Sight Unseen gift guide 2021

Gloopy Cake Plates and Striped Dog Beds: The 2021 Sight Unseen Gift Guide, Part II

We always look forward to putting together our annual gift guides, where we get to turn our brains off, scour our favorite stores for wishlist-worthy objects, and focus on sheer indulgence for a minute. What's our favorite candle this year, our favorite wine glass? Which books are we dying to have on our coffee table now, and in the case of Jill (whose guide is featured today), which which four-figure Gio Ponti vase? (Yep, that's how we're rolling this year.) We hope you can get some inspiration from these lists — particularly when it comes to supporting small businesses and talented independent makers.
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Xanthe Somers Wants Us to Question Everything About Our Relationship With Domestic Objects

As a self-taught ceramicist, not knowing the "right" way to do things has led Somers down some experimental paths. Clay has become a medium for her to interrogate concepts beneath its fragile surface. As a contemporary ceramic sculptor, she describes her pieces as a satirical and questioning take on domestic objects. “We cannot treat domestic objects as inert beings; they have place and purpose and motivation,” she says. “Clay has a long history of being used for functional, domestic objects that are laden with political and social constructs."
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In Quarantine, Some of Our Favorite Products Are Hardly Products At All

Some of the more interesting submissions we've gotten lately have existed outside the boundaries of what we typically think of as a product. Number one amongst these is a series of vases by Dutch designer Willem van Hooff, which were commissioned as holiday gifts for the EDHV design studio and Dutch Invertuals teams in Eindhoven, each vase based on the personal characteristics of its recipient and meant as a way to honor each team member in this difficult year of working remotely.
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These Duotone Vases Are Reversible, Depending On Your Color Scheme — Or Mood

The up-and-coming Australian designer Dean Toepfer had been primarily working on commissions and larger furniture pieces — like a bar cart made from a faux terrazzo composite and a sling chair upholstered in pink shag — since graduating from RMIT. But with the onset of the pandemic, Toepfer decided to reassess. "Vase Versa is my first object collection, and first self-produced range," Toepfer explains.
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Sight Unseen design gift guide

Two-Toned Vases and Velvet Body Pillows — The 2019 Sight Unseen Gift Guide, Part I

By now we've come to understand how hotly anticipated our annual gift guides are, so considering that it's after Thanksgiving, we'll cut to the chase: We did our gift guides a bit differently this year. In addition to our editor picks — today's by Jill — we asked our favorite designers and influencers to share their best gifts for giving and receiving, and over on Instagram, you'll have the chance to win four of the coolest items from each of our three guides.
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Memor x Rachel Saunders

These Mosaic Vases — Incorporating Shells and Ceramics Discards — Went Viral on Instagram

Inspired by memory jugs from American folk art, Memor's vases incorporate shells, stones, or — in this case — ceramic discards from Rachel Saunders' studio. Fragmented, would-be discarded pieces of ceramics in muted greens and terracotta are given new life against the natural clay of the vessels. After a sold-out response to their debut collection, the pair are launching a second this summer.
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Milan Preview: Jorge Penadés’ Aquatic-Inspired Aluminum Vases

Jorge Penadés has been popping up on our radar a lot lately, and the Spanish designer’s latest move is a collaboration with the manufacturer BD Barcelona, a furniture brand known for its extensive design catalogue and pioneering technology in aluminum extrusion dating all the way back to the 1970s. Entitled Piscis, the six different vases are made from extruded aluminum profiles, converted from the offcuts of old tables and shelves (including those by Konstantin Grcic) produced over the last 50 years in BD Barcelona's factory.
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In a New Series, A Sicilian Still-Life Artist Says Goodbye to Beige

The Sicilian-born, London-based designer Oscar Piccolo has a self-professed obsession. He is compelled to take vases and arrange them just so, manipulating how the light shines through, meticulously moving through tableaux until arriving — ecstatically — at just the right one. This fascination, he admits, “is becoming a bit of a problem.” Yet at the core of this compulsion is a relatively simple proposition: “All in all, my work explores the relation between objects and their positioning.”
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Brutalist-inspire ikebana vases by Studio Testo

These Brutalist-Inspired Vases Will Up Your Ikebana Game

Last time we featured Studio Testo, we noted Giulia Dolci and Giulia Fauro Alessi’s uncanny ability to make pieces that are on-trend and effortlessly cool. So it comes as no surprise that their latest collection of sculptural vases has a similarly refreshing vibe, taking cues from Brutalist architecture and adding in some ikebana by Irene Cuzzaniti and fresh textiles by AH/OK.
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If You Can’t Get a Table at Noma, At Least Now You Can Buy a Piece of the Decor

Talk about the ultimate design karma: Two friends graduate from the design program at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, conceive two vases in pigmented concrete as Christmas presents for their mothers, and just like that are discovered on Instagram by the designers behind Noma — aka the best restaurant in the world — and commissioned to create three new styles for the restaurant's recently reopened Copenhagen location.
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