Wednesday, January 12, 2011


teehee, do you like the poster I made? Do you know what it means? YASS!!! Blueprints is here!!! Can I get a woop woop?!

Aye. so come along Friday evening for some beverages, music and chat to our lovely talented artists! I look forward to seeing you there : D

Alyssa Ettinger

So you are warned, this post is EXTREMELY image heavy (ha, yes more so than usual : P), but I dont know if anyone would be able to help themselves taking so many photos in Alyssa Ettinger’s inspiring Sunset Park studio…

Alyssa’s products are primarily slip cast porcelain. She started casting rare vintage milk bottles after discovering an abandoned dump site dating back to the early 20th century, the only items left were clay and these beautiful milk bottles, of course, they were begging to be cast!

She also casts knitting, which is how I discovered her – we are doing the Vogue knitting show together.

Alyssa finds most of her inspiration and ideas for her work while lying in bed, trying to sleep. I think this is familiar to a lot of people that work in creative industries, no? Im definitely a victim! She also has a small part of her studio where she pins images that she likes

She also spends as much time as she can by the sea, beach-combing for glass (remind you of Amy?!) and goes skip-diving for vintage ceramics

She has recently come into possession of a small collection of vintage buttons. I think her casts of these might just get a wee bit popular!

While browsing her shelves, I found this small bowl of beautiful ceramic objects. Apparently, they are leftovers from temperature testing on the kiln. The further the ceramic fin bends helps Alyssa determine the correct temperature. She was telling me that a few jewelry designers were really interested in working with these, I think she should let them, right? I would love to wear one.

Thanks for the insightful afternoon Alyssa!

Donna Dennis

On Friday evening I hung out with one of my favourite people, Donna Dennis. Although Its not the first time Ive been to her home/studio in Tribeca, I always see a ton of things I haven’t seen or noticed before- like the books in her amazing library! We had a lot of fun drinking some wine and photographing her dioramas.

Donna makes hosts and hosts of models before embarking on her large scale installation projects. I think they are incredibly beautiful in their own right, and they’ve inspired me in the past to make my own too.

It’s always night time in Donna’s work, I find the scenes she creates have a very quiet, tranquil feel to them as well as something is a little ‘off’, perhaps in their unusual scale or exaggerated features. Kind of like a dreamworld.

Her latest work is an installation that requires half her apartment and is based on abandoned Coney Island, complete with roller-coaster tracks, turnstiles and ticket booths, this eerie theme park took over 12 years to create and will be exhibited April-August 2013 at the Neuberger Museum in Westchester.

Donna is enjoying a very successful career, including shows at the Whitney Museum, The New York Public Library, The Venice Biennale and high profile public work such as ‘Tourist Cabins on Park Avenue’

I only just remembered to get a shot of her as we were saying goodbye, so here she is looking eerie in the elevator.

Thanks again Donna! Im seriously looking forward to this show, we open this Friday (14th). Come along for a wee drink and some music 7-10 : )

Ted Southern

Last Friday I had the pleasure of meeting artist and designer Ted Southern at Eyebeam Atelier in Chelsea with regardsto our upcoming exhibit ‘Blueprints’. He is currentlyworking on developing space gloves for NASA.

development in glove fingers, in chronological order from top left

Ted is primarily a fine artist working around the human body, movement and science. Towards the end of his MA, he entered NASA’s astronaut glove challenge and came in second place, outperforming current Phase VI spacesuit technology. This landed him a partnership with spacesuit technician Nikolay Moiseev, an internship at Eyebeam Atelier with NASA funding.

Courtesy of

Our meeting was so much fun! I put my hand in this cool wee machine that is like space inside.

You slip your hand into a space glove and then the machine is turned on, and you feel the pressure that one might experience in space. And it gets very bloody hard to move!

Astronauts have to go through serious muscle building, particularly around the hands and wrists before an expedition so that they can function properly once they are up. It is truly incredible the sheer amount of information you have to take into account while designing space apparel.

A big thank you to Ted for having me! Its going to be great to show his work in Blueprints.

Amy Helfand

Hey! Its Hannah here,
I am currently co-curating 'Blueprints' with Aaron Valentin. I want to share with you some of the exciting studio visits Ive been doing for the show.
First of all, I went to meet popular rug designer Amy Helfand in her Red Hook studio

Amy was so lovely to meet. We had a great day beach-combing together and discussing her studio practice.

Despite a solid background in fine art, Amy’s beautiful rugs are her main product. These are all hand knotted by artisans from the anti child labour project ‘Good Weave‘ in Tibet.

Amy works using many different techniques in designing her rugs; digital collage, sculpture, photography and drawing are all part of her day to day design process.

Much of her inspiration is drawn from nature and abstracting it’s forms and colours.

She has recently done some work inspired by prayer flags after a visit to Tibet

Isn’t her studio just stunning??! It’s located right on the Red Hook harbour, with a great view…

I am so, so excited to have Amy be a part of ‘Blueprints’, we open on the 14th (7-10) so come down and check it out for some really super work! I’ll post details soon : )