design

Being Elliott + The Object Enthusiast

copper cluster I constantly find myself inspired by the craft of pottery. So when I discovered the work of The Object Enthusiast I craved to know the story behind each vessel. I talked to the creator, Emily Reinhardt , and she kindly shared her passion with Being Elliott. Enjoy the interview below!

Also, be sure to check out more lovely work by The Object Enthusiast on their etsy and facebook.

1. How did you get your start with designing ceramics?

I started taking a ceramics course in college for my art education degree. Within a few weeks I had already been to my advisor to change my fine arts concentration to ceramics. I was completely in love with making pottery. I had excellent teachers to challenge and motivate me, and I’ve never regretted it!

2. What inspires you to create?

My projects stem from lots of little ideas and thoughts I collect day to day. I'm a treasure lover! I hold on to tiny little things because they came from somewhere special or they used to belong to someone special, and I've got to have a place to keep all that stuff. So, I build it. I like making vessels and trays and dishes that are meant to hold those extra special things, or even become something special by themselves. I love knowing that my objects are used in people's lives, and I want to build spaces for people to keep their most treasured items.

3. What do you love about working with clay?

I love working with clay because it’s my chance to make a mess. I’m happiest when I have clay under my nails, and dust on my jeans. It just feels right to me. Getting lost in the studio in the afternoons, just completely wrapped up in my thoughts around making things is what I strive for.

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4. Do you have a favorite piece you have made?

My favorite items I made are actually from my sculpture days. For my graduate gallery show I made these organic floral tubes. I used to make ceramic sculpture being inspired by nature and the way humans manipulate nature. These pieces hang on the wall and today I picture them with a single dried flower inside of them. They’re one of the only old projects I’ve kept.

5. Describe your style aesthetic.

I love earthy minimalism with a touch of shine. I love earth tones, browns, greens, and things with speckles – colors that appear to have emerged from the ground or from nature. The gold leaf started as something completely unintentional, it was a way to hide a minor glaze imperfection on one of the best bud vases I’d ever made! After that, I loved the gold addition, and I haven’t looked back since!

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6. Any current obsessions you would like to share? 

There are a few right now: peppermint tea, coconut oil hair care, ZUM lip balm, challenging myself with photography and downsizing my possessions! I’m having a yard sale in a few weeks, and I feel pretty good about getting rid of unnecessary things and doing some spring cleansing!

7. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.” I’m not quite sure who said this, but I’ve heard it many times from my mom. It stayed with me because I have a tendency to get stuck in a rut, and unable to decide which direction to go. Knowing when you need to change as an artist is a huge deal. When things aren’t working, you’ll have to adjust and keep a fresh perspective on what you’re making.

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8. If I were not a ceramics artist I would be....

If I were not a ceramic artist, I’d want to be a florist. I’ve always dreamed of owning a flower shop where I sold all of my own ceramic vase designs. I think that’s why I make so many vases. I always imagine a gorgeous bouquet in one of my vessels. The act of giving flowers to others will always be with us, and a vase is something the person gets to keep, even when the flowers have died.

9. Any advice you would like to give to aspiring ceramics designers? 

Don’t lose momentum. Keep making work and really believe in yourself. I am living proof that you can do a lot with very little!

10. Any exciting designing plans for 2013? 

I’m hoping to save enough money for a slab roller, a big piece of equipment for rolling out uniform slabs of clay for making dishes, platters and tiles. Once that happens I’d love to be making larger sized trays, catchalls, dishes and platters too. Until then I’ll keep working with my rolling pin.screen-shot-2013-04-03-at-9-32-52-pm

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Being Elliott + Bomisch

I have a HUGE  thing for vintage decor. So when I found a vintage milk bottle from a little shop called Bomisch I had to get the scoop ! I talked to the creator of Bomisch ,Morgan Fender, to learn more about her amazing online shop. Enjoy the interview below!

Also, be sure to check out Bomisch on their facebookpinterest, and blog.

1. How did Bomisch get its start? 

Bömisch started with the desire to integrate my passion for creativity, love of quality, unique goods and accounting background into one. The name came about after tossing words back and forth between my mom and I. Words that described the feel of the shop that I had dreamed of and planned for years.  The word bohemian stood out to me. Bohemian, by its definition, is a person, as an artist or writer, who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices.  This is the type of shop I wanted to have.  A place that had its own unique charm, distant from mainstream culture, where people could not only shop but be inspired by the space they were in. bömisch is my version of the German word for bohemian. My heritage is German and I loved the way the umlauts rested over the "o".

2. What inspires you to sell home and garden products? 

Inspiration for me has always come from flea markets, thrift stores and local farmer's markets.  I love hunting for a product. The journey to find the item is as special as the good itself. Markets bring their community together, allow people to explore, mingle with others and spark creative ideas. I wanted these attributes to fit online shopping as well. I wanted my customers to be inspired and feel as if they were discovering the products on their own.

3. Where/how do you acquire your pieces?

bömisch has three main categories of goods: Market, Found and Made.  All of which feature unique home goods, gifts and items for the individual.  Market items are new goods that are acquired through home and gift trade shows where vendors from all over the world come together.  Found items are discovered through thrifting during my travels.  I search for one-of-a-kind items that I think can fit into modern day homes and lives.  Made items are handmade by independent artisans that I have met in my travels, locally here in Durham or by the creative people that were already a part of my life.

