusable canvas totes.

“The West Coast’s Largest Modern Design Event,” conducted by the editors of Dwell magazine and held at the LA Convention Center, the event featured seminars, key-note speakers, and over 175 exhibitors focused on sustainability and innovations for the home. Off-site, self-guided tours of an exclusive collection of must-see homes in the Los Angeles area were also available.

Dwell editors talked with community leaders, builders, designers, artists, architects, craftsmen and entrepreneurs on topics ranging from future-thinking about developing successful design, sustainability, affordability and efficiency, design in the media, urban density, green entrepreneurship, historic preservation, the intersection of architecture and art direction, the growing convergence of design and food, and more.

Curated for a design conscious audience, exhibitors showcased pre-fab home options and smart building materials and ideas for kitchens and baths. Dwell Outdoor inspired with design ideas for outdoor living—including our Resort Sectional shown above—and the latest trend of vertical gardening. The Modern Family area promoted the creativity and originality behind modern design with a multitude of hands-on activities and displays geared towards children of all ages.

What were highlights of the show for you?

Wednesday
Aug052009

one of a finds: jain monk bowls

This exquisitely refined set of jain monk bowls is handmade in Rajasthan, India by the Kharadi muslims for use by the Shwetamber sect of Jain monks. The white-robed Jain monks take five ethical vows—this includes renouncing all wordly possessions, including their name—owning only these nine alms bowls presented to them by their followers. In a journey of humility, the monks travel on foot with only their nesting bowls, going door to door, village to village, seeking followers who fill them with food.

Now an almost extinct woodworking art practiced by only 30 families in the region, the begging bowls or “bhiksha patra” are lathed from local rohida wood, prized for its dense grain and strength. No wood is wasted, with each of the nine bowls scooped from the heart of the bowl before it.

Artisans apprentice for years to make these bowls by first making simple coasters and progressively improving their skill level once each has been mastered. In addition to the difficulty of carving a smaller bowl from the heart of a larger bowl, the walls are only 1/16-inch thin which further tests their skills.

As a continuation of their vow to renounce worldly possessions, when the bowls are no longer of use they are broken into pieces, buried and returned to the earth.