Architectural Pottery

Architectural Pottery has created luxury American Made pottery  since 1950. Original designs are still commissioned and produced from original designer specifications today. Arranged in clusters or isolated, elevated by spindly stands or hugging the ground, these vessels appear in many of Julius Schulman’s famed photographs of Southern California architecture.

Architectural Pottery Collection, is a Los Angeles company founded in 1950 by Max and Rita Lawrence. Prominent mid-century LA architects such as Richard Neutura and Pierre Koenig favored the pottery line for spare, geometrically ordered residential gardens and commercial buildings. The Museum of Modern Art in New York exhibited pieces as early as 1951. This line of collectible modern architectural pottery can still be purchased today, both vintage and new production runs. The line and form of these modern objects are beautifully proportioned, and can be displayed as functional, sculptural art, both indoors and out.

Images and excerpts sourced at


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Eames House Restoration

One of the most influential Modernist residences, the home of Charles and Ray Eames is undergoing a complete restoration. The Eames Foundation is focusing on maintaining the 60+ year old structure as part of its 250-year preservation plan. The Eames House’s entire collection of 1,800 living room objects is now on display as part of LACMA’s exhibition on California mid-century design, Living In A Modern Way, a clear indication of the home’s prominence. The temporary removal of those artifacts allowed the Eames Foundation to begin its long-planned renovation along with the restoration of the home’s great icons. The foundation has raised about $250,000 for the project, which they estimate will cost roughly $1 million and take about two and a half years. Additional money is being raised through a series of fundraisers at the house. They hope to complete much of the job while the living room objects are still at LACMA.  The Eames family is involved to ensure every detail is correct. Original structure and finishes are being preserved, as they feel it is important that the structure show its age.

To visit the Eames House during construction is a unique opportunity to view the structure of this historic home while it is exposed. Appointments are required during this time, to gain access to the house and grounds.

Photos and excerpts courtesy of the Eames Foundation and the Architects Newspaper.

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Functional Play

I’m lucky. I have two sweet nieces. Lovely little ladies they are. When selecting a gift for them I can’t help but look for well designed,  useful and experiential objects. It is a joy to share with even the youngest among us, the power of great design. Elements of color and composition, graphic clarity and playfulness must appeal to this set of inquisitive thinkers. Don’t you think? I personally find these designer blocks to be irresistible! Not only do these indestructible playthings invite us to build and explore, they offer a lesson in Modern Architecture and Graphic design.

Above, Eames House Blocks.
Each set of 36 replenishable Michigan-grown basswood blocks represents 29 separate hand-pulled screen passes. In the true Eames spirit, your kids can create a ligneous yard sale on your living room rug while you’re in deep conversation with your guests, then build this living landmark.

Debossed Neutraface Slab Pattern.
“This compact set of 12 Neutraface Slab alphabet blocks above will transmit subliminal stylistic messages to young impressionable minds.”

Alexander Girard Alphabet Blocks
Created by House Industries in a collaboration with the estate of renowned mid-century designer Alexander Girard, the 28 wood blocks feature alphabets based on the Alexander Girard font collection and a cleverly-adapted House Industries factory logo puzzle.

Photo Lettering Blocks
Handmade with House Industries own Photo-Lettering library.


All the block sets above are offered by House Industries.

  • Made in the USA
  • Replenishable Michigan-grown, kiln-dried basswood.
  • Printed with non-toxic, lead-free child-safe inks.

All images and excerpts found at House Industries website.




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Ali Douglass

Being a fan and collector of mid-century modern design, I am always on the lookout for new interpretations and expressions of furniture of the period. I recently learned of a collection of prints titled Modern Chairs, by artist Ali Douglass. Originally created as paintings, Ali has released prints of her work documenting these iconic furniture pieces. I find her artwork to be bold and lively. Just the thing to freshen up a space with some classic modern design.

Ali Douglass is a talented illustrator. Her work can be found in books, magazines, newpapers, greeting cards, advertising, and most recently a board game. She has an extensive and impressive client list including The New York Times, American Girl, and Martha Stewart to name but a few. Her artwork is highly stylized and recognizable, and more often than not uses vibrant color and bold graphic gestures. Her subjects are varied, and she conveys the spirit of her work equally as well working on chairs as well as people.

Ali is represented internationally, by Shannon Associates in San Francisco. Her prints are accessible art objects as well, and are sold on Etsy and Bazaar.




Images and excerpts found on the artists website:

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Pioneers of American Industrial Design Stamps

Now here’s something to get excited about. In July 2011, 12 commemorative postage stamps will be published by the United States Postal Service, that feature pioneering Industrial Design from the 1930’s to the 1960’s, in the USA.  Below is an excerpt from the USPS, describing the objects and designers that will be featured on the stamp collection. I for one, intend to stock up. Happy stamping.


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