Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Poole Pottery/ Delphis Range 1960/70's


Left: Poole Delphis platters by Jean Millership, 1966-1969, Photograph from Robs Poole Pottery
Right: Packaging design for Poole Pottery
Spear shaped sweet dishes by Various Artists
Pin dishes, Left to right: Carole Holden, 1968-69, Unsigned, 1962-64, Angela Wyburgh, 1968,
Photograph from Robs Poole Pottery
Pin dishes, Left to right: Carol Cutler 1969-76, Carol Cutler 1969-76, Geraldine O'Meara, 1966
Photograph from Robs Poole Pottery
Platters, Left to right: Shirley Campbell, 1966-69, Carolyn Bartlett, 1966, Jean Millership, 1966-69
Photograph from Robs Poole Pottery
Left: Right: Vase by Lynn Gregory, Platter by Carol Cutler, 1966-76
Photograph from Robs Poole Pottery
Vases, Left to Right: Cynthia Bennet, Valerie Pullen, Ros Summerfelt
Photograph from Robs Poole Pottery
Vases, Left to Right: Judy Evens, Carol Cutler, Christie Tate
Photograph from Robs Poole Pottery
Left: vase by Angela Wyburgh, Right: Various stacked Delphis silhouettes
Left to Right: Carol Cutler, Angela Wynburgh, The Poole stamp on bottom of pieces during the Delphis era
Photograph from Robs Poole Pottery
Pots, Left to right: Both by Jean Millership
Photograph from Robs Poole Pottery
Carved Delphis bowls by various artists including Pamela Bevans, Patricia Wells, Angela Wyburgh and Patricia Churchouse, 1966-70
Photograph from Robs Poole Pottery 



When does one start becoming a collector, Are you born with this gene already in your genetic makeup, Is it learnt by our parents or is it a result of not getting everything you wanted as a kid so the need to collect becomes stronger as you get older. We all know someone’s mother who collects eggcups or teaspoons or everything that has to do with pigs for instance, Why do they do it?

For me, my first collection started with ceramics and I have always said it’s one of the most dangerous things you can collect with the constant fear of it always breaking in the back of your mind, Maybe that’s why in a strange way people that collect breakables want to live with that constant risk? My first collection started with discovering a piece of ceramic in my early teens that had the mark Poole on the bottom. I was intrigued by it’s amazing glaze, it’s fluidity in design, it’s smoothness, and it’s vibrancy. I came to learn later that it was part of what they call The Delphis range.

For people who know me well, they know that I have been collecting Poole for years. I collect all era’s of Poole but as there is such a large catalog, for this post I will stick to The Delphis range. Poole as a company is located in Dorset, In England. Now owned by Denby, The Company was originally founded in 1873 on Poole quayside, where it continued to produce pottery by hand before moving its factory operations away from the quay in 1999.

"Delphis" Studio wares are easily recognized: it is labeled psychedelic, with vibrant colors and designs inspired by artists such as Mondrian, Warhol, Matisse and Pollock. Launched in 1963, was initially conceived by Guy Sydenham and Robert Jefferson and later developed by Jefferson and Tony Morris, One of the most famous of the many artisans who worked with Poole over the years.

The Delphis range used a black wax resist technique to delineate abstract patterns.  Every piece is pretty much unique, with designs created by the decorators themselves, and with serendipity playing a big part too.  Marketed as "irreproducible", this was true freedom of expression that befits the 1960’s.

To encourage this experimentation and creativity initially each decorator would be given a few hours a week to produce their own work, be it models, tile panels, any artistic output they wanted.  However, Delphis became such a commercial success that demand began to encroach on these creative freedoms with over time been introduced and later with the painters terms of work changed in 1972 from an hourly rate to piece work.

On the bottom of each piece it is clearly signed by the Artist and you can collect based on knowing whose designs you respond too the most, For me I always like Carol Cutler’s work, Her signature was CC.

Hope you enjoy looking at these amazing pieces, A great source is a website called www.robspoolepottery.co.uk
Check it out, Rob has an amazing collection of Poole and his site is truly inspirational.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Design Within Reach/ Holiday Catalog

Photography: Jim Bastardo

Photography: Jim Bastardo

Photography: Jim Bastardo
Photography: Jim Bastardo

Photography: Jim Bastardo

Photography: Jim Bastardo

Photography: Jim Bastardo

Photography: Jim Bastardo

Photography: Jim Bastardo

Photography: Jim Bastardo

Photography: Jim Bastardo

An exciting new chapter for Studio Marcus Hay, as we team up with the ultimate U.S based Design Store, Design Within ReachWorking with a company we have admired for so long is indeed a wonderful opportunity and is embraced with much enthusiasm, how could you not enjoy working with such amazing design, all pieces designed by major players in the 20th and 21st centuries. The silhouettes are proven icons of design and it feels like such an honor to be able to work with them to create inspiring and aspirational interior schemes.  

