Designer Desire: Evelyn Ackerman

Mosaic of Evelyn Ackerman artworks | H is for Home

Alongside her husband Jerome, Evelyn Ackerman (1924-2012) was a leading light in California mid-century modernism. They were contemporaries of the likes of Alexander Girard and fellow married couple, Ray and Charles Eames.

She worked across a variety of mediums including mosaic, textile tapestry, metalwork and enamelware, stone casting and wood carving. They designed, produced and sold their work through their companies Jenev and ERA Industries.

Although mostly available in the United States (as expected), her work can occasionally be found on Etsy and eBay.

Jerome & Evelyn Ackerman in their homecredit

Hand-in-Hand book by Jerome and Evelyn Ackerman
Hand-in-Hand: Ceramics, mosaics, tapestries, wood carvings and hardware by the California Mid-Century designers

Image credits:

1st Dibs | Artnet | Invaluable

Designer Desire: Laila Zink

Mosaic of Laila Zink designs | H is for Home

Earlier this week, we discovered the designs of Laila Zink (1915-1999) whilst researching the identity of the designer who created a large pottery charger that we’d bought at the flea market. She worked for pottery manufacturers Kupittaan Savi based in Finland. Her work is very distinctive – stylised folk art figures, flowers and landscapes. The elongated facial features and almond shaped eyes of the ladies (and it does usually seem to be ladies) are instantly recognisable. Her pieces are all hand painted and very individual.

We couldn’t find out much information about either her or Kupittaan Savi. A book has been written about the company… however it’s in Finnish. Her work isn’t very commonplace however, there are currently a few examples available on Etsy and eBay.

Portrait of Laila Zinkcredit

Image credits:

Bukowskis | Pinterest

Designer Desire: Barbara Brown

Collage of Barbara Brown textile designs | H is for Home

I went to a Barbara Brown exhibition at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester last week. I was already quite familiar with her work, but seeing them up close and in the flesh I was completely blown away!

Seeing images of her designs in books or online can never do them justice. The sheer scale of the many op art patterns – 1¼ metres wide – make the mind boggle!

Originally from Manchester, Barbara Brown attended Canterbury College of Art and then on to the Royal College of Art. It was at her degree show in 1953 that she was discovered by Tom Worthington, Artistic Director of Heal’s. The rest, as they say, is history. She produced many designs for the company (where she was a contemporary of Lucienne Day) in her two-decade career with them. Her designs won the Council of Industrial Design (COID) award on three occasions.

You can usually find lengths of her fabrics (and ready made soft furnishings if your sewing skills are anything like mine) on eBay and Etsy.

Barbara Brown textile designer © Graham Copekogacredit

Additional image credits:

Pinterest | V&A

Designer Desire: Tamara de Lempicka

Mosaic of Tamara de Lempicka artworks | H is for Home

Tamara de Lempicka has been a favourite artist of ours for years. Her work isn’t from our usual era – mid century modern – it’s straight out of the Art Deco and Jazz age.

de Lempicka’s work depicts her glamorous life and that of the time in which she lived. She came from a wealthy Polish family and lived a bohemian life, socialising with aristocrats and Hollywood film stars. She married a baron, had affairs with both men and women and travelled extensively, fleeing the Russian Revolution and then World War II.

Her painting style developed and changed throughout her career however, it’s her work from the 20s & 30s that’s our favourite. Portraits of fashionable flappers, open-topped sports cars, cubist skyscrapers. Her execution of  fabric – the folds, the ruffles, the shadows – is outstanding!

A range of affordable prints and other decorative objects using her artworks  can be found online. There are also lots of books about her paintings and her long and fascinating life.

Tamara de Lempicka painting a portrait of her first husband Tadeusz Lempicki, c.1928credit

Additional image credits:

Pinterest | Wikiart

Designer Desire: Lotta Jansdotter

Mosaic of Lotta Jansdotter designs | H is for Home

We bought a lovely new duvet set a couple of weeks ago that was designed by Lotta Jansdotter. We’d not heard of her before but have since searched for and found lots of examples of her work online.

She’s a Finland-born, USA-based surface pattern designer whose products can be found on fabrics, bed linen, soft furnishings, luggage, ceramics, paper goods… all manner of homewares.

Her designs are bright and modern with a Scandi twist.

There are lots of different outlets selling her goods including Amara, B&Q, DaWanda, Etsy, eBay and Target. She has published a number of books on sewing, craft and decorating projects.

Alternatively, if you like getting hands on, Jansdotter runs workshops a few times a year in diverse locations such as Jaipur, Tokyo, Los Angeles and Åland (the islands where she is from originally).

Lotta Jansdotter portrait

Image credits:

Ashley Wilde Group | Pinterest

Designer Desire: Hervé Morvan

Mosaic of Hervé Morvan designs | H is for Home

One of the most well-known Hervé Morvan (1917-1980) works is probably the design he produced in 1956 for Banania – a French chocolate drink company.

He designed posters and other advertising materials for lots of other well known brands including Air France, Perrier, Evian, Gitanes and Bally.

Between the 1930s and 1950s, he designed over 150 film posters and also illustrated a number of LP covers and the Printemps du Monde series of children’s books by Jean des Vallières.

His original posters fetch good prices and can sometimes be found on eBay or specialist outlets such as Vintage Posters

There’s a book of around 280 of his works which is available on Amazon.

Portrait of Hervé Morvancredit

Image credits: Invaluable