a tour of Modern-Aire

"a third generation family owned and operated company
which has been in business since

a custom hood in it's last moments before getting shipped.

is one of the generous sponsors for the upcoming Modenus blog tour in NYC in a few weeks. This morning, I took a tour of their facility in North Hollywood, where they produce their stunning, custom-made hoods. It's rare to see small companies producing everything in-house these days, but this is Modern-Aire's way. I admire their dedication to craft. With over 56 years here in Los Angeles, it's impressive to hear how a company is able to produce honest, useful, and beautiful works for the home.

In one area of the warehouse, sheets of metal are cut in preparation. Next they are formed by an artisan that has worked with the company 20 plus years, and assembled by hand, then powder-coated to perfection, and shipped off in their warehouse. Truly astounding to see these hoods being built before my eyes. Their custom work ranges from ultra-modern seamless hoods to traditional decorative hoods.

Thanks Robert, see you in New York. - David John

go here for more information....
and for a full photo gallery, go here.



You have read this article blogtour nyc / kitchen design / modenus / modern-aire with the title February 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://gigibytes.blogspot.com/2012/02/a-tour-of-modern-aire.html. Thanks!
"For myself, being an artisan or a craftsman is an amateur or almost the same thing."

"His buildings have the unique ability to evoke the past,
without making direct references to history. "

Pritzker Prize 2012 : Wang Shu

New Academy of Art in Hangzhou / Wang Shu,

Amateur Architecture Studio, photo by Iwan Baan
(lower image, faded, upside down)

Amateur Architecture Studio

"I design a house instead of a building. The house is the amateur architecture approach to the infinitely spontaneous order. Built spontaneously, illegally and temporarily, amateur architecture is equal to professional architecture. But amateur architecture is just not significant."

One problem of professional architecture is, that it thinks too much of a building. A house, which is close to our simple and trivial life, is more fundamental than architecture. Before becoming an architect, I was only a literati. Architecture is part time work to me. For one place, humanity is more important than architecture while simple handicraft is more important than technology." (text taken from here)

The attitude of amateur architecture, - though first of all being an attitude towards a critical experimental building process -, can have more entire and fundamental meaning than professional architecture. For me, any building activity without comprehensive thoughtfulness will be insignificant.

more here

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I wanted you to feel the S A M E. Pt 3.

Nicole Wermers
, 2012
"Instead of holding books or objects, as this type of shelving might in a private home, or some visually seductive commodity as it might in a commercial context, Wermers' shelves hold pools of water."
Ignazio Gardella, 1957 :
"With a rationalistic body and a heavy dose of irony, the Digamma armchair and pouf are formed by essential geometric volumes and extremities with a new sensitivity. "

I sometimes got so tired of our game
I wanted you to feel the same" (here)

1. Nicole Wermers 25 Feb 2012 - 7 Apr 2012 @ Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

"In her new sculptures and photographs, Wermers recontextualizes and reimagines modernist forms in ways that frame, contain, and transform the spaces in which they are installed. Exploring how methods of display and presentation affect our understanding and experience of space, these new works continue Wermers' investigation of the legacy of modernism and the aesthetics of consumption in contemporary visual culture.

Wermers installs "Wasserregal," which translates to "Water Shelf," a free-standing sculpture composed of levels of metal shelving supported by irregularly placed U-shaped steel spacers. Each shelf is a different color and Wermers subtly modulates these earth tones, moving from a stone gray hue on the bottom, through shades of smoky purple and sandy brown in the middle, and finally to an eggshell white at the top. While the structure of the work references utilitarian shelving from the mid 20th-century, with its simple materials and straightforward design, its purpose is quite different. Instead of holding books or objects, as this type of shelving might in a private home, or some visually seductive commodity as it might in a commercial context, Wermers' shelves hold pools of water."

2. "Ignazio Gardella was pretty critical with his own work, and showed it in his writings. In these writings he stated his will to overcome the rules of Rationalism and the limits of the Modern Movement: sensitiveness and the eye are seen as the new tools to create new forms and textures.

Following this statement, he created the Digamma armchair, produced in 1957 by Gavina. It is edited nowadays by Santa & Cole, and in this armchair Gardella showed his capacity to join harmoniously elements that belonged to opposite styles at first sight, a common characteristic of most of his works.

The Digamma armchair achieved to overcome Gardella's links with Rationalism: its body is Rationalist (the seat and the back) but its joints (arms and legs) are Ultrarationalist, it is a little masterwork of great aesthetic and formal value".

You have read this article ignazio gardella / nicole wermers / rationalist / the lines of the curve willl never lie with the title February 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://gigibytes.blogspot.com/2012/02/i-wanted-you-to-feel-s-m-e.html. Thanks!

i·tin·er·ar·y : NYC

Room for new thought

(serious) Room for new thought
Room for new (serious) thought

YHBHS was asked by MODENUS to participate in Blog Tour NYC. In upcoming weeks, I'll be heading off to the AD HOME Show, touring innovative interior showrooms around the design district, as well as meeting up with some important designers from Europe and the U.S. Last minute details are being settled, but so far the itinerary is packed with events, dinners, cocktail brunches.

I'll be posting some information leading up to our trip in the upcoming weeks, and talking with the sponsors who made it all possible. Some of the sponsors have production/showrooms in L.A. Looking forward to meeting up with everyone soon.
Sponsors: Miele, Poggenpohl, Spirit of Sports, Scholtes, Modern- Aire Ventilating, Big Ass Fans, Blanco America, Victoria & Alberts Baths, Samuel Heath, Duverre Hardware, and Rotsen Furniture.


