Category Archives: Pinterest

Design Inspiration: Craftsman Glass

Our bathroom is beautiful. Mediterreanean-style cabinetry and two different colours of chocolate-coloured marble. Sadly, the view through the window over the tub is less beautiful – the black hosepipe atop our pergola for the solar shower and the telegraph pole that carries our phone and power supply. I do my best with interesting accessories but…:(

Then sometimes life surprises you. A friend came for dinner in our newly finished kitchen (and I promise an update eventually) with a beautiful stained glass star she had made. Not only that, but it turns out she also runs a stained-glass class nearby, and can design and make pretty much anything you want in stained glass. Which got me thinking – why not create the view I wish I had?

I love the Greene and Greene / Torrey Pines style Craftsman glass that graces turn-of-the-century homes in this part of the world. And it seems like Margit and I are on the same wavelength. So here are our inspirations. Craftsman glass montage

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After a fun morning picking out glass I am eagerly anticipating a sample or two (which – yay! – I get to keep) ad then I will get my view! More to follow as the project progresses.

 

 

 

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Design Inspiration: Ainu Attush

The Ainu are an indigenous people of theislands of Hokkaido and Honshu in Japan, and Sakhalin and Kuril in Russia. Originally hunter-gatherers, they made clothing from many materials including animal hide, bird and fish skin. But the fabric perhaps most associated with the Ainu is attush, made from the bark of the elm and other trees which is soaked, made into yarn and woven. Garments could take many months to make, and are amongst the most spectacular designs of ethnic clothing in the world. As contact developed with Edo Japan, cotton and silk were incorporated into the garments, but the intricate designs are unique, and authentic vintage Ainu garments are now highly sought after and very expensive

Ainu robe montage

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Stars and Stripes

Happy Birthday to our adoptive country!
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Design Influence: Japanese Prints

Ever since I discovered ukiyo-e as an undergraduate at Durham’s Oriental Museum I have been fascinated by prints, especially woodblocks or woodcuts. Woodcuts have been produced in Europe since about 1400, but ukiyo-e prints are nothing like these typically monochrome
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works. Ukiyo-e is perhaps best known for its images of the “floating world” characters  – actors, sumo wrestlers and beauties -but I fell in love with the landscape artists Hokusai
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and Hiroshige.
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In Europe and America, ukiyo-e became a source of inspiration for the Impressionists, the Aesthetic Movement, and the Post-Impressionists
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but by the turn of the century the tradition was virtually dead in Japan.
In 1906 San Francisco was hit by a devastating earthquake, one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States. Reconstruction plans were made almost immediately, and in 1915 the Panama Pacific International Exposition showcased the city’s recovery. Joseph Pennell – perhaps the best-know American printmaker of the time (and friend and biographer of Whistler) – was scheduled to be a juror for the event, and he encouraged a handful of local artists to launch the California Society of Etchers (CSE) in preparation. One of the founder members was Pedro J. de Lemos, who also helped to organise the California print exhibit at the Exposition. The influence of Japanese woodcuts is clearly seen in his work.
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The same Exposition featured Japanese prints which so inspired William S. Rice that he resolved to become a woodblock artist.  He went on to win Best Print at the 1933 CSE show.
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At roughly the same time, Frank Morley Fletcher wrote Wood-Block Printing: A Description of the Craft of Woodcutting and Colour Printing Based on the Japanese Practice”, credited with introducing the technique of Japanese coloured woodblock printing to the West. In 1924 he became director of the Santa Barbara School of the Arts, where he is believed to have (briefly) taught Frances Gearhart.
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Also in 1915, in Japan, publisher Watanabe Shōzaburō coined the term shin-hanga for his attempt to revitalise traditional ukiyo-e art. Ironically, shin-hanga was influenced by Impressionism and directed at a United States market. And we come full circle…
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Monday Pinspiration: Wine Barrels

You already know that my Lovely Man and I like wine
Our new spa is in place and functional, if not very pretty. So I was trawling my favourite source of inspiration for ideas about how to make it look less of an eye-sore when I found this:

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Very nice but not really practical.
But then I followed a related pin and stumbled upon the idea of a wine barrel. I admit that thoughts of the Duke of Clarence did cross my mind, but when the barrels look like this…

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…how could I resist?

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