Friday, November 2, 2012

Lusting Limoges by Suzanne Tucker

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With Halloween having passed and Thanksgiving on the radar, I simply must share with you my newest tabletop treasure: it’s interior designer Suzanne Tucker’s autumnal San Marco porcelain for Royal Limoges, perfect for any winter feast.

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Shades of saffron and terra cotta are woven together in these smart, timeless dishes that are sure to turn any tabletop into a work of art.

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Simply, beautiful!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Virtual Tour of Living Green With Owner Davis Dalbok

Living Green is an enchanted showroom in the design district of San Francisco, California. When you enter, it is much like traveling to a distant utopia, furnished with exotica at every turn, all contained within brilliant walls of celadon green.

It’s not just a store, it’s a world–“a laboratory for design and for select beautiful objects,” said owner Davis Dalbok.

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Bursting with striking art and alive with foliage, I can best describe it as a lustrous bizarre sanctuary that reminds me of the surreal and exquisite Hieronymus Bosch painting, Garden of Earthly Delights–a place where art and artifact collide.

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The two-story, 9,000 square-foot space is drenched in beautiful natural light and brimming with a collection of curious desirables. Here are a few of my favorite things at Living Green.

The lounging buddha above, $50,000, was originally made for a Burmese temple. Conceived between the 1920s-1950s, it still has its original paint.

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Davis is pictured above with his favorite piece, a giant gold buddha, which is part of his personal collection. “It’s really not for sale,” he said. “I would consider letting it go but it would have to be the right situation…some day I will be taking it to Hawaii where I am designing a home.” The house, he told me, is being designed around the buddha.

Literally larger than life, the buddha is 7-foot tall–sitting–and that’s not including the pedestal. Created from papier maché and adorned with real gold leaf and black lacquer, it is, surprisingly, extremely lightweight.

“Upon my demise the buddha will go to a buddhist sanctuary to rest forever…I think it’s important to return the piece to its origin,” he stated.

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The outer courtyard, above, is furnished with four Chinese musicians carved from Vicenza stone. From a private collection, they date from the 1700s and cost $18,800 for the set.

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The pair of monumental stone-carved male caryatids above are priced at $48,800, and are from a private collection.

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I love the Indonesian banyan tree root chaise, $6,500, and the modern fine art piece titled “Unquiet,” in bronze with a black patina, $30,000, by Kristin Lindseth-Rivera.

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The Hindu elephant God Ganesh above, $35,000, “was cast in the 1920s in Cambodia for a French industrialist who was building a garden estate in the Northern part of Cambodia,” Davis told me. “He commissioned two bronze Ganeshas, and this pair of them flanked a giant waterfall in his garden,” so hence the beautiful patina.

“That’s nearly 100 years of monsoon that created that beautiful color,” Davis said.

“It took my supplier many years to convince the heirs of this estate to let go of this pair of Ganeshas,” he added. “To think that there’s a pair available makes it even more amazing.”

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The table above is a mosaic of semi-precious stones with marble and costs $3,500. The doves were commissioned pieces for a Burmese temple. Carved from wood and gold-leafed, they are $1,800 each.

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The églomisé dragon painting above, $7,500, is by Bay Area artist Jane Richardson Mack, and is flanked by black slag glass candlesticks, $1,800 for the pair. Bright tangerine citrine geodes, $1,300 and $1,800 and a Vietnamese crane on the right, further enhance the visual vignette.

You can also find the stunning wire sculptures by artist Kué King at Living Green.

If you seek the unique, Living Green is a must for your shopping experience. It’s beyond exotic.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Halloween Weekend Project 101: Carving Your Pumpkin

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Check out these gourd-geous pumpkin carvings by the great Ray Villafane, below, and his newly-expanded team of artists! We discovered Ray back in 2010, after a tip from a savvy friend, but since that time he has been one busy man, having appeared on the Martha Stewart Show in 2011 after which his career exploded!

Nowadays Ray can count model Heidi Klum and President Obama as his fans, when he takes his work on the road and carves at parties for the rich and fabulous.

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Carving your own pumpkin is sure to take on new excitement if you download his digital tutorial, $19.99. Roll up your sleeves and get ready to make a big mess in the name of art!

