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Showing posts from March, 2022

Weekend / Stuff

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Raul Coronel ceramic head, David Stewart, Trudi and Harold Sitterle, and Ettore Sottsass Raul Coronel, 1965 Source: LA Times Raul Coronel showroom on Melrose Avenue

New City of Mentalphysics / Joshua Tree Retreat Center

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Here we are again at at the  Joshua Tree Retreat Center . This is one of the Ridge Cottages by Lloyd Wright.  It is part of the largest collections of Lloyd Wright buildings anywhere.  They offer personal retreats , which allows you the opportunity to stay in a Lloyd Wright ridge cottage. The 300 seat dining room was also designed by Lloyd Wright in 1956. It's now called Food For Thought CafĂ© . Preceptory of Light, the First Sanctuary of Mystic Christianity (1959) is topped by a 90 foot spire. It was built by O.K. Earl Jr., who also constructed the Inspiration Heights housing units .  More on the Joshua Tree Retreat Center: Here Here Here

Weekend / Stuff

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 Ceramic Wall Slab by Jun Kaneko Smalls and two vases by Heather Rosenman La Gardo Tackett studio vase

Modern Bookshelf / Mingei

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  Dave and I will be hanging out at Mingei on Friday. I'm going to try to make him do all the talking. In this talk , San Diego-based collectors, Steve Aldana and Dave Hampton will discuss their interest in vintage books and ephemera, specifically mid-20th century craft and design periodicals and exhibition catalogs as important sources of inspiration, learning and practical identification, as well as thoroughly realized examples of modernist print culture. Known for his informative blog, Esoteric Survey, Steve Aldana shares his notes on unique design objects, latest finds, and the architecture sites he visits. Vintage books, magazines and catalogs are used to guide his documentary-style approach to travel and collecting. The results resonate with design professionals, collectors and dealers. Dave Hampton is a local collector and curator connected to the Museum through his work on exhibitions such as San Diego's Craft Revolution and The Erik Gronborg Experience, both of which

Weekend / Stuff

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  I stayed local this weekend.  I guess that made my chances better for finding a Jean Balmer. It's a nice one too.

Harold Zook / Joshua Tree Retreat Center Bungalows

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Inspiration Heights, serene contemplative living. Designed in 1960 by Harold Zook.  This is a continuation on my latest visit to the Joshua Tree Retreat Center . To be honest, I never noticed these buildings before. However, they are now being restored in a collaborative effort by the retreat center and Homestead Modern . Brad Dunning  is leading the design and restoration. Needless to say, it's in great hands and soon you'll be able to stay at The Bungalows . The housing was built on a knoll referred to as Inspiration Heights. The permanent living suites were designed for students and retired members of the organization. They were completely furnished and touted as being  "thoroughly modern."  In newspaper articles of the day, it was also described as "serene contemplative living."   Harold B Zook A.I.A, a Cornell graduate and former Albert Frey employee, was the architect and O.K. Earl Jr was the builder. Both were based in Pasadena. Earl was fresh off of

Helen Pope / Designer

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Fruit basket by Helen Pope Her work was selected for multiple Good Design exhibitions, including Chicago, 1953. Two candle holder designs were selected in 1954.   In the 1953 Young Designers exhibition catalog, Helen Pope said she "... is interested in designs that are eminently manufacturable, and which are thus, in most cases, cheap to fabricate. She is critical of what she sees as a trend toward expensive elegance and a concern for sheer good looks rather than production of economically accessible furnishings." Source: Young Designers, Akron Art Institute  Prototypes were developed in her "experimental shop" in St. Louis and contracted out to fabricators." At one point she also opened up a candle-manufacturing facility next to her metal studio because she was unable to find candles suitable for her holder designs. Pope designed a number of pieces that were distributed around the country but examples are very hard to come by.  Prior to opening up her design s

Ceramics / Scripps College

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I went on a field trip to Scripps College, Claremont to see their amazing collection of post-war American ceramics. With me were  Eric Huff and Tom McMillin (yes the ceramicist)! Kirk Delman, the Collections Manager and Interim Director at the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery at Scripps College gave us the tour.   Tom (left) is a legend in California ceramics and added so much to the experience. Not only did he know many of the artist in the collection, his technical knowledge of glazes and ceramics was a great insight to have. Kirk has been at Scripps for 37 years so he knows the collection better than anyone else. He also knew many of the artists personally and shared some great stories about them. This was a major craft geek experience for me and Eric.    The bulk of the Scripps ceramic collection came from Fred Marer. He was a math teacher at LA City College, so far from a rich guy. He built an amazing collection that began in 1954 when he went to an exhibition at Otis. He amassed