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4. Do you have a favorite piece in your shop currently?

Right now I really love the Barr-Co. Pure Vegetable Hand Soap we have in our apothecary collection.  The soap is packaged in a lovely glass bottle that can be used again and again. The scent is so natural and pleasing with hints of milk, oatmeal, vanilla and vetivert. Barr-Co.’s products are vegan and made in the USA.

5. Describe the Bomisch aesthetic. 

bömisch is a place where bohemian goods from past and present eras are curated to create a one-of-a-kind decor for the home and gifts for your life. We strive to have a local shop vibe, online.

6. Any current obsessions you would like to share? 

I recently started a collection of vintage, crocheted throws.  They add a bright pop of color and softness to my industrial loft space. I may need to start collecting them for bömisch instead so that I don't become the girl who lived in her crocheted blankets.

7. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

If you're not happy, change it.  Find a way to fit your passions into your daily life because tomorrow is not promised.  Liking what you do is happiness.

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8. What is the one household item you think is a “must-have” for every home? 

Every home must have a piece of vintage.  It will add character and can be paired with every style of decor. Vintage items tell a story and you are saving it from being lost and wasted. If you are unsure of how to bring vintage into your home, start with something small.  An old bottle with fresh flowers from your local market is a great way to begin and it saves the energy that would have been used for creating a new one!

9. Any advice you would like to give to aspiring shop owners? 

Save money, plan and know that it's going to take lot of hard work. Stick to your style and customer demographic once you decide what that is.  Your customers need to get a feel for what you offer and know that those types of items will always be available.

10. Any exciting plans for Bomisch in 2013? 

This year I want to discover new markets, goods and cultures through traveling and bring a taste of each of them back to bömisch.  A trip that I look forward to each year is at the end of summer.  My family drives from Michigan and I drive from North Carolina to meet in Upstate New York for a long weekend of vintage thrifting.  We stay in an old home that was renovated into a bed and breakfast, take away some great finds and wonderful memories.screen-shot-2013-04-03-at-9-32-52-pm

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Q&A: Bonkuk Koo

12977_367719800010953_1998062160_n 1. How did you get your start with designing? I want to be honest about my story. The year was 1999, and I felt out of place all the time and I did not know I was going to be a designer. Actually, I wanted to be a Pharmacist like my mother, but then I found out that people can study fashion in college...which was a surprise to me. It seemed pretty fun to study fashion because I liked wearing nice clothes and styling just like the rest of my friends. That is how I stepped into the world of fashion. Many things have happened to me in the past 13 years, but now I believe fashion is something I want to do for the rest of my life.

2. What inspires you to create? Textile techniques, shades of colors, surfaces of objects and volumes of movement. However, there is something more than that. Having non-stop conversations with Jason Kim (my friend from FIT and a great helping hand in P.R and overall management of my collection) has become sort of a third designer who I can turn to for anything from trend analysis to subtle story telling that's needed in delivering the targeted imagery or mood onto the runway and lookbook.

3. What do you love about working with textiles? I love developing new techniques by using fabric... that's what I spend most of my time on when beginning a new collection, and also what I feel most comfortable with. Every designer wants to create something new, that is the fundamental worth of this kind of job. When I come up with a new technique of fabric, I feel like I know exactly where I should go about designing. It is one of the most exciting steps for me.

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4. Do you have a favorite piece you have made? In this season there are two coats (Goldenrod cashmere with Crimson wool silk mohair with machine embroidery, Black cashmere with black dutch satin origami weaving). The two coats have the same silhouette but each one has a different way of expression.The goldenrod and crimson coat has color expression. I used to avoid yellow and red color mix. However, when I put together the goldenrod and crimson, it gave me much more of a bright feeling which is sweet and little bit of sour, if I had to compare to taste. The end result was a charming mix of color with a soft edge. My woman wants to wear that kind of basic silhouette. The black color exaggerates the silhouette of the coat. I added unexpected details at the sleeve and coat hem. It makes it different from other, considering that she doesn’t want to show anything in a direct manner or wearing detail on the face.

5. Describe your style aesthetic. I used to think the women I designed for were very strict style-wise. Because of this, I tried to keep my silhouettes basic and gave my fabric 3- dimensional illusion. But recently, I realized my old way confines me and my women in a cage. How sad and foolish that I restrict myself in limited design! After I changed my mind, Magically, I got so much more excited about new possibilities in my design. I cannot wait to start my 14’ S/S collection! Next season you will see more colors with silhouettes as well as unique fabric techniques, which will be always be my fundamental aesthetic.

6. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? “Dream as if you will live forever, Live as if you will die today.” (James Dean)

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7. What is the one fashion item you think is a “must-have” for every woman? Shoes and bags are “must must have."  Another must-have is an all-purpose scarf. I started a new scarf line from this season and I am planning more various styles for the upcoming seasons. Regardless of any seasonal needs scarves are the most useful style tool you can imagine. Scarves can spice up any look by adding more texture and color. Scarves can easily go with office looks, daytime looks and indoor/outdoor evening gowns.

8. Any exciting designing plans for 2013? I have some collaborations with accessories brands coming up. Last season I had a collaboration with Slone (an accessory company out of Korea) We are planning to work with Slone in the next season too. We are also working on an upcoming collaboration with an eyewear company.

To learn more about Bonkuk Koo visit their facebook.

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