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!
“What value, if any, do handmade objects add to our lives and homes today?”
One of the first things I notice is that items that are not machine made seem to stand out from the crowd of other objects in a room. Regardless of how skillfully it is made, the handmade object has a life of its own. A handmade piece of cloth, or a painting versus a print, can completely change how a room feels. I could say, “It adds warmth.” But what is that “warmth”?
Every item that has been hand crafted captures some of the human energy that went into making it. That is something that can’t be replicated by a machine. That is the “warmth”. An item made by hand is tactile. Primitive or not, that item contains a spirit and becomes a manifestation of our creative potential. Having artisan made objects around me gives me inspiration, indirectly. They do not make me feel that I need to create. Instead, I feel more connected to my human-ness in a comforting way.
A handmade object is imperfect. Perhaps that makes it more relaxing to be around. We are not perfect beings either. Subtly, one is reminded that there is beauty or at least charm in the irregular. Those who love crafts have come to appreciate those inevitable flaws.
It is my belief that handmade objects do add value to our lives. As technology continues to play a bigger role in our lives, it is important to remember how much our hands can do and discover. Handmade connects us to other humans in a sensual way. Handmade reminds us that we are creative beings, with flaws. Could it be possible that having more handmade objects in our lives might nudge us to be more accepting of ourselves and our human imperfections? Can those faults be quirks and considered endearing traits and characterful? More to ponder!
Rather than make a new years resolution, it has become my custom to instead select a motto to rally me for the coming year. This one came to me just before mid-night in a fortune cookie at the New Years Eve party. I think it was the best one of the bunch and one worth sharing.
“Be yourself. No one is more qualified.” How do we do this? As an artist, this statement is particularly meaningful as far as my work is concerned. I am always trying to understand and define my own style. It is easy to get distracted by creativity all around, many ideas and so much possibility. It is not difficult to lose focus and confidence in what one does. Part of what this year’s motto says to me is, enjoy and appreciate the work of others, but don’t under-value your own efforts. I continue to look at my ceramics to decide what the strong points are and find the essentials. Focus on the positive. Trim away the superfluous. This works for the self too. The fortune cookie message also suggests that if I define and follow my own artistic sensibilities and can be myself, I will be happier. In 2015 I am taking time to see the best of what I do and who I am, and will try to do it better. Now, that’s starting to sound like a resolution!
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.