Sonia Delaunay

Inspiration in our daily lives can come from numerous sources. Color, texture and pattern are abundant in our environment, whether dancing shadows as the sun hits the leaves of a tree, or an industrial grating, with intensity and rhythmic pattern. I recently came across a book published as part of an exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt Museum on the work of Sonia Delaunay titled Color Moves: Art & Fashion by Sonia Delaunay. Her studies in pattern and texture as a painter extended into varied medium and in turn, expression. It is wonderful to see through her eyes the design process as it evolved investigating the relationship of pattern, color and movement.
‘Painter, textile and stage designer and co-conspirator (with her husband Robert Delaunay) of the Orphist movement, Sonia Delaunay is a heroine of early modernist art and design. Known primarily as an abstract painter and colorist, Delaunay applied her talents and theories to all areas of visual expression, including graphics, interiors, theater and film, fashion and textiles. A characteristic of Delaunay work is a vivid sense of movement and rhythm through careful color combination.
Color Moves: Art & Fashion by Sonia Delaunay focuses not only on her art but also her avant-garde fashion designs for her Atelier Simultane in Paris during the 1920s, as well as textiles she designed for the Metz & Co department store in Amsterdam in the 1930s.The book features essays by Delaunay experts Matteo de Leeuw-de Monti, Matilda McQuaid and Petra Timmer, accompanied by more than 300 paintings, drawings, designs, textiles, garments and photographs.’

An accomplished and celebrated artist, ‘Sonia Delaunay claimed the first retrospective for a living female artist at the Louvre. She described her textiles as mere “exercises in color” that informed her true passion, painting. But her work in fashion and the applied arts, via her Maison Delaunay design atelier, may well be her broader legacy.’

Images and excerpts “Color Moves: The Art and Fashion of Sonia Delaunay,” 2011, at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

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Sculptural Felt

Felt is tactile, natural, and can be dyed in a myriad of colors. Its uses are many, from clothing to handbags and hats. Felt provides the opportunity to create form, given its thickness and memory. Anne Kyrro Quinn’s innovative work with felt includes lighting, bags, throws and cushions, as well as large scale installations custom made for restaurants and public spaces. These wall panels combine acoustic management while creating striking sculptural displays. Below are images of a few of Anne’s three dimensional works of art. I could imagine these as a beautiful solution to soften a residential environment as well, providing artwork on the wall, a bit of warmth, and the benefit of softening the sounds of thunderous feet and voices.

Images sourced at Contemporist.

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Commune Linens

These Bauhaus-inspired table linens were designed by Commune Design for Heath Ceramics. Known for their collaborative design process, use of natural materials and handmade craft, they have worked with some of the most design focused brands in the industry. Folks like the Ace Hotel, the Standard, Barney’s New York, Heath Ceramics, and the list goes on.

These beautiful handcrafted textiles feature a ‘threaded ticking detail on the napkins, placemat and tablecloth, juxtaposed against a subtle backdrop complementing Heathware perfectly. The table napkins are generously sized. Commune linens are made from 100% washed and piece-dyed linen that gets softer and more beautiful with each use.’

A joy to use, enhancing the design experience of the meal.

Excerpts sourced at Commune Design.
Images sourced at Heath Ceramics

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Limited-edition Hermès Editeur Scarves by Hiroshi Sugimoto


Hiroshi Sugimoto is known for his application of craft, and the art of photography. ‘Mr. Sugimoto sees with the eye of the sculptor, painter, architect, and philosopher. He uses his camera in a myriad of ways to create images that seem to convey his subjects’ essence, whether architectural, sculptural, painterly, or of the natural world.’ Process is important to his work. Click HERE to view a documentary short about the philosophy of his work, and the breathtaking imagery he creates.

A decade long project, Sugimoto used a Polaroid camera to methodically photograph the subtle and changing variations of color gradients, producing a project titled ‘Colours of Shadow’. Mr. Sugimoto has teamed up with Hermès to produce a limited edition series of 20 designs, releasing 140 scarves reflecting this imagery, titled the ’Hermès Editeur – Couleurs de l’Ombre’ collection. The images translate well to the silk textile, as Hermès developed a project specific ink jet printing method to create the scarves.

Color in its purest abstracted form. Lovely to look at, and I would imagine just as lovely to wear.

Images and excerpts sourced at Wallpaper.

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Need to Know: Mae Engelgeer

If textile designer Mae Engelgeer isn’t on your radar, it’s time for a tune up. Her latest collection of tea towels is stunning in every way – equal parts graphic, bold and perfectly patterned.

Based in Amsterdam, Mae’s work has a very Dutch influence, complete with calming color palettes, clean lines and minimalist bells and whistles. All of my ingredients for brilliant design!

What do you think? Gorgeous, no? I’d gladly hang these beauties in my kitchen (heck, maybe they’d even magically rinse my dishes, too? Yes?).

[All images via Studio Mae Engelgeer]

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