Karen Barbé is a fabulous textile designer from Santiago, Chile. On top of her immense talent for all things fabric as showcased in her shop, Karen has a great blog full of intriguing images and glimpses of work in progress. I’m not sure what project Karen is working on in these photographs but so far, it is gorgeous! Vintage-colours yet completely modern shapes. It’s safe to say my love affair with embroidery is far from over!
‘Your War is Old, Your Game is Over’ is a SoFA Gallery installation by New Zealand artist André Hemer that recently caught my eye. Love how the negative space creates graffiti-like typography and most of all, that the floor is littered with the colourful dots that formed that shape. Perhaps the most artful confetti ever! Amazing what beautiful and imaginative art you can make with simple circles of colour. (click on the image for a closer look)
Black music notes sprinkled across a white page have their own beauty deeply rooted in tradition and history. However, I am always intrigued by news ways to visualize music – particularly with colour. Designer Laia Clos, of Barcelona’s Mot Studio, created a visual language called “SisTeMu” that turns every note of music into a system of geometric shapes and bright colours. Laia has explored several pieces of music in creating this language but perhaps most notable is her interpretation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Using the lead violin position, a system of colours are used as musical notes and the tempo of the music dictates the size and placement of the circles. While I can’t say I completely understand SisTeMu, Laia’s language really gives a sense of “seeing” music in a uniquely mesmerizing and colourful way. I would love to get my hands on Laia’s booklet explaining how the system works! I would also love to see this idea applied to modern music. Can you imagine a gorgeous coffee table book devoted to the hits of The Beatles, U2 or similarly iconic artists? Hmm… perhaps one day a conductor will ask his orchestra to start again from the turquoise section!
I am always on the lookout for colourful, intriguing patterns and lately it seems that most of my favourites have come from a studio named Suzie Q. Showcasing a fantastic eye for colour, line and shape, designer Julie Shalit is the talent behind the studio and her website is bursting with one gorgeous pattern after another. I have my fingers firmly crossed for Suzie Q textile and home lines in the very near future! (see more of Julie’s work in her portfolio)
Ever wonder what the first colour photographed looked like? Well wonder no more! Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell is responsible for creating this intriguing image of tartan ribbon in 1861. By photographing the ribbon three times through red, blue and yellow filters, Maxwell could combine the images into one full-colour composite. A milestone moment for the art and technological evolution of photography. Oh and a pretty striking image in its own right!
(thank you for the inspiration mélanie)
Oh how I love the small, folded cards in the “For Get Togethers Collection” by designer and illustrator Kathryn Whyte. A fantastic mix of art deco-like details, typography and modern-day wording. Can you think of a nicer card to receive through your letterbox?
I have been staring at “Monument to Change as it Changes” by artist Peter Wegner for over two days but I still can’t stop gasping aloud. Honestly, I am overwhelmed by how brilliantly clever and mesmerizingly beautiful this piece is. What a showcase of colour, engineering and imagination. Installed as part of the new Stanford Graduate School of Business, the piece utilizes flip-digit technology much like European train stations used to announce arrivals and departures. The plastic pieces move like tiny rolodexes and were meticulously programmed to create specific colour patterns. The idea is a monument to constant change – a perfect metaphor for what is faced in the business world daily.
* This piece’s true beauty is in its motion. Take a look at this video for a glimpse of the spectacular moving colour! Peter’s other fantastic installation for the campus is featured at the beginning but the colour section starts around the 1.00 min mark.
(additional information: 2,048 flip digit modules, 80 colours per module, finished size 8′ x 32′)
I am mesmerized by N SKY C, a website that showcases the average colour of the New York City sky every five minutes via a block of colour. Hover over the block and you see a webcam snapshot of the sky in that five minute period. Created by web designer Mike Bodge from the viewpoint of his Noho and East Village facing desk, the website is a beautiful representation of weather, sunsets, sunrises and the transitions of a day. I love that each day can be summed up in its very own colour palette.
Insanely bright colours, hand cut leather and delicious geometry? Oh and some tassels? Welcome to the wildy imaginative jewellery of Boo and Boo Factory. Given the amazing compositions and inventive angles, it makes sense that an architecture masters student is behind the line. Christina Anton creates many different kinds of jewellery in her Los Angeles studio using leather, felt, feathers and a variety of other materials but I find myself particularly in love with her necklaces. True pieces of colour saturated handmade art. Wear one of these vibrant pieces to a party and you are automatically the most awesome person in the room!
When I first laid eyes on the Plumen light bulb, it was love at first sight. Tackling the neglected world of of energy smart light design, Plumen are the world’s first designer energy saving light bulbs as well as true sculptural works of art. An environmentally conscious product with spectacular style? That really is the holy grail of design! While they work in lamps and light fixtures, I particularly like the look of Plumen bulbs bare. Those photographs above of the glass beauties hanging from colour cords made my jaw drop. Can you imagine a room or restaurant full of vibrant cords and gorgeous Plumen bulbs? How about clustered together in a colourful chandelier? Spectacular design you can feel good about buying!
Computer enhanced or CGI work dominates a lot of the visual effects we see in film these days. I love when designers and artists illustrate how much magic can be created using everyday materials and big dash of imagination. The Universe Is As Big As Your Mind by Eran Hakim creates an ethereal world of colour and shape using water, oil, alcohol, ink, energy drink and watercolours. A truly dreamy world of hues that looks computer generated but is completely created with household ingredients. Hoping we can make more films with this imaginative spirit in mind!
(ingredients used: 2 litres of water, 1/2 litre of oil, 1/4 litre of alcohol, 1/5 litre of ink, 50 ml of mana portion energy drink, 6 ounces of watercolours)
I know “don’t judge a book by its cover” is appropriate in most situations but sometimes a book design is so beautiful, I could buy it without one care about its content. Luckily, Amazing Face by Zoe Foster looks chalk full of interesting beauty information on top of its good looks. I am in love with the look of this book by Penguin designer Allison Colpoys. Rather than rely on obvious beauty photographs, the book features gorgeous illustrations, vivid colours and a real feeling of makeup as art. I have only been able to find these four spreads of the book but I am giddy about seeing the rest. A brilliantly beautiful cover and unique take on the topic. Did I mention how much I love the detail of green and pink ribbons to use as bookmarks? I am certain I will look more attractive after buying Amazing Face simply because I will be holding it!