Sunday, May 10, 2015

Eastern contrast

It was a rainy day, not much unlike what they had left in the States not more than 21 hours ago, temperate and misting.
The cityscape truly was a sight beholden to the most futuristic of movies, as seen in Bladerunner, Lost in Translation and the like, feats of architecture so dynamic and with such attention to detail spawned across the entire city, in each ward down every narrow and wide street alike. Tadao Ando, just one name that stuck, memory isn't what it used to be, seemed his name kept coming up, I don't claim to know my architects one from the other, but I was truly intrigued by the technical bravura of most of the buildings we came across and so it was this, just one of the visual memories that stays with me of Tokyo.

We spent days between business meetings, exercising our new cultural behaviours, ceremony and ritual playing such integral parts of daily life in the Japanese culture. Honor and respect, pride and work ethic, humility, consensus, collective consciousness, exemplify the discoveries we repeatedly came into contact with that shook our contrasting individualistic existence in the west. These things were truly beautiful to experience. We have somehow made everything so complicated in the west, no single set of rules to follow that take the guess work out of so many small things, each thing minuscule or otherwise in the west gives chance to express individually. It is not to say that this is a negative quality but instead simply fascinating to observe other. It was rewarding to know, to have been given important tips on customs and enact what was learned, much appreciation was shown toward our attempts.

As we thread through this surreal cityscape encountering new things, making comparisons, being surprised by the unexpected we had an air of humor, we did not scoff at what we did not understand  it simply opened our eyes to the different ways things are done, whilst laughing at ourselves unable to find the rhythm of the city. This is truly the city that never sleeps, never slows down, never sits, until the subway, where it is my personal opinion that because one is so inundated with techno sensory stimulation and color and print and masses of moving people, it is here and only here that one can truly relax and recharge. If I had a dime for the number of people with their eyes closed, on each subway I'd have come home for sure with a Yohji Yamamoto piece on my back! 

On the topic of what made us laugh, really if you have never tried the truly intuitive Toto brand of toilets and sinks, you haven't lived. 
A toilet that creates white noise, is heated for your sitting comfort, washes and dries all your necessary parts and flushes automatically. If you're not laughing by the time you've left the bathroom stall, need only wash your hands in one of their sinks, pictured above is the effect the hand dryer has when placed within the sink bowl! 

Finally it wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention food, although I have no doubt that the cuisine of Japan is amazing we had an easier time, and here the surprise, finding fine French and Italian establishments! Having heard this, a new friend and frequent traveller to Tokyo promptly brought us to a traditional Okinawa style restaurant and there redeemed my  hope of finding exquisitely prepared and delicate Japanese cuisine, not to mention the Hubushu!!

We've come back, informed, happy and with a bigger sense of the whole having more importance than the one. 
takoyaki making, street food octpus filled dough balls

Daibatsu- giant Buddha in Kamakura

Denise doing her thing, at the Fred Segal opening

Bamboo forest Buddhist temple

Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring and Talismans

It begins each year at this time.. the thaw of the forest floor, the concrete in the city, our shoulders melt down from up around our ears and the warmth of the sun inviting as it is, reveals a new spring.
We have been working in our studio, The Artemisian has moved and our space is luminous and cozy, a combination of old and new true to who we are. The collection has grown now to include not only original antique pieces but  altered antiques and small scale sculptures all made in our studio nestled behind our restaurant.
It has been an enlightening year for us as the locations we can be found in expand the entirety of the globe, each day we wake with gratitude.
Our mission to utilize existing pieces remains strong and the addition of small scale sculptures has brought our designer's fine art background into the forefront. This year has seen us showing in New York, Paris and Tokyo as well as our designer's dive back into showing installation and performance pieces together with Inliquid an artist collaborative out of Philadelphia.
This spring collection was inspired by the use of talismans across various cultures. The talisman is an inanimate object given energy, our energy to manifest a desired outcome or object into being. The idea of this, an object being given our energy is such a beautiful thought, that one's focus and intention can be given physical form. Our designer's long time yogic path has also influenced the shoot for this collection integrating the use of yoga and talisman together.
Each piece of the collection has been contemplated and engraved with a singular word to hold as a positive intention, words such as: 

Soar- Sterling silver antique airforce wings, sterling bezel set green amethyst, antique gold filled locket engraved "soar" Sterling silver new locket also available.

Wonder Woman- hand forged brass cuffs one size squeeze to fit

Capsule- a hand forged match case with strike anywhere matches inside and a strike plate, engraved breath, ecstasy or stillness inside, sterling silver outside, rose gold interior. Special Order only.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The viking like muse for Fall,  Melanie Blakenship photographed by Denise Guerin
Gustav Klimt - Water Serpents

With The Great Gatsby seen and Gustav Klimt, Mark Rothko and Egon Shiele  as a few of my revered artists the Fall 2014 collection was born. Immersed in the music of Nina Simone, Billy Holiday, Les Nubians and Les Negresses Vertes the studio teemed with a flurry of activity, electroplating only half way up the various antiques giving them a dip dyed look, to researching native American ladder beading techniques and perfecting them before incorporating into the line. It was a collection of indulgence, non restraint...the antiques flowed, polishing and soldering adding to and taking away to create new pieces to incorporate with the old. The entire collection speaks of opulence and decadence. Rich hues, garnet and champagne hued citrine sit nestled in gold and silver chains and sparkling pyrite.

