Every year for the past 10 or so years I have donated something made especially for this fundraiser for DIFFA, Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids. Dining by Design is their signature event held in conjunction with the Architectural Digest Home Show at Pier 94 in New York City. It starts tomorrow and runs through the weekend. The bowls on the right are part of the silent auction and can be bid for online as well.
This year I have made my donation a dedication to my dear friend, Phillip Patterson. He has been writing the Bible, slowly, meticulously for the past 6 years. He calls the project the Serenity of Knowing and it has been a learning experience for Phillip and all of his friends. Laura Glazer began documenting the process about 5 years ago and May 11th he will finish the project in a ceremony at our church here in Spencertown, NY. It’s an exciting moment for Phillip and I am grateful and honored to be part of it.
I visited the New York Gift Fair on Sunday and for the first time in many years. From 1998 to 2005 that was one of the shows I used to participate in. It is a huge wholesale show for anyone that had something to sell to a store, designer or other business that will either sell or use the item commercially. I spent most of my time in what was known as Accent on Design, as one designer told me is now just known as “the green carpet”. Accent on Design is where I used to exhibit. The landscape has changed since then beyond recognition. I didn’t do a count but the amount of stationary, cards, calendars gift wrap and the like seemed to dominate. Small, gizmo like gifts where in abundance and “new” is the key concept.
Faith and Wisdom
Since I am committed to coming from a framework of optimism, I focused on trends that I thought interesting. There were a lot of young artists from Philadelphia and Brooklyn. I am also interested in those people who are doing things themselves, although even sourcing with the neighborhood or region is also a pretty novel approach.
Last fall I introduced my Faith and Wisdom collection through Etsy and at open studios before the holidays. I also had pieces at the local art center and at my favorite local health food store. You may have seen my promotional efforts and even purchased a piece or two from the collection. Well, it was a hit, resonating with animal lovers, dog enthusiasts and an old friend and colleague of mine, Janet McKeon. Janet and I go way back to 1998 when she first launched my dinnerware at the New York Gift Show. She is back in business and launching Faith and Wisdom at the Gift Show the end of the month.
In addition to Faith and Wisdom, I have included a special coffee cup. It is special because as a simple ‘thing’ it engages on a philosophical conversation with Heidegger, Hegel and Magritte as it embraces its thingness and attempts to break out of the boundaries of utility and function relative to art and play. Wait, do I detect a bit of Kant in there as well? You be the judge. The cup, a steal at $32, includes a Fluxus like imperative to have a cup of tea, invite a friend and have a discussion. I go so far as to suggest questions you might ask of said friend. My husband thinks I am bossy. My friends think I am ahead of my time. Where does this sort of object fit? In my business? As part of my art archives? These are the questions that have plagued me for years. Janet McKeon understands this conundrum and therefore it is with great pleasure and anticipation that I return to her care as dealer of my ‘gift’ collections.
We are having an open house this weekend, an additional event after our successful happening two weeks ago. We will be here tomorrow from 12noon – 4PM if you are in the hood. You can also stop anytime until Christmas if you give me call first. I am working in the studio everyday and at the house getting ready for the holidays. It is so lovely up here this time of year and I feel so blessed to live like this, to make art every day and to have the support of people like you. I am happy to share the view and the opportunity to visit.
The Faith and Wisdom collection came together recently, inspired by my dog Ruby, whose death in the fall left me and my family very sad. She also had many friends who will miss her barking welcome to the studio. Here she is basking in a little sun. Shop for pieces with this image and other animal friends on cups and small plates in my Etsy shop.
Ruby, you are missed.
A shot from our open studio today. Will be going on tomorrow as well.