modern nomads. dara artisans.

We recently worked on a super fun collaboration with Dara Artisans. They flew us out to Joshua Tree where we spent a couple days shooting Modern Nomad.

It was a dusty hot wild windblown time in the desert.

Thank you to our crew. You all worked tirelessly.

A bonus to this shoot was being introduced to Dara Artisan artist Andrea Crescioni. I am now completely obsessed with her line of leather necklaces and belts. The only problem being which one to choose. I love them all!!

Much of this story was shot at the beautiful cabin of JT Homesteader. Thank you Jay and Stephanie!  You saved us and you really came through with that horse!! We heart you.

Catch some desert vibes and stay at one of their remote and beautiful cabins.

http://jthomesteader.com

See the full story and shop for all these beautiful pieces and more at Dara Artisans.

 

sountrack. the eagles.

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jim franco ceramics for dara artisans.

We have known Jim Franco for many years. First as a photo editor and then as a photographer and now as an amazing ceramicist. If you live in New York long enough you tend to see creatives move through different fields. As artists, we can never seem to sit still long enough to stay in one sandbox. We are surrounded by so much creativity that it is hard to stick to just one thing. I myself have worn many hats over the years as we tend to do in New York. I admire my peers who have branched out to explore other disciplines. Jim is no exception, though he has only been making ceramics for a short time what he has mastered is quite amazing. He is making mostly bowls at this point, in all sizes, but my favorites are those that fit snuggly into a cupped hand.  His glazes are really special, they remind me of muted stormy beach days, the kind of day that is both shimmery and dark at once. The kind of day when the light is soft and a little translucent. Perhaps it is his photographer self and his appreciation for light  and the way it hits objects that makes him such a good ceramicist.

We had a super fun day collaborating with Jim on this project.

You can see his work at the newly launched daraartisans.com

xx

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dara artisans. aboubakar fofana. the indigo master.

We recently collaborated on great project with Dara Artisans featuring the master indigo artist Aboubakar Fofana. It was hectic crazy day on a rooftop in Brooklyn. We had returned from Mexico only hours before the shoot and I think we carried over to the project a bit that magic one finds in Tulum. We collaborated with stylist Kalen Kaminski and designer Pamela Berry. As we raced to make a tent in crazy winds somewhere Aboubakar floated in... He is a striking presence. His fingertips were stained blue and he was dressed in head to toe indigo. I hope to one-day sit down with him at a more calm time, perhaps in Mali. Just putting that out in the universe.

 

You know how we are all obsessed with finding artisans and tiny markets and having things made and bringing back those special things from trips? Dara Artisans is just that. It is everything I have thought about while traveling. They have brought it all together creating this unique marketplace for artisans and I think it will only grow exponentially as there are so many great artists to feature in all the farthest corners of this huge world.

 

About Dara Artisans, from their site;

Media veterans Dan and Dara Brewster founded DARA Artisansto share the work of incredible craftspeople worldwide. They believe that handmade designshave the power to enrich our lives with beauty and meaning.Connecting artisans with the global marketplace their work deserves, enables themto make larger contributions to their own communities.

Dan and Dara have traveled extensively-from central Cambodia to Cusco Peru, from Kerala, India to the Place Vendome in Paris. They visited Syria at the height of the Arab Spring, on the eve of the hostilitiesthat would soon tear that country apart. They brought home a memory of walking across therooftops of the ancient souks in Aleppo with Adam, a Syrian artisan the warwould soon displace. It heightened their sense of the vulnerability and the importanceof preserving the ancestral traditions of master artisans.

While DARA Artisans reaches far and wide, from aLos Angeles woodworker to weavers in Laos who create the silk scarves and shawls thatsustain their villages, our headquarters are in New York. We are a small teamof design, digital, media and marketing professionals, who learned their trades at places likeAmerican Express, Time Inc., Martha Stewart Living, Travel + Leisure, West Elm and Ralph Lauren.We present artisans' work at its best and share their stories.

 

About Aboubakar Fofana from the Dara Artisans website:

"Indigo surrounds us perhaps more than any other textile dye—it’s the blue of thousand-year-old religious rites and our modern jeans, once used as literal currency and in revolutionary symbols. (The blue in the first American flags was made from indigo.) Few modern craftsmen have unlocked its potential better than Aboubakar Fofana, who has studied traditional indigo production techniques for over three decades and on three continents: at home in Mali, inside ethnology museums in Paris, and alongside Masakazu Akiyama, a Japanese master dyer. Still, though, indigo remains a mystery that is only slowly unveiling its secrets: “Every time I work with indigo, it’s like the first time,” he says. “I never get bored.”

To read the full story go here

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ceramics.

I want to share a few new images from a recent ceramics story we shot for Martha Stewart Living. We worked on this story with our dear friend Ayesha Patel, who is Editorial Style Director at MSL. She has always had the most exquisite taste. This story grew from our mutual love of ceramics. We have had many coffee dates over the past couple years to mull this idea about. It is so nice to see it come to fruition. We have barely scratched the surface here and could do it all again tomorrow with a whole new group of artists. The group photographed here are strictly american. I hope you are as inspired as we were.

