Just noticed over at Acquire that Tumi has given in and joined the polycarbonate suitcase trend ~ which i've definitely been quite obsessed with the last few years - there's just something about that sleek lightweight glossy polycarbonate i can't resist in black and silver - so far i've indulged in a carry-on Hideo Wakamatsu and Zero Halliburton check in... and i've lusted after Rimowa and also even checked out the Samsonite Black Label X-Lite Collection... And now to add to the list is the Tumi T-Tech Polycarbonate collection - noteworthy details (see close ups on next page) are the twisted zipper locks and the foot brake.
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When Urban Daddy ~ mentioned that these "luxury teepees in the Yukon" has Solar-Powered DVD Players, i had to look twice. And any location with wifi is immediately flagged for me as somewhere i can work from! But aren't solar dvd players a bit much? So i had to research more to see what life in a luxury teepee suite are like... (pictures on the next page!). And its looking pretty sweet! They even have outhouses that compost...
These luxury teepees are one of the few options available from Perfect Earth Tours - other options including their spa and log cabins. As for the specifics on the Teepees: "Each of our guest Teepees are furnished with two queen sized luxury beds and bedding. We exclusively use mattresses, bedding's, linen and accessories from the worlds most luxurious organic suppliers. The rooms also include an individual sitting and reading area, a fireplace center piece, personal dresser, original art, complimentary stocked bar, a variety of non - alcoholic drinks, a vanity table, two DVD players with wireless headsets, satellite radio and wireless internet access. First of all, each teepee has their very own personal "outhouse". They are state of the art organic composting toilets with absolutely no similarity to the old fashioned "outhouse". They are odorless and extremely easy to use, just like your your toilet at home." I'm so intrigued! See more pics on the next page...
Flipping through a free issue of Malibu magazine that i grabbed from our usual thai place... i noticed an ad for Surfmonk... and while i have managed to live in many a beachy cities/towns, i never did manage to get on a surfboard, but do feel most at home bumming out on the beach... (the TasteSpotting drama that has yet to die down has been tormenting me for about 2 months now... maybe that's why i'm suddenly finding myself hunting for cozy, comfy, relaxing products/environments lately).
Anyhow, Surfmonk! A line of eco-friendly bamboo terry robes, cover-ups, blankets, and more for men, women, and even kids! They range from full length friar tuck/jedi robes to these shorter cover-up hoodies i'm coveting, and i love the way their cozy looking beach blanket has a padded shoulder strap... also check out the cute knee length fanny wrap and more close ups on the next page! So tempting, to grab some, a good book, and road trip down the coast stopping and laying out on the beaches all the way down...
How could anyone say no to that? And what do you have to do in return? Simply DO something ~ with your life, with your abilities, with yourself... all they want is to bring together some brilliant minds, great speakers, musicians, and more for 4 days of pure inspiration while taking in some gorgeous wilderness. I want to go!
We change nothing by just talking and moaning. words need actions. They need Do. Dick Dastardly was right, 'don't just stand the, DO something'.
So how do you get into this seemingly life changing experience? Read all the info on the next page, and sent a letter to apply!
*Phew* ~ i've been running around since May 15th, and finally got back home, and as fun as the trip which ended up taking me through 9 states... it sure feels nice to be back. Been a long day driving up from charlottesville to DC then flying back to LA, unpacking, feeding myself, and trying to make sense of the slew of emails... yay for virgin america though, it is far to fun to watch loads of current tv, cartoon network, and Ocean's 12 on the way back - hope you don't mind if i call it a night and try to get back on track tomorrow... it's going to be a busy week with events popping up to fill this whole week already!
This is a quick pic out the window as we started descending into LA ~ the mountains looked awesome at sunset.
Polyface Farm ~ it was one of the few pit stops we've made here in Virginia while visiting family... and WOW. While i will openly admit, i know little about sustainable agriculture and farms - dan has been raving about this place and their philosophies and systems ever since he read "Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan (where the author actually lived on the farm for 2 weeks to fully understand their incredible process!)
