Grace Bonney - Design Sponge
Have you heard our recent interview with the founder of Design Sponge, Grace Bonney? She is as impressive as you'd expect her to be from her groundbreaking, far reaching, high quality work as a writer and entrepreneur. In our podcast, Style Matters, Grace answers our two questions (Why does style matter? What's your best "why not" moment?) so thoughtfully that you will feel refreshed and inspired at the end of our 30 minute conversation.
We adore Grace's first book, Design Sponge At Home. The photos are gorgeous and the ideas behind the rooms and projects will motivate you to change things up in ways that you've been meaning to do but might not have had the confidence to tackle. And soon, you'll be able to purchase her new book (coming out Fall 2016) which celebrates the wide diversity of artisans in today's handmade marketplace. We can't wait!
Grace's passion for great design is rooted in her interest in the makers behind the products that fill her home. She is a champion of people who use their own hands for creating beauty and Design Sponge is a wonderful platform for Grace to help tell the artisans' stories.
Grace believes that when you own what you love, your home can be a place that will fulfill you with happiness, rejuvenation, and solace. But she also is quick to say that great design doesn't have to be only for those who can afford it. There are pieces that can speak to you at every price point. Karen and I couldn't agree more! In honor of Grace's passion, and because we are also constantly inspired by makers all over the country, we've decided to share two of our favorites, below.
Cara Taylor - Taylor Ceramics
Home is central to Cara's well being. She "uses porcelain to create forms that speak to the aspects of life where I find meaning and create ritual - mugs, cups, and serving pieces to use with friends and family at mealtime as well as vessels to hold the plants and garden clippings that transform a house into a home."
We love the free-form shapes that come from Cara's hands. Her process is intuitive and playful. For most of her work, she chooses to bend and fold clay that she has rolled out into slabs rather than working on a potter's wheel. She also mixes in different materials such as wax linen string, which we love because it gives even more complexity to the pieces.
Cara is one of our favorite artisans and if you don't know her already, we hope you will seek her out!
Ashley contacted us about a year ago to introduce us to her work. We were immediately smitten! We love the feeling of collage that she creates through painting in multiple layers and using her own stencils to organize her imagery.
Ashley has been greatly influenced by the textile work of people such as William Morris, as well as her time in London. There, she immersed herself in archives and museums such as the famed Victoria & Albert. Painting patterns reminiscent of historic textiles comes full circle when she then turns those paintings into fabric that she uses to sew pillows and scarves. She has a short video about her process that's really cool. So definitely check that out.
With all of this historical influence, this isn't to say that Ashley's work is old fashioned! Her color palate and mix of birds and insects with large scale patterns make her work feel fresh and modern. We love it and hope you do as well!