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One of the greatest parts about my job is collaborating with talented people. This week’s posts are all related to the Midwestern U.S. It’s a perfect opportunity to highlight our partnership with Chicago based Architex. Architex specializes in fabric for the Contract Interior Design Trade and is committed to supporting current and emerging green design innovations in the textile industry. With their talented team, we designed several collections including a line of Sunbrella fabrics for indoor/outdoor use,

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Comme des Garçons was founded in 1973 by Japanese artist and stylist, Rei Kawakubo. The company is known for anti-fashion, with beautiful textiles in crisp deconstructed cuts often with frayed raw edges and voluminous fabrics enveloping the body. Kawakubo is as much a graphic designer as she is a stylist, artist, interior designer and fashion designer. The reclusive designer considers every aspect of the presentation and the product from the Paris runway,

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Angers

1975 Musee dex Beaux Arts. Angers, France 3’ x 3’ x 9’ free-standing form. sisal.

Gabriella Farkas’ weavings and fiber sculptures range in size from miniature to three stories high. Born in Hungary, she spent her childhood playing in nature and learned at an early age how to process wool. She studied many different classic weaving methods and always experimented with new materials.

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I have always been fascinated by Cecil Beaton’s work and the variety of mediums he worked in. A painter, photographer, interior designer, set designer, graphic designer— Beaton’s work is rich and full of elegance and story. His collages inspire me to drop everything and head into the studio. His portraits seem to capture the subject’s secrets and some make me sad at first look. They must have trusted him enough to let their guard down when looking into the camera.

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The Fox Islands, 12 miles off midcoast Maine comprise of two islands, North Haven (the island I grew up on) and neighboring Vinalhaven, which is the larger of the two and more populated. North Haven’s year round population is about 380 people. Vinalhaven’s population is just over 1200 people. In many ways the islands are similar, yet growing up there, they can feel quite different in ways. The accents are even a bit different and that may only be noticeable by a native (or not –

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Beulah was always one of the most stylish ladies on the island. Always in a dress or skirt and with bold jewelry and very fashionable glasses. She was a very kind and loving person, always seen on car rides around the island every weekend with her family. >> beulah rug

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Named for the beautiful soaring birds along the coast, the Sea Bird sidecase has the graceful lines of one of the most beautiful avian aviators,

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Nowness salmon smoker blog portland maine

“Director Nikolaj Belzer hones in on the idiosyncratic owner of famed artisanal salmon smokery Hansen & Lydersen, Ole-Martin Hansen, in his latest short, produced by Everything is Okay and Freunde von Freunden. Using a recipe dating back to 1923 and handed down through generations of Norwegian fishmongers, Hansen provides his tender salmon to leading London restaurants such as Yotam Ottolenghi’s Nopi, Hakkasan’s Sake No Hana and Terence Conran’s boutique hotel-restaurant the Boundary.

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Lissa Hunter is one of the wisest people I know. I’ve learned many things over the years, talking with Lissa while she coils baskets and shares some of her wisdom without knowing she’s doing so. She is a craftsperson, a sculptor, a writer, a painter, a drawer and a teacher among many other things.

Her studio is in the same building that houses Angela Adams design studios, furniture making,

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The shapes of nature and living on the coast Maine provides endless design inspiration. The tides, seasons, foliage and weather are always in a constant state of change. The palette varies from one hour to the next at times, with the fog rolling in soft acoustical beauty, the outgoing tide revealing a textural seascape that ripens and rusts as the seasons progress and the colder months when the trees have lost their leaves and only the raw architecture of the land holds court for the Mainers that stay on all winter and relish in the quiet beauty of winter.

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The World of Tomorrow. The 1939 World’s Fair came at turning point in our country and 40 million people went to New York to view it. It’s a powerful statement about perseverance, optimism and a commitment to the future with design and ingenuity.

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1939 world's fair

“Seventy-five years ago, on April 30, 1939, the colossal New York World’s Fair opened in what is now Flushing Meadows-Corona Park,

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“Dazzle camouflage, also known as razzle dazzle or dazzle painting, was a family of ship camouflage used extensively in World War I and to a lesser extent in World War II and afterwards. Credited to artist Norman Wilkinson, though with a prior claim by the zoologist John Graham Kerr, it consisted of complex patterns of geometric shapes in contrasting colours, interrupting and intersecting each other.

