I’m back in Copenhagen again after 4 years – on my way to a casting workshop with Peter Bauhuis in Munich. Such a pleasure to see this beautiful city again and to catch up with friends. An enormous number of new apartments & townhouses have been built along the harbour in Island Brygge. I am consistently impressed by the way in which so many of the buildings are beautifully designed to maximise light and a feeling space, an interesting use of materials and forms, surrounded by gardens with playgrounds and bikepaths to encourage a sense of community.
Several new bike bridges have been built across the habour since I was last here and they have had an enormous impact on connecting the city and opening up previously unused areas, including the popular Papiroen food/music venue in an old paper warehouse on the harbour.
I love the attention to detail, functionality, beauty and commitment to quality and longevity of design that so many of the building projects – both private and public – demonstrate, never losing sight of the impact that good design can have on quality of life.
This article from The Guardian is worth reading to learn just how close Copenhagen came in the 1960’s to destroying all that makes it today one of the most “liveable” cities in the world.
Love the grey blue tones…. everywhere here
I recently delivered several of these new sterling silver bracelets (and some rings) to Pieces of Eight in Melbourne and Courtesy of the Artist in Sydney.
They are an evolution of the layered rings I made earlier in the year, inspired by the shards of shedding eucalypt bark and layers of leaf litter found in dry bushland. The use of piercing, referencing the blemishes and holes made by insects and other organisms, enhances the effect of the delicate layers of curling silver. I love that the pieces appear so fragile when in fact they are quite robust.
One of the challenges I find in making rings and bracelets is that their exposed surfaces polish due to the natural wear and tear they receive, losing their matte finish or any colour oxidisation I might add. However by incorporating creases and layers into the pieces, these areas retain their original finish and encourage oxidisation, so that over time the piece acquires a patina unique to that piece.
For the last year or so I’ve been a bit distracted with the design and build of an extension to our home of 14yrs –
and finally it is almost there…..
I am so happy with the way it is looking – the product of many, many years dreaming about the home I would one day like to live in and a fortune spent on design magazines (well worth it)!
I was thinking about the inspiration for the colour & materials palette I’ve chosen – obviously strongly influenced by Scandinavian and modernist design. However I realised a key reference in my selections was, of all things, a couple of salt & pepper grinders designed by Norm Architects for Danish brand ‘menu’! They had just the right colours, texture and form I was was looking for. Inspiration is everywhere.
I can’t wait to see all the finishes come together – not long to wait now…. Then my next obsession will be landscaping and gardening – lots of work to do there.
I came across this article the other day in a newpaper from 1965 that my brother-in-law found preserved under a floor. The article caught my eye with its reference to Scandinavian Design and contemporary furniture in what was otherwise a very traditional publication. However reading the article I was truly shocked at the way these entrepreneurial women were portrayed.
As was the appalling custom of the time they are referred to by their husband’s name eg. Mrs Douglas Alexandra – as if they did not have their own names and identities. We are then advised of their husband’s professions – despite the fact that their husbands have nothing to do with the business in question. We are then reassured that both women manage to run the business (this “outside interest”) without compromising their home and family duties (despite one having six children). Having devoted half of the article to these important details we then learn about the furniture….
The Scandinavian furniture they were selling is timeless and would sit well in a contemporary furniture showroom today – but thankfully those attitudes towards women are well and truly gone!
I was blown away yesterday when I dropped into Pieces of Eight Gallery and saw their amazing window display by Benja Harney to celebrate the work of designer Jenny Kee.
I have to admit those Jenny Kee pullover designs of the 1980’s featuring koalas and other native fauna and flora make me feel a bit queasy. They were such a feature of fashion in Australia in the 80’s together with the bright bright colours, big shoulder pads and puffed sleeve shirts in synthetic shiny fabrics, big hair, stilettos and power suits for women. Ugh – it was so not my decade….I was so relieved when it was over!
That said however, I really admire Jenny Kee – she’s had an amazing life, she is a true original and her work really does celebrate the beauty and vibrancy of Australia. It is great to see a younger generation appreciate her work as fresh and new – wearing it in a fresh way and being able to enjoy it without the ugliness that surrounded it in the 80’s.
Benja Harney has captured the native Australian flowers that feature in Jenny’s designs so superbly in paper. I so enjoyed looking at how he had created 3D forms of Warratahs, Sturt Desert Peas, Wattle and Flannel flowers out of 2D paper. And of course Jenny’s distinctive glasses took centre stage – unmistakably Jenny Kee.
I was just reading one of my favourite design blogs lottaagaton.se in which she features an exhibition I would love to see by the guru of design trends Li Edelkort (whose beautiful blog trendtablet is also on my bloglist for its stunning imagery).
The exhibition “Earth Matters – when natural and creative forces meet” looks at the issues of consumerism and over-consumption and the increasing influence of nature and sustainability in design, art, food & fashion.
The exhibition is being held at Artipelag gallery in the beautiful archipelago near Stockholm. I visited Artipelag shortly after it opened two years ago when I was briefly living in Copenhagen. I’d always wanted to see the archipelago – inspired early on in my life by images in Ingmar Bergman films (and ABBA) – a vision of thickly forested little islands with traditional red and yellow timber houses and rocky outcrops perfect for diving into the glassy water.
To get to Artipelag you take a ferry from central Stockholm that weaves its way through quiet waterways for over an hour to drop you off at the boardwalk leading up to the gallery. The scenery along the way did not disappoint – it was beautiful, everything I’d dreamed it would be. The gallery building itself was still being finished but sat well amongst the rocks & trees with views out to the water. In addition to the art there were walking paths through the woods and down to the shoreline to explore and a stylish cafe serving fresh scandi food. A very nice place to be …..wish I could.
I was looking through some images the other day and came across this sterling silver leaf necklace that I made a while ago for Galerie Hoff in Copenhagen. I was so pleased with how this piece turned out – with its fragile and ephemeral air. I love that smoky, dusty appearance that oxidised silver can have. Seeing this necklace again has reminded me I need to make some more pieces like this.
Today we said a sad farewell to our friend of 13+ years. She will be much missed.
Finally I’ve put some new stock into my webshop – some of my new 18ct gold plated pieces as promised.
I’ll also take this opportunity to introduce you to my “house model” pictured below, whom I use in the webshop to provide an idea of the scale of each of the pieces. She does an excellent job I think ;-)