Design and style from a Scandinavian perspective

Sara Woodrow lives here!

As I was browsing Sara Woodrow's blog SMÄM looking for some new art prints (she is an illustrator and sells her prints here) I fell over the top photo here with the blue feather duster. I think it looks great, so I went looking for more photos from her home. Below are some favorites:


Artist Maija Luutonen

Having a super stressful week, but felt immediately calmer when I entered the universe of Maija Luutonen. Monochrome, simple, ordered and minimalistic was just what I needed today. Might be boring to some, but to me her work is wonderfully soothing.


Avifauna Birds

This is definitely more art than design and might not quite fit in here on the blog, but I just fell completely in love with these birds! They are made for Italian textile producer Rubelli by studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters and will be shown at Spazio Rossana Orlandi, during the 2012 Salone del Mobile in Milan. Each bird has it's own expression, but they all seem to have quite an attitude!

Commissioned by Rubelli, art direction by Edelkoort ETC

Artist Ylva Ogland

A few days ago I received this book about Swedish artist Ylva Ogland from the publisher Orosdi-Back. Contrary to most art books, this is a small paperback book, and it's part of a series of books about other Swedish artists and illustrators. There is also a similar series about Swedish architects and designers, like Estrid Ericsson (founder of Svenskt Tenn) and Axel Einar Hjorth. I truly enjoyed the small format of the book, it made it feel more available and not as precious as a huge coffee table book. Of course it also makes it possible to bring the book with you to read on the bus/train/in a café.

I had never heard of Ogland before, but her work really captured me. I love the very twisted and quite macabre settings she creates, and how she includes her entire family in her work and seems to have no limits whatsoever between her personal and professional life. You can read and see more about this on her own site. Below are some shots from the book, mostly from her home, but the bottom pic is from an exhibition.

Artist Tenka Gammelgaard

Sorry for being such a bad blogger this week. I've been working on other stuff. Like getting my house ready for a photoshoot and interview with Korean writer/stylist Juhee C, who is making a book on Scandinavian style.

Today I'd like to show you the studio of Danish artist Tenka Gammelgaard. It's all black and white and stripes, and I love it! I've seen her home and studio before, but I was reminded today by this post on the Mackapär blog.

Photos by Ranvita La Cour and Rishi from Happyliving and Tenka Gammelgaard

Story Hotel + Wonderwall = Story Collection

I've written about both Story Hotel and Wonderwall before (please use the new search bar to the right to find those posts), but I haven't written about their cooperation called Story Collection, which is a series of five different prints, used in the Story Hotel and also available for purchase at Wonderwall. The artists behind the prints are all big names in Sweden, and the art is truly beautiful.

Artist: Cecilia Carlstedt
Artist: Julia Hetta
Artist: Jenny Mörtsell

New prints by Sanna Annukka

One of the first artists I wrote about on this blog, back when it started in 2005, was Sanna Annukka. Now, almost four years later, I definitely think it's time to show some of her art again. Sanna just launched three new prints and a set of wooden birds in her familiar style but this time in a more subdued color palette. I think that is pretty funny, because I used to show a lot of bold colors here before, and now that I've changed my taste, so has she, and in the same direction!

You can buy the limited edition prints and her new birds in her shop, right here.

Art prints from Itchyshop

I got an email from an artist called Emmy Lincoln, saying she likes my blog, and a link to her webshop; Itchyshop. I had some time to waste (very rare these days) so I clicked through, and found this super sweet art print called Skogen (=The forest). Isn't it cute? It brought a smile to my face in the middle of the night, and that's got to be worth something!

Rugh Family Workshop posters

Have you heard about the Rugh Family Workshop poster project?
It was started by Jaime & Jeffrey Rugh for their children. Collaborating as artists with family, old friends and new friends, the workshop started making posters to promote awareness, support and compassion for individuals and families living with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The limited edition posters vary widely in range, focus and design as does the spectrum itself, and are available for international shipping. A donation will be made from each sale to GRASP, an educational and advocacy organization serving individuals on the autism spectrum.

I am getting this purple one for our home. It suits us perfectly, as everyone in the family, including the pets, are weird in their own different ways...

Jaime Rugh also has a beautifully designed online store for craft supplies, don't miss it!

Staring at the Sun

Football Drawings by Lee Walton

I'm not a football fan of any kind, but I could totally see these drawings of football games on my walls! They don't look "footbally" at all, just really cool and graphic.

1002 Spoons, an exhibition by Jurgen Lehl

Remember last year when everyone all over blogland were totally crazy about spoons? They were all over the place, on flickr and on every design and photo blog i clicked to! Now there is this exhibition in Japan, by German artist Jurgen Lehl, and maybe this will set the craze off again... Just look at all those lovely spoons!

Find Jurgen's blog here, homepage here and webshop here.

New and old, elaborately carved and simple, big and small, carved from wood, coconut, horn, shell and bamboo, made of iron, brass and gourd, hammered from silver, copper, bronze and stainless steel, salt spoons, tea spoons, ceremonial spoons, tea ceremony spoons, serving spoons, ladles, and jewelry made of spoons. Many were designed and made especially for this show, while others were found in Vietnam, China, Japan, Indonesia, Timor, the Philippines, Korea, India, Africa and Europe. The Exhibition will be shown at the Jurgen Lehl Babaguri store in Tokyo and will travel throughout Japan.

