Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Faux Bois... anything but Faux Pas!

Faux-Bois (Faux Wood) is, shall we say, "ingrained" in the design community right now, from ceramic and resin logsto woodgrain sunglasses and pillows. I wanted to find out more on this seemingly eco-friendly and cool trend that is popping up, and found out from this article on that it was very popular in the late 19th century and continued into the 1940s. In its truest sense, it refers to the architectural or sculptural application of concrete, mortar and cement paste onto a steel frame, which is then manipulated to look like wood grain or rings. Now, it can also refer to any "fake wood" piece, whether that be a woodgrain-printed fabric or a plaster log.
I found a fantastic blog called "It's (K)not Wood"which showcases all things faux-bois. These bloggers have been devoting themselves to this trend since December 2005- their earliest post! Really worth checking out, I think you'll be surprised at some of the applications.
1stdibs.comhas exquisite examples of the finest in faux bois, which I have included pictures of below. There's a great set of concrete french faux-bois planters from the 1920's and, the obvious winner, a pair of Italian murano glass faux bois chandeliers!!! Check out pictures of it below, and admire how "natural" the many looks of faux bois can look in interior spaces.

-Genevieve at Swank

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sensible Chic

Have you ever seen the show on HGTV Sensible Chic? Well the story line takes an expensive “inspiration room” from a notable designer and attempts to recreate the design on a much more “sensible” budget, usually around $2,000.

HGTV’s web site describes the show this way: Join HGTV for its decorating adventure, Sensible Chic, with each episode featuring high-end designer room decor re-created in an affordable way. A decorating expert analyzes the design principles used in the expensive original, then shows viewers how to apply those principles to bring about a satisfying, less expensive version that is “sensibly chic.” It’s all done through careful planning, smart shopping and clever hands-on projects. The series of half-hour programs features the full range of decorating styles.

Actually there have been several variations on this theme in recent years on various networks. The shows are fun to watch and it’s amazing how some of these wonderful rooms can be recreated for a lot less money…. and even more fun to watch are the ones that are miserable failures.

Well when the new listings came out today on 1stdibs, I couldn’t help but a) fall in love with these pink quartz lamps for $16,000 and b) recognize how similar they look to our new Rock Candy lamps in pink for $2,495.

Here are the pictures. You decide.

Now I know that if I had $16,000 to spend on pink lamps I would go for the quartz, but if I do say so myself, our Rock Candy versions are pretty darn hot at an 85% discount!!
Let me know what you think.

Ed at Swank

Hot Spot: Holdman Glass Studios

Well, it has been wild past few weeks! With all the commotion of the Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, I've been with and without power over the past two weeks (mostly without), and just trying to get back to some sort of normalcy! When Ed sent me this little gem, an amazing video demonstrating the glass blowing skills of Treavor Holdman of Holdman Studios, I watched it over and over again, and sent the link to family and friends. The process he uses to create beautiful hand-blown glass platters is mesmerizing. As I watch it again during these hectic weeks, the ending results remind me of the shape of a hurricane itself, with swirls of colored glass rotating around a central "eye" (OK, so it might be a stretch but you'll see what I'm talking about!)
Holdman Studios is located in Lehi, Utah in the art village at Thanksgiving Point. Not only does he create beautiful hand-blown glass platters, but has a great team which designs and constructs beautiful stained glass installations, such as this collraborative project with BYU. The studio has a live webcamset up in their studio, allowing you to watch them work at anytime. The way the artists work together really captures the essence of teamwork, its almost like watching a dance!

Holdman Studios sell their glass works on ebay, also where you can find Treavor's biography and learn about the concepts and ideas behind his works. I especially enjoy his desire to "let the glass speak for itself" as he manipulates the pieces to "let the glass sing the song it was destined to sing." This is evident as he works as you can really see his passion for his profession.

"Treavor Holdman is an artist with a passion for glass. He grew up in a family of artists and teamed up with his brother Tom to become part of Holdman Studios at the age of 15. Since then Treavor has been one of the key artists for many large art glass installations. Several of the pieces he has been heavily involved with have been priced at over a half million. His work is seen by literally thousands everyday in many public spaces including churches, universities, and city centers all over the globe. Treavor has the unique ability to let the glass sing the song it was destined to sing. In his own words, "I let the glass speak for itself. As the fire and flame take hold of it, I feel what direction the glass would like to go to shine, and I take it on that journey. Then, in the end, the glass will do a much better job of taking your breath away then I ever could." Treavor has truly found his life's journey and invites us all to come along."

Take some time to visit the site and check out his eBay store here. If any of you are lucky enough to own one of these beautiful pieces of art, send us pics of how you display them, and we'll post them on our blog!

-Genevieve at Swank

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Swank Lighting To Sponsor Material Girls Design Contest

Swank Lighting will be working with MaterialGirlsto sponsor a ‘virtual’ design contest. Their contest was inspired by the collaboration between Metropolitan Home Magazine and SHOWTIME to create ‘Metropolitan Home’s SHOWTIME House’.

Click this MaterialGirls Linkto read the rules of the contest with submission deadline information. Remember that you MUST use a pair of Swank Lighting’s lamps from our web site as part of your design. You can lift the photo you want directly from our site.

First prize winner will receive this pair of Swank Lighting lamps from our new Joe Cariati line. If that winner is you, you will be able to choose the color from our wonderful pallet as well as the configuration; right side up or inverted (both pictured). Retail value: $2,190

Second prize winner will receive this pair of Swank Lighting lamps from our new Joe Cariati line. You can choose them in Sea-Foam Green, Red, Lavender Berry, or T-Bird Blue. Retail value: $1,600

Third prize winner will receive this pair of Swank Lighting lamps from our ‘Hard Candy’ line, yet to be introduced, and hand blown by Burchetta Glass in Life Savers mixed fruit colors. Retail value $900
The contest is open to anyone so please get busy and let your creative juices flow.
Shades are not included in the prize.