 Check out the story in The June issue for a full list of ceramicists and their sites. 

upstate. currently obsessed.

It is no secret how much I love the lineUpstate, they have shown up in my last two gift guides. Kalen Kaminski and Astrid Chastka who design the line, are two luminous and inspiring beauties! They recently started a home line, a natural extension of their ridiculously gorgeous shibori dyed pieces. Take a look their complete  fall collection  photographed by another inspiring duo  Paola + Murray . We spent a day shooting some of the new pieces from Upstate's lovely home line at our house (geographically appropriately located) upstate!  

Btw I am obsessed with their blog.

Take a peek.

x

hand thrown. currently obsessed. cradle to grave.

Lately, I have been obsessed with hand thrown ceramics. I search for them at junk shops and fleas. Every once in a while I come up with a beauty that was lovingly made in the 60's or 70's. It makes me happy to know that it has been used previously and has had a whole other life of it's own. I just returned from a trip to Amsterdam where I saw an old friend and we talked about the idea of "cradle to grave" which is essentially the life cycle of any given thing. In the case of our conversation, it related to products and social responsibility, this is something we think about a lot in our family. When we buy or consume we like to know that what we are buying is something of value and that it will live on beyond us and have that same sort of continuous life cycle. I feel this way about the ceramics of Kasper Würtz. They have a sense of purpose and a utilitarian beauty. Like most hand thrown pieces, Kasper"s ceramics carry the feeling of the maker. Each piece is unique like those one of a kinds I search for at the flea  market.

Here are a few photos of his gorgeous ceramics. I will post some of my other favorite makers in this section called currently obsessed in the next few weeks.

These ceramics are available from a shop in London. The below table is from Ochre and the base is cast of one piece of bronze. Styled by the beautiful and talented Angharad Bailey.

japanses pickles.

Lush spring and summer produce is currently feeding my pickle obsession. I am dreaming pickles these days.

Lately I have been into exploring Japanese pickling techniques.

I have been delving into the recipes in Nancy Singlton Hachisu's book Japanese Farmhouse Food. Below are a few images from the current issue of Kinfolk Magazine

recipes to come.

Ceramics by the insanely talented Jessica Niello.

Knife available at  QUITOKEETO 

egg. currently obsessed. how to boil an egg.

Spring is upon us even if a windy chill lingers in the air. I love this time of the year. The farmers market is bursting with ramp and spring onion and eggs of all sorts! I love the pullet eggs from the Amish Farmer at the Friday Green Market. They are so sweet and small. I have a soft spot for the newly laying hens that have come through their awkward and gangly teenage stage. This time of the year you will start to see duck eggs and goose eggs and quail eggs. The smaller pullets are perfect for Toad In The Hole, Egg In A Nest, or Egg in The Middle; whatever you may call them. Because of their small size, they sit perfectly in that cut out hole in the bread without running over the sides. We are big eaters of Egg In A Nest as we call them in our house. There is something so right about a buttery fried piece of bread with a perfectly done egg in the middle of it. It is both crunchy and soft and best when generously salted and peppered. We had chickens when I was growing up. We had Arcanas before it was cool. I have to thank my dad for that. He was into off beat breeds, hence the Sicilian Donkeys and Scottish Highlanders. We called our Arcanas Easter egg chickens. We bartered our plethora of eggs with neighbors for things like syrup or meat and gave them to pretty much anyone who happened to walk in the door. Some hens are prolific layers and one can quickly find oneself overrun with eggs!  If you find yourself in this situation or if you just want to celebrate spring's bounty, pick up a copy of Phaidon'sHow To Boil an Egg

It is the new book from Rose Carrarini of Rose Bakery on Rue des Martyrs in Paris and it is all about eggs! It seems deceptively simple but let's face it, the incredible egg is at times challenging and incredibly versatile. Here its secrets are revealed. How To Boil An Egg is gorgeously illustrated by botanical illustrator Fiona Strickland, with hyper real drawings that look like photographs. This is a lovely book filled with simple staples and a few surprises.

llustration Fiona Strickland 

Egg In The Middle 

From How To Boil an Egg

Rose Carrarini

2 slices of bread, preferably whole wheat

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

2 eggs

First stamp a circle from the center of each slice of bread with a 2-inch cookie cutter and reserve.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan or skillet over medium heat, add the bread and reserved rounds ('hats') and fry until the undersides are lightly golden.

Turn the bread over, adding more oil if necessary.

Carefully break the eggs and ease them into the holes. (Sometimes I drain off a little of the white, but this is not a rule.)

Reduce the heat and cook until the whites are set and the yolks are beginning to set, but are still soft.

Using a spatula, transfer the slices of bread and eggs to a plate, with their hats over the yolks, and serve.

Now saute up some of that ramp, pea shoots or wild mustard you have kicking around and serve it on the side!