Gustav Klimt- Judith

Fall 2014 Shoot culmination

Nina Crooned her way into the work, "Birds flyin high, you now how I feel..."  And the likes of the new Gatsby soundtrack echoed the work that was being done to the artifacts that lay before me. It's such an enthralling part of the process to immerse each sense into what I am creating.
Charmed collection- Gold Opaline glass early 1900's sold. Rouge, Taipei City, Taiwan

Elks Club- Dipped Collection: original elks club member cigarette paper case with password carved inside, sterling silver dipped in 18k gold. Ruby eye, enameled symbol 1900's America. Sold, Ear Papilonner, Japan.
Fob bracelets and fairydust bands

Gotye, Jay Z, Beyonce and Florence sing the new version of Gatsby, and I chuckle hearing how this has been reinterpreted for our generation's popular consumption. Film is such a fantastic art form. 
The shoot reminds me of iconic religious saints, Klimt and Shakira's album cover all in one...the more you know, the more you see, the more you see the more you can interpret. Context and concept.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Musings from our second trip to Paris

 Eiffel Tower as seen from the Mona Bismarck

The walk to work

Paris will always be a magical city for me, more so now working there twice a year. This trip accompanied by my oldest friend and a trusted assistant we wandered through streets in awe of the details, inspired, eyes widened to each wrought iron window and gargoyled embellished door, each hidden garden and turreted rooftop. The days were long and filled with wonder and purpose and dreams of the present.
We walked a market, purchased artichokes and garlic, rosemary and saucisson, totano and orata, it would be this time my turn to cook for all. The simple handwritten chalk signs had a charm unique to all European markets, bringing the excitement of a child at the thought of what to cook and how to prepare it. At home I spend my days in one apron or another from studio to kitchen the creation of both art and food melts into one. Here amidst the seasonal produce I decide a salt roasted orate, braised totano, artichokes alla giudea, a lemon mint oregano emulsion to dress the fish, and thinly sliced oven roasted brussel sprouts with lemon zest and peperoncino a honey lemon zest goat cheese dollop to melt atop. Bon!
 Both intimate and surreal the other side of this trip... we danced till dawn and drank champagne with the rest of  the designers shaping their collective dreams into reality. We inhaled hope and exhaled joy, we met and mingled for ten days. It is an elegant and beautifully planned city emanating as a star from the Arc de Triomph.
The patter of rain as it fell washing clean the streets and the pink light that shone each morning at dawn, these moments, the awareness of each informed only by our age and lives of the last decade.
There are some places and things one must experience while in I'll share my secret list

To meander:
La Marais- Rue de Turenne, Rue de Sevigne, Rue de Beaumarchais
2nd Arrondissment  Rue de Grand Cerf

To eat:
La Mangerie - ask for Serge, he'll immediately make you feel at home and his tapas will make you leave wanting more...if not for  the waiters and there cheeky behavior!
Chez Janou- country french cooking, this place is bustling, boasts dozens of Pastis to try and waiters displaying authentically impervious Parisian attitude. The cuisine rustic and well prepared.

Hildi Santo Thomas of Trading Spaces visits our booth and brings treats!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

It's cold outside, but SPRING is hitting stores

After 2 days of major snow and cold arctic air in the Philadelphia area, we at The Artemisian are ready to release the new Spring Line to warm you all up. This is the line that has now become international due to all of our great exposure in Paris!

There are five new lines this time around: Freccia, Sealed (Apostille), Victoriana, Twombly's Lockets, and Due Piccioni, as well as our Bracciali line. Here are a few sneak peek pictures to keep you warm. Go to our shop here for a full list of products and to shop around.

Spring is on its way!
The Artemisian

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Christmas has come and gone...time to cleanse

It's been a fantastic season of mirth, white flour, amazing cheeses and refined sugars. Oh, I meant, pastas, double creme, cookies galore. But now the body needs a cleanse. It's a shame so many traditionally loved foods are so bad for so many of us. I have a new favorite. She a chef out of Copenhagen thrilled about raw and gluten free.  Sarah B of my my new roots , originally from Toronto, Canada, my neck of the woods, she's a woman after my own must be healthy, taste spectacular have different textures and finally but not by least importance present well. I love her photography.

It's my whole hearted recommendation to check her blog out and make a few things. While the weather outside crisps branches and chaps our lips my fire is blazing inside, candles aglow softly scented pine and my inner muse is cooking up the next collections for fall of 2014. 
In just two short months our Spring collection will be in stores, some already have been selling in our new Asian accounts. Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan, check out our website for links. Meanwhile Paris and Germany are also selling our new spring!! Our Philadelphia retailers are holding out, you'll have to wait.
Just a peek....