"At Polyface, we want every animal to eat as much salad (green material) as its full genetic potential will allow"
Knowing i can't do the full story justice, consider this post a launching board to poke those of you who are remotely interested to find out more... but here's my quick version. First thing to grab me driving up was definitely the logo ~ such a cute entrance sign! With the fish in the chicken in the cow in the tree! Poly-face certainly makes a lot of sense with its multifaceted farming. Essentially the beauty of this farm is its earth/life centered approach, which thrives on a fantastic sense of balance achieved through understanding what these animals and plants need to thrive year round ~ instead of optimizing for speed or fattening things up, they've managed to create a sustainable farm in harmony. Most of their species are in a rotation - to keep the cows from overgrazing and consuming their own waste, to give the chickens a chance to pick through and find all the best grubs as well as feed, to turn pigs into "Pigaerators" (tasty corn ferments encourage them to aerate all fertilizer for the farm naturally), water that is collected in their various ponds and wells from winter runoff keep them self-reliant, and so much more i can't even begin to explain. And from a design perspective, i was fascinated reading about the ways they utilize mobile electric fences and Eggmobiles to facilitate this whole process!
Bottom line? The eggs, sausage, and bacon i tasted were truly incredibly tasty and worth the drive (if you go out there, def get the apple juice too, we thought the jug was HUGE, but it disappeared in about a day - who knew even the toddlers would love it so much?)... the family running the farm was intelligent, kind, and passionate about every aspect of their process, and eager to share their wisdom. If you make it to these parts, you definitely want to roadtrip over and try some of the goods - since they are only available there, and in select restaurants nearby! So, continue your journey, read more about Polyface Farm here!
i was out wandering far out in the fields visiting some chickens and their adorable, huge guard dog ~ and got caught in a thunderstorm, which left me completely drenched in a little green sundress ~ so not as many pictures as i would have liked to show you on the next page - but i was a bit preoccupied with the wetness and protecting the camera! Still - some fun ones! (and big thanks to Robert Frysinger for contributing some of his pics as well.)
Have you noticed that when i go on "vacation" and attempt to take a break, it doesn't exactly mean a complete break from posting (versus other sites)? Rather, it's more like you get dragged along on the break with me ~ and get to see "vacation" content of sorts? Well i hope you don't mind, but here's one more to amuse you!
So i've been in Virginia the last few days ~ Earlysville/Charlottesville to be precise ~ and its been interesting, i never thought i'd find vermont so designy and inspiring ~ but Virginia, not so much. It has however been an incredible place to run into TONS of critters of all shapes and sizes ~ from gaggles and gaggles of canadian goslings/geese, deers - eating and running through the forest, a huge Northern Black Racer - Coluber constrictor (it was getting attacked by mocking birds in the driveway when we got back!), an awesome little toad, turtles (big and little! attacking a half fish), tons of fish, a heron, caught some frogs eggs, put some reservoir bryozoans in the fish tank, chipmunks, squirrels, bunnies, blue tailed skinks, beaver dams (but no beavers...), chickens, cows, and other livestock... and much more as we went on a canoe trip on the reservoir, little hikes and walks, and just finding things in the yard!
I think i'm also getting sick possibly, and/or ready to get back to socal (its been about 3 weeks away now i think)... so i wanted to do more posts for you tonight, but really just having a hard time staying awake and upright at the moment. So next best thing? I thought perhaps you'd like a little photo series on the next page to get a feel for what Virginia has been like for me, and how pretty and nature filled the trip has been! Enjoy! Theoretically i'll be driving up to Washington DC and hopping a plane to LA on the 3rd...
As if you don't already think i'm strange enough ~ that NY trip for design week, which branched off into a roadtrip up to play in the woods in vermont... has been extended a few more days, and from vermont, we kind of decided to spontaneously drive down to Earlysville, Virginia... which is where i'm now posting from! If there's one thing i've learned/realized during this little random adventure, it's that for me, inspiring design details pop up nearly everywhere everyday in my life, and whether that's at ICFF or while driving for 10+ hours straight down New England... design is omnipresent, and what really keeps me going.
On that note, my silly exciting find of the day yesterday was after about 8-9 hours of straight driving, stuck in INSANE traffic in NY that was moving at about 20 mph for over 2 hours, and i found myself staring at large semis and their various mud flaps and signage and the typography on them... and then i saw it. Mudflaps with FLYING MOOSE! Forget unicorns and pegasuses... flying moose! I forced dan to try and take a pic of it with his iphone (which i will have to bother him later to get it off)... the one we saw was like the one in the bottom left, it seemed friendlier than what appears to be the newer version on their site now.