For the AD HOME Show, the popular Show Lounge will be designed by Rich, Brilliant, Willing, where they will have the U.S. launch of the Ploum sofa by the Bouroullec Brothers for Ligne Roset. BDDW, Karkula, La Cornue, Miele, Sub-Zero/Wolf East, Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams and Niedermaier are among a robust list of not-to-be-missed returning or new exhibitors."

follow YOU HAVE BEEN HERE SOMETIME on twitter here...
for updates regarding #blogtournyc
You have read this article #blogtournyc / adhome show / blog tour nyc / modenus / poppengohl / rich brilliant willing with the title February 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://gigibytes.blogspot.com/2012/02/itinerary-nyc.html. Thanks!
Blurring the Boundaries:
California Design and Contemporary Art
Friday, February 24, 2012 | 7 pm @ LACMA

"Drawing on the legacy of mid-20th century California artists, the work of Palm Springs based
Jim Isermann is informed by the projected optimism, clean lines, and new materials of Modernism." - Mary Boone, New York, Oct 2011

Looking forward to this upcoming discussion with 3 LA artists that are living in a beautiful blurred state. Friday night, as LACMA : Blurring the Boundaries: California Design and Contemporary Art Friday, February 24, 2012 | 7 pm. See u there!

"A lively panel discussion with influential contemporary artists Jim Isermann, Jorge Pardo, and Pae White explores the impact and legacy of mid-century California design on contemporary art and architecture. Moderated by Frances Anderton, host of DnA: Design and Architecture on 89.9 KCRW and Los Angeles editor of Dwell.

This event is part of the symposium New Narratives for “Living in a Modern Way”: California Design at Mid-century."

"Chaired by California Design co-curators Wendy Kaplan and Bobbye Tigerman, this two-day symposium features internationally renowned scholars who examine the exhibition's themes by presenting detailed case studies and new narratives. The event also includes a session co-sponsored by the College Art Association that explores the interconnected networks of architecture and design in mid-century Los Angeles, with designers Gere Kavanaugh and Lou Danziger (whose work is included in the exhibition) and architect Ray Kappe. "

go to LACMA for more information.
You have read this article jim isermann / jorge pardo / lacma / living in a modern way with the title February 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://gigibytes.blogspot.com/2012/02/blurring-boundaries-california-design.html. Thanks!
Portrait of
a sitting room.

- Laura Kirar, interiors

an extended roman shade turns the wall into a quiet
daniel buren work.

"I prefer a level of quiet, classic form seasoned with interesting objects curated from markets all over the world. Just as we change with time and our experiences, an interior should always continue to evolve and be refreshed."

Laura Kirar
is the founder and creative director of Laura Kirar TRU Design. Under her direction the teams in New York and Miami work in tandem to create elegant, innovative interiors and product for the home with timeless sensibility. Laura has shaped the design of an array of interesting projects - from high-end residences to award-winning commercial interiors of restaurants, showrooms and hotels. A testament to Laura's unique design voice, she holds concurrent product licenses with all four of the Kohler Interiors Group companies: Ann Sacks, Baker Furniture, Kallista Company and McGuire Furniture. Her collections offer a full range of home products from tile and bath fixtures to seating, lighting and accessories. She has also collaborated with Boyd Lighting, Carnegie Fabrics, David Edward Company, Dennis Miller Associates, Tuohy Contract Furniture, Tufenkian Carpets and most recently Arteriors Home which launched in the spring of 2010.

You have read this article interior design / laura kirar / living room. with the title February 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://gigibytes.blogspot.com/2012/02/portrait-of-sitting-room.html. Thanks!
"the blankets hover solidly between being a utilitarian object and a material that conforms to the work of a painting. Or, as I've said before, a painting that is impersonating a sculpture, or inversely, a sculpture impersonating a painting."
- Tom Burr

“An object becomes so much more interesting
when a little bit of history is revealed."
- Zak Profera

1. Tom Burr's, deep wood drive @ Bortolami Gallery :March 7th to April 26th

"Tom Burr continues his visual exploration of the physical and psychological dimension of objects, and the fantasies we project upon their surfaces. Integral to the exhibition are works from the new series of "Cloud Paintings,"which are wooden wall panels covered with woolen blankets meticulously arranged and pinned to convey states of comfort and discomfort, order and disarray. These works are shown alongside large floor-bound sculptural tableau that engage notions of containment, biography, and protectionism in the context of public view. Tom Burr emerged in the 1990s as an important new voice in the dialogue of institutional critique, exploring the politics of minimalism and politics at large that were at the forefront of artistic and social concerns during the period.

2. New Textiles by Zak + Fox. Jingasa 100% Linen.

"The Jingasa was used as a protective piece of headgear for samurais during the Edo period (1603-1867), typically made of black wood or metal with the exception of a minimalistic adornment painted in gold. Some simply shielded the warrior from the elements while others were used to ward against the dangers of battle.

This textile’s allover pattern is a modern take on a crest found upon an antique Jingasa, evoking images of a lone samurai’s journey and insatiable wanderlust."

ZAK+FOX is a New York-based company founded by Zak Profera. Our fabrics are printed on Belgian-made linen using water-based inks.

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a conversation with Stuart Scott

"I personally sign each piece and give a number. I keep a register of everything we’re made, a date and a reference. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I feel it makes the piece extra special." - Stuart Scott

When did you begin to design furniture?
What were your career priors to launching your company, and how did they influence you?

