silly string

israeli designer yaron elyasi processes recycled plastic, creating bowls, furniture and lighting with a decidedly different aesthetic. elyasi's bowls are made by fusing bottle caps, shampoo bottles and industrial plastic waste, creating a plastic string that has a fiber-like appearance. the string is heated and dribbled onto a form in a freestyle manner and the results are different for every piece. could it be that elyasi has developed the adult version of silly string?

toby's finds are the coolest, don't you agree?


landscape reports

"I make vessels because I am fascinated with form and structure. I look for inspiration in the natural world, and then allow technique to mesh with these visual ideas to create something new. I enjoy all aspects of this process: the appreciation of the world around me that suggests ideas and the search for a method of construction that allows my ideas to take shape." Mary Merkel-Hess

influenced by the iowa landscapes of her childhood, basket artist mary merkel-hess uses paper and reed to recreate the swaying grasses that dominate the midwestern horizon. merkel-hess developed a technique to make the unusual basket sculptures that combines paper mache and three dimensional collage. she uses glue to apply small pieces of paper to a mold, creating a form that she then further manipulates, bringing her memories to life.

many thanks to libby mills for this link.


a pocket for your dreams

"The construction of each piece begins by looking at the materials I have gathered & taking into mind the color, texture & shape. Then preferring to work without putting too many limits on myself I let the alchemy of art evolve in its own way. By using traditional metalsmithing & sculpture techniques such as forming, carving, soldering & sanding I create unique sculptural jewelry" Rone Prinz

in italian, tasca dei sogni means 'a pocket for your dreams.' jewelry artist rone prinz found the inspiration for these dream-pocket wearable vessels from cultures around the world that use pouches and other containers to hold their prayers. she combines semi precious stones, fused and soldered copper, brass, 18 karat gold and sterling silver to create these little gems.

toby goldsmith, aka 'supersleuth' uncovered these earthy delights!


hidden from view

"I was fascinated by boxes, and still am. Isn't everyone? ... boxes contain things and, more importantly, HIDE things from view. Human nature being what it is one naturally wants to know what is inside a closed box - so a natural reflex is to open it, and if it's locked you really want to open it. What is it that is being so carefully protected, or hidden - what can it be that justifies this special treatment, particularly if it is an elaborate and valuable box." Andrew Crawford

andrew crawford is an author, musician, teacher and fine box artist. he has spent years following his bliss and it shows. this wall-mounted inlaid wood artist's case is a tryptch style box that holds more than 200 watercolor pigments. constructed of walnut with a burr maple circle that is meant to be representative of a color wheel, the case is an intricate example of his fine woodwork.


financial responsibility

"True inspiration and creativity comes more readily when you learn to enjoy the journey through your art, no matter what direction it might take you. Learn to follow your artistic voice as well as guide your Art to its completion." Mary Hettmansperger

mary hettmansperger's basket makes me want to cut my credit cards up and use them to make art. fantastic idea. everybody should do it. a recent description of her book 'fabulous woven jewelry' states that she reveals the secrets of traditional basketry techniques. think she might reveal a secret or two about losing our credit cards?


inner light

"These small objects with light are the result of an inner search, my origin, my myths, my legends: my past." Nicolas Estrada

nicolas estrada uses the unlikely combination of vegetable ivory, silver, seeds and electrical components for his unique wearable vessels. drawing inspiration from his columbian roots and the creation myths surrounding the sun, earth, moon and stars, he creates the mysterious vessels, embedding a small light bulb and battery case inside each one. turn it on and watch the interior glow "revealing unexpected silhouettes, textures and forms." an enlightened expression of his history.


a fine mistake

"Most of the new stuff that's done in any field is often arrived at by mistake." Nikolas Weinstein

innovator, curious being, nature lover. appropriate descriptions of nikolas weinstein. masterful artist also describes this glass blower, well known for 'pushing the artistic envelope.' weinstein creates small, sensuous pieces like the bowl above, and large scale works that will take your breath away. while still glowing hot, he cuts and peels parts of the glass back, allowing other parts of the vessel to collapse. organic, pod-like wonders emerge. watch the artist at work on a large scale installation in this video.

another great find from toby goldsmith.


art is therapy

"Childhood rituals have grown with adult veneers and have turned into a manifestation of obsessive compulsive order. Art has been added as a legitimizing manifestation that allows a semblance of sanity. The collections themselves have become a source of raw material for manipulation. Materials are assembled in vast numbers so that they take on form and substance beyond the single unit appeal." Clare Graham

after writing a post about jeanne rhea for polymer clay notes, i poked around a bit on her blog and came across a tiny blurb about clare graham's artwork. the link led me directly to an extraordinary imagination. graham embraced a diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder by spinning it upside down and making it work for him. he clearly understands the significant value of mass collections of a single item and discarded materials as not-fully-explored art mediums. the vessel above was made with pop tops from cans. in addition to pop tops, his vessels, sculpture and furniture are crafted from buttons, soda cans, tin can lids, yard sticks, scrabble tiles and dominos. see for yourself.



"My Appalachian childhood environment was rich with examples of handmade works. My mother and grandmother provided our family with hand constructed garments, quilts, crocheted laces and embroidered linens. There was always work in progress; creativity was an integral part of daily life. This tradition continues in my own adult home. " Linda Fifield

a 250 acre backyard full of appalachian hardwood keeps linda fifield supplied with wood and a lifetime of inspiration. a wood turner and bead artist, fifield encases her elegant hollow form vessels with thousands of glass seed beads using nylon thread and an ancient netting stitch. she has spent more than two decades striving to perfect the stitch. i give it a perfect ten.

toby goldsmith found this gem.


shedding light on things

"In our contemporary lifestyle where mass consumerism plays a central role, packaging plays an inseparable role with the product it packages, both aesthetically and commercially. Cardboard is an everyday material that symbolizes transition, mobility, transience, fragility, instability and obsoleteness. Cardboard boxes are usually used more than once and one can follow their various uses by their labels. My cardboard boxes have gone through one more stage to a final and permanent stage and now the only thing they "hold" is light. The light is meant to emphasize their emptiness and the material they are currently made from." Einat Cohen

when ceramic artist einat cohen puts porcelain paper clay and slip through its paces the resulting slab construction artwork is transformed into social commentary. necessary observations about the excessive consumerism that continues to permeate every facet of our society. cohen's humble still life II series is breathtaking in its simplicity and the monochromatic color scheme adds drama...the ultimate punctuation mark.


not ruled by tradition

"Music was my first passion. It gave me a vehicle for expressing deep feelings, and it taught me the necessity of bringing discipline and clarity of vision to my work. Sculptural coiling allows me to create a kind of visual metaphor for the music of my life." Debora Muhl

rule-breaking fiber artist debora muhl spent two decades strengthening an artistic voice that now sings a sweetgrass melody. as she sets each basket free from the constraints of traditional techniques, the coil stitched vessels seem to take on an energy all their own. you can almost see them swaying gracefully, muhl's musical composition playing oh-so-softly softly in the background.

this link was sent in by toby-the research maven-goldsmith.