So continuing on the Jackalope theme of north american mythological creatures... we sat in traffic discussing the idea of flying moose, and then reading up on the background of the Manac Trucking/Trailer Manufacturer which had this awesome creature as their logo. Turns out that this magnificent creature comes from a native american legend! Very cute tale, read it on the next page, and also see a picture i found of the statue of the Manac flying moose logo!
The Veuve Clicquot Manhattan Polo Classic will take place on Governors Island (Sat 31 May) and can you believe that this will be the first time Polo will be played in NYC for over 70 years... bringing taste of Hamptons to NYC. Ralph Lauren's team (Blackwatch) is playing Asprey's team and Nacho Figueras (the face of Polo Black and best player in the world will be playing)
And guess what? The event is open to the public! So head over to Governor's Island on Saturday if you are in NY, and let me know how the polo match turns out! Hopefully it will be a beautiful (non rainy) day! More images on the next page...
Pinned up in the bathroom of the log cabin... "the WHY CHEAP ART? manifesto" - from the Bread & Puppet Glover, Vermont in 1984... this nice little manifesto speaks for itself! I must say, parts of this remind me of the Target rants on design... and if this is the manifesto for cheap art, what would one for design look like? See a larger image on the next page...
Jackalope spotting! I was wandering into town (St. Johnsbury, VT) on Memorial Day, and thanks to a local town parade, i detoured across the river, around the town, across the tracks, and back again - to get to the one open diner to get some breakfast... upon doing so, i ran across Caplan's Army Store - where i couldn't resist popping in to see what they had (and i picked up a black machete, work shirt, socks - i was packed with mostly heels and dresses for NYC city life on this trip...) And low and behold, i found the CUTEST jackalope i've yet to lay eyes on ~ while it does suck that these cute little creatures died to make this... at least the poor little guy is memorialized forever?
For those who don't know about the legendary Jackalopes... crazy jack rabbits with antlers - rumors are that it is "a hybrid of the pygmy-deer and a species of "killer-rabbit""... basically it is the american version of a chimera or griffin... and thanks to taxidermy, photo manipulation, and photoshop - MANY variations of this critter can be found across the country... (read up on your Jackalope lore) I've seen quite a few as a kid, but they tended to lean towards the large and ferocious style... THIS however was the CUTEST woodland creature infant version of a Jackalope! See more pictures of the street, store, and wall mount of this little guy on the next page!
So, the rumors are true. NOTCOT has gone where no tech addict chooses to go... there is NO CELL RECEPTION and NO INTERNET. *gasp*. After much mocking about how i "probably can't remember the last time i've been off the grid" (and no, i can't remember)... today we semi-spontaneously checked out early from NYC, grabbed a rental car (4WD black 2007 rav4), and cruised up to Peacham, Vermont... to a log cabin dan's parents built back in the 70s, and no one has really lived there since (brief visits, but little more than that) - can you see it peeking out from between all the trees?
It's adorable, the surroundings breath-taking - who wouldn't be in love with that lush greenery and fast moving fish filled creek all around after the urban concrete/smells/sounds of NYC? The cabin is going to take a bit of work though, and after so much tech-tethered work, i guess a little manual labor and communing with nature can't be all bad. So if i get a bit quiet this week, you'll know where i disappeared to, and if i'm quiet longer than that... well, send a search party?
As for how i'm posting this? Well we've got to get the water running again, sort out some new furniture/matresses/etc, and hook up a phoneline (and yes, high speed dsl is on its way)... so, thanks to the kindness of friends, i'm getting a warm bed and my internet fix for the day. Few more sneak peeks on the next page - probably loads more to come as i wander and take more pics the next few days!
I couldn't help sharing... so i've spent the whole day in my room in a sea of press kits on my bed... trying to sort through all my notes and photos, trying to catch up... then i wandered into the bathroom, and the view out the window took my breath away. Silly ipod ad matching the sunset is a bit annoying though... but how gorgeous out is it? Click the pic for the full sized image... unphotoshopped, because i was too lazy (and saving photoshopping energy for the rest of the posts!)
