Keeping the shop stocked with lovely things is a full time affair. When we need a creative boost the designers, photographers, writers, and visionaries that make up the lady blogger force in the Bay are a wonderful source for inspiration and fresh product ideas. Since we have such a fun variety of blogs in our feed, we thought we'd take a moment to share some of them with you. Hope you enjoy following them as much as we do!
Conundrum is written by freelance graphic designer and "visual nerd" Maia McDonald in Oakland. She shares everything she finds beautiful or intriguing on her blog, mostly in design, fashion, food, photography and illustration. With almost 2 million followers on Pinterest, it's worth checking out her boards as well. She always has something inspiring to share.
SFGirlByBay is by designer, journalist, and stylist Victoria Smith. It's mostly an interior design blog, with a variety of posts that reflect her passion for Bohemian modern style. This blog will make you want to redo your entire home! If you want to find unique household items that will reflect your personal style, this is your blog.
SpottedSF is a relatively new kid on the block. It's a photo blog by Leslie Santarina capturing her favorite neighborhood spots in San Francisco + other travel gems, too. She has impeccable taste, so it's really worth giving her a follow to see what restaurants and shops she's hitting next.
Modestics is by artist and designer Linda Geiser (also the founder of Wallter Design home goods). It has tons of wonderful interviews with craftsmen and women who lean towards modern design. Here at Marion and Rose we only carry American-made goods, so we follow this one pretty closely.
Today is going to be awesome is by Oakland artist Lisa Congdon. She posts much of her new artwork on the blog, as well as some design finds, inspiring quotes, personal journal entries, and photos from her travels. Her posts are always unique and inspiring!
You make so many cute towels. Which are your current faves?
We keep seeing your stuff around town at all sorts of indie fairs. Do you have any events in your calendar for this fall?
There's a slight breeze blowing through Old Oakland today, and while it's still warm and sunny out, there are some leaves on the ground and Fall is in the air. And you know what the coming of Fall means... new goodies in the shop! Some new merch is already starting to roll in, and we want you to be the first to hear about them. Here are a few of the things that have come in that we're especially excited about:
Earrings from Amano Studio! We first spied these charming adornments at a hip little boutique in Silver Lake, and had to have them for our shop. Turns out they're made right nearby in Sonoma. Our faves are the cast metal crystals.
Beautiful new bear prints from Michael McConnell. Michael really put his BFA in printmaking to good use with these prints, and drew on his love of watercolors as well.
Cards, wall art, and calendars from printmaker and illustrator Rigel Stuhmiller. Don't let your desk be calendar-less in 2014.
Letterpress maps by the hubby and wife team at Quail Lane Press. These beauties are pressed and watercolored by hand in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
So many lovely things! Come and see us at the shop and we'll show you around.
We're really excited to have Andrea Voinot from Kala Art Institute curating a selection of works here on the walls of our shop for the month of July! In case you're not familiar with Kala, they find talented artists who work in all different mediums, help them to develop their skills through residency and fellowship programs in their amazing studios, and exhibit their work to appreciative audiences. They also hold a bunch of inspired art classes for locals. Here's a Q&A with Andrea to give you more of a sense of what they're up to.
What's hanging on the walls at Marion and Rose right now, and how does it represent Kala's work?
An eclectic mix of works by Kala artists Amanda Knowles, Kathryn Clark, Nora Pauwels, Emily Payne, Lisa Solomon, and Seiko Tachibana. (It wasn't intentional, but I just realized they're all women!) These artists work in a variety of media including traditional and digital printmaking, mixed media, drawing, and embroidery.
What's the Kala Art Institute all about?
So glad you asked! Kala has been around for almost 40 years, and it was started by two printmakers – Archana Horsting and Yuzo Nakano – as a place for artists to come and work in a supportive and encouraging environment. We're located in the old Heinz Ketchup Factory on the corner of San Pablo and Ashby in Berkeley. Our artists have 24 hour access to the building, and are given total freedom to do whatever they want with our collection of arts equipment.
Downstairs we have a wonderful gallery with rotating exhibitions. Enrique Chagoya's show "Freedom of Expression" just ended, and next up is a show featuring works by our current Fellowship artists. We also offer classes to the general public, and educational programs for school children. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's always something interesting going on at Kala – lectures, kids camps, calls for entries, etc.
What are your artists-in-residence working on right now?
So many different things… One of our fellowship artists, Clint Wilson from Canada, just built a kayak in our classroom! It's part of a three year project called Finding Morris, and you can read more about Clint in this interview in SFAQ. Once he got the boat all put together, he screened William Morris' "Strawberry Thieves" pattern on the top and inscribed excerpts from John Ruskin's writings from the 19th century on the hull. To top it off, he attached his watercolor easel to the front so that he can paint while at sea.
At the beginning of July, another of our fellowship artists, Margaret Leininger, led a free Indigo Dye Potluck. And there's always great work being done in the studios where we have equipment for both traditional and new print processes including intaglio, monotype, woodblock, lithography, screen printing, letterpress, black and white photography, digital photography, design. large format printing, and digital video editing.
How can locals get involved with Kala?
The best way to hear what we're up to is to get on our mailing list, which you can sign up for on our website: www.kala.org. We're constantly posting information about new classes, lectures, exhibitions, residencies, and family art days.
Some of our favorite pottery in the whole dang world is made by Jennifer Fish of JFish Designs (check out her cute stuff in our shop, above!). We were excited to be able to visit her studio yesterday down at the Berkeley Potters Guild! She's busy coming up with tons of new designs for the holidays, and engrossed in slipcasting all sorts of cool ceramic tableware.
Jennifer has a super interesting background, with degrees in Engineering Psychology at Tufts University and Industrial Design at Pratt Institute. She was a product designer for years and years, spending some time at Smart Design where she worked with companies like OXO, Hewlett Packard, and Toyota. She also worked on kitchenware products for brands like KitchenAid and Cuisinart as an industrial designer at Lifetime Brands.
It was awesome to see Jennifer in her environment, and to get a little taste of her creative process. Come on down to the shop to check out her goods live and in person.