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Magnificently menacing, ghoulishly grand, or absolutely absurd, Ray’s creations are infinitely imaginative and make a great weekend project.

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You can decorate your whole habitat with these hauntingly hilarious jack’o’lanterns…Great topics of conversation for any spooky soirée!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pretty, Please

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Beauty Shall Save the World’s newsletter bundles the best of the best in beauty products, unforgettable gifts, fashion & decor from around the world and sends it straight to your inbox. So if you don’t have time to surf blogs all day, you can still stay up-to-date on the latest.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Checking it Thrice for the Naughty and the Nice

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I love my enamel checked teapot, above, and matching butter dish, below, made by MacKenzie Childs.

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But with the holidays approaching I have my eye on a third whimsical black-and-white little number by this creative company…it’s The Rococo Stocking, below, which will extend my checkered cheer into the living room and above the fireplace.

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These luscious velvet stockings come in two sizes, but I think I’ll pick up the large one for myself. After all, I’ve been really good this year. So far…

Monday, October 8, 2012

Kué King’s Wearable Art: One of a Kinds from One of a Kind

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Every once in a while you meet a person who defies description. Philippine-born artist Kué King, above, is a unicorn among mortals, a spirit completely unbridled and unique; he is truly an original, an authentic, and an artist in every way. Elegant and poetic even in his movement and mannerisms, the way he occupies a space is fascinating. When Kué King is in the room, something beautiful is bound to happen.

St. Francis of Assisi said, “He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”

No words could ring truer when I look at Kué’s graceful wire sculptures, which are on display now at Living Green Showroom in San Francisco.

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Here is Kué, pictured with his favorite piece, Industrial Spring, $12,000. It’s the twisted wire and feather tree above his head hanging on a pillar in Living Green. The piece glows gently, as it is illuminated from within, much like its creator.

“Through over a decade of studio practice, my work as a sculptor continues to keep me grounded,” Kué said. “It is through the bends and twists of metal threads that I weave a personal narrative of who I am and what I see. These hands are the most complex of all tools involved in this laborious process where the ephemeral becomes metal. I have always felt that the best way to get to know me is to experience my work.”

And although the sculptures are splendid, I am currently obsessed with his wearable art–jewelry and belts, specifically–which are designed with the same technique of twisting and bending metal threads into writhing pieces of art.

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The belts range in price from $1,500-$6,000. Through the process of layering and weaving the elements of copper, brass and silver, the pieces slowly take on a life of their own and will age beautifully due to possibilities of patina.

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Below, Kué is pictured lounging on a Banyan tree root chaise at Living Green, with husband Corbett Griffith, standing, who wears an elaborate gold bird necklace made by Kué.

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The head of the bird in this androgynous piece is encrusted with a brilliant green chrysocolla.

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Titled The Bird of Paradise, it’s much more beautiful in person than could ever be captured on film. In the center of the bird is a rainbow obsidian, Kué told me. “It’s the heart of the bird,” he said. There is something unexpected about each piece. In this case, “it articulates,” he said. “The wings move and the tail wiggles.”

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With inspiration derived from nature as well as history, Kué told me that his new jewelry pieces will resemble modern-day breast plates, or jewels worn by the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt.

The pieces, which are named like art, Kué describes as “statement jewelry meets gala wear.” I describe them as: “amazing.”

Take a look at this beauty, below, from Kué’s 2011 collection, made from a web of silver. Pieces like these are timeless…and painstakingly created to transcend fashion and take on a higher form: art.

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“All that I make is tuned with a frequency that holds an essence of what I know is beauty,” Kué said.

For information about Kué King’s sculptures and wearable art, email kue@kueking.com

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Mouse and The Cheese

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Hi guys, I could not resist buying this adorable cheese knife, $79 at Nordstrom, designed by artist and metalworker extraordinaire Michael Aram.

A mischievous little mouse and its curly tail form the playful handle of this 9-inch cheese spreader, the blade of which is crafted to look like a wedge of Swiss cheese. Isn’t it the cutest? It would make a great hostess gift, but I’m selfishly saving it for my next fiesta, and you all, of course, are invited.