just back from LA where I exhibited at the Dwell on Design show- I had attended this show probably 7 years ago when it was in san francisco and was small, intimate and the design world was newly percolating with prefab, modern and new ways of looking at the spaces we inhabit. I thought it was fun- of course my favorite thing from then was the Dutch tub--
the fiberglass mobile hot tub that was heated via a wood filled barrel that syphoned the heat through tubes into the water..since no chemicals are used you can dump the water when you are finished into the garden--I am still lusting after one of these (at 6g's--not an impulse purchase)
I honestly had not thought much about the show since then and only recently discovered that it had moved to LA where apparently most of the readership of dwell magazine resides. I do subscribe to dwell now after a lapsed period...but as we continue to research what we want to put on our land in New mexico that is sustainable and low impact-we resurrected our subscription in hopes of finding some fresh ideas to ponder.
I decided to exhibit at the show- though I limit my "shows" to the big trade show in NYC in summer- but thought this would at the very least have some interesting things to see.
My husband Peter and I took to the road and headed south to LA and stayed in the very fun Little Tokyo section. One thing I truly love about LA is the energy and the constant movement of people and the possibilities. Growing up in NY- this is a familiar sensibility. One that I somewhat intentionally moved from when I moved to San Francisco- a much slower urban lifestyle-but still crave and appreciate for sure.
We loaded up the large fallen monterey cyprus table that Peter made and a smattering of tableware and set up the cozy booth.
The show was very satisfying in that I was able to connect with lots of great folks from Southern California and introduce my work to them. It was interesting to exhibit truly handmade work in a prefab'd modern environment. Though Dwell started out celebrating the small, it has moved towards the bigger and so many exhibitors were large companies with their large displays that clearly move from trade show to trade show..But there were of course, also the cool pre-fab homes, fun solutions to small home ideas and some other "makers", but not too many. I had many comments from folks who said- "oh thank goodness, someone who is actually designing and making..someone whose hands are clearly on their product". Now mind you Dwell tries to merge what is hand designed with how it can effectively be manufactured..but a better mix would have been nice, and from what many people said to me, I think the attendees would agree. They did have some interesting make on-site type projects and a myriad of educational opportunities though-I guess I am always a fan of the mix- the new and the old, the handmade rustic and the contemporary and try and infuse this into my own making. Sometimes those stark modern homes can use a bit of warmth...
But the nice thing about getting out of the solitary studio life and doing the meet and greet--is just that--standing on one spot but getting to talk to so many interesting people. One of my favorite conversations was with a man who is retiring and moving back to costa rica- for fun, he would harvest clay near his home in SoCal and create pots- burnishing and pit firing in his yard- and he loved it. I also loved being next to Lourdes and Addie from Quombo- a women's craft collective in San Salvador- and will be sure to journey there sometime in the next year for sure..the people from Danko- makers of beautiful wooden chairs using old seat belts...and great to meet Regina from Handful of Salt based up here in Berkeley- who is driving a California made (100% California) movement celebrating the amazing hand-makers here..
and potters Kristin Nelson and Sara Paloma who came by-whose work I admire very much...
Back to the coop now, must catch up with a lot of work and then gear up for the next show in NYC...I relish my studio time and taking back all that I see when I move around the country--and putting it on a plate..