I received an honors degree in Industrial Design specializing in furniture and related product design at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication in London, graduating in 1993. After this I was offered a job in Riyadh working for the Saudi Arabian Royal Family on a new Palace which involved a number of European Designers and Artists including Pierre Bonnefille, Bernard Pictet, Michael Prentice. I spent 5 years there, after which I moved to Paris and worked at Atelier Pierre Bonnefille and then on to London working for people like John Minshaw and Gensler – a wide range really before I decided to start my own business in 1999 designing bespoke furniture.

I learned a lot particularly in Riyadh and in Paris and this is where my strongest influences came from. The Saudi Royal’s who I worked for were big collectors of furniture and art, some of which I’d never seen before, pieces by Ruhlmann, Eugene Printz, Fontana and Dali – it was an incredible experience.

The Fleure Sofa: Solid beech upholstery frame, jointed, glued and screwed, solid hardwood legs, webbed seat and back. Built to order by hand in England.

Your brother is a carpenter that works with you on the prototypes. Can you talk about how you develop a prototype? Do you start from precise drawings?

It’s a mix really. Some pieces are drawn up firstly on AutoCAD to get the proportions, but lately I’m getting an idea and going straight into making a prototype. With chairs particularly you need to be able to sit on the pieces straight away and play around with the rake, comfort levels etc. The Occasional Tables are very much born on a drawing board but the chairs are really an organic process.

When I did the Isabella Slipper chair, the Dining Chair version came straight afterwards and was developed in a day with the help of a band saw, a staple gun and some cardboard! Once I get to that stage my brother can take it to the next level, as he is very used to my precise way of working and knows my thinking!

The upholstery?

We do all the upholstery in house as is the case with the upholstery frames. Design a good frame and this helps the upholstery process – both aspects need to work hand in hand for it to work.

What is your new collection 2 inspired from?

Really wanting to do something different, to keep the collection fresh, trying out different techniques. A style, for example the fluting on the Fleure sofa led to that design. The Vertere Occasional is really about testing the boundaries of what can be turned, and it’s all done by hand.

Where are all the works made?

We try and make as much as possible in house, but the Occasional Tables are made off site by trusted partners. We don’t yet have the facilities in particular to do the lacquer work.

Materials in your workroom?

I have a love for Wenge and always have. It has amazing grain pattern and color. I want to do more with abstract patterns involving a mix of timbers and colors, and I’m working on some ideas based on this now. In terms of fabrics, I love the range by Holland & Sherry of Savile Row. They offer what we’re about i.e. tailoring.

the Tux Sofa, by Stuart Scott

Any interior designers you are looking at?

Inspiration comes from the past probably more than it does the present. I constantly refer back to the work of Dominique, Emile Ruhlmann, Eugene Printz, Harvey Probber, Wiener Werkstatte and Jean Michel Frank. I’m also a big fan of Eames and Ettore Sottsass and the Memphis movement!

What did you learn from your first collection that you are bringing to the new works?

The importance of detail and the importance to get the comfort levels right from the outset.
There is no point in designing something that looks fantastic if it isn’t comfortable, but at the same time it’s difficult designing a chair for example that suits everyone, hence why we offer a bespoke service.

Each piece is stamped and signed.
Do you personally sign each piece, and why is this important?

I do personally sign each piece and give a number. I keep a register of everything we’re made, a date and a reference. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I feel it makes the piece extra special.

Your occa
sional tables are incredibly sculptural & colorful.

Yes, the colors are really the ones I like, and the ones that complement the timbers used. The forms come from everything I see and playfulness is important. These tables are very personal to me, they’re very much a labor of love. I must have 20 – 30 designs ready to go and I’ll keep going now because I think the collection is developing and acts as I little accent collection within a collection. To be honest, they’re expensive to make so the idea is that the more I sell the more I can make, the money is just funneled back in to feed a personal addiction! Not good business but good fun and people tend to like them.

"From its launch at Decorex in September 2011, Stuart Scott has gone from strengtLinkh to strength The latest development sees a selection of his stunning designs being available on the exclusive 4th floor at Liberty of London. Leading the way in contemporary furniture, Stuart Scott combines quality, style and a lifelong passion for design. The collaboration with Liberty coincides with the launch of his second stunning collection. These new pieces successfully project Stuart’s vision to create beautiful hand-crafted furniture with a strong design edge that is both practical and above all comfortable to use."

visit Stuart Scott here...

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Galerie Chastel-Maréchal, Paris

"Aline Chastel is currently exhibiting a range of pieces by artists
who also worked as interior designers during the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s"

"The Galerie Chastel-Maréchal focuses on the promotion and re-discovery of important twentieth century French designers, in particular those working between 1930 and 1960. The range of artists represented provides a cogent overview of this period, and many of the works shown are extremely rare and have never previously been seen on the art market.

Aline Chastel is currently exhibiting a range of pieces by artists who also worked as interior designers during the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s. These include the unusual creator Line Vautrin, who became famous in the 1950s for her incredible mirror-sculptures, Serge Roche, known for his baroque-inspired creations, not to mention Jean Royère, Jacques Quinet, Gilbert Poillerat, Jean-Charles Moreux, André Borderie, Georges Jouve, Alexandre Noll and André Arbus."


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a conversation with Jason Koharik

"Making the lamps are to me making a sculpture. I cannot "mass produce" them, nor do I want to."

"So much of what I do I feel is collecting. Even the way I learn to do it, (it) is a collection of mistakes and breakthroughs."

(photography by Jennifer Parry Dodge.)

I feel lucky to have crossed paths with Jason Koharik.

About a month or so ago, Jason invited me to his L.A. studio in Echo Park, which is a garage space that opens up to neighborhood street. Over the next few hours, we talked about furniture (Neoclassical to French Modernism) , his interior design clients, his background in film and painting, and the recent line of lamps he is producing for Lawson-Fenning. (All the while, neighbors walking by, casually stopping to say hello, as they made their way down the sloped street.)

