Personality-filled tabletop and hanging planters to surprise and delight
by Katie Olsen in Design on 23 April 2014
Spanish company Wacamole Ceramic was founded in 2013 as a joint venture between friends Luis Llamas and Lydia de la Piñera—a sculptor and designer, respectively. The duo creates handmade ceramic tabletop and hanging planters that are sweet, playful and entirely delightful. On the inception of the brand, the pair tells CH, "We were always inspired by the world of ceramics. Development with this material started in our own ceramic studio and we continued the evolution of learning and researching in the creative possibilities for the present and future."
Because each vessel is different—each one is modeled and painted by hand—there is an extra special element to owning one, or giving one away. Of the meticulous and time-consuming process, Llamas and de la Piñera say, "Every pot is naturally imperfect; true craftsmanship. Modeled and decorated one by one—no moulds—they are little pieces of art. Each piece is modeled, revised, glazed and taken care of with affection. This process is very slow, we always try to do small sets. For us, with anything that is made by hand, time becomes relative."
With little legs that stick out, dangle below or hang over the side of a table, these cutesy vessels are simple but full of personality and are made with the intention to simply brighten owners' days. "We hope can transmit good feelings through them. We hope that people understand its value and design. We like think that our design leaves our studio and can be anywhere in the world thanks to the internet, and that is very gratifying for us. We try to brighten the corners of every house."
Images courtesy of Wacamole Ceramic
Zhang Na's Shanghai label, designed for the independent woman with a warm heart
by Alessandro De Toni in Style on 23 April 2014
Over the past few years, more and more independent Chinese fashion designers have been garnering attention and appreciation—and one of the loudest voices is that of Zhang Na (aka LALA), who studied fashion design at Xi'an Academy Fine Arts in the Shaanxi province and at MOD'ART International in Paris. In 2008, she founded her own brand Na (too), which was then re-named FAKE NATOO and, in a few years, she quickly became one of the most influential designers in China.
The Chinese name of Zhang Na’s brand is nuăn (translating to "warm" in English), a concept which is at the very core of her creations. She aims to create an intimate connection with her customer through her designs. Whenever she designs, the inspiration comes from a desire to combine emotion with fashion; to create a bond between people and clothing, people and environment.
Zhang Na says, “FAKE NATOO’s woman has always been strong and independent, a strength which doesn’t come from the power, but from her profoundness and her agility, her attitude toward life is characterized by the inner capacity to open up her heart and a feel a warm love. She understands herself and her relation with the world, she’s open to embrace the vastness of nature with a joyful heart”.
Opening the brand's AW 2014 launch were chants from Mongolian folk band Hanggai and grassland songs by Xinjiang Region's band, Mamer & IZ. Hosted at Xin Dong Chen gallery in the Beijing art district of 798, Zhang Na presented her brand new collection: a creative detour into nomadic culture and lifestyle, playing on the notes of sincerity and authenticity of a life in communion with Mother Earth. The deep relation with nature comes back not only in the pieces design, but also in colors and fabrics. Every hue reflects natural earth tones and natural fabrics like cashmere, alpaca and mohair (as well as imported organic wool from Italy) are at the core of an elegance which values simplicity and warmth. The collection as a whole created the effect of an almost alive, growing vegetation.
Another delightful touch is the yak wool handmade shirts and accessories, born from a collaboration with Norlha; a Beijing-based organization that trains and employs Tibetan nomads to process and transform the fiber of their yaks. Between the wool blankets, scarves, bone clasps, tanned sheepskin hats, the collection is earthy, eccentric and rich.
Photos by Alessandro De Toni
Hand-painted skate decks inspired by surfing's transition to the streets for London's Pick Me Up graphic arts festival
by Hans Aschim in Design on 23 April 2014
London's Brixton neighborhood is fast becoming a bastion of creativity and artisan craftwork south of the river. Leading the charge is Joe Lauder of Satta, a woodworker and artist specializing in handmade skate decks that call to mind the early days of sidewalk surfing. In anticipation of Pick Me Up—the UK's contemporary graphic arts festival—Lauder collaborated with fellow Londoner Stevie Gee (an illustrator who's worked with the likes of Vans, Deus Ex Machina and Beams Japan) for the "Be Love Now" project. The duo teamed up with London gallery Beach to bring their artwork from the streets to the gallery. In both shape and art direction, the boards hark back to the sport's roots: having fun and exploring new ways of self-expression. The series of four one-off decks was produced in Lauder's Brixton studio and hand-painted by Gee. While they're functional for skateboarding, these decks might just be most at home on gallery walls.
"Be Love Now" is on display at Pick Me Up beginning today, 23 April 2014 through 5 May at Somerset House.
Images courtesy of Satta