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!
My love for desk and office supplies seems limitless so I can already think of a million uses for Millimeter Milligram Transparent Stickers. Available in scalloped edges, triangles, circles, rings and more, these stickers add a nice punch of colour and creativity to your calendar without blocking the important information. Another rather ingenious element of these stickers? They can be placed on a whole host of items that you probably would not want to mark up permanently. Textbooks, appliances, special documents… Anything can benefit from a colourful transparent sticker! (p.s. as always, I love how MMMG photographs their products. Great inspiration!)
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’ve seen a lot of really creative paper promotions but never one this beautiful or frame worthy! A piece by GF Smith, the aim was to showcase the company’s range of digital papers while highlighting the incredible technological potential of modern digital presses. Digital artists FIELD were hired to create 10,000 unique and colourful illustrations inspired by the micro details of paper fibres. One of the most exciting facets of digital print technology is that is allows for personalization of a print job. ‘Variable imaging’ allows “unique prints to be produced from an established document framework”. It is quite a technical affair that you can read about in detail in this september industry feature. Overall, the printing of this piece is a work of art. A unique illustration for every single promotional folder and inside paper – how spectacular is that? Gorgeous illustrations, handsome graphic design and one great display of innovation.
I’ve spent the last year or so dreaming up reasons to buy a Cable and Cotton string of lights. Collecting the photos for this post has only given me more ideas of where I could use them! The natural, hand-dyed cotton-covered spheres create a warm glow of colour that looks gorgeous at parties and as part of interior design. The website has pre-packaged colour selections but you can also customize your own light string from a large palette of colour. It is a pretty addictive thing to play with! I also love that your purchase helps an entire community of women in a remote southern region of Thailand as those skilled workers create every single string of lights. How beautiful is the photo of the cotton wonders in a fireplace? Yep, I don’t think I can resist anymore…
I have always loved Papel Picado, a Mexican festive decoration that translates into “perforated paper”. Stunningly elaborate designs are cut from tissue paper or plastic using a template and small chisel, allowing artists to make many flags at one time. Papel picado with various motifs including nature, love and skeletons are strung up in vibrant rows of colour for festivals, weddings, baptisms and holidays. Such a beautiful handmade art form that brings rich colour and detail to a celebration. Time to try making some papel picado for an upcoming fiesta!
Oh and some fascinating information from wikipedia about the colours selected for papel picado:
“Sky blue or pink and white are commonly chosen for celebrations in honor of the Virgin Mary, yellow and white for parton saints, vibrant pink, orange, and purple are the key tones employed for ofrendas (offerings) associated with the Day of the Dead. Shades of purple are also widely used at Easter. The colors of the Mexican flag – red white and green – are set aside for venerating the nation’s patroness, La Virgen de Guadalupe, as well as for commemorating Independence Day, Sept. 16th. Rainbow hues are appropriate for Christmas and non religious festivities.”
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.