His line of lamps is called, Collected because "so much of what I do, I feel is collecting." In person, Jason's lamps radiate, with insect lines, soft-bent metal curves that are made with the hand, not the machine. He explained how he makes these works with his hands in his studio. Using heat, and relying on his strength, he is able to achieve graceful curves. His lamps have an ease, and fluidity, that can not be made from a machine. Slight imperfections tell a different story than mass produced objects. Authenticity is an often over-used word, but hardly in this case. Jason's dedication to authenticity is carried to the interiors he has designed for clients.

Last week, I returned to Jason's studio. The sun set slowly into the hills of Echo Park, shadows bouncing and frolicking, the forms of his lamps suddenly taking over.

Pure magic, a "new nouveau" as Jason might say. Indeed, a gorgeous way to light a room. - David John

How long have you been making lamps?

I have been making lighting for about 15 years. Often out of something found, some object that I might cover in leather or gold leafing . Or an attempt to recreate something I could otherwise not afford.

For this series, I started designing on paper and molding metal scraps into lamp shields in 2006. I then started prototypes that evolved into examples I showed Glenn and Grant at Lawson Fenning. This led me to a production of 60 finished lamps of about 10-12 different designs. I am still slowly adding to the collection,and its evolving.

Right now I am almost finished with two new floor lamp designs and two different wall sconces, and perhaps another desk lamp? They are each unique in their own way. They show signs of the age or history in the material I choose to use, such as the hammer marks from the bending process, that are heated and pounded on an anvil.

I tend to use a "use what you have" mentality in most things I create. For example: If I have only four 1/2 inch screws and one doesn't match, I will use it. Otherwise it ends up sitting in a box with with a bunch of others and it provides something unique to the creation. I don't like to waste materials. Today, reclaiming materials couldn't be more important, and I think a lot of people are beginning to see this. Plus, the quality of materials from the past is better.

Things made of steel, brass and wood from trees that just don't grow anymore. As a culture we have wasted enough. It is time to reuse and re-purpose what we already have. I go thru all sorts of self doubt in my head.. Where I tell my self I'm just making more junk for people . That "making stuff" is part of a bigger problem. But then I come back to the center, finding pride in what I am doing, which is creating. And hopefully its art. Not just a thing some guy stumbles over in a salvage yard and says" I could make a lamp out of this."

"New Nouveau" I love this term. What does "New Nouveau" mean to you?

Art Nouveau. It really was a time of beauty, A reflection of nature and its forms. I really see the fluid beauty of the art nouveau period play well into a modern environment. There are always trends in design, modern, mid-century modern, Danish, California, Regency, Industrial. I am always inspired, collecting and finding interests in different periods and pieces.

There has been a trend towards almost a depression era feeling for some time. Americana, broken, utilitarian. And its inspiring to me. It really is a sign of our times. You see it in every aspect of design.

"New Nouveau" the new new. It is a response to this trend. Something growing out of it maybe. There was a time when some one said "new art, Art Nouveau", and it described something pretty, flowing, and up lifting, it was painterly, gestural, and spontaneous. I guess I have just been thinking about those types of things when I am working.

And trying to find that spirit. A new nouveau.

"The Green lamp on my web site is the remainder of a lamp my father
built throughout my childhood, till he passed. "
- Jason

In addition to creating exquisite, handcrafted sculptural lighting, you paint, work on interiors for your clients, and do custom furniture. How long have you been creating works and art?

I really have been doing this all my life. Or at least learning. My father, he was a craftsman in that he could build or fix anything. I remember the things he made for my brother and I, and the things we made with him: small motors hooked to lights and switches, wheels and pulleys, working cannons and smoking pipes, boats we sank, and planes that flew only once. They were all painted with nail polish and oil paint, adorned with bobbers and pieces of metal and glass we found on "junk walks".

We took these walks often. Collecting. I learned so much from him.

He passed away last year. One of our final conversations over the phone, as I worked on my lamp series ,was a lesson on wiring a two-way switch. Most of this conversation took place with a flash light as I maneuvered my way to a fuse box to reset them. He never got to see the lamps he helped me work so hard on. The Green lamp on my web site is the remainder of a lamp he built throughout my childhood, till he passed. Always changing, painting, adding chains and stones, carvings and cigarette burns. It is my favorite lamp that I helped build.

Did you go to art school, or are you self taught?

I did have a great high school art teacher, Mr Bush. He was very encouraging. And I did attend art school at Kent State University Ohio for 2 -ish years where I studied painting/sculpture. Furniture and Interiors have always been a passion but really opened up to me in the commercial film world. I was involved in some way, production assistant,c ostumer, art department, for about 14 years total.

All the while, I was continuing to meet people that were interested in design. I would find them some rare or interesting piece, and in many cases, that led me to their homes where I began dressing them, and custom building/designing pieces for them. I do enjoy putting a room together. Finding balance both visually and with their life style and interests. I also get to turn people on to things they would otherwise never consider or designers they are not really aware of.

I am, I suppose, self taught on much of what I do, (metal working, weaving, leather work, sewing, electrical, wood working), mostly out of necessity. I don't know how else to get it done. So I mess up 5 times or so before I get it right! I learn so much this way. You just have to keep trying, which is really hard sometimes.

I have found mentors along the way. I met a master wood worker, an artist really. I evolve every time I visit his shop or we work on a design together. An upholsterer I can only describe as an angel. Not only because of the quality of his work, but mostly for his appreciation of life. Creating and learning new ways to create is something I am very passionate for.