Rob Forbes founded Design With Reach in 1998; their mantra is that they make authentic modern design accessible. "Within reach" means things not found elsewhere. It means in stock. DWR has evolved into a destination for its exclusive collection of modern furniture and accessories to complement the iconic mid-century classics it has offered for years. They are a national business with 44 stores all over the country and one even in Toronto, Canada.

We shot this catalog in Upstate NY in Armonk, in an amazing 1950’s home called The Goddard/Mandolene residence. Designed by Arthur Witthoefft in 1957. The Creative team, headed up by Michael Sainato asked me to create story lines within each shot. It is a way I always like to work, to create a narrative I feel is important so that the viewer/ consumer of each image can relate on some level to what is happening in the shot. We wanted the feeling of controlled chaos around the holiday season, As if the homeowners in this location might be setting up for the holiday period. We had the wrapping station in the study/ office, The trimming of the tree party in the living room, The setting up of the dining table in the dining room, The getting dressed for a party in the bedroom, Bringing shopping bags filled with potential presents in the entrance way. Even on the Cover we liked the idea of unloading the car, Instead of a tree on the roof, We had a red egg chair. We came up with many other scenarios also that are featured also.

Part of the job is to source Artwork to be featured in the pages and many artists such as Chris Wynter, James Gulliver Hancock and Cathy Diamond helped me out, thank you so much! Also a big hug to Andrea Greco, my very dedicated main Assistant on this job and Studio MH regular who did an amazing job. 

The catalog was Photographed by the wonderful and super talented Jim Bastardo, It was our first time working with Jim and we really enjoyed the experience, Holidays are upon us, I hope you all enjoy this season and Here’s to an amazing year in 2013 and many more DWR Catalogs.     

Monday, November 19, 2012

HGTV Magazine/ Wild for Pink!

Piece on page to the left, Photography: Jonny Valiant

This month in HGTV Magazine, A small piece was featured on our work at Studio Marcus Hay on my Interior project with Kess Agency. I have been receiving a lot of positive feed back on my bedroom scheme in particular, It appears my client Kim is not the only one who loves pink! 

They featured a quote from me that says: "You can have a pink bedroom as an adult as long as it's more boudoir-y than Barbie. Choose a dusty shade, and give the color some breathing space by leaving a wall or two white" 

Here are some of the other blogs that have featured the room and the rest of the space in some capacity: 

Parlour Home, Mimi & Meg, West Elm/ Front & Main,  Charlotte Minty,  Meg Biram, and Brown William Art & Design

Thanks so much to all for taking the time to feature and be so enthusiastic about the scheme, I hope it inspires to lash out and embrace colors that resonate with you and have fun with using them in your interior schemes. Go for it!     

Friday, November 16, 2012

Martha Stewart Living/ Yogurt Story

Photography: Kate Mathis

Photography: Kate Mathis

Photography: Kate Mathis

Photography: Kate Mathis


For the December issue Of Martha Stewart Living, Out now on news stands, I was asked to contribute on Fit to Eat section of the magazine. It was great to work once again with the very talented Kate Mathis

For the Yogurt story, The colors were soft blues with a little hit of turquoise, a great compliment to the color of Yogurt. The recipes were made obviously all out of yogurt and included Panna Cotta, Pasta, A Dip and A Lassi recipe.  

It was also great to work with on staff Food stylist Greg Lofts with whom I worked with when he assisted and now is doing his own thing at MS.   

It's hard to believe but this is my first story for MSL, I have worked on the now sadly defunct Everyday Food for many issues, but was excited to re visit the brand and work on such a lovely story, I hope you enjoy and are inspired.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Heath Factory Tour/ Sausalito


Left: Some pieces ready to be fired after glazed, Right: Outside the factory

Left: Inside the factory, Experimenting with glazes, Right: Outside the factory

Left: A collection of pieces in production, Right: Molds used to pour clay into to form shapes

Left: Tiles being experimented with in terms of glaze, Right: Racks of unfired bowls

Left: Racks of unfired pieces, Right: Looking into the Mold room

Left: An old tiled mural inside on the Factory floor, Right: New glazes in neon yellow

Left: Shelves of product ready to hit the stores, Right: Old tiles mounted on screen on Factory floor

Left: Detail of finished product, Right: Staff entrance 

Left: Screen outside made with original vintage tiles, Right: Heath bowl used as water bowl for Doggy visitors

Left: Outside of Factory, looking into store, Right: Detail of tiled wall outside factory made with Heath tiles

Left: Tiled partition screen , outside of Factory Entrance, Right: Cute pot of succulents

Left: Detail of product in the store, Right: New product available in the store

Left: Inside the store at the discounted area, Right: Detail of old tiled wall
Inside the store, Some of the glazes and colors shown on display


Do you remember those school excursions where you would go and visit a factory? I remember going to a biscuit (cookie) factory as a kid and watching in awe as all my favorite ones did the rounds on large conveyor belts. Last weekend I went with fellow Stylist Glen Proebstel to The Heath Factory in Sausalito, In San Francisco. We are both here for the same client working on a project with them and we both had Sunday afternoon off to venture via Ferry across the Bay from The Ferry Building in San Francisco to go on our very own field trip.