Dan-ah Kim, new artist on L'Affiche Moderne

I just got an email from L'Affiche Moderne, a great webshop for modern art posters, introducing one of their new artists; Dan-ah Kim.
Dan-ah Kim was born in Seoul, Korea, moved to Mexico, then spent time on both coasts of the USA before coming to New York and graduating from the prestigious Pratt Institute. It’s no wonder then that she has been so influenced by these various cultures and voyages and that her work has been so impregnated with an intense sense of wanderlust, escape and freedom. An important element of the work of this mixed media artist has been a love for layers with separated materials, using ink, paint, paper, and thread. The artist aims to make each painting a frame for a story, with heroines in familiar or unnatural worlds.

This poster, entitled When the world sleeps, immediately gave me some very strong emotions, and I love how it captures so much of what Autumn means to me. I can really feel the chill of the strong wind, and the smell of rain clouds and decaying leaves as I look at this. It also reminds me of the many long drives in the countryside I used to take with my ex boyfriend. Does it affect you as strongly as it did me? If so, I'd love to hear what kind of feelings it evokes in you!

Ceramic artist Meta Braconier

Ceramist Josefin Fina Holmqvist

Swedish ceramist Josefin Fina Holmqvist is exhibiting at Kaolin gallery in Stockholm until May 25th. Don't miss her ceramic art inspired by electricity lines and their entangled appearance!

Holmqvist graduated from HDK/department of ceramic art - University of Gothenburg in 2001 and have since worked in Studio Feldspar in Västra Frölunda. She exhibits her work in both Sweden and abroad, have spent time in China, Hungary and Denmark, and at the moment she is finishing a public commission for a chinese garden within an area called Götheborg in Gothenburg.

"In my work, time tends to be the factor which often feels most important. Regardless of whether relating to sculptural objects or functional goods, time is often present as a common denominator. Time: as in the visually observable in an object, as in a flow or a rhythm in decor or sometimes as the basis of inspiration."


This is some of her older work:

Artist Annika Bäckström

Today I am loving these illustrations by Annika Bäckström! I have always liked drawings of anatomical hearts and the messages on these feel like a nice alternative to all the usual over romantic stuff I see out there.


Artist Diem Chau

A Vietnam native, Diem Chau and her family came to America as refugees in 1986. Chau is a BFA graduate from Cornish College of the Arts and has received an Artist Trust GAP Grant and a PONCHO Artist-in-Residence Award. Her work has been exhibited in New York, Miami, Seattle and Los Angeles.

Chau combines common mediums and common means to create delicate vignettes of fleeting memory, gesture and form, resulting in works that combine egalitarian sensibility and minimalist restraint. Her work touches on the value of Storytelling, Myths and its ability to connect us to each other through cultural and humanistic similarities. Chau's current work drifts into new territory by exploring the periphery of the narrative, moments forgotten and faded, or too brief to retain.

This is her most recent work, embroidery on porcelain plates and cups. Amazing, isn't it?


And check out Chau's website to have a closer look at the tiny furniture she makes from toothpicks and paper.

Heather Smith Jones on Etsy!

One of my favourite artists, Heather Smith Jones, just opened up her Etsy shop! It's stocked full of her original paintings and drawings, meaning there is only one of each, so hurry over to snitch one before they are all gone! If you want to see more of her work, just click on over to her blog or website.


Ps. Don't forget to enter in the smil competition, I will draw the winners tonight!

5 words by Anita Dube

Anita Dube is trained as an art historian and critic. Her work is determinedly individualized yet provocatively informed by its cultural context. She has developed an aesthetic language that is partial to sculptural fragment as a cultural bearer of personal and social histories. Usually employing a variety of found objects, Dube explores a divergent range of subjects that address a profound concern for loss and regeneration - both autobiographical and societal.

The photos below are from Anitas 5 words exhibition that just ended at The Mattress Factory Art Museum in Pittsburgh.

"I wanted to work with one letter and kept writing strings of words. I could have ended up with the letter, "c" or "t" or anything but eventually I picked "w", I thought I could deal with the issues I was interested in through these words at this time."

"Everything is white because I didn?t want colors to interfere with the conceptual process."

"I wanted to make something compelling. I could have portrayed waste as a messy, repelling thing but I wanted the experience to be subtle where it unfolds and takes more time to understand. I think that attention spans are too short these days and artists need to have strategies to compete or combat this."

"I am also interested in how a word can become architecture, exploring that idea."

"Where I come from in India, we save everything, everything is re-used. The logic of capitalism is to have more, to have excess and therefore also to create more waste."

Illustrator Kavel Rafferty

I first got introduced to Kavel Rafferty's work at the BoBo Gallery, and immediately fell for it's feminine but still kind of edgy charm. Last week I got an email from Kavel, and had a look at her website, and found so much more nice stuff I felt I had to show you! If you want to see more, please visit Kavel here.

Kavel has worked for lots of great companies including Elle Deco, Ted Baker, Bust Magazine and Penguin Books, and is a regular contributor to Swedish high-end fashion magazine Bon. If you feel like owning a piece of her art it is available as paintings or postcards at Designtorget, The BoBo Gallery and Designista.


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