Bottle Service – An Artist’s Dwelling (7)

Giorgio Morandi (July 20, 1890 – June 18, 1964) was an Italian painter, etcher, and printmaker who specialized in the form of still life. His paintings are all within a similar tonal subtlety. His entire career was dedicated to depicting apparently simple subjects, which were limited mainly to vases, bottles, bowls, flowers, and landscapes – all found within his own studio. Often Morandi would paint the same arrangements of bottles and accoutrement several times from various angles. Familiar forms and shapes repeat within his work constantly – thus creating a world in which the viewer feels accustomed to the repeating items in Morandi’s life. A few times Morandi delved into the world of portrait or landscape, but most of his some 1350 oil paintings were still life repetitions of objects. He explained: “Nothing is more abstract than reality”.

All images above – © Serena Mignani – Imago Orbis  / A close-up of part of  some of the objects left in Morandi’s studio after his death,  found HERE.

Giorgio Morandi, Nature morte, huile sur toile, 1929, 390 x 52,7 mm, private collection.

Giorgio Morandi, Still Life, 1961, 10 x 12 inches

Giorgio Morandi, Natura Morta, 1962, Bildgröße 31 x 36 cm, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2007, Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen

Giorgio Morandi, Still Life, 1940, 16 x19 inches

Giorgio Morandi, Still Life, 1949, 14 x 18 inches

Giorgio Mordani, Still Life, 1954, 10 x 28 inches

Giorgio Morandi (Italian, 1890-1964). Still Life, 1947. Oil on canvas. 8 1/6 x 10 13/16 in. (20.7 x 27.5 cm). The Cartin Collection, © 2008 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE, Rome

Herbert List, Giorgio Morandi in his studio, Bologna 1953 © Herbert List Estate, Magnum Photos

Seeing a pattern here? 

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Record Time

Step 1: Find a friend! I found Kimberley, she’s my go-to crafting buddy. If you have a friend named Kimberley, use her too. Go to your local thrift shop and find cake molds, bowls, or anything circular that is oven safe over 300 Degrees Fahrenheit. Our bowls were only $1.99. This object will be used to mold your record bowl.

Step 2: Continue shopping at your local Goodwill, or thrift shop to find inexpensive records. Ours were $0.99 each, however many places sell classical albums for $0.25 a pop. Be warned! Sometimes the most AWESOME covers actually have the least attractive records inside. Don’t judge a book (or record) by it’s cover. The inside is what counts (in life, and in record shopping), so open the package and the sleeve and see what the record inside has to offer. This is what will be on display in the end product.

Step 3: Preheat your oven to 250-300 Degrees Fahrenheit. Wipe down your record so it does not have extraneous dust – this will melt into the bowl. Make sure the record is dry. Place your record centered on an oven proof bowl. Place in the oven for no more than five minutes (it starts to let off toxic gas if left in too long) at a time. Open a window and ventilate. At five minutes (but sometimes sooner, use oven light to check if corners are dropping, melting, and bending) take out of the oven using oven mitts! Safety first! Remain calm! Don’t fret!

Step 4: As soon as you take the record out of the oven (it will be hot) work quickly (less than 20-30 seconds) to shape the object. You can use the bowl as a mold, and press the record inside. You can also roll the record as you would when making a megaphone out of paper (lower left hand corner). If you are sculpturally inspired, you can even freehand mold the record into different shapes, or stamp the melted vinyl with pattern. If an object is not folding or forming to your liking, place it in the oven to soften it again for another minute or so. The vinyl cools and dries EXTREMELY quickly – usually in under a minute.

Step 5: Place and show off your object. Here I am planning on using the bowl to hold candy near my bar! Kimberley is using her rolled record (in the previous image) as a sconce or a plant holder mounted to the wall. These bowls can be used as planters because of the hole in the middle makes automatic drainage! Since the item is so inexpensive to make, and takes such a short amount of time to form (some would say RECORD TIME, har har), I would recommend making a ton of them and giving them away to people you love as “just because” presents! What a unique and retro way to decorate.

P.S. All photographs by me.


Lucite in the Sky with Diamonds

This just in – Lucite is not longer for stripper heels or for your lewd cousin Sally. Although I always associated the material with wanton fantasies and ladies of the night, its style resurgence has begun!

The material can be used to preserve items in a resin like substance – it also has a bevy of other uses including in CDs, tattoo ink, ceramics, rocket fuel, fiber optics, dental fillings, aquarium windows, hockey rinks, jewelry, cosmetic surgery, and basically everywhere one looks. Perspex, a type of lucite, has been used as a surface to paint on (rather than traditional canvas) by Salvador Dali.

Is it a table? A book? A Painting? Salvador Dali, Freud, Moise et le monothéisme, 1974  The texts chosen above were actually based in alchemy. 

Hailed as a chemical wonder and used in World War II bombers. Lucite was able to be explored in more domestic settings after the war. Here is an illustration from Modern Materials for Modern Living: Bakelite Plastics, 1957. I am assuming the windows are plexiglass. Image found HERE.

Simply put, lucite is a shatter resistant, acrylic alternative to glass. The material was developed in 1928 in various laboratories, and was first brought to market in 1933 by Rohm and Haas Company, under the trademark Plexiglas. It has since been sold under many different names including Lucite and Perspex. I was going to attempt to give you the full and official name but all the “poly”, “methyl”, “acrylate”, “methylpropenoate”, and other chemically words had be a bit tongue tied.


A simple and clean solution to a watch display. Image found via The Glitter Guide, HERE.

Lucite backed bar stools and  the notable Oly Studio lighting. 

The translucent material camouflages itself to match any decorating scheme. Image via DecorPad. 

I spy Domino Magazine! That coffee table allows the magazines to look as though they are in a shadowbox on display. The lucite screen divider separates a room without shrinking its size. Image screen cap found via Lonny Magazine.

Image found HERE.

Contemporary gray foyer entry design with lucite acrylic console table, tall slat back chair, owl umbrella stand, white & black abstract art, white branch candle holders, gray walls paint color, crown moulding and crystal chandelier by Lori Graham. Image found HERE. 

A pop of color is calmed down by the clarity of lucite! Image by Tara Seawright, found HERE.

Cinderella would have made an entrance down this staircase whether or not she was wearing her glass (or lucite) slipper. The bannister is designed by Thomas Britt. Hanging on the stairs is Walking Cake II by Laurie Simmons. Photos by Andi Hatch and Francois Halard. Image found HERE. 

I would not mind reading, writing, or working at this wonder of a desk. Image via Atlanta Homes Magazine.


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