Authenticity. It's a word we discussed when we met at your studio. Why is authenticity important to you?

Authentic.That is one of my favorite words. You can see it in an object when something truly is. And you can hear it in a voice when some one speaks from their heart. I gravitate towards that. And aspire to always be.

French modernists that have inspired your work?

Jean Royere worked with so many different materials and ,while keeping a very modern feel, and still creating a sense of luxury. Royere, Prouve, Mouille and especially Jacques Adnet (I think a twin) all are very inspirational for me. He was a leather worker!

"the target series." 2011
read more about this series here...

The Target painting series. How did these come about?

I loved the idea of an old archery target as an object, a painting on a wall. I hunted one with no luck. So I made one. I looked for old rounds, wood spools, table tops and wine barrel lids. I was surprised by how many were discarded on the side of the road. (Thank you Alessandro and Riverside drives, streets in Los Angeles)

Glenn and Grant at Lawson-Fenning saw the one in my house, in a photo, and they offered a wall in their store. I am very thankful to them both for seeing in them what I saw, a painting that is accessible, that can be an anomaly in an interior, or something that just looks good above a couch or a crib. And again it is my attempt to do something with the things we set aside or discard. Not garbage art. I don't feel they come off that way. Just potential.

You mentioned you do not text. In this modern world, with constant communication and noise, do you feel with less technology you are ablr to achieve more in your studio?

Ahh. Yes, Although, I do have a phone. Its a phone. It flips to open. Its not smart. So I am confident I am smarter then it. I rarely use it. I don't text. I never sent or received one. Its not that I am contemptuous of the whole device or idea or technology or anything like that. I just let it pass me by.

I am right at that age, 35 ,when the internet just kinda started in my youth. Maybe there was a computer lab in high school to teach us a bit about it, but I just passed it by. I don't have a face book or twitter. Again no contempt. I just simply have no passion to learn it and therefore I really don't know how to use it or what it is. I do recognize it is changing the world. For better or worse. I do think my memory is good though, because I don't program phone #s or dates. I just do what we used to do way back in the 1990s and I remember it.

As far as the noise or communication I just don't let it effect me.And I don't feel isolated because of it. My studio opens up to my street. Ten or so people, neighbors, stop by to talk every day. We talk and listen. I should open a bar down there!

Can you talk about the process of making these lamps? Bending the metal?

These lamps are an attempt to create something I can continue to create. They are my version of a production piece, made by one person, myself. While the materials may change a bit, the shapes and silhouettes will be consistent. There are a variety of lamps, (wall sconce,chandelier,floor,desk,table) but they feel as if they belong together. I am always adding to the collection. They do take time as all of the shapes are made by hand.

I create forms based off the things I have available around me. Some of the turns and curves are based directly off the shapes of my anvil. The brass brackets took many attempts. The bending and shaping is difficult and time consuming . But I am happy with the result. I do try to make a conscience effort to reuse materials. Much of the tube steel and plate brass is reclaimed from salvage yards. Often I will reuse weights or bases off lighting I find discarded. And of course the hardware is mostly purchased new. I am always trying to find new ways to be more conscience of the effects of how I make things. I do my best to not use plastics. Although I am not fully there yet. How I paint or plate or the chemicals I use,these are all things I think about.

Making the lamps are to me making a sculpture. I cannot "mass produce" them nor do I want to. The people attracted to them I hope will feel as if they are buying something no one else will have.

2 things I would never guess to ask about you?

I spent many hours of my late teenage days in a pool hall. Before I moved to California, while avoiding college I suppose, I played pool, for money, supplemented by income from my brother's real job...Subway/Office Max...

He would give me cash, and I would turn it into more cash. I saved enough money "hustling" and winning amateur tournaments, that I was able to pack up and move to Los Angeles California.
Since then, I have not really played.

And, number 2. I prefer sunrises....

Prototypes and lamp studies line the walls
of Jason Koharik's Los Angeles studio

What does "Collected by" refer to?

So much of what I do I feel is collecting. Even the way I learn to do it is a collection of mistakes and break-throughs. Most of my works, paintings, sculptures, are made from materials that have taken 10 -15 years to collect. Examples being: Paintings made from hundreds of used paint stir sticks creating large linear color fields. I have collected what seems like miles of lost or acquired steel and cloth tape measures to weave large canvas inch by inch. Working in the commercial film business, I collected 1000's of pieces of "camera/gaffers tape" to create a full scale Arri 2c camera body complete with lens and matte box.

Collected by also refers to my love of "hunting". I have a collection of furniture, lighting, designer, rare discoveries, and things that inspire me. Some I reupholster, some I re-purpose. Some are so far gone I turn them into something new. I also collect old scrap leather, a material I am very fond of. I reuse this (hand stitched) on old bent metal chairs to give them a new life.

I love to collect the unusual. The pieces passed by because they no longer have a place. Some of them are just better used as something else. Potential energy. It only becomes trash, filling some dump, if we do not recognize its potential. All the things I do or make are part of my collection. Its away for me to archive my growth and interests.

Collected by Jason Koharik here.

Jason Koharik's lamps are sold exclusively at
Lawson-Fenning, Los Angeles

Photography by Jennifer Parry Dodge , visit her site here.

You have read this article art nouveau / collected / jason koharik / lamp designer / lawson fenning / new nouveau / studio visit los angeles with the title February 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://gigibytes.blogspot.com/2012/02/a-conversation-with-jason-koharik.html. Thanks!
"the series examines American regionalism
as a major influence on art of the early 1970s. "

- Ned Smyth

"These stone objects embodied the weight,
longevity, and commitment to the ultimate."