With a billion things/people/places to see, and a seemingly endless events to attend... its been super fun, in that crazed hectic way, and now i've taken the day to enjoy my bed - that is literally COVERED in press kits and a desktop filled with hundreds of photos... its a work day! To catch up on some posts... and today, we'll start with the incredible Artek installation in Gansevoort Square.
The simple Artek Stool 60 has been an omnipresent design icon... from schools, jails, kids rooms, restaurants, you'll see them everywhere... but no where is it as amazing as walking into Gansevoort Square and seeing what from afar appeared to be a coliseum of them.
As the press release says... "The innovative and strong L-leg construction is based on the technique of bending solid wood that was invented and refined by Alvar Aalto and Artek from the 1930s onwards. The famous Stool 60 designed in 1933 is the archetype of functional furniture. In Gansevoort Square, New York, Artek celebrates the anniversary of the stool 60 by building an installation of hundreds of stools. The round tower invites people to use all their senses to experience the installation. The stools made of untreated birch bring the scent of pure forest in the middle of New York and people are free to feel the natural, refined surface and structure of the stools." Check out my pics on the next page for the full experience!
What a day its been... my head is spinning, but in that good, dizzying, design is in the air kind of way. Up at 4am, to airport by 5, on a plane by 7, in NY by 3:30, doing biz calls in rush hour taxi ride, check in, grab a bite, jump in another cab, and we're at the first NY Design Week event already... Matter's VIP+Press Preview at their SoHo location! So, while i start to crash out now, confused as to whether its 22:33 or 1:33am... check out the pics on the next page for a peek into the madness...
p.s. it was awesome to see the conroy and wilcox thorn ring/cuff in person! So cute.
ICFF is right around the corner as the last few posts have shown, and with so many things to see and do, its hard to know where to start... so here's a roundup of resources as well as my personal shortlist that i'm trying to pick between... all you need is on the next page! Perhaps i'll see you in NY!
p.s. there's no way i can probably hit everything i want to (especially Monday, since we're doing a little publishers meet up thing) ~ if you happen to go to some amazing parties/shows/etc, feel free to take incredible pics to share with the rest of us!
I received an email with the subject line: First Paperless Architecture Book EVER: Piel... and with such a bold claim i initially wrote it off... 'paperless' just sounded like a silly spin on 'digital'. Anyhow, as time permitted, i came back to it, and found that it has a pretty sweet interface and isn't 'just a digitized book' ~ sure, it has the flashy corner peels and page flips - but what is nice, is how it utilized the fact that this is an architecture book, and it built in links to google map views of each building featured!
Check out Piel.Skin - About skin: This book is the result of two years of architectural research. Dynamic facades, ventilated, high-tech or traditional composites with new features. This book shows that currently new skins not only act as an isolating element, besides interact with the environment, optimizing energy exchange with the outside. From Germany to Australia or Korea to Colombia, there are many examples that readers can visit with this publication. With international vocation due to bilingual English-Spanish text and a language away from technicalities, this paper aims to show as an "interactive toy" the evolving field of the facades in architecture.
Piel.Skin is an experimental web book aimed at architecture students. The book literally surfs on several projects, jumping from exceptional exteriors in Asia to intelligently optimized facades in Europe. The book allows playing a virtual tour dedicated to google-earth travellers: By means of clicking on the coordinates of each project begins a journey where you can jump directly to each site and visualize the project within its environment.
Level Vodka invited Hussein Chalayan to design The Level Tunnel... and it is now here! With a blog that even chronicles everything from the design and renders - to the building of - and the launch! Also incredible are the specially design blindfold/goggles for the experience, and the gorgeous press release complete with Bach in sheet music form!
"It all started back in 2006. Level Vodka invited star designer Hussein Chalayan to create a pioneering work of art with a focus on taste. He was given completely free rein. The result was The Level Tunnel - a 15 meter long, 5 meter high, traveling installation that captures the essence of Level Vodka. After a mind-blowing journey, the project is now nearing the finish line. The 6th of May 2008, the tunnel will have its world premiere in Mexico City. " See images of the process, press kit, and final product on the next page!
