Saturday, January 30, 2010

Top 4 Designers: Part 1

In a recent discussion, I was asked to list my three favorite designers of decorative arts. I couldn't narrow it down quickly, so I begged off, promising to write a blog post with my answer. The reply grew quite lengthy so here's the answer in four parts, starting today with glass. These are my favorite designers, with a few honorable mentions, one from each of the four "major" decorative art groups: furniture, ceramics, glass, and metal. There may be a few quibbles on my grouping, and even my choice of designers, but each one holds a special place in my heart for various reasons.

Hands down, without thinking, I can name Dale Chihuly. I loved Dale (we're on a first name basis) before I even knew who he was. In my freshman year of college I mentioned my love of the vase that sits next to Frasier's fireplace (after season 3 for those who are fans), and was chided with, "Of course you love it, it's a Chihuly." The woman who told me this may be patronizing, but she's right. Chihuly is a Seattle, WA-based artist, in addition to being world-renown, thus his inclusion in Frasier's exceedingly posh (and somewhat pretentious) apartment.

Additionally, I was warmly greeted by his beautiful sculptural chandelier upon walking in to the V&A in London (pictured above), clenching what I know will be a life-long affair with the museum. Chihuly's made a few appearances in my classes, but I usually end up spotting him in an entryway, gallery, or other unexpected places.Overcoming the loss of his eye, Chihuly, along with his studio, produces amazing works, delighting not just glass, but beauty lovers everywhere. His work is eye-catching, sculptural, playful, colorful, and displays a mastery of glass handling like no other glass work I know.

Honorable mention: Wilhelm Wagenfeld Kubus Stacking Storage Containers. IKEA-like storage in a pre-IKEA era.

Up next: Furniture

1 comment:

  1. Chihuly is one of those artists whose work I admire for execution, but am underwhelmed by the finished product (although in Chihuly's case, it's kind of over-underwhelmed). I'd probaby have picked Tiffany based on the windows we saw last spring (and also to really stick it in Edward's craw). Can't wait to see what else you pick!