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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