In this post, I'm exploring a pursuit of mine that is still creative, yet non-caloric. In addition to baking, I am pursuing a Masters in Interior Design through UCLA. In one of my courses, the final project was to represent an influential designer's work on a flat board. I chose Tony Duquette, who's over-the-top work was truly a reflection of his motto "more is more." Duquette gained inspiration from the everyday and often created interior elements from junk, trash and dollar store finds. He found beauty in the everyday and achieved splendid interiors through repetition and abundance. Whether you like or hate this type of all-out design, I encourage you to take a look at his website or check out his two books.
Here is a photo of my board, the result of several trips to the dollar store, a trip to the thrift store, four different types of glue and two cans of gold spray paint. My design makes a lot more sense if you are familiar with Duquette's work--for example, the sun (made out of a cake board and skewers) is a representation of his sunburst lamps and the "B" shaped item (made out of cake fondant) is a representation of his biomorphic console table. Each of the frames holds a photograph of Duquette's interiors. Spray-painting then gluing each marble on was truly an act of obsessive compulsion--I can't even imagine doing a whole wall--Duquette paneled an entire room in abalone shells!
After completing this project, I harbored a new-found love for dollar stores. There are many in Los Angeles and two within blocks of my house and I began to frequent them quite often. My favorite find were these concrete Buddhas. I bought about 15 and spray painted them. Now, a small brigade of Buddhas guards my front door.
Another fun find were the mini disco balls. These cast pretty patterns on my walls when the afternoon light hits them.
These refrigerator magnets were all $1! I spray painted half of them...gold, of course.
I made this out of pvc piping as part of a project on modular design for another class and now use it as a pencil holder. I'm planning a large model to hold my architectural drawings for my drafting classes.
You can imagine my excitement reading the article in the NY Times Magazine, The Dollar Store Economy. This led me to the blog Dollar Store Crafts which, in turn, led me to the Pratt Design for a Dollar competition gallery. The students' designs are truly inspirational and I may have to borrow some of their ideas. I especially love the lamp made from an old sweater and a plastic bottle and the stools made out of recycled magazines. Actually, I love them all, but those are the two that I can imagine replicating myself.
Another amazing artist working along these same rags-to-art lines is Payton Cosell Turner, who is featured in the September 2011 issue of Elle Decor. She takes everyday stickers and simply through repetition and pattern makes the most amazing wallpaper/installation art. I am truly blown away by her vision and how she has so successfully found an application and audience for her art. Again, this will be a fun project to replicate (I'll start small!).