Saturday, 25 February 2012

More cricket boxes: the kind that does not turn up in a Melbourne op shop

Bitossi, Rimini Blue, Italy

Bitossi, Italy

There are still few pieces for grab from the Bitossi Rimini blue collection in Melbourne op shops. Last week, my friend Natasha and I took a stroll to our local Salvation Army. Among various pottery pieces there it was... 

This fabulous Bitossi ashtray is characteristic of the Rimini blue collection with its intricate hand-embossed patterns and layered blue and turquoise glazes, as blue as the Mediterranean sea can be...

The collection was designed by Aldo Londi in the 1950's. Sixty years later, Rimini blue still stands out of the crowd especially in the Australian op shops where we see  mostly variations of brown in Australian or New Zealand stoneware.

Doing attribution is always a tricky business but when it comes to this particular collection, the example below is a fairly representative marked bottom of this collection.  

Note the writing below the number. Italy is often in lower case expect for the 'I' and the 'T'. Actually, in my experience, the 'T' is always in capital letter. In doubt, you are welcome to post your piece on this blog or/and contact the people from the Italian pottery mark forum

Friday, 24 February 2012

Dinosaur Designs Australia

Vintage piece by Dinosaur Design Australia found also in an op shop. Dinosaur begun experimenting with hand pained resin for jewelry in 1986. The brand has forged an important place in design history connecting art, craft and fashion in a works inspired by the colorful Australian landscape.

Frame display in the lounge

 A combination of op shop findings and photography from the web displayed on our walls. This post stands also as a reminder that I must contact the property agent and make a formal request to hang these pictures frame.

Mid Century Ottoman

Little beauty in perfect nick (not even a small scratch on the vinyl), found today in my local op shop...

Wooden bowls

Twenty five years ago, woodworking and woodturning in particular was mainly the business of the craftsmen who produced utilitarian pieces (bowls, platters, furniture pieces etc..). Since the 1960s however, many artists have used woodworking and have produced wonderful pieces of art. The pieces I have collected in my local op shops are not representative of such experimental and very sophisticated works but they too have something to say about the history of woodworking as an art form. 

The first three pieces might be the work of master designers or not but all were certainly created in the 1960s, during the postwar movement. Back then, only a handful of turners used wood lathe for art sake. If one word can represent this era in design it is ‘organic’. Organic design was at the core of the postwar movement. I believe the design of these bowls encapsulates the aim and purpose of this movement which has been described as an ‘harmonious organization of the parts within the whole, according to the structure, material and purpose’.

Organic designers took a humanistic approach, one that ‘considered people as its focal point and endeavoured to combine all the element of design into one unified whole derived from concepts laid down by nature’. For the price these bowls go in the op shops, it is probably worth reconsidering buying a copy from Ikea which founder, by the way, was a recruiter for a Swedish nazi group who maintained links with Nazi sympathizers well after World War 2. Ask the ladies behind the counter at your local op shop, they will tell you about the second world war and those 'bastards' and you will get a wonderful bargain with this! 

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Erratum: June Calcutt

Please note that June Calcutt has not been artistically or personally involved with Brian Calcutt. More pictures on June's pewter art to come soon. Thank you and apologies to June's family.