Thursday, June 9, 2011

Shall I state the obvious? It’s freaking HOT, sister.  The air is pressing down so hard that I might be turning into a diamond.  Everything clay is drying too fast.  It’s too hot to run the kiln.  I’m convinced that when that bad boy hits 2000 degrees, there is sure to be a brownout in Princeton Township, and sweaty rioting villagers will find their way to my Bilco doors.

So when I find myself too hot to muster up inspiration the old-fashioned way, I go analog.  My sure-fire idea starter is Rae’s Folder.  What is Rae’s Folder, you might ask?  It could be two things: either a messy blight on the kitchen counter that drives Rae's husband crazy, OR a carefully curated list of the things that have caught Rae's fancy over the last few months.  You decide.

Here’s what I pulled today:

1) Potter Adam Silverman is the guru behind the partnership of Atwater Pottery at Heath Ceramics, (whose Sausalito studios I toured in April.)    He is known primarily for his modern ceramic designs and explosive volcanic glazes (a world I both long and fear to try...) Read about the collaborations, both artistic and marital, of Silverman and his wife, artist Louise Bonnet here:

2) My sister left me a voice mail that I should check out "Man Shops Globe" on the Sundance Channel. (“It’s right up your alley”, she said cleverly.  It's frustrating how right she is pretty much all the time...)

The show has a couple of seasons under its belt, and though I can't find a current TV schedule for it, you can download episodes at and watch snippets at:  The show follows Keith Johnson, the creative director of Anthropologie, as he searches the world for unique global treasures and artisans to fill the store’s coffers. Even better than his search is Johnson’s commitment to finding lesser-known artists and artisans and giving them their due.

One of the artists whose work stole my heart is Sydney, Australia-based paper artist Anna-Wili Highfield.  Formerly a scenic painter at Opera Australia, she now is a magical artist of paper animals, that are simply, in a word, transcendent.  Picture a Pegasus that got flash-frozen mid-flight.  And oh, her delicate little seahorse.  Click here to see her amazing work:

3) Last, but not least, is Megumi Sasaki’s documentary entitled: “Herb & Dorothy” about a New York couple who compiled a world-class modern art collection on their postal worker and librarian salaries. Watch the trailer here: and I dare you not to be charmed.  It reminds me to buy what I like, trends and and perceived value be damned.  I’m pretty sure I won’t end up with a collection worth millions like Herb and Dorothy, but at least I’ll smile every time I look at my walls.  And isn’t that what art should be all about?