Tag Archive | eye on design

Eye On Design: Red Bakelite Bead Necklace

red bakelite bead necklace photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

This Red Bead Necklace was crafted from Bakelite (beads and chain links) cellulose acetate, with a metal clasp, and attributed to an unknown American designer. In the twentieth century, plastic manufacturing transformed the American jewelry industry and allowed for the production of fashionable yet affordable pieces. This chain link and cube necklace represents a style that was especially popular during the Depression era and the early 1940s.

red bakelite bead necklace photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Wrought Iron Dragon Door Sculpture

dragon door photo by gail
All Photos By Gail

In NYC, you will come across amazing discoveries every few feet if you just keep your eyes open. I was walking to the train from a fun visit to the newly-reopened Metropolitan Museum of Art when this unique, wrought iron sculptural door caught my eye. And how could it not: It looks like a medieval Dragon is struggling to burst forth from behind a cage onto the sidewalk! Very Scary!

dragon head photo by gail

While I did not want to trespass onto private property, I did sneak a bit closer so that  I could get a good detail shot of the Dragon’s head. It is super cool! I have no clue who the artist is but what an awesome thing to have designed to make this building stand out. I wonder if Game of Thrones fans live there?

spider web window guard photo by gail

They’ve also kept the design cohesive by adding these spider-web-like guards to the first floor windows. This place is officially ready for Halloween all year long. Well done!

These Architectural Features are Part of a Five-Story, Three-Unit Building (According to Street Easy, Although I Suspect it’s a Private Home) Located at 52 East 81st Street between Madison and Park, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

dragon door sculpture photo by gail worley

Eye On Design: Campana Brothers Bolotas Sheep’s Wool Sofa

campana bolotas sofa photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

Would you like to relax and stretch out on a long, fluffy sofa the color of a giant egglant? Who wouldn’t? The Campana brothers are famed Brazilian furniture designers. Most celebrated for their design of the Vermelha chair — an iconic piece handmade from a huge length of rope, wrapped and woven to create the chair’s nest-like structure. As you can see by their Bolotas Sofa, in a vibrant shade of Aubergine, Umberto and Fernando Campana continue to create brightly colored, whimsical statement pieces for the home.

campana bolotas sofa photo by gail worley

The Bolotas collection (2015) was initially inspired by stone walls, but the name came from the first prototype that appeared to be soft and round like an acorn (‘bolotas’ means acorn in Portuguese). Each piece is covered with sustainable leather, prepared with an environmentally-friendly tanning process. The brothers decided to use natural skins to bring comfort to the design: pillows of sheepskin for the armchair and the sofa carefully arranged on a stainless steel structure with feet made from Brazilian Ipe wood, which is naturally fire, bug and water-resistant.  The Aubergine color was created in a series of eight pieces and sells for about $25,000 at auction.

campana bolotas sofa photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Friedman Benda Booth at the 2019 Salon Art + Design.

Eye On Design: Alex Brokamp’s Collate Table Collection

collate table by alex brokamp photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

LA-based designer Alex Brokamp is inspired by the Maya Angelou quote “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” When designing new pieces, his goal is to instill a meaningful connection between object and consumer that searches for a balance between physical and emotional attraction to an object.

collate table by alex brokamp installation view photo by gail worley
Installation View at ICFF 2019

Brokamp’s commitment to combining technology, spatial awareness, and innovation has been a common theme throughout his work. The Collate Table Collection is no exception. The coffee and side tables in this collection are made using cutting-edge fabrication techniques and are inspired by process art; so the pieces celebrate the manner in which something is made being equally important as the outcome.

collate table by alex brokamp above view photo by gail worley

The Collate Tables are crafted from aluminum plates that have patterns cut into them using CNC (computer numerical control) toolpaths. The cellular shape of the tabletop allows thetoolpaths to create a playful pattern on the surface. This millwork not only gives insights into the high-tech fabrication process, but also creates an interesting dialogue and engaging experience for anyone looking at and walking around them.

collate table by alex brokamp surface detail photo by gail worley

The table treats the aluminum plate as the canvas and the toolpaths act as the brushstrokes. The finish on these aluminum tables can be anodized in several different color options as well.

collate table by alex brokamp angled view photo by gail worley
Photographed in May 2019 at the ICFF at Javits Center, NYC.

Eye On Design: Lacquered Wood Screen By Eileen Gray

lacquered wood screen by eileen gray photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

Eileen Gray (18791976) wrote that “Art is not just the expression of abstract relationships. It must also encapsulate the most tangible relations, the most intimate needs of subjective life.

lacquered wood screen by eileen gray photo by gail worley

Consistent with these aims, this freestanding Lacquered Wood Screen (1922) which functions both as a movable wall to divide a space, and as an abstract modern sculpture composed of solids and voids. Working in Paris after World War I, Gray popularized and perfected the meticulous art of lacquered furnishings, which struck a chord with the contemporary taste for exotic materials, especially those used in Japanese decorative arts.

lacquered wood screen by eileen gray photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Lucite Box Handbag By Wilardy Originals

lucite box handbag photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

In mid-century America, molded Box Handbags like this one (circa 1955) were fabricated by the New York City accessory firm Wilardy aka Wilardy Originals, which embraced the increasingly experimental postwar design trend towards ‘scientific’ materials such as Lucite.

lucite box handbag photo by gail worley

Wilardy Originals began in 1946 as Handbag Specialties, a collaboration between father and son team, Charles William Hardy and William Hammond Hardy. The original offices and factory were in New York, and moved to Union City, New Jersey in 1953. Charles, who was called Bill, was a wizard with mathematics and a serious business man. William, known as Will, was the artist, designer, a great motivator and a man who possessed unusual social grace. Will Hardy took over the business in the 1960s, and continued designing and manufacturing into the early 1980s.

wilardy lucite box handbag photo by gail worley

In addition to lucite handbags, Will designed lighting fixtures for Dinico, lucite bathroom fixtures, elegant containers for Atlantic Can, a chest of drawers for Jacqueline Kennedy, chandeliers for the White House, jewelry, tableware for the Grainware Company, and even clothing. He passed away on May 24th, 2018. Find out more about Wilardy Originals at This Link!

