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Arlene Shechet, Artist

Pulp paper pieces and much-lauded ceramic work have brought the artist Arlene Shechet to the forefront of the contemporary art scene. A late career artist, Shechet has been included in recent group exhibitions with hot young ceramicists of the moment as well as showing alongside veterans Betty Woodman and Kathy Butterly. Her paper work focuses on the idea of the bleed and impregnation in addition to the fluid nature of water, formlessness becoming form, change and fragility. Shechet's ceramics also include this liquid plasticity, coming to life through moment-to-moment alterations, always on the verge of failure and containing "a hybrid comic clumsiness" as she explains it, "while at the same time, they have airiness and elegance." Shechet lives and works in New York City and upstate New York.
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Luke Armitstead’s Ceramics

We discovered the ceramics work of Luke Armitstead — born in Seattle, currently in grad school in Wisconsin — at Johnson Trading Gallery here in New York, where we spotted one of his colorful, organic planters standing sentry just outside the space's entrance. Yet as it turns out, Armitstead isn't a designer but an artist who frequently references the built environment. "In my work, one may see colorful fragmented structures, primal bodily forms, architectural models, or funky planters," says Armitstead, whose inspirations span Antoni Gaudi and Friedensreich Hundertwasser to Sterling Ruby and Thomas Houseago. "However, aside from my organic forms, my projects are driven by structured ideas that seek to relate to, or interact with, a physical landscape or place."
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The Tortoise Shell Trend is Back, And We’ve Got the Proof

We've been in Milan at the furniture fair all week, and though we'll be posting more extensive coverage over the next few days, we wanted to begin by featuring a duo that's fast becoming an old favorite of ours, despite hardly being out of school. We've featured the work of ÉCAL alumni Josephine Choquet and Virgile Thévoz twice before, but when we saw them with a booth at this year's Salone Satellite — the Milan fair's showcase of up-and-coming talents — we knew we had to share their new work. The brass and acetate Acapulco lights at the top of this post employ the same materials as their sunglasses to fantastic effect, while their new mirrors play with something that was a major trend at this year's fair — iridescence. Inspired by a bubble’s prismatic surface, the mirrors are available in three colors that change according to your point of view. The London-bound duo are certainly ones to watch.
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John Hogan, Glass Artist

It goes without saying that not every artist who grows up in Toledo, Ohio, famed birthplace of the American studio glass movement, ends up dedicating their life's work to that medium. But for John Hogan, that's exactly what happened — he started experimenting with glass at a young age and, even after relocating to Seattle a few years back, hasn't stopped since.
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Ashley Helvey’s #IRL Exhibition

Today on the site, we're giving you a peek inside Seattle creative Ashley Helvey's home and studio, but we also wanted to show you the results of the work that was being created there during our visit. Last week, at Seattle's Love City Love art space, Helvey debuted an exhibition with possibly the best name — and best concept — we've heard to date: "#IRL (internet shorthand for 'In Real Life ') is Helvey's exploration and reflection on being an artist in the age of Tumblr, Instagram and the reblog," the show text reads. "With the vast array of technological opportunities we have to broadcast our identity and redistribute images of art and design, at what point do we create our own content? #IRL presents work created by Helvey, that references images and works from the internet, many of which have been re-posted on her blog, HunterGathererer. These works, brought together under Helvey's distinct aesthetic and material sensibility, reject the lament that there is really nothing new. Instead, this exhibition celebrates the impact of technology and social media and its wealth of imagery as direct inspiration for creating real and tangible art objects.'"
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Amanda Ringstad, Photographer

Amanda Ringstad is a Seattle-based still-life and product photographer, and though there's remarkably little written about her on the internet, the information that's there makes perfect sense the instant you look at her work. She has a BFA in photography and studied sculpture and art theory in graduate school; in practice, this translates to the most arresting images you've ever seen of staples, garlic shoots, and those weird foam thingys you put between your toes during a pedicure.
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Brooklyn Artist Esther Ruiz On Her “Miniature Landscapes From a Distant Future”

Brooklyn artist Esther Ruiz refers to her sculptures as "settings," "little parties," and "miniature landscapes from a distant future," but whatever you call them, they're meant to act as colorful, abstracted symbols of imaginary places she's conjured in her mind, and the objects that reside within them. Ruiz, who was born in Houston and graduated from the art program at Rhodes College in Memphis in 2011, showed the series in her first New York solo show this past October, at the Bushwick artist's space Wayfarers. According to her artist's statement, she's inspired "mostly by space operas, pop culture, geometry and the setting sun."
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Cassie Griffin, Ceramicist

Cassie Griffin is a Brooklyn-based ceramicist who was introduced to us by our friend (and sometime model) Lulu Wolf. However, when we went to search the Internet for more information about Griffin’s dreamy ceramics — and their goofy everyday object–styled photos — we came up empty, save for a post on Design Sponge. So we reached out to Griffin herself, who gave us the scoop.
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Francesca Capone, textile designer

Francesca Capone creates work that experiments with textile processes and language. The RISD-trained designer employs traditional textile processes such as hand-weaving, jacquard, machine knitting, marble printing, screen-printing and various dyeing methods such as shibori. But an MFA in "cross-disciplinary writing" at Brown has also led her to explore what happens when she distorts words and meaning through photo-manipulation, scanning, and digitally layering books. Combined, these methods result in unique and striking geometric patterns on fabric and painterly compositions of abstracted textual fields.
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Totokaelo Art—Objects’s Spring Campaigns

The cult Seattle boutique Totokaelo already carries clothing and objects so beautiful that each new season wreaks havoc on the wallets of aesthetes around the country. The only way the store could possibly improve on that game? By shooting those new collections in scenarios designed to make said aesthetes even crazier. To promote its spring Art—Object catalog, the store's creative director Ashley Helvey masterminded two such campaigns: a photo shoot shot by Robin Stein and styled by Margaret Macmillan Jones in the technicolor plaza of Seattle's King County Correctional Center (designed in the '80s by Martha Schwartz and Benson Shaw), and a video, also in collaboration with Stein, that features Cameron Mesirow of Glasser along with music from her latest album, Interiors.
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Mel Nguyen’s Desktop Deposits Series

Earlier today we posted a studio visit with the young Minneapolis artist Mel Nguyen, shot by photographer Debbie Carlos. But it only featured a small selection of Nguyen's work, in which each project is typically disassembled and morphed into three more. "If you look at a single project of mine and only associate me with that project, it will be not a complete representation of my practice," Nguyen says. We figured it was worth showing you one more example from her portfolio: her recent clay Desktop Deposits series, made for the Kansas City, Missouri, project Objet Boutique curated by Dean Roper.
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The Fruit Shop by Hsian Jung

Taiwan-born, London-based Hsian Jung works as a curator and interior stylist, but in his spare time, he recently started a hand-formed ceramics line called The Fruit Shop, through whose website he releases collections inspired by individual fruits and vegetables. "Friends were describing my pottery as reminiscent of sweet melons and pumpkins, an insight that inspired this project," explains Jung. To launch his first series, based around the cantaloupe, he styled a series of photographs using "cheap objects from daily life that have similar color tones as the ceramics but totally different textures," he says.
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