Thanks to all of you who visited the VIT ceramics booth at Dwell on Design in June!
This year, I exhibited the VIT collection in white and it was very well received. I also felt a strong response to the handmade element of VIT ceramics. Today we are surrounded by technology and super refined, highly produced, objects. Though definitely not undesirable, it seems that in response to so much tech, we are becoming more attracted to handmade objects and the beautiful irregularity inherent in artisan-crafted pieces. Dwell on design gave me the opportunity to witness, first hand, the smiles on peoples as they entered the Kri Kri Studio booth and relaxed, surrounded by handmade ceramics.
Along with introducing white to my range, I started using a vintage style, white twist cord with the VIT ceramics lamps. This carries through with the thin white stripe detail and creates a more polished product. I love the texture and the way this cord drapes!
Also New: The Bubble Lamp; Transformed with a drum shade, this small piece is ideal for bedsides, entry ways and cozy spaces!
A busy summer has made for an exciting Autumn! I am now working on samples of lamps and vases using my new color, “Chocolate brown”. For a look at these delicious options, visit Kri Kri studio on Instagram .
Both elegant and quirky, this shape can stand on its own holding a bountiful bouquet. Used in pairs, the Tall Square vase creates balance and drama on mantles and sideboards. I look forward to filling a chocolate version with fall colors!
Wishing you all a stimulating transition into the new season!
The table had been lurking around the family for years, employed as a project table for anything that involved paint, glue or in other words, anything messy. But, it just happened to be the perfect size for the nook at Kri Kri Studio. Of course, the first thing I did to it, once it was in place, was to cover it with a perky, oilcloth table cloth. And so it was for many years.
Recently, I was preparing for a photo-shoot of the black Eve vase. The nook is a perfect spot. I’ve suspended a rail on the wall for hanging a back drop and hung plastic film over the windows to diffuse the light. Set up also involves ironing the back drops. In the process of all this, the perky table cloth slipped a bit more than usual and I caught a glimpse of the table below. That crusty surface, evolved from years of use was now revealed a a rich patina, perfectly rustic and so inspiring that I spent more of my day shooting than planned.
Work became play as I pulled out my VIT dinnerware, then, added bud vases and vibrant fuchsia sweet peas picked in my ally.
It was a big push to get Kri Kri Studio to the Dwell on Design show in Los Angeles. Over the course of one year, I built the range of VIT ceramic lamps up from one model to five and added the Eve vase to the vase collection.
But developing and producing products is only part of the picture. I also needed a booth to display my wares. It needed to be designed, built, shipped to the show and set up on site. This time around I was on a pretty tight budget and challenged myself to get the job done spending as little money as possible by re-using as many materials as I could.
My friends Lauren Grossman and Jil Smith shared some valuable input that helped me to arrive at a solution for displaying my products. I also got inspiration from the postcard that my husband, Nigel Foster, designed for the show.
From just down the street at Terra Bella Flowers I scored two, thick 10′ long 2 x 10 planks. These became shelves for the lamps on the back wall. Just by cutting down wheel barrow handles a few inches, I instantly had some shapely supports for the rather substantial shelving. I used canvas salvaged from a previous display to cover the shelves and re-painted them. Smaller pieces of wood for the side wall shelves were easier to find. These I covered with a re-purposed straw blind from IKEA which added texture and visual variety. Bits and pieces from my tableware booths at NYIGF were re-used to build the freestanding box that doubled as a storage compartment. Perhaps the “VIT” letters had seen better days, but, I left them on the canvas for one last go.
A lot of sweat equity went into this booth, but in the end, the only things I needed to purchase were brackets and screws, wheel barrow handles and paint. I did opt to buy a gray sisal rug with dark trim instead of renting the standard one. The cost was about the same but the resulting look was much classier.
I will also add that I found my pallet (free) in the industrial district of Seattle. After it came back, I recycled it easily by sticking it outside the studio with a “free” sign on it.
When it was all over, I felt the booth displayed both lamps and vases to good advantage. Visitors stepped in and were genuinely enthusiastic about my products. Now I have connections to follow-up on and am thinking forward, imagining what my booth will be like next year.
Like fresh flowers, new colors announce “Spring is here”. In Seattle the forsythia has nearly run its course. Now its flowering cherry trees that are exploding into soft pink clouds. In the studio familiar vase shapes are emerging from the kiln in a lovely rich pastel blue.
Not only does this new color do a fantastic job as a stand alone shade, it injects fresh energy to the palette of standard VIT colors. When combined with red and gray the look is sporty and very French.
Replace gray with yellow and renew your love of primary classics.
Pairing the new blue with jade green evokes either a tropical water vibe or the gentle calm of a forest floor. The colors are clean. Very “spring”.
Release your own Spring energies: clip, combine, create!
It’s about the light, capturing it and bringing it into your space. It’s about the branch, bringing life. It’s also about original objects giving authenticity. Not much is needed to add these elements to ones living space. But what a difference it can make!
One can usually sense foliage that is artificial, and the feel in a room is different when fresh flowers are in a vase. Likewise, an original object possesses life that a machine-made one doesn’t. Objects made by hand retain energy of the of human that made them and give some of that back when we place them in our environment. Having artisan made things, and art, in my home inspires me toward perfection, but gently reminds me that there is beauty in the struggle to do ones best. As well as marveling at a skillfully handcrafted item, I relish its imperfections. Perfection may never be reached, but along the way there are so many wonderful discoveries to be made. My accumulated objects remind me of the winding path I have been on to the present me. Most often it is those made by hand that revive best and nudge me to keep on climbing.
The evolution of the vase range has been organic, with one thing leading to another very naturally. I knew that I needed a larger vase and had been mulling over some shape ideas in my head for sometime. Then, along came “Grammie’s urn” project. That took my thoughts away from a just a vessel for flowers to a shape that required a more intimate involvement. Developing the urn made a fine launching pad for this vase. As mentioned in my last post, I considered Grammie’s femininity and incorporated that into the design. Nipping the vase in at the waist, in an allusion to the female figure, allows the shape to support the flowers. With a classic full bouquet, this could be seen as a warm, overflowing bosom. Is there anything so welcoming as a bountiful floral arrangement?! Like the idealized woman, my new vase is also accommodating. Take pleasure in highlighting the qualities of a few large blossoms. Look forward to spring when this vase can host a bunch of inky blue irises.
Now that summer has passed, casting and drying a ceramic piece takes a lot longer. Then, there is the process of glazing and firing. One by one, as they gradually come out of the mold, I try the vase in a new VIT color. It is always delightful to see a new shape in another color for the first time. Much in the same way that it is a pleasure to see a good friend dressed up in a new outfit, one sees the piece differently and can appreciate another facet of its beauty.
Each piece needs a name and this vase vase will get a one special one. I will call it “Eve”, after Evelyn Nelson Hildebrand, for my own indulgence. But, most will be able to identify the name with the feminine form which inspired it.