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Entries in one of a finds (27)

Wednesday
Feb022011

one of a finds: sake set

The heaven and earth sake set 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.

Toast the Chinese New Year 4708—the year of the rabbit, or hare, starts tomorrow.

Thursday
Jan272011

one of a finds: painted elephant painting

This original canvas is hand-painted by an almost extinct community of Bollywood artists known for their kitschy, glamorous movie posters and sets. Sadly, with the Mumbai film industry’s move to digital vinyl billboards, the talent of these fine artists is no longer in demand. In an effort to keep their art alive, these paintings are created by the original masters and each is individually signed.

Once required to produce up to 20 posters a day during their movie careers, this special initiative provides the artists not only a new source of income, but also the opportunity for a slower pace focused on their skills and passion for painting. This portrait—of a divine symbol in Hindu mythology dating back over 5,000 years to the elephant-headed god Lord Ganesha—takes its inspiration from an old photograph of a painted and adorned elephant in royal procession from the Amber Fort outside Jaipur.

One of a Finds original works are offered one time only as a limited edition for collectors and enthusiasts—painted elephant painting has a release of 504.

Wednesday
Sep292010

one of a finds: chop chop table

Using wood that’s harvested within the Chicago metro area—due to the effects of nature such as age, wind or storm damage—chop chop not only reduces the demand on our nation’s forests, they’re fabricated locally thereby minimizing the carbon footprint between the source, mill and production.

Designer Paul Pettigrew, Studio Associate Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture, pursued this project in response to a surplus of felled ash trees in our urban forests.

Collaborating with Horigan Urban Forest Products, each piece is stripped of its bark and squared into rectangular logs. Then they’re kiln-dried, sanded, oiled, and protective feet are added.

The natural variations in grain, dimension and color of trees that define the urban forest mean each table is unique. Kiln-dried to reduce moisture content, wood checks (ie. splits or cracks) may appear as the wood acclimates to its environment—expands and/or contracts—but they enhance each table’s special character without affecting its structural integrity.

Congratulations to Horigan Products’ co-founders Erika and Bruce Horigan, who’ve been recognized by the Illinois Arborist Association for advancing the cause of wood recycling and by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Waste Management and Research Center for significant achievements in protecting the environment.

harvesting a damaged treecut logs ready for milling
raw tables drying in a kiln

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?

Monday
Jul192010

one of a finds: wabelerbeler

Crossing the centuries-old gender lines of his native Rukai tribe in Taiwan, a young male artist, Kaludasan, is reviving the matriarchal art of jute weaving, one of the many Taiwanese cultural traditions lost with the beginning of colonial rule in 1895.

Raised by his grandmother and four aunts—all skilled embroiderers—Kaludasan persuaded them to pass down to him the intricate weaving skills of the women of his village.

Taking those techniques to a new level, his sculptural wabelerbeler (“twisting”) wall art intertwines colorful ramie fibers “to weave my dreams, little by little…and to connect past and future generations.”

Even with the assistance of skilled female weavers in his village, Kaludasan can handcraft only 10 time-intensive weavings a month, making each piece rare and unique—works of art for these village artisans to share a living storyline to their past.