Unlike some other forms of camouflage,

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gMany thanks to Smithsonian Mag for the article.

For nearly a decade, amateur photographer Tsuneaki Hiramatsu spent his summer evenings in the forests outside Niimi, in Japan’s Okayama prefecture. He was intent on capturing the spectacle of firefly mating season, when the males and females vie for attention through blinking codes. As night fell, Hiramatsu began shooting a series of eight-second exposures. He then digitally merged the images,

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leroy grannis surf cali

“LeRoy Grannis, considered by many to be the premier photographer of California’s thriving surf culture in the 60’s and 70’s, started out not as a professional or trained artist– but as a hobbyist. He didn’t even begin his epic career until the ripe age of 42 yrs old. That was back in 1959– prime time to document America entering the golden age of surf mania, and capture it with a keen eye and insight that only a true surfer could possess.

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Grain Surfboards

Maine has a long history of skilled craftsmanship. Mainers tend to like to build things themselves, it gives us the opportunity to use the tools in our shop, garage, toolbox, etc. We (Mainers) also like to soak up the seasons in all their glory. What better way to do that than to ride a clean wave on a handcrafted surfboard made with local soft wood and traditional tools? Grain surfboards celebrate everything we love in one fell swoop… mother nature,

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Our cat Scoot provided us with endless inspiration for many years. Graphically, his white coat with abstract grey spots was mesmerizing. Spiritually, he was wise beyond his years and was a very loving friend to everyone, especially his tiger cat brother, Argyle.

>> scoot rug

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Karen Gelardi is a very talented Portland artist and one whom we had the pleasure of working with for nearly 15 years.

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Years ago, I stumbled upon a book of photography by Loretta Lux at Casco Bay Books. The book felt like a fairy tale, featuring the mysteriously dreamy portraits of children with porcelain skin and eerily wise expressions seeming to want to tell a story— but holding it back. I carried the book around with me, sharing it with others and with the empty hope of it finally revealing the fairy tale it has locked inside.

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yardageYardage #1, Alice Spencer , acrylic and gesso on sand on board , 29″ x 41″, 2011

One of the things that I find fascinating about an artist is learning what they are most passionate about. In those learnings lie the core of their inspirations and the roots of their work. Alice Spencerhas a passion for textiles, which is very evident in her work. It’s fascinating to hear her talk about the different places she has visited and the roles textiles play in their cultures.

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Some things make you want to quit your job and do something totally different every day. Or at least take a break and dive into into a new medium. Annalisa Bollini’s work has that effect on me. Drawing with thread has always intrigued me and I need to get my grandmothers hoops out and start experimenting.

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(Left) Upupa, Paper Sculpture. 2014 (Right) European bee eater. Photo by Henrique Mangeon. 2013

birds-3Eastern Meadowlark. Paper Sculpture. 2014birds-2Greater Bird of Paradise, Paper Sculpture. 2013birds-4(Left) American Goldfinch, Paper Sculpture. 2014 (Right) Blue tit. Paper Sculpture. 2014birds-5Photos courtesy of Victoria Holguinbirds-7Working process in the studio. 2014birds-8(Left) Colombia. Bird stamps. 2015 (Right) Brasil.

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There is nothing like a good spoon. My grandmother had a ladle that I loved and it hung on the back of the cupboard door. It clanged every time she opened or closed it. I can still hear the sound of her silver bracelets jingling along with the spoons and other things that hung on the door when she swung it open. 

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jmoon-2jmoon-3jmoon-4jmoon-5jmoon-6jmoon-7jmoon-8jmoon-9I’ve been dreaming about a totally new wardrobe. Given the opportunity, I would choose a few designers and do it up with my favorite pieces. j moon would be one of the designers. I love the graphic, modern textures and combinations of materials. I appreciate clothing that is unique and handcrafted and need to start collecting more pieces like these.

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