Ned Smyth
"American Responses: Reverence"
16 February - 17 March 2012

"Even before the development of postmodern architecture, Ned Smyth was citing past structural periods and details. He concluded from his long exposure to archeological sites, temples, cathedrals, and museums that man used stone to instill a definitive sensibility to valuable buildings and objects. These stone objects embodied the weight, longevity, and commitment to the ultimate.

Ned Smyth's early work evolved from the minimalist tradition. He began by making concrete 2x4s in various lengths and arranging them to create architectonic spaces within the gallery. Because of the nature of his work, Smyth's career progressed into landing site-specific public commissions for cities and corporations. He became a forerunner in the development of public art in the US.

Recently, Smyth's body of work has expanded to include a more organic vocabulary. Moving away from historical references to Judeo-Christian culture and instead of casting architectural forms, he uses natural rock forms to create primal spaces and objects.

go to
Salomon Contemporary

the last supper by Ned Smyth

Ned Smyth here.


You have read this article concrete sculpture / ned smyth / salomon contemporary with the title February 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://gigibytes.blogspot.com/2012/02/the-series-examines-american.html. Thanks!

a conversation with Atelier Areti

Beauty touches us, it speaks to us on an emotional level. We are attracted to beauty... Being sensitive to beauty awakens in us emotions that are important. Someone who never engages in the contemplation and understanding of beauty is missing an area of human perception and emotion. But maybe most important, what is moving about beauty is that it is a strong means of communication.

- Atelier Areti

the glassblowers workshop in Sweden...

Atelier Areti's work speaks for itself. Still, I'm honored to have had such a wonderful conversation with them regarding their history, and their perspective on art, beauty, and craft/design. As an interior designer myself, I am always attempting to balance beauty, function, and design in a room, in an effortless manner.

Where one ends, one begins, and overlaps until there is no trace left. Design should be effortless, timeless, emotional. This is the challenge, correct? Design should comfort us, and art should confront us? Questions that seem to float, and fade.

Atelier Areti capture my thoughts perfectly regarding this balance: "a beautiful product to us is a product that also has to be useful and well made. It has to be a simple and elegant solution."

A sincere thank you to Atelier Areti - David John

An interview with sisters: Guillane and Gwendolyn Kerschbaumer

How did you arrive at the name Atelier Areti?

‘Areti’ means virtue and excellence in Greek. We choose the name because to us design should aspire to be excellent, and excellent design has an ethical component. We are not interested in creating short lived products whose existence is based on short fashion cycles of our consumer society. While design is of course less important than other areas of our lives, there is still no reason for bad design to exist. Every object that our society produces by default has been designed, and it might as well be "well designed."

‘Areti’ was thus chosen as a leading theme for our work. We started out being 4 people who knew each other from school and worked on Areti on the side next to our regular jobs.

What were you doing before starting this business?

After 2 years, Guillane and I decided to pursue it further; as our last name suggests, we are sisters. Guillane’s background is art, product design and interior design. She studied art in an atelier and history of art at the Sorbonne in Paris, and later product design at Central St.Martins. She was chosen to be exhibited at 100% Futures and she was there approached by an interior designer for whom she worked for several years. She thus by accident one could say, stumbled into interior design.

I received a Bachelor in visual arts from Duke University and then moved on to study architecture at Harvard. I worked in a number of offices, among them Peter Eisenman in NY, MVRDV in Rotterdam, Kleihus und Kleihus in Berlin and Wiel Arets in Amsterdam. All of these offices had very different approaches, some of which I did not feel close to when it came to the actual architecture that was generated. Yet all were very instructive because in their extremeness there was always some non trivial truth to be found.

Currently I am working part time as a researcher in architecture and design in Prof. Harry Gugger’s group ‘laba’ at the Federal Technical University of Lausanne. I feel it is a great chance to be working in academia next to our work at Atelier Areti because academia fosters ideas and approaches that in the ‘real world’ are very difficult to pursue, yet are so important as an underlying drive and aspiration.

Our background, which is not product design per se, plays an important role in how we approach design. There is a strong sculptural aspect to our work. A light or piece of furniture has to stand its ground simply as a sculptural object. This sculptural strength is of course not sufficient (as we speak about products and not art) but it is necessary. Because we have worked on making spaces and furnishing them, we also approach product design from a spatial point of view. We always imagine how a light for example exists in a space, how it interacts with this space and defines it.

Why are objects important? Why do you seek beauty in objects?

Most things are relative. Objects are obviously not as important as some other things in our life, but given they exist, they might as well be adding to the quality of our life, rather than reduce it. Our immediate environment does influence our well being and being surrounded by beautiful, useful and well designed objects adds quality to our life. Being surrounded by poorly designed, ugly objects, that deteriorate and break quickly, cannot be repaired and thus end up as landfill reduces the quality of our life and environment.

Beauty touches us, it speaks to us on an emotional level. We are attracted to beauty, it is pleasing to look at something beautiful. Being sensitive to beauty awakens in us emotions that are important. Someone who never engages in the contemplation and understanding of beauty is missing an area of human perception and emotion. But maybe most important, what is moving about beauty is that it is a strong means of communication. One person creates a beautiful object and it resonates in and moves others. If no one responded to one’s notion of beauty, one would be very lonely. It is touching to think that something beautiful is the result of a person searching for the expression of certain feelings and thoughts and that another person can share these feelings by contemplation of the artist’s / designers’ work.