NOTCOT Note: Yes, Justine (aka RUGenius) was really there. And i'm envious. Although i did get to go to the incredible painted elephant LA Banksy-fest... this one looked like quite the mob scene in a london tunnel! About 30,000 people showed up over the 3 day period, and over 600 artist took part in covering the walls! Apologies for taking so long to sort through her hundreds of photos... SO, without further ado take a look at her MANY awesome pictures on the next page as well as in the Gallery, and here is Justine's account of the festivities:
Over 28 thousand people turned up to Leake Street, effectively an underpass within sight of the London Eye and moments away from Waterloo. And yes, I was among them. We all know I can't resist a good stencil. So how could I possibly miss a stencil only event, just a train hop away? Not to mention, the Cans Festival was the kind of event that brought in the A-list of street artists like Bsas Stencil, Run Don't Walk, James Dodd (dlux), Tom Civil (civilian), Vexta, Prism, Daniel Melim, Altocontraste, Bandit, Roadsworth, 3D Del Naja, Artiste-Ouvrier. Blek, Sten, Sadhu, C215, Lucamaleonte, Lex, Orticancvoodles, Kaagman, Dolk, Pobel, M-City, Vhils, Btoy, Coolture, Schhh, Borbo, Sam3, Faile, Eine, John Grider, Logan Hicks, Pure Evil, Dot masters, Dan, Eelus and Banksy.
Starting with the art... The space within the tunnel was itself a hodgepodge of mock classical sculptures, trashed and stenciled cars, vans, even a playground. There were rugs, couches, and even a piano, all of course adorned with the patina only a tunnel could bestow. The combinations pushed the boundaries of the bizarre and the contrasting styles of the artists clashed as often as they complimented, yet somehow it all worked. It was as if everyone just suspended belief for a moment to soak it all in and it was particularly surreal as the sun was setting.
NOTCOT Note: Here is another post continuing on Justine's (aka RUGenius') adventures in Sheffield, it took a bit of researching, but she's come back to me with some MIND BLOWING infographics from Stephanie Posavec, you definitely need to click on the images after the jump to see them in full resolution where you can see what every curve and color represents. I kid you not, you will not see Kerouac's On The Road the same again...
During my recent trip up to Sheffield, I was fortunate enough to be staying next door to the Millennium Galleries, who hosted a portion of the citywide Art Sheffield event. Among the exhibits, was one called "On the Map" (more info here as well), which uses craft and design to understand the symbolic and representative nature of maps. Works included a dress made of maps, numerous old maps of London, a gorgeous Kerr | Noble representation of the River Thames through graphic design and the words of the John Banck's Description of London. Seen here:
However, the works that caught my eyes was that of Stefanie Posavec. Stefanie's maps capture something above and beyond that of the others. Rather than mapping physical geography, her maps capture regularities and patterns within a literary space. The pieces featured in On the Map focused on Kerouac's On the Road. The maps visually represent the rhythm and structure of Kerouac's literary space, creating works that are not only gorgeous from the point of view of graphic design, but also exhibit scientific rigor and precision in their formulation: meticulous scouring the surface of the text, highlighting and noting sentence length, prosody and themes, Posavec's approach to the text is not unlike that of a surveyor. And similarly, the act is near reverential in its approach and the results are stunning graphical displays of the nature of the subject. The literary organism, rhythm textures and sentence drawings are truly gorgeous pieces. It's not often that I am so thoroughly impressed by the depth of an artist's work, but somehow, for me, these pieces do it all. I know, who would've thought I'd have stumbled upon such incredible work in the gallery across from our hotel in Sheffield! It just goes to show the world is full of surprises.
High-res images below not to be missed!
As i'm sure you know by now, yesterday i disappeared to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on my spontaneous roadtrip up california. Normally i'd think on a weds/thurs this should be a breeze, avoiding the crowds, etc... but no. I seem to have overlooked that it is spring break week for most kids, and it was INSANE! None the less, we had a good time oooooohing and aaaaaaahing and remembering why i really need to take more random excursions and maybe get to some scuba diving all over the world again... (hey, i'm sure i can find inspiring things to post down there too!). Additionally Dan took over my Canon 40d and showed me how its really done (as you may have noticed, i'm more a shoot fast, photoshop later kind of girl, whereas he's more of a technical, play with settings, take your time kind of guy...) - so here's a post *mostly* of his incredible pics of the inspiring jellies (and some fish, and some crazy splashing, and a bit more).
