Fisher Men

12/31/2008

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Remember these?  I had so much fun with Fisher-Price Little People.  I’d love a massive clear fishbowl full of these on our coffee table.  The new ones aren’t nearly as cool.

Brand Royal

12/27/2008

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I absolutely adore porcelain anything, and Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg is the dream stuff is made of. They have been churning out the finest porcelain in the world since 1747. Inextricably linked to Germany’s Royal Bavarian Wittelsbach family, the house produces all of its figurines and serving pieces using original methods at the Nördliches Schlossrondell Palace in Nymphenburg. Schloss Nymphenburg was built in 1664 as a summer residence for Elector Ferdinand, and is still owned by the Bavarian royal family.

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No other factory in the world still manufactures its products the way that Nymphenburg does. It’s one of the last places where all products are made entirely by hand, and the term “manu factum” really does mean what it says. The conscious decision not to use any type of automated process has produced the most breathtaking pieces. The porcelain paste – which other companies buy as a semi-finished product – is made on site. Nymphenburg also creates and mixes its own paints; its porcelain painters work without templates. Each item is shaped and painted by hand, each ornament individually applied and all designs, regradless of how intricate, are cut with tiny blades into the unfired porcelain. Nymphenburg consciously decided to only employ manual production methods, and since the 18th century has refined them to near perfection. Clients are often amazed to hear that delivery of a four-part food service will take two years.

The buildings and workshops are as much works of art as the pieces they produce.  I could live in the Paste Mill or Gilding Room.  The spaces are so magnificent, they are available to rent out for events and film shoots. Can you imagine???

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Meet The Flockers

12/15/2008

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I love love love little flocked animal figurines.  Ever since I was three or four, I’ve secretly wanted to stockpile them.  The best ones were made by Josef Originals and were designed by Muriel Joseph George in California and Japan from 1945 to 1962.  She also made straight ceramic pieces but the furry ones were my favorites.

The company was sold to George Good in 1982 and he continued to make Josef Originals until 1985.  Good sold the brand to a larger conglomerate which put and end to the fuzzy menagerie within a few years.  You can still find the occasional great piece on ebay, usually around the holidays.  Some faves below.

Kenny J

10/18/2008

Kenneth Jay Lane has made some of the most amazing jewelry I’ve ever seen. His costume confections have graced women from all walks of life – from Jackie Onassis to Diana Vreeland, Elizabeth Taylor to the Dutchess of Windsor (who it is said is buried in a belt me made for her.) I did not know until recently that he was first a shoe designer for Delman and Christian Dior and he used his free time to create flashy baubles. They were such an instant success that Saks Fifth Avenue sold its entire initial inventory in one day. He was one of the persons included for “high fashion” in the Andy Warhol Screen Tests and a guest at Truman Capote‘s Black And White Ball.  In 1996  he published Faking It and he continues to do his thing from his home in the Stanford White mansion in New York City. Read the rest of this entry »

Prouvé It

10/17/2008

I am currently loving loving loving anything French Industrial. The perfect balance of form, functionality, and fashion was birthed, of course, by none other than Jean Prouvé.

Born in 1901, French Industrial furniture designer and architect, Jean Prouvé, is one of the most influential furniture designers of the early modern design movement. He introduced the machine age and industrial engineered modern design aesthetic to interiors in the steel, aluminum and architecture he created.

Prouvé was born into an artistic family in Nancy, France; his famous father, Victor Prouve, collaborated with the great Art Nouveau artists Emile Galle and Louis Majorelle as a ceramicist. Jean Prouvé himself was trained as a metal smith before attending engineering school in Nancy, and his intimate knowledge of metal remained the foundation of his work and career. Read the rest of this entry »

Deck ‘Em

10/17/2008

I bought these rare vintage Hermes playing cards as “a gift for Matt” recently. When I saw them I became obsessed and needed the perfect opportunity to get them into our living room. Read the rest of this entry »

Deck 'Em

10/17/2008

I bought these rare vintage Hermes playing cards as “a gift for Matt” recently. When I saw them I became obsessed and needed the perfect opportunity to get them into our living room. Read the rest of this entry »