The Influences of Mast Brothers Creative Director Nathan Warkentin

Nathan Warkentin has been driving Mast Brothers's creative direction for the past three years, nudging it away from its original Brooklyn aesthetic and towards something more relevant now. “In the beginning everything was a little old-timey, with a lot of classic or nautical patterns,” says Warkentin, whose influences we’re profiling today. “I started looking for inspiration in interesting art and architecture movements, and the work of current textile and pattern designers, to make it feel more contemporary.”

New Ceramics By Saint Karen

Many ceramicists have day jobs, but few have ones as incongruous as Karen Aragon of Saint Karen, who spends the majority of her hours working as a web developer. Her latest ceramics collection is an attempt to bridge those two interests by pulling influences from her more technical role into her creative one. “I wanted to be able to marry these two parts of my life, so I fed what I learn and research as a developer into my ceramic designs," she explains.
#5rs copy ELIKONAS

SARKOS, a Brooklyn Wallpaper Company

One of the primary objectives of Sight Unseen OFFSITE has always been to feature up-and-coming designers who are experimenting with materials and processes in interesting, and often very personal, ways. So we were delighted earlier this year to welcome Stephanie Dedes Reimers’s just-launched wallpaper company SARKOS to our line-up. SARKOS — whose name translates from an Ancient Greek word for the tactile sense of our earthly spirit — mixes deeply personal inspiration with fine art, hand-painting techniques, creating a line of papers that are muted and highly individual.

Thaddeus Wolfe at R & Company

Thaddeus Wolfe's latest experiments are on view now at a solo show at R & Company in Tribeca, and we're including some of our favorite pieces here today. Inspired by everything from the deterioration of urban surfaces in his Brooklyn neighborhood to the vicissitudes of mushroom foraging, each piece goes so far beyond any preconceived notions of glasswork that it becomes something else entirely.

Paul Wackers at Morgan Lehman Gallery

Most of you probably know Brooklyn artist Paul Wackers for his paintings, which depict plants, rocks, and shelves full of abstract knick-knacks. But his work really comes alive when it's exhibited alongside his ceramics — as is currently the case in his new Morgan Lehman show "Thank You For Being You" — which makes it appear as though the paintings have come to life.

Designer Dominos

A periodic nod to object typologies both obscure and ubiquitous, featuring five of our favorite recent examples. Today the subject is dominoes, which no longer resemble those black and white, polka-dotted celluloid tiles of yore.

Justin Hunt Sloane, Artist

It can be hard to pin down exactly what it is Brooklyn-based artist and designer Justin Hunt Sloane actually does. He graduated with a BFA in printmaking and interactive design from Art Center, but while there, he became interested in the school's famed automotive program and began dabbling in classes like rapid prototyping and fabrication technology. Since moving to New York, he's held day jobs as a website designer for Creative Time, or, currently, senior designer at the branding agency Wolff Olins, but in his freelance work and spare time, he makes everything from drawings to etchings to self-published books to album covers to sculptures.

Slowly by Sam Moyer at Galerie Rodolphe Jansen

While the Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based artist Sam Moyer has played around with fabric painted to look like marble in the past, the geometric panels suspended in gorgeous bronze armatures that she recently installed at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen in Brussels are, in fact, the real deal. Meant to interact with the space's striking ceilings and the summer light that filters through them, the slabs are cut so thin as to be almost semi-translucent, a subverting of expectations about the way certain materials are supposed to look, feel, and function — a common theme in Moyer's work, and one that will sound familiar to many designers, which is probably why we've found ourselves so drawn to her.

Wintercheck Factory’s Collection No. 300

When we asked Brooklyn's Wintercheck Factory — who debuted their latest collection with us at Sight Unseen OFFSITE last month — to shoot those new pieces in the most appropriate scenario they could imagine for our Self Portrait column, their choice of venues ended up being even more fitting than they themselves realized. A 1910 bank building in Bed-Stuy is about to become the duo's new studio, and clearly it makes for a stunning backdrop, but having been ripped up, painted, retiled, left to rot, bricked up, and, now, appropriated as a creative space, it can also be read as a symbol of Wintercheck Factory's own gradual reinvention.

Aelfie x Studio Proba Rugs

For the rest of this week, we'll be bombarding you with our favorite finds from last week's Milan furniture fair, but we'd be remiss if we didn't first highlight one of the best things to recently launch on our shores: A colorfully graphic series of limited-edition rugs, pillows, and prints that represent a powerhouse collaboration between two Brooklyn designers, Alex Proba of A Poster a Day, and rug designer Aelfie Oudghiri. The two designers have strangely similar backgrounds — both attended medical school in Europe before finding their way to Brooklyn's collaborative design community — as well as a complementary aesthetic that's heavy on geometry and asymmetry.

Week of March 30, 2015

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week was all about designers doing mesmerizing things with very simple shapes: from Nendo's new color-gradient cube tables to a series of interactive geometric projections to the London grad who's pushing the boundaries of jewelry with his mixed-material compositions (pictured).

Ivin Ballen, Artist

We love an artist who can successfully blur the line between sculpture and painting, and Brooklyn-based Ivin Ballen is certainly no exception. Upon first viewing his work, you perceive a few colored shapes (some rectilinear, others more organic) haphazardly arranged on a vast backdrop. Upon closer inspection, you begin to notice those colored shapes are an assemblage of found materials, and that, in fact, those found materials are simply just painted casts of the originals.