But before we jump into the pics ~ anyone in the bay area (or california and neighboring states that can just pop over here) ~ you creatives HAVE to come check out the Jellies: Living Art exhibit... they put the jellyfish tanks in these overly ornate frames, and have them in the context of the works of calder, pollock, chihuly, and more. Its really fascinating - not to mention absolutely mesmerizing - i shot some video i'll add on when i have time... but for now... To the pics below!
Rumor has it i've been a bit of a workaholic the last few months, and lacking at indulging my inherent wanderlust... so today was supposed to be a quick drive up to SF from LA with dan, but one thing led to another and it became a spontaneous roadtrip/adventure - leading to everything from lunch in a danish town (solvang) - trying danish pancake balls (aebleskiver) - feeding ostriches and emus - a giant tree stump turned treehouse/pirateship on the side of the road in a tile/bricklaying yard - 1797 Mission San Miguel Arcangel - driving by Hearst Castle - seeing beaches filled with elephant seals - cruising up the coast through state parks on cliff hanging roads to big sur - stopping off to admire the view constantly - buying 99 cent chips for $1.79 (cliff view markup?) - seeing otters playing so far below they looked like tiny dots - sunset in Big Sur - martinis and dinner watching the sun fully disappear - and now i'm in Monterey Bay in a luscious king sized bed overlooking Cannery Row and the ocean as i try to get this post up as my photo excuse as to why the posting and editing was a bit quiet today.
Tomorrow ~ Monterey Bay Aquarium and then back to regularly scheduled working... but for now, catch up on the roadtrip in pics first (as well as a full map of where i've been and where i'm headed)?
I've been a bit baffled as to what to make of this 120th Anniversary Eiffel Tower Observation Deck designed by Serero that will go up next year as i came across images on all the blogs (i.e. Core77, Gizmodo, etc)... see my favorites of the architectural diagrams and renders after the jump. In celebration of the 120th birthday of the tower, the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel decided to restructure the public reception and access areas of the tower, and the result will be a temporary horizontal extension of the 3rd floor of the tower. Serero's design is built out of carbon kevlar, steel connectors, and metal mesh. What was most intriguing to me was Serero's discussion of the generative design:
Generative Design: The design is based on a generative script, creating branches out of the primary structure of the tower. Inspired by the structural concept of Eiffel of three-dimensional cross bracing beams, the script unfolds along curved lines the “DNA” of the tower. The script used the existing structure at the top of the tower ( a 10 by 10 meters cube) to generate 3 structural weaves, which are interconnected. These layers are combined to create a woven complex, which is based on the redundancy and the non-repetition of patterns to increase its structural performance. In opposition with modern engineering (based on the concept of repetition and optimization), the project for the Eiffel tower extension is based on an alternative model of high performance.
NOTCOT Note: Here's another post from Justine (rugenius) ~ and her adventures in the UK!
Like Fru and Gu, Sheffield's Winter Gardens are something I'd come across earlier in my tenure over here in England, but never had the chance to really explore. I came across them when staying at the Mercure hotel in Sheffield, which is itself indulgently modern. I admired them from the hotel, whose Champagne bar and restaurant flank the gardens, but never actually spent time in the space. On my recent return, the gardens themselves are more than noteworthy.
The Winter Garden is a temperate haven. With its high, sweeping wooden arches and use of natural light, it transforms what is an often gray and dreary South Yorkshire day into a world bathed in soft light. Unlike the heat and humidity we often associated with greenhouses, the interior is cool and dry (and I must admit, reminds me of home!). And the high ceilings provide excellent acoustics, creating a reverential atmosphere and sense of calm (thats right, no reverberating screams of children!). See many beautiful pictures of the interior of this incredible space after the jump!
NOTCOT Note: Where would i be without incredible readers like Gillian Benjamin, who emailed in an incredible post submission covering the Capetown Design Indaba that ran from Saturday 23 February to Friday 29 February? (I am extremely impressed, she even created all these beautiful images to go with the post without any prompting!) Read on to see what design finds she discovered...
Last week Cape Town was brimming with creative energy as the 5th annual Design Indaba Expo took place. Featuring everything from industrial design to quirky ceramic pieces and reinterpreted African curio kitsch, the Expo showcased the best homegrown talent to both local and international audiences. Each year the event seems to grow a little bigger - a sure sign of South Africa's blossoming creative talent. Following global trends, the focus on craft and the hand-made was definitely visible.