A couple of weeks ago I did a post on Heath Ceramics and Edith Heath, its founder. How excited was I to actually venture to where it all began. The original factory is pretty much in it’s original state, Sure they have updated a lot of the kilns and over time you get layers of modern appliances and fittings, but squint and you could almost be back in time.

We got there just in time to join the tour, for anybody planning to go, this is a must! You basically enter the factory with your guide who takes you around in a loop around the factory floor explaining the different techniques and different areas where the molds and clay are formed, where the pieces are glazed, the tile room where all the tiles are manufactured. A station where one of Heath’s employees gets to experiment with different techniques and glazes all day, also working on collaborations with other Artists. You get to see the stock room where all the finished product lives before it’s shipped out, a display case with Vintage Heath pieces and then finally the shop where is you leave empty handed it would be a miracle.  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Inspiring Icons/ Michael Graves

Left: Detail of his famous Alessi kettle, Right: A portrait drawn by Pablo Riestra

Some Of Graves best known consumer products, including some kettles, french press, pitcher and kitchen timer


Left: Some of Graves silhouettes including a tray, toaster and salt shaker Right: Portland Building, 1982
Left: Portrait of Michael Graves in 1990, Right: His famous kettle for Alessi

Some consumer cleaning products produced for Target

Left: The Big Dripper, designed in 1995, Right: One of Graves sketches

Left: The amazing Coffee and Tea set that mimic an Art Deco quality and the  buildings Graves creates, It was called the Coffee and Tea Piazza project, 1981, This was the start of Graves collaboration with Alessi
Right: Graves sketchbook
Left: The Thomson Consumer Electronics Headquarters, Indiana, 1992-94 (Now St. Vincent Health)
Right: The Steinberger Hotel at El Gouna, Egypt

Left: Architectural drawing for a Graves building, Right: Toaster designed by Graves

Left: Residence designed by Graves, Right: St Mary's Church of Rockledge, Florida, 2002

Left: I recently found this rare Alessi Euclid Thermos Pitcher, 1998, designed by Graves in a NY Flea Market,
It spurned the whole interest in me to further explore his work
Right: Interior of The Thomson Consumer Electronics Headquarters, Indiana, 1992-94


I remember when I was in Design School in the 90’s, There was much discussion about Post Modernism as a movement, A very famous and now sadly deceased Architect Harry Seidler actually came to my University and gave a speech about the negative effects of Post Modernism on Modern Architecture. Of course I regarded him as a master and always harbored his influence on my own impressions even to this day, when it came to Design, He was a Purest and to a large extent I have thought of myself deep down as one too. He had an obvious dislike of new Architecture of the time but it seemed inevitable at the time that this change was going to be part of Architectural history, even if he did not like it.

At the time, you could not ignore the influence of this new movement that had sprung up and it’s overpowering impact on new architecture, something that Sydney at the time was experiencing in a lot of its new redevelopment urban projects such as Darling Harbour. Of course that was my world at the time, but Post Modernism was happening all over the world.

One Architect whose influence has been without doubt amazingly influential is Michael Graves. He is regarded by many as the Post Modernism king. Identified as one of The New York Five, Graves has become a household name with his designs for domestic products sold at Target stores in the United States.  

In American Design and Culture Graves influence is phenomenal, he has designed more than 2,000 consumer products - from toasters to watches to ironing boards - that were sold exclusively at Target stores. The famous pairing in it’s day helped give Target a reputation for cheap chic that distinguished it from discount-store rivals like Walmart and Kmart. They have just parted ways this year, Some people may argue that his designs seem bulbous and almost cartoon like, but my impression is that while I maybe a purest at heart who skews towards a more International style, Graves has contributed a legacy and dedication to design that is admirable and very distinctive, His work has a sense of whimsy and humor and extreme relevance to an era that I grew up with and still continues to dot our skylines, his work and many other Post Modernism works still form the mesh of current landscapes.  

His amazing work for Target aside, his most well known work for me is his work for Alessi, The Italian company that were leaders in promoting Post Modernism style and much sought after at that time. My Aunty and Uncle were the first I knew to have a complete set of Michael Graves Alessi and as a child I always envied them compared to my parents more traditional tea and coffee set. They were sought after collector pieces and still are. They came about following the successful collaboration on the Coffee and Tea Piazza in 1981. As a result, Alberto Alessi asked Graves to design a teakettle that would heat quickly, necessitating a wide base. An arcing handle with a colorful blue insulator balances the conical shape of the kettle. The addition of the whistling bird, a reference to the red Indiana roosters familiar to him in his youth, was Graves's nod to his Midwestern roots. The first product by an American designer to be included in the Alessi catalogue, Graves's playful teakettle became an immediate design icon. In continuous production since 1985. Tea and Coffee themes became a staple of Graves work and you can see many of his most famous consumer products are for this purpose.

Michael Graves continues to work out of his practice in New Jersey and on major International and U.S projects, Check out his work at michaelgraves.com