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This Melbourne Designer Gave Himself Six Months to Develop His Very First Collection — And Knocked It Out of the Park

Zachary Frankel was working as a jewelry designer in Melbourne, Australia when he came across an image of a simple chair and was struck by how perfectly it seemed to do its job. “I was taken by how restrained and elegant it was,” he says. It ignited his curiosity in working with timber. After some time, Frankel devised a plan to find his own voice and broaden his exploration of materials. He’d give himself six months to create a collection with no commercial obligation; he’d make furniture just for the fun of it. If he liked what he made, great, he’d share it publicly. If not, he’d have half a year’s worth of getting better acquainted with his craft and it would inform where he would take things next. At worst, his house would be full of interesting experiments.
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Harvey Bouterse’s New Ceramic Lamp is a Study in Contrasting Textures

It's basically our job here at Sight Unseen to follow the career trajectory of up-and-coming designers, and in our professional capacity, we've come to realize that most ceramicists follow a certain path: First come the smalls, like cups and mugs and plates and vases. The next step is usually lamps — think of Natalie Weinberger's pleated clay shades, Workaday Handmade's listing table lamps, and BZIPPY's pyramid-shaped bases. Today, we're featuring one of the first lamps by Belgium-based Harvey Bouterse.
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Christopher Norman is Turning the Castoff Urban Trees of Los Angeles Into Art

Los Angeles–based architect and designer Christopher Norman’s new collection of hand-machined minimal forms resists standardization. His untitled “extrusions” in ash and cedar and pine riff on a hardware aesthetic, while maintaining the organic ethos seen in much of his other, more fluidly-shaped work. Forgoing pre-cut lumber, Norman uses wood from freshly cut trees. “If you’re working with commercial wood, you get a very normalized look and set of proportions. It’s basically highly mediated,” he explains.
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Our Favorite Finds From the First-Ever Virtual Frieze Art Fair

For those in the art world, the loss of a physical Frieze means the loss of a key moment for discovery, commerce, and networking. But for those of us with no skin in the game, the virtual viewing room offers some very real benefits — like being able to browse, and read the backstory of, pieces we might have missed in the chaos of the fair, or being able to grab the exact images we want for this roundup.
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This L.A. Artist’s Studio Is the Epitome of Calming, Meditative Vibes

For Los Angeles–born artist Cindy Hsu Zell, nature has been a lifelong inspiration. Working from her sunny North Hollywood studio, Zell creates tactile sculptures with rope, ceramic, wood, and, most recently, stone. In the midst of this confounding global crisis, we remote-toured her space and took some time to chat with her about confronting the economics of productivity, prioritizing mindful practices, and the magic of working with organic materials.
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The Archeology of Mexican Artist-Architect Alberto Odériz

It’s no secret that here at Sight Unseen, we have a bit of an obsession with stone and its many forms. Perhaps that’s why we’re so smitten by the work of Mexican architect and sculptor Alberto Odériz. Stone is his inspiration, his material, and his passion. From small sculptures, to full room installations, to huge plazas and other inhabitable spaces, Odériz’s work is dynamic and innovative.
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Inside the Mind-Blowing Live/Work Compound of Mexican Artist Pedro Reyes

The sprawling studio compound of Mexican artist and designer Pedro Reyes is as much a laboratory as it is a factory — an environment with controlled variables and a given set of inputs working toward a desired outcome, whether that’s the downfall of Jeff Bezos’s Amazon or simply preserving outmoded technologies. Reyes is preoccupied not with objects in and of themselves, but how they’re made, why they’re made, and how they in turn shape us.
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A New Jose Dávila Exhibition in A Stunning Brutalist Church

If you've ever visited König Galerie in Berlin, which is housed in a renovated 1967 Brutalist church with a skylit concrete nave, you'll know that there are only a few places in the world to experience contemporary art in such a breathtaking setting. There are also only a few artists whose work would be quite so at home in that nave as Jose Dávila, the Mexican sculptor who trained as an architect and is known for his focus on space, balance, and proportion.
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This Dutch Artist’s Warped Archival Photos Are the Break From Reality We Need Right Now

When I first discovered the Dutch artist Koen Hauser, and his Skulptura series in particular, I viewed his work as an escape — moments of disrupted reality, primarily in the form of warps and swirls edited into photos of artworks and artifacts taken from old books and museum archives. And I liked it not only because it was weird and disorienting, but because I had rarely seen that kind of technique deployed to such beautiful effect. Yet there's actually more going on in Hauser's images.
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