Monday, January 9, 2012

Good Housekeeping/ Dark Victory

Photography: Con Poulos
Photography: Con Poulos
Photography: Con Poulos
I have a childhood friend who was allergic to chocolate, I always felt so bad for her, Imagine a life without it? Easter time would come around and we would watch with chocolate smeared faces as she would have to eat the half eaten carrots left out for Easter Bunny! 

When I was asked to do this Chocolate Story for Good Housekeeping I had visions of some fantastic world coming to life like Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and when I turned up at the studio I was not disappointed, It was like a bunch of Oomp loompas in the kitchen, working on endless chocolate creation after creation, It would be mean to say they looked like them because they didn't but Food Stylist extraordinaire Stephana Bottom  had prepared herself with a team of talented assistants to help her farm out the chocolate menu which included chocolate cream pie, brownies, truffles, pave, tart and whoopee pies to mention just a few.

The color palette for the story was rich like the menu with guess what chocolate brown mixed with tan, purple, pink and orange, It was nice to work on such a deep palette after months of doing red white and blue beer heavy BBQ stories, It;s not often when you get to work on a whole story on desert. Needless to say I picked a bad time to start dieting,  I only had a slither of each, I promise! 

The story was shot by the amazing fellow Australian Photographer Con Poulos  

Friday, January 6, 2012

Quistgaard, Dansk and those Købenstyle Pots

Dansk pots in use, Picture left: blueflowerginger

Some of the silhouettes

The pots inspire many pictures, An Ad probably from the 1970's

An Ad probably from the 1960's, Yellow is probably the most popular color

A pitcher in the small size in Turquoise, An Orange Baking Dish

A yellow loaf pan and Red pots stacked the way they were intended to be stored, Picture right:

A later style pitcher in red and an orange butter warmer, Picture right:

A variety of pics showcasing the different styles, Please note: All pics credited where possible, Let me know if yours is not and I will re correct. 

A favorite of Prop and Food Stylists, Købenstyle Pots from Danish company Dansk have been popular ever since their release in the 1950’s. Designed by Jens H Quistgaard who in 1954 co-founded the company Dansk International Designs with Ted Nierenberg, an American entrepreneur with whom he worked for 30 years producing the majority of designs for the company, These pots have stood the test of time with their beautiful colors and lines. Quistgaard was an amazing designer who by 1982 had created more than 2,000 different designs for Dansk of dinnerware, glassware and items for the home. Sadly, he died in 2008.

The pots are made of enameled formed sheet steel in brilliant colors such as bright yellow, crimson, turquoise, orange, blue, almond, chocolate brown, both kelly green and hunter green, They also were very popular in black and white. Most have white interiors that contrast the exterior of the pot, but some can be the same color in and out. In addition to the lidded casserole in its two sizes is a range that includes also coffee pots, fondue pots, a stockpot, a frying pan, pitchers in 3 sizes, butter warmers, a baking dish, a paella pan in 2 sizes and loaf pans, Some were designed with wooden handles and others with the pronged handle that has become so famous.

The term Købenstyle comes from the shortening of København which is the Danish way of pronouncing their capital city Copenhagen, The Købenstyle line was originally manufactured by Danish supplier Glud & Marstrand, but, in 1966, Dansk switched to a French supplier. The earlier Danish-made pieces are marked with Dansk's "four ducks" logo, and are generally more sought-after by collectors than the later French ones. The initials "IHQ" are Jens Quistgaard's mark.

They have indeed become a modern classic. They hold much interest to me in particular as growing up in Australia I never really saw them there but when I came to the States, I realized how much of an affinity people here had for them, Having been distributed by an American owned company whose headquarters for years were in Mt Kisco, in New York, they were readily and easily available in the USA. Dansk is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Lenox Corporation with headquarters located in Bristol, Pennsylvania, Unfortunately they no longer produce the Købenstyle pot, but you can still pick up some vintage examples in Flea Markets and E-Bay. I have been collecting them for years now, I have to admit that are hard to find in good condition, I never tire of them or stop marveling at shiny wonderfulness. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Color Pops at CB2

Front Cover
Photography: Andy Barnes

Photography: Andy Barnes

Photography: Andy Barnes

Photography: Andy Barnes

Photography: Andy Barnes

Photography: Andy Barnes

Photography: Andy Barnes

Back Cover, Photography: Andy Barnes
It really feels like I was just in Chicago yesterday completing the CB2 Spring Catalog, but it probably has been a couple of months. I spent 2 and a half weeks shooting with a great Chicago based team consisting of Jolene Rivera, our Art Director, you can see more of her work on Paul Lowe's wonderful online magazine Sweet Paul and Photographer Andy Barnes, It was so great to work with both of them.

While some of the Catalog was shot on location, I worked mainly on the studio portion. Working with a wonderful team of set builders at the Crate & Barrel Studio in Chicago, We created some magical sets that included a hotel foyer, a hotel room, a urban cafe and dusty old warehouse. I love the evolution that we go through to create these sets that often days/ weeks in the planning. While it's often grueling and requires a lot of manpower and attention to detail, It's just so fulfilling to see these sets born and photographed. As a Stylist on these sets, I need to think big picture in terms of how the entire picture will read right down to the rivets on a beam to the patina on a industrial goods lift. Everything needs to look authentic and believable.

Here is a selection that I worked on, The new CB2 Catalog has an exciting new look and it was great to be part of a new but ever evolving product. 

See all of the catalog at CB2.