Photographed in the Museum of the City of New York in Manhattan.

Eye On Design: Red Plastic Bandeau Top and Skirt By Pierre Cardin

pierre cardin red bandeau top and skirt photo by gail worley
Fashion In The Space Age (All Photos By Gail)

Over the course of a seven-decade career in design, Pierre Cardin has released collections that have rocketed so far into the future they were once emblematic of the Space Age.  For an example of Cardin’s influence in popular culture, look no further than  the 1960s cartoon The Jetsons, where Jane Jetson’s styles look as though they could have been lifted from the designer’s showroom.

pierre cardin red bandeau top and skirt photo by gail worley
Installation View Alongside the Porthole Dress (1968), Made from Wool Crepe and Silver Leather

But perhaps it is the Jetson’s teenage daughter Judy who would have been more inclined to fancy this vibrant and fun two-piece red suit consisting of a Bandeau Top and Miniskirt made of vinyl and plastic. The top’s circular breast rings remind me very fondly of costumes worn by Jane Fonda in the 1968 film Barbarella.

pierre cardin red bandeau top and skirt photo by gail worley
pierre cardin red bandeau top and skirt photo by gail worley
Mannequin Also Wears the Wool Envelope Hat  (1979)

This Out-Of-This World Design was Photographed in the Brooklyn Museum as Part of the 2019 – 2020 Exhibit, Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion.

Eye On Design: Orange Nesso Table Lamp

orange nesso table lamp photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

In 1964, Italian designer Giancarlo Mattioli, guided by the era’s enthusiasm for space-age forms and materials, experimented with then-newly-available thermoplastic resins. The result was this Nesso Table Lamp, an object represented in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Invoking an otherworldly mushroom, the Nesso Lamp’s eye-catching shape provides diffused incandescent light. Produced by Artemide, the lamp is available for purchased from the MoMA Design Store (online only) at This Link.

Eye On Design: Josef Frank’s Flora Cabinet

flora cabinet by josef franks photo by gail worley
All Photo By Gail

It was at the 2019 Salon Art + Design that we spotted this very rare and early first edition of the Flora / Model 852 Cabinet (1937) created by Austrian architect and designer Josef Frank (18851967). The cabinet was part of a prolific collaboration with Estrid Ericson, of the Swedish interiors brand Svenskt Tenn, which produced and retailed the piece. This piece was manufactured in 1950.

flora cabinet by josef franks photo by gail worley
Cabinet Measures: 55¼ in. (140.3 cm.) High, 45 3/8 in. (115.3 cm.) Wide, 17 in. (43.2 cm.) Deep

This collaboration featured Frank’s highly developed personal style which focused on elements of Viennese elegance and Swedish functionalism. He wanted to incorporate natural forms and colors into his interiors, so that the inhabitants could breathe freely in the enclosed spaces. He believed that “ornament and complexity create peacefulness and get rid of the disturbing aspect of pure functional form.” A perfect example of this ideology is the Flora cabinet.

flora cabinet print detail photo by gail worley

For the cabinet’s exterior, Frank (who also designed textiles) used hand-colored botanical prints from Carl Lindman’s book, Bilder ur Nordens Flora, which he then delicately applied onto the mahogany front and sides of the piece. Oak was also used in the manufacturing process, and the birch interior is fitted with four adjustable shelves. The contrast between the delicate floral motifs and heavy wooden form instills the cabinet with a light, playful and organic sense. Contrasting materials evoke an echo of the past, but create an indisputably modern piece.

flora cabinet by josef franks photo by gail worley

Listed for $140,000 by Modernity.

Eye On Design: Circ Coffee Table By Grazyna (Gra) Solland

circ coffee table by gra for sollands photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

My press comp to 2019’s Salon Art + Design included a much-appreciated perk of access to the Collectors Lounge, which featured a strikingly curated collection of unique art furniture from UK-based Sollands Gallery. Located in Mayfair, an affluent area in the West End of London, Sollands boasts elegant, contemporary pieces bearing the signature style of designer Grazyna (Gra) Solland. Gra, as she is called, is known for her strong sculptural statements, bold use of colors, and highly innovative and individual designs using high-end, luxurious materials. Working with both traditional and contemporary methods, together with a keen attention to detail and exacting quality, are hallmarks of Gra’s exquisite creations.

circ coffee table with cognac glass photo by gail worley

My favorite piece in the lounge was the vibrant, red lacquered Circ Coffee Table (2017). Having spent many years working on her STACK pieces, Gra decided she would like to further develop the theme, but in a much bolder manner. To create Circ, she regulated the wedge shapes and worked with circular shapes in a singular color.

sollands gra catlog photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Sollands Collectors Lounge at the 2019 Salon Art + Design in NYC.