Moving forward, I will be featuring photographers from my go-to source for images, Unsplash, with every new Design Digest. I can’t think of another platform that has transformed the way I see photography and Unsplash has really established itself as the voice of independent image use.
The header image and one more below are the work of Akira Hojo. Based in Oslo, Norway since 2017, Akira specialises in portraits, landscapes and fine art photography. See his work on Unplash, Instagram, discover his portfolio here and visit his shop for some incredible photographic art.
Tech News You Can Use
It seems that there is a new think piece on the dangers and ruinous effects of social media everyday. Without a doubt, there is a growing consensus that it is having a devastating impact on mental health and breeding a level of materialism unseen before its rise. However, may of us still use social media to build connections, increase our business exposure and to discover other creatives. Here are a few articles that have shed some insight light on what social media has morphed into during these crazy teen years of the 21st century.
“While some tech leaders, particularly those operating social networks, are beginning to acknowledge the downsides to what they’ve built, the unfortunate reality is that the tools are working exactly as designed.”
Anna Wiener reminds us that Jack Dorsey is the master of non-answers with her perspicacious article for The New Yorker: Jack Dorsey’s TED Interview and the End of an Era. I’m not sure how long any of us can continue to use Twitter without developing a guilty conscience for supporting a platform that has mastered the art of bullying.
File this under ‘How did I not know this?’: Facebook publishes guidelines for Instagram content creators. If you manage social media for your brand, there are actually some decent tips in here. H/T to Social Media Today. Speaking of content creators and influencers, this op-ed from The Business of Fashion sheds some light on the true impact of influencers on brand growth.
Makers To Watch
If you love pottery, you are going to love the following videos. I’ve included links to the shops of each maker, so take a minute to see what each is offering in their current collections. I am not responsible for any lack of productivity that might result from diving headfirst into these ceramic dreams come true.
Peaches Studio: PEACHES is a multidisciplinary art and design studio headed by Julia Sherman and Thomas Sprott. PEACHES designs and creates highly thoughtful yet minimal objects that explore identity, self-expression, functionality, and color. PEACHES prides themselves on the physicality and the labor they invest in their work.
The porcelain forms of PEACHES are hand made through an intensive process of slip casting. The greenware casted forms are then bisque fired to cone 06, sanded, and washed. Next, glaze is applied to specific areas of the forms for functionality and the pieces are then glaze fired to cone 10. Lastly, the vitrified forms are sanded smooth. Shop | Instagram
Lawrence McRae Ceramics:Originally schooled in landscape architecture, Lawrence applies a similar design approach to his handmade ceramics. The result is a clean, modern collection of carved lamps and tableware that push the boundries of materials and showcases his impeccable craftsmanship and attention to detail. He shares his downtown Boston studio with his wife and fellow artist Jill Rosenwald.
Our pottery is all handmade in our downtown Boston studio. Each piece is made to order, handcrafted on the potter’s wheel and slipcasted in our space. Lawrence designs and carefully sculpts each detail out of creamy white earthenware, then each piece is finished and handpainted. Shop | Instagram
Mary Neeson Ceramics: The old adage that ‘less is more’ may be somewhat over-used but it is wholly appropriate when it comes to Mary Neeson’s ceramic work. The award winning ceramic artist is proficient in the media of both porcelain and bronze, she creates objects which are remarkable in their delicacy yet possess a strength and purity of form.
Mary’s current body of ceramic work includes a series of angelic forms, a range of intimate lighting and quirky wall pillows. Her porcelain nightlights are an exploration into the translucent, light transmitting qualities of the material whereas the wall pillows show the artists fun and experimental side. Her work has a wide appeal and is very affordable with prices suiting all budgets. Shop | Instagram
Hana Karim: Hana Karim grew up between painting studios and pottery wheels, in the Western part of Slovenia, where her parents encouraged her to see that ceramics could be a business, a passion and a form of artistic expression. Today, Karim is working to shift the perception of ceramic-making, by coaxing the resurgence of pottery as a medium for creative expression. Finding inspiration in the words and creativity of her mother, Karim first spent ten years crafting ceramic jewellery before moving onto homeware. Shop | Instagram
Ben Medansky Ceramics: Ben Medansky is an orchestrator of controlled chaos, a sculptor of hard edges in naturalistic worlds, a refiner of industrial aesthetics that retain rough and human qualities.
The varied environments of Arizona, Chicago and Los Angeles – both natural and manmade – are the foundation to Ben’s creative inspiration. He is especially influenced by Brutalist and Modern architecture and industrial design; specifically by the strong and diverse architecture of downtown LA and it’s seemingly uninterrupted construction. Ben is also drawn to themes and motifs of technology and space exploration and the industrial aesthetics they employ. Much of this work explores variations on radial symmetry and grids while utilizing a limited color palette. It is an appropriation of aesthetics employed by the mechanical world; an experiment in mimicking strong forms out of a fragile material. The output is a meditation on minimalism and mechanics, re-mastered in earthen and eternal material. Shop | Instagram