Beauty is a big word though and not everyone means the same thing by beauty. We do not imperatively refer to a classical notion of beauty and harmony, although the kind of beauty we strive for in our work is certainly closer to classical notions of beauty as expressed in classical and modernist art, architecture and design, rather than postmodern, deconstructive, pop, etc. currents.

Finally, design is of course not art. There is a component that it shares with art, but it is evidently not as pure in its purpose and more humble in its aspiration. Hence, a beautiful product to us is a product that also has to be useful and well made. It has to be a simple and elegant solution. It has to have been made in an environmentally conscious way. It has to age beautifully. If I know something is made of cheap plastic and will crack and deteriorate quickly, it does not matter that the shape is nice; in light of its poor construction and environmentally unsound approach, even the form seems superficial and looses its appeal.

Where did this fascination with lighting come from?

Our work at Atelier Areti currently focuses on lighting, with some explorations into furniture design. This focus came by chance rather than it being a conscious decision. Guillane developed a light as her final year project at Central St.Martins. This light was received well and we decided to develop it further into the Kirchschlag Collection. This collection is made from mouth blown and hand engraved crystal glass. There is something magical about this collection, that went beyond what we had imagined when we designed it. The simple oval forms seem to silently sparkle and float in the room.

We feel that this is like everything else in life. You are given some chances and conditions and you do the best with them. For us, lighting has been the ground on which Atelier Areti started and we think it is a great ground to work with. Lighting is a very beautiful subject to work with and it is very versatile. There are ceiling lights, standing lights, wall lights. There are lights that are task lights and others that create an atmosphere. It is thus a wonderful and endless subject of exploration for designers.

the tools of the glassblower

Atelier Areti is in search of a successful "partnership between design and material implementation."

What materials do you find yourself working with most?

We like to work with materials that have a ‘noble’ quality about them, rather than a ‘cheap’ one. By that we do not necessarily mean the actual cost of the material. Steel is not very expensive for example, but it is solid and it will not degrade disgracefully over time. We like materials that are strong and will thus last, that will age well, and that preferably can be repaired and thus last even longer.

A product that will survive construction wise, is of course not automatically one that survives design wise. Our aspiration is to make designs that are beautiful in the classical sense and useful and thus remain appealing over decades.

Ideally a piece of furniture or light (except the technical component which can be adapted) should live 50 - 100 years. This sounds outlandish in today’s consumer society, where a product is already outdated when it hits the retail shelves. Yet pieces from past decades or even centuries show us that a design that is beautiful and of good quality has a chance of survival in people’s hearts and thus buildings. Certain qualities will always be appealing because they speak to essential needs and desires that we all share.

A good product must thus be well designed and well executed. The material execution is always tricky because there are limitations which often force us to rework the design. More often than not though, these turn out to be opportunities to simplify the design and make it even more elegant and right. We believe that there is beauty in simplicity and that often the most simple solution is the most elegant. Of course there is also something to be said for opulence and the artificially inflated – but we like to keep these kind of expressions to tightly controlled instances. The strength of a design must also be deeper than its surface.

We are not interested in creating products whose beauty is dependent on them being in absolute perfect untouched condition. A design must withstand normal use and still be appealing. This means that the object’s shape, its material, its function are strong enough, that it can take on the traces of usage.

To summarize: We believe that a noble material enhances the design and vice versa, a good design showcases a given material well.

How long do pieces take to go from idea stage to "for sale" items?

In general it takes about 1 – 3 years to develop a product. A design can take 5 seconds to sketch and 3 years to develop with the manufacturer. We only work with manufacturers who are passionate about their work and proactive in proposing solutions to the problems we approach them with. Our strength is design and increasingly understanding of the manufacturing process, yet we are still completely dependent on the knowledge and craft of the manufacturer. Because we want to create products that will last, material and design wise, we take shortcuts only when we absolutely necessary. This often puzzles manufacturers. We often get their ‘design proposal’, as in ‘wouldn’t this look nicer … and be much simpler to make’? To which we politely reply that yes, that’s also an option, but we prefer to pursue our original idea.

So to contradict what we previously said – simplicity is not always our favored path. Sometimes in order to make something look simple and elegant, one actually has to jump through hoops. This comes down to the fact that various manufacturing processes pose limits that can be perceived as very artificial or arbitrary.

In terms of tools we use for design – We are very old fashioned. We sketch and make models that we hang all over the house. We will only design and manufacture something that we would like to own ourselves. We do use 3d modeling for the technical execution, but by that point, the design has already largely been figured out. Seeing the finished product is usually a joy and sometimes a disappointment. There are products that once made in the final material, size etc. simply were not good enough. This proves once again, that the material execution must not be underestimated.

Do you collect lighting or art or design, if so, who are some of your favorite designers/artists that you collect?

Our mother was not trained in art or design, but clearly had an eye for beauty and it is a great pity that she has not been given the opportunity to pursue it professionally. Privately though, she has pursued it by making all the homes we have lived in showcases of beautiful objects. We have thus grown up among antique carved trunks from Afghanistan, Biedermeier benches and chests from Austria, French walnut cupboards, African sculptures, classical and impressionist paintings, and so much more from around the world. Often our mother would have bought something that no one else noticed and 10 or 20 years later we would see it in a magazine, at which point she would say ‘I bought that 20 years ago’!

We have somewhat inherited this trait of wanting to be surrounded by beautiful objects. Although in me it borders on hamstering and due to the frequent moves in the last 15 years, I have tended to cut down as all the packing and unpacking is becoming tiring. The bottom line though is, that we like to be surrounded by beautiful things and when something really stunning and within our budget crosses our path, it is difficult to resist.

