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BZIPPY, Kathryn Bentley, and Waka Waka at L.A.’s Dream Collective

We've seen creatives collaborate in plenty of novel, inventive ways — by mailing materials back and forth, by playing games of exquisite corpse. But sometimes the best joint projects arise more loosely, like the one currently on view at Dream Collective in Los Angeles, featuring work by Bari Ziperstein, Waka Waka, and store owner/jewelry designer Kathryn Bentley.

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Justine Ashbee of Native Line

Justine Ashbee is one of those talents we've been circling around for years — first coveting a fine, copper-threaded special-edition light she did with Iacoli & McAllister, then ogling her beautiful wall hangings in stories like our own home tour with Totokaelo's Jill Wenger and outlets like Maryam Nassir Zadeh. But we've never had a proper introduction to the onetime Seattle-based artist — now living in Brighton, England — until today.

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Mexico City Artist Pia Camil

A 2014 exhibition from Mexico City–based artist Pia Camil, featuring hand-dyed and stitched textile panels complemented by paintings and geometric, low-fired ceramic sculptures.

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Week of July 13, 2015

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: very on-trend iridescent flatware and terrazzo coasters, gorgeous oil-slick vases from a recent RISD grad, and the debut of the booksleeve (pictured above), an innovation we never realized we needed until now.

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Beach Towels

A periodic nod to object typologies both obscure and ubiquitous, featuring five of our favorite recent examples. Today, the subject is beach towels, whose increasingly complex graphic patterns offer more ways than ever to stand out on the sand.

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London Accessories Designer Ejing Zhang

Growing up in China, designer Ejing Zhang was fascinated by traditional calligraphy and ink painting — art forms that are both fine and expressive, requiring a fluid interaction with brush and ink. Zhang is now based in London, but at the heart of her work is the same sensitivity to materials that she observed growing up. Four years ago, while studying at the Royal College of Art, she developed a new technique for creating work that involved taking spalted beech wood (partially decayed wood that has a marble-like pattern), wrapping it with colored thread, and casting it in resin, before sanding and polishing it to reveal its beautiful cross-sections.

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Portuguese Designer Célia Esteves of GUR Rugs

While Portugal is probably best known, these days, for manufacturing clothing and shoes for big brands like COS, Zara, and Camper — or if you're a product designer, for supplying 50% of the world's cork — Porto-based designer and printmaker Célia Esteves homed in on its longtime flat-weave rug-making tradition when she founded GUR two years ago. After meeting a weaver in her hometown of Viana de Castelo, who for 15 years had been handcrafting the style of rug that she'd seen on "every Portuguese kitchen floor" since she was a child, Esteves decided to hire the weaver to use the same technique to produce colorful limited-edition designs commissioned from illustrators she knew and admired, like Atelier Bingo and Ferreol Babin. We recently interviewed Esteves about the project, which has collabs with Après Ski and Reality Studio on the way; scroll down to read more about how she transformed a local craft into a contemporary design brand.

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The Top 5 Designers at RCA’s 2015 Graduate Show

It’s graduate show season in London, and though we’ll be featuring students from all over town in the coming weeks, we’ve found over the years that no show is quite as spectacular — or up our alley — as the Royal College of Art’s. With its esteemed alumni including the likes of Barbara Hepworth, Thomas Heatherwick, Tracey Emin, and David Hockney — not to mention some of our favorite contemporary designers, such as Max Lamb, Hunting & Narud, Soft Baroque, Fredrik Paulsen, and Hilda Hellström — Show RCA always boasts an impressive arsenal of postgraduate talent across a variety of disciplines.

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Mattes makes the slices to order — “you can tell me what toppings you want” — and jokes about creating a webshop “that’s almost like the Domino’s Tracker, where people can see what state their pizza’s in.” She plans to keep making them, but she’s also “interested in creating some other small-scale object weavings that aren’t necessarily pizza.”

Portland Textile Artist Kayla Mattes

Kayla Mattes’ tapestries are an antidote to the disconnection and depersonalization that spending hours online can sometimes leave you feeling. Her work is plugged in to all the technology we take for granted but she recontextualizes it, slows it down, and the effect is immersive, dizzying, a little chaotic, and oddly comforting.

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To the left of this painting are gradations Bittman made in Photoshop while working on embroideries in a similar vein. “I’m interested in how something that appears like a smooth gradation becomes broken down into concrete parts. In those examples I’m just using Photoshop as a tool to make that jump. In the embroideries I did, I came up with my own system of doing that by hand.”

Samantha Bittman, Artist

It was a couple of years ago that Chicago-based artist Samantha Bittman first captivated us with her intricate, meticulous paintings on woven textiles. We’ve been transfixed by her work ever since, so when we had the chance recently to visit her studio and delve into her process, we jumped. Bittman creates dazzling surfaces of optically challenging patterns that draw you in to reveal greater depths, dimensionality, and unsteadying shifts in perspective. There’s an objective, mathematical precision to her pieces but there’s also a remarkably human warmth — the result, perhaps, of giving in to the parameters created by the loom while also resisting them.

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Week of April 13, 2015

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: While the international design community (including Jill and Monica) convened in Milan for the Salone del Mobile, we put Ryland on the case to round up a few of his favorite finds, ranging from the dark, moody objects of Blackman Cruz at Wright (pictured above) to a Technicolor Instagram account involving pool noodles and sneakers.

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Dusen Dusen Home

The past few years have proven that — every once in a while — a fashion label can make a successful, mostly non-embarrassing crossover into furniture and housewares. Margiela, Hermès, and Rick Owens all come to mind, but who better than a textile designer to make the leap? At last week's Capsule show, Ellen Van Dusen of the Brooklyn-based clothing brand Dusen Dusen launched a brand new line of soft goods for the home that feature her signature geometric patterns — sheets, blankets, rugs, towels, pillows, and a pouf — and the extension feels totally natural, like it was meant to be. Today she's giving Sight Unseen a first peek at the line's lookbook photos, which were shot by SU contributor Brian Ferry and feature cameos by both SNL comedian Aidy Bryant and Van Dusen's official canine mascot, Snips.

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