Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The translucent tableware of Galleria Primavera

a. b. c. I found these pieces in a diminutive shop in Helsinki called Galleria Primavera, and held them up to the light to show how sheer the mini-trays (pics b and c) and table-mats (pic a) were. I esp. love the "crumpled" image, which is really a photograph of crumpled paper, transposed onto the table mat. Even though I don't often find myself drawn to tableware made of synthetics (here, polypropylene), these seemed wonderful in their milky transparency. A great, kid-safe setting. Note that they are madly affordable, 2-5 euros each. for info, contact galprima@galleriaprimavera.fi, as they don't have a website currently.

With its chandeliers and shells and dishwasher-safe table mats, its gleaming orange porcelain boxes (and on and on), Galleria Primavera definitely won me over.
That said, I guess I always enjoy spending time in teeny tiny boutiques; they tend to feel like labors of love from eclectic, passionate curators.

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Lions from Girona

Spotted these beauties in Girona's old city. For your own, try this, from Israel...or perhaps these.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Found Object: wall of a building in Trinity College, Cambridge, UK

I took this photo because the wall (in Trinity) reminded me of Klee's paintings...

Paul Klee. Bust of a Child, 1933. Image courtesy of my alma mater.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

I was surprised to discover that these charming little items are actually kitchen sponges! Found them in a pint-sized homewares & stationary shop in Helsinki called Pino Oy. Made by Form & Design, and, as you might be able to see from the tag, only €2.50 a pop!

[update: just discovered that red.house has also blogged about this company and its designer, ulrika elofsson. take a look!]

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"Thinking of You" vase cover by Tord Boontje

I've always loved ornate silhouettes, perhaps from reading Joan Aiken's Tale of a One-Way Street as a young girl and being enthralled by the gorgeous illustrations by the Polish-born artist Jan Pienkowski.

Jezebel's silhouettes on her stationary also always seem to have that wonderful, staged, mysterious quality, and from the moment I saw her work I loved it...

Today, coming across Tord Boontje's "Thinking of You" vase sleeve, on Los Angeles's AT, I was completely drawn in by his silhouette sculpture, a 2-D piece translated for the 3-D world. It is unabashedly fantastical. Definitely speaks to the dreamer kid in me.

(Side-note: we might add that yes, this is not radically different from the Boontje work that we've seen before, but for me, this piece is particularly unaffected and lovely, and moves away from, for instance, the now-tired stag/antler motif featured in the {in}famous "Until Dawn"curtains.)

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Oh Joy!

Thanks so much to Joy for her unexpected and sweet nod to Silk Felt Soil yesterday... Congratulations and best wishes, Joy, once again!

& thanks also to Lena for her post! (Lena, I'm waiting to hear back from Bev Hisey about her price list... in the meantime, a great thing to note is that all of her carpets can be customized with respect to color! Lots of choices....)

xxx phoebe


Monday, September 18, 2006

Oversized ceramic rings from Johanna Ojanen

Johanna Ojanen is a ceramicist whose workshop Pot Viapori is located on the tiny (yet oft-visited) island called Suomenlinna, off the coast of Helsinki. She sells her pieces in a boutique on the island. I loved the organic, graphic quality of these large, almost 'anti-cocktail' cocktail rings-- very simple, clean, and beautiful. They come in white, clay, and black. Her website is in Finnish, so you might prefer to find out more about her via email, at potviapori@viapori.fi

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Easy design in everyday life

Helsinki caught me by surprise-- instead of being an impeccable, don't-touch kind of city, it was a really liveable, and yet highly elegant urban oasis. I had lunch at a restaurant that sold only salad (the Finns eat very simply and healthfully): how delicious! particularly because of the bowls they were served in-- large, white, china bowls, that were stacked on top of each other waiting for each client to customize.

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Later on that day, I spotted this woman wearing a green version of a vintage Marimekko dress that I have, passed on to me by my mother; made me feel confirmed in my sense that Helsinki is a city about wearable, liveable, design...design with longevity. (Her dress is her mother's too! She was wearing it on top of red trousers. So cute.)

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Helsinki: a glimpse into shop windows

So have just returned from a brief vacation in Europe, where the first stop was Helsinki! Some of the store windows were just delicious on their own so I thought I'd share a few photos I took of the shop Aero, and Armas Design, where both happen to have beautiful pendant lighting in their windows...

I love the classic oversized 1976 "Sonora" suspension lamps designed by Vico Magistretti in the first pics... and the whimsical silk-screened chandelier lamp shade in the window of Armas Design.

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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Thanks to Shelterrific from Helsinki!

Just wanted to say a very warm thanks to the ladies of Shelterrific for their mention of Silk Felt Soil in this weekend's Blogwatch!

September Update: I'm in Helsinki for the next few days, then on to London and then Barcelona, and am looking forward to sharing with you all some of the great design I've been seeing around... stay tuned! xx phoebe

"La Boca" tray from Marimekko