Category Archives: Art and Design

Links From Around the Web: the Jewelry of Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey
Lady Violet’s Russian-inspired Tiara

There’s a fun article in the most recent newsletter of the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) about the jewelry created for the TV show Downton Abbey.  The article includes an interview with Andrew Prince, the jewelry designer for the show, where he discusses the historical precedents and inspirations for the jewelry and features lots of tiaras and hair jewelry.   Make sure to click on the the text at the bottom of each photo in the slide show to get detailed info about each piece shown:

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Francesca Pastine: Totem

My friend Francesca Pastine is a talented artist whose creativity never fails to amaze me.  Whether she is working in a conventional medium like oil paint, or less conventional media, she manages to produce work that is both beautiful and meaningful. For several years she has been working on a series called the Artforum Excavations.  In these works she cuts and folds Artforum magazines and transforms them into art objects.

Her earliest works in this series remind me of topographic maps, with hills and valleys carved from the pages of the magazine.

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Collecting Without Clutter

Collecting
Vintage earrings, mirror, tray and dresser

When friends from the vintage world visit my house for the first time a comment that I frequently hear is “It’s so uncluttered”.  And it’s true:  while I’m in no way a minimalist, I don’t like clutter.  However that doesn’t mean that I don’t like collecting, in fact I collect a wide range of stuff:  jewelry, clothing, furniture, art, ceramics, glass, textiles, rugs and more.  However, I consider myself a collector with a lower case “c”: I don’t collect systematically, I just collect what I like and use.  Here are some of my tips for how to collect what you love, yet limit and contain the clutter.

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Notes from Around the Web: Women and Fashion in WWI

WWI
Pre-war dress

The Kent State Museum contains an important collection of fashion and mounts exhibits with the goal of understanding world cultures through lens of fashion, textiles, and related arts.

WWI
Dress from 1918 with Shorter Silhouette


Their current exhibit (through July 5, 2015) is The Great War:  Women and Fashion in a World at War about changes in women’s fashions in response to WWI. The exhibit curator has produced a series of four 3-4 minute videos that show how women’s fashions changed in response to changes in women’s roles during the war and availability of materials:

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Antiquing in England: Saltaire

Saltaire
Unusual hinged paste brooch
Saltaire
Deco silver and marcasite double-clipo brooch

Two years ago, on a buying trip to England, I attended the Saltaire Vintage Home and Fashion Fair.  Held in the town of Saltaire, on the outskirts of Bradford in West Yorkshire, this vintage show is held several times a year.  A medium-sized show with approximately 40 booths, I found several great pieces of jewelry including a wonderful dangling hinged paste brooch, an Art Deco double-clip brooch, a modernist ring, and a Ming’s brooch.

Saltaire
Ming’s Peony brooch

The Ming’s brooch was an unusual find for England as it was made in Hawaii in the 1950’s.  When I asked the dealer about it it turned out that she had bought it in California, near where I live; I, in turn, sold it to a collector in Hawaii.  This brooch had travelled the world for over 50 years and finally returned home!

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Notes from around the Web: Artist Hubert Duprat

Duprat “Sculpture”

Straddling the line between conceptual art, sculpture, natural science, and jewelry the end result of Hubert Duprat’s work with insects are objects of great beauty.

Leonardo, an online magazine, has an article about the artist Duprat that begins:

“Since the early 1980s, artist Hubert Duprat has been utilizing insects to construct some of his “sculptures.” By removing caddis fly larvae from their natural habitat and providing them with precious materials, he prompts them to manufacture cases that resemble jewelers’ creations… This article is based on a conversation between the artist and art critic Christian Besson.”

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Links from Around the Web: Mourning Jewelry

With the opening of “Death Becomes Her”, an exhibit of mourning attire at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, mourning jewelry is in the news.  Here is a round-up of some articles and exhibits across the country:

I love Lynn Yaeger’s writing and she just published an article on loaning mourning jewelry to the exhibit at the Met:  http://www.vogue.com/3296237/lynn-yaeger-jewelry-met-museum-death-becomes-her/

And here’s a link to the exhibit:  http://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-museum/press-room/exhibitions/2014/death-becomes-her

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Modernism Week in Palm Springs

Modernism Week in Palm Springs is a celebration of mid-century architecture and design and features the Palm Springs Modernism Show and Sale, house tours, films, lectures, social events, and fund raising events that support state and local preservation organizations.   I’ll be selling at the Palm Springs Modernism Show and Sale in February 2015 for the first time and, to prepare, I decided to attend the inaugural “Fall Edition” in October 2014 to scope it out.  Taking place as part of the “Fall Season Kick-off”, this weekend was a mini-Modernism Week and gave me the opportunity to attend tours and other events that I won’t be able to attend in February when I’m working.

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Charles James Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

More often than not I’m disappointed by the exhibits at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.  Rather than being in-depth studies of a fashion designer, style, or theme they often end up being product placement for the sponsoring designer. However the current exhibit, Charles James: Beyond Fashion, is everything I want in a fashion exhibit.  While I’m not sure what the curators mean by “Beyond Fashion” – as if the sublime clothing in this exhibit needs to apologize for being “fashion” –  they presented it superbly.

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Vintage and Antiques 101 – Definitions

The terms “Vintage”, “Antique”, and “Estate” are frequently used describe second-hand merchandise. These terms are often used incorrectly, or with intent to deceive. Here are the definitions of these terms and a few caveats:

Antiques – Antiques are items that are 100 years old, and older. This definition is accepted in the trade, but also has important legal and financial implications.

In the United States (and some other countries) no import duty is paid on antiques so you can save a lot of money if you know that your purchases are antique. This applies to items acquired on a buying trip, vacation, or online purchase so get a receipt from the seller stating that it’s an antique or, if you buy an antique online from a foreign seller, make sure they describe it as an antique on the customs form. More information can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 19 Part 10, Section 10.53.

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