July 18, 2009

refined pallet

When you live in an isolated northern community, the search for art and design inspiration more often than not involves trips Outside and many an hour online. It's a rare treat when something fresh and innovative appears close to home - in this case, a few metres from my house.

For several years now Paul Gort has been working away in his studio outside of Whitehorse with a mission to bring modern design and quality craftmanship to the cabins and suburban boxes of the north. In a town where a place called The Country House is considered high style and The Brick the height of contemporary, Gort Fine Woodworking has had its work cut out for it.

This winter, in conjunction with the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, audiences south of 60 will have a chance to view a new Gort original making its debut at the Canadian Craft Federation's exhibition "Unity and Diversity", a celebration of the best of Canadian fine craft. If you're in the area next February, stop by the Vancouver Art Gallery and check it out.

"Pallet Table" is from Gort's new line of studio furniture pieces aimed at reclaiming the concept of fine craft by taking the temporary and cobbled together forms and vessels so beloved by do-it-yourselfers and reforming them into objects of enduring and unique beauty.

"The Pallet Table reintroduces audiences to the ubiquitous shipping pallet. Found in alleyways and dumpsters across the land, the lowly pallet is seen primarily as a vessel for transporting goods or by do-it-yourselfers as a source of crude material to be reused for makeshift purposes. My reinterpretation stays true to the familiar form but is finely rendered using solid black walnut and traditional hand-crafted joinery as a direct challenge to our perceptions of quality and longevity."
To check out more of Gort's designs visit him online.

July 14, 2009

surrealist soup tureen

There's nothing I like better than an object with a sense of humour. For a couple of years now I've been coveting and drooling over the topography soup tureen from Japan's Kyouei Designs. It combines three of my favourite things in one: surrealism, tureens (thanks to Astrid Lindgren's children's classic "Emil in the Soup Tureen") and soup.

One of these days I'm going to cave in and make it mine all mine.