I am personally very touched by classical greek sculptures, at least as we see them today, white and unpainted. I also like some African sculptures very much. My children call them ‘les messieurs et madames’ and occasionally dress them. Some have dented nose tips from being kicked over repeatedly. Since we have children, all art in our house has to be somewhat robust!

As far as designers, we like the usual suspects: Prouve, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Ray and Charles Eames.

The future for Atelier Areti?

We would design every object in the world if given the opportunity! We have great ideas about how to make every bathtub, every couch, every doorknob more beautiful and useful. Of course we cannot do all of that, but our aspiration is to design more and more things. We will continue to pursue lighting passionately because it is a field we love and have expertise in. Currently we are working on about 5 new ranges to be manufactured in 2012. We have a few furniture projects that we are developing, but are still looking for the best manufacturing partnership. We also would like to expand our consultancy work as some projects such as bathroom furniture would never be something that we will venture into from the manufacturing point of view.

The craftsmen that work with Atelier Areti?

We like to work with craftsmen that are close enough, that we can regularly visit them in person. We thus work mainly with people in Germany, Sweden and the UK. As we are a young and small company, we also tend to work with small to medium sized manufacturing companies that will be interested in working on small series and made to order items. We have great love and appreciation for craftsmen and manufactures that work on well made, well thought through products. They are usually very humble, emphasizing that they do not understand much about ‘design’. Yet their passion about making things well is already an act of design that they are often not aware off.

Where can people find your work?

People can contact us directly or find our products in a few shops that are listed on our webpage. We are not sure yet what exhibitions we will participate in in the near future. Follow us on twitter and you’ll find out as soon as we have figured it out ourselves!

visit Atelier Areti here.

You have read this article a conversation with atelier areti / atelier areti / david john interview / french design / i love lamp / interview with lighting designer / YHBHS conversations / YHBHS lamp with the title February 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://gigibytes.blogspot.com/2012/02/a-conversation-with-atelier-areti.html. Thanks!

a conversation with Blackman Cruz

"Style is a simple way of saying complicated things."

- Jean Cocteau

(all photography by Lendon Flanagan)

"And what costume shall the poor girl wear
To all tomorrow's parties
Why silks and linens of yesterday's gowns
To all tomorrow's parties"
- Velvet Underground, "All Tomorrow's Parties"

Adam Blackman and David Cruz begin in 1993 as a resource for adventurous collectors and designers who "share their passion for exceptional, idiosyncratic furniture and accessories." Their 9,000 sq/ft showroom is in the heart of Los Angeles on Highland. Their product line, BC Workshop, is produced locally by artisans and craftsmen. Both of their exquisite homes were featured in last year' s coffee table book, Dealer’s Choice: At Home with Purveyors of Antique and Vintage Furnishings. Whether you are a designer, collector, or a voyeur, their newly redesigned website is a perfect entry into what they find beautiful. Their palette is textural, masculine, full of shape-shifting shadows, utilizing materials of bronze, velvets, and glass. And if you are very quiet, you might just hear the whispers....

"Stay a while my inner child
I'd like to learn your tricks
Know what makes you tick...
Some universal elegance....

- Conor Oberst

How would you describe the Blackman Cruz design philosophy & general vibe of Blackman Cruz?


Your work has level of detail in the fabrication process. What’s the attraction to working with metal, and bronze in specific?

The permanence of bronze. It will be around for generations to come.

Are your BC Workshop pieces fabricated in Los Angeles?

We are proud to say that all of the pieces that we have designed for the BC Workshop are in fact completely manufactured in Los Angeles.

If Blackman Cruz was a song or a musical group, what would it be?

Conor Oberst. "Bright Eyes"
The Velvet Underground.
or perhaps, Leonard Cohen.

How many designers are currently working on BC WORKSHOP pieces?
There are 3 of us.

How many pieces are created each year?

Depending on our inspiration....about a dozen each year.

Does BC do interior design projects?

No, we don't do design projects. We are asked frequently..

Countries to travel to looking for items for Blackman Cruz?

Italy, Mexico and Belgium.

The bat incense holder?

The bat incense burner was based on a 19th century Japanese piece. As you very well know, bats are a symbol of good luck and bring happiness and peace.

PROBE, the gay dance club that was once featured in American Gigolo, is the LA headquarters for Blackman Cruz. I’m bummed I never got to go PROBE, because there is a certain joy in seeing spaces transformed.

Do you still feel the energy of that old gay dance club?

The feeling of our showroom is alive with the days of The Probe. The energy of our space is very fluid and every once in a while we get a subtle smell of sweat and poppers. Lol.

Any reservations when you first saw the space?

We fell in love with the space immediately. It has great provenance and all kidding aside, the feeling and flow is marvelous.

Any particular BC WORKSHOP piece that you have a particular fondness for?

We love all of our children just the same.

Hard lines carved in your face
The sunshine's so cliche
Just like love and pain
You tried your best the rorschach test
But there's just nothing to see

- Bright Eyes, The Beginner's Mind

Blackman Cruz is a ride through a curated collection of intriguing objects and design — brought together by two adventurous minds. Adam Blackman and David Cruz created Blackman Cruz as a resource for collectors and designers who share their passion for offbeat curiosities. The ever-changing selection of unexpected oddities is housed in an equally offbeat location — a former infamous nightclub once featured in American Gigolo. The 9000-square-foot showroom is also home to Blackman Cruzʼs own product line, BC Workshop.

Visit: 836 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038

You have read this article adam blackman / bc workshop / blackman cruz / david cruz / Highland Desgin / LA designers with the title February 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://gigibytes.blogspot.com/2012/02/a-conversation-with-blackman-cruz.html. Thanks!
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