Lena Corwin X UO

by Anh-Minh on July 31, 2014

lenacorwin1I’ve been anxiously awaiting the launch of Lena Corwin’s collection with Urban Outfitters, and was excited to see it hit the retailer’s website this week. There are about a dozen pieces in the collaboration with the textile designer, illustrator, and author. (By the way, I love her books, Printing by Hand and Made by Hand.)

One of my favorites in the UO line is the California pillow, shown above in the middle of the bed. (Corwin grew up in San Francisco and recently moved back there from New York.) I’ve also got my eye on the Confetti throw blanket—and I love that it’s reversible! Ditto for the Ladder and Sticks + Sky floor pillows. Decisions, decisions …

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{ All images via Urban Outfitters }

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Reversed Volumes Leaves

by Joanna on July 30, 2014

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PCM Design is a Madrid-based brand which showcases products by talented, young designers in Spanish schools. A great example is Reversed Volumes Leaves, by mischer’traxler. Each resin platter features the detailed imprint of a leaf. To make these platters, the designer made a mold of each leaf using casting material, thus capturing the texture of each individual leaf. The level of detail they were able to achieve is really quite striking. Each platter is hand-cast in Spain using food-safe resin.

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{ Found via The Design Ark }

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Textiles by Susan Connor

by Joanna on July 29, 2014

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New York-based textile designer Susan Connor has long had a passion for what she calls “authentic luxuries.” The self-taught designer and artist debuted her collection of softly-hued and relaxed textiles in early 2014. The collection is made in limited quantities, which allows Connor to expand her creative repertoire by constantly creating new designs. Inspired by merging decorative arts with a casual simplicity, the pieces have a touch of Bohemia while also feeling modern. Connor uses linen for the pillows and throws, making the pieces durable, yet lightweight and luxurious. Lastly, the motifs that adorn each piece are hand-printed in Brooklyn, lending a natural variation to the artwork.

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{ Images via Susan Connor }

 

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Some of you may already be aware of this—before Anthology became a thing, the magazine’s creative director, Meg Mateo Ilasco, launched the “Inc.” creative business series with Chronicle Books. The latest book is coming out in just a couple of weeks (August 12 to be exact): Art Inc., written by one of my favorite local artists, Lisa Congdon, and edited by Meg. For anyone who has ever had an interest in a career as an artist, it’s a must-read.

To celebrate the book’s release, Lisa and Meg are doing something rather brilliant: On Tuesday, August 12, from 5-6 p.m. (PT), they’re teaming up with Creative Live for a live online book release event. So what does that mean? Meg and Lisa will be sitting down to discuss Lisa’s own path to becoming a professional fine artist and illustrator. There will be a live online broadcast, and anyone can participate. If you’re in the Bay Area, you can actually be a member of the studio audience!

Here’s how you can be a part of the event:

  • RSVP to WATCH ONLINE: To get online access to the event—it’s free—RSVP here.
  • SIGN UP TO BE PART OF THE LIVE AUDIENCE: If you are in the Bay Area and would like to attend, sign up here. Tickets are free, and there are 50 seats available. After the broadcast, Lisa will be signing copies of Art Inc. from 6-7 p.m. (You’ll be able to purchase a copy at the event if you don’t already have one.)

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P.S. If you’re a fan of Lisa’s as well, I hope you caught her house tour  in Issue No. 14/Winter 2014! We also posted some outtakes earlier this year.

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Panzanella

by Anh-Minh on July 25, 2014

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Sure, Fridays are usually pretty awesome because they signal the end of the work week. But even better? The Fridays when Melina Hammer shares a recipe with us! I can’t wait to try out her Panzanella. — Anh-Minh

Summertime ushers in fantastic produce we all love, like the bounty of bright and juicy tomatoes. I stopped buying tomatoes when they are not in season years ago, after I tasted the fabulous in-season versions grown by local farmers. The supermarket impersonators, no doubt trucked from a gazillion miles away, just can’t compete. When these wonderful and versatile fruits are in season, I gorge on them, filling my market basket to overflowing. My favorite tomatoes are the heirloom varieties—prized for their intense flavor, color, and juicy texture.

It is especially appropriate, given the hot and lazy days, that this month’s recipe is (almost) another no-cook treat, just like last month’s trio of summer salads. I say treat because, I feel indulgent when eating Panzanella—even though its origins were a means to save old bread from waste. Gotta love the Mediterranean sensibility! Yes, there is a good amount of olive oil and I do like to fry the bread in my version, but really, it sings the virtues of tomatoes in all their glory, and the framing accent of bright basil and chive blossoms (or shallots, or shaved red onion, or other allium) is alive with freshness. Use good bread and good olive oil, along with those good tomatoes. You’ll be wowed by the results.

After drizzling the torn bread all over to soak in the olive oil, I skillet-fry it in additional oil. To me, the crunchy, almost-charred exterior, paired with the juicy oil-soaked interior offers an unexpected delight when digging in. Keep the Panzanella in its respective ingredient clusters for dramatic presentation, or toss it all together in a pile and let your guests feast on the results.

Panzanella

Serves 2-4

  • 1 smallish loaf good crusty bread, torn into bite-sized chunks and left to sit for a day or two
  • 5 large heirloom tomatoes such as Green Zebras, Cherokee Purples, Yellow Pineapples, or Brandywines, cut into wedges
  • 1-2 cups Sungold tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 3-5 chive blossoms, individual blossoms picked apart (you can use shallots cut into wedges and slowly sautéed until soft and translucent, or thinly shaved red onion, as a substitute)
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  • good extra virgin olive oil for soaking, drizzling, and frying
  • red wine vinegar
  • flake sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Lay the bread out on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Over medium-high heat in a cast-iron skillet, add another glug of olive oil, and using tongs to turn the bread, brown it on all sides. Lower the heat to medium halfway through so as not to burn any pieces and re-drizzle oil if you see the pan smoking. It’s fine if some of the pieces become charred, but these parts should be more an accent than the norm.

As you finish browning, empty the pan of even the crumbs—those crunchy bits will be great in the mix—onto whatever serving platter you have chosen. If you’re arranging the ingredients in piles, do so with the basil, all the tomatoes, and the bread, and then scatter the chive blossoms (or allium of your choice) around. Mix together a 2:1 ratio of olive oil and red wine vinegar, whisk together to emulsify, and taste. Adjust ratio to your taste, then spoon dressing over all (save some for table side). Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and dig in. You just made an edible work of art.

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{ Recipe and photos by Melina Hammer }

 

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