Designer Desire: Antonio Frasconi

Mosaic of Antonio Frasconi artworks | H is for Home

Antonio Frasconi (1919 – 2013) was an illustrator best known for his woodcut prints, especially the ones in his award-winning 1950s children’s book, The House That Jack Built, a picture book in two languages. and See and Say, a picture book in four languages. He often produced books in multiple languages; namely English, Italian, French and Spanish. A great way to learn a new language – whatever your age may be!

Frasconi was born in Argentina, grew up in Uruguay and, aged 26, moved to the USA. In addition to his work for children he produced very political works on subjects such as the Vietnam War and ‘Los Desaparecidos’ (The disappeared), the people tortured and killed during the Uruguayan Dictatorship in the 197s and 80s.

As well as his own books, he designed numerous covers and illustrations for the works of other authors and poets including:

  • Dylan Thomas – Reading a Child’s Christmas in Wales | Narrating Under Milk Wood (LP records)
  • Herman Melville – On the Slain Collegians
  • Walt Whitman – Overhead the Sun
  • Jan Wahl – The Little Blind Goat
  • Ruth Krauss – The Cantilever Rainbow
  • Henri Pirenne – Medieval Cities: Their Origins and the Revival of Trade
  • André Gide – Strait is the Gate | If It Die
  • Glenway Wescott – 12 Fables of Aesop
  • Titus Burkhardt – Alchemy

Antonio Frasconi at work

Image credits:

Invaluable | Pinterest | Moma | Amazon

Mid century modern golfer

Mid century modern bronze golfer figure | H is for Home

Any golfers with a love of mid century modern style out there? We might have just the thing for you.

Mid century modern bronze golfer figure | H is for Home

We picked up this small bronze sculpture today and were very taken by the design. Long, sinuous limbs and strong facial features. We thought it had something of the Alberto Giacometti about it.

Mid century modern bronze golfer figure | H is for Home

You don’t actually need to be a golfer to appreciate this striking little object. A simple yet bold design – perfect on a bookshelf or desk. It will be available in our web shop soon.

Tibor Reich exhibition

Tibor Reich tapestry | H is for Home

Last week, I made an all too rare visit to Manchester; I was meeting a friend at the Whitworth to view the Tibor Reich exhibition.

Tibor Reich exhibition room at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

Tibor Reich mural at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

Tigoware sketch by Tibor Reich displayed at the Whitworth

Tibor Reich Tigo-Ware 'Florence' and 'Espanola' vases | H is for Home

It was wonderful seeing his work ‘in the flesh’ so to speak, rather than in books or on the internet, to appreciate the scale. The ‘Florence’ Tigo-Ware vase on the left of the photo above is over a foot tall.

Examples of Tigo-Ware designed by Tibor Reich and produced by Denby Pottery in the 1950s | H is for Home

Tibor Reich designed ceramic tiles | H is for Home

His black & white sgraffito designs are very eye-catching and distinctive.

Ceramic ashtrays designed by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

Apparently, he designed and produced these keyhole-shaped ashtrays as presents for friends one Christmas. I’ve never seen one on the open market, they’re absolutely beautiful!

Ceramic ashtray designed by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

Tibor Reich pen & ink sketches | H is for Home

A lot of his ceramic work is concerned with the female form and visage – my friend and I wondered whether his wife Freda, who was pictured in many of the photographs in the exhibition, acted as his muse.

Colour sketches of women by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

A displat of tools and other objects used by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

Tibor Reich's sitting room which he designed himself | H is for Home

Reich may be best known for his textiles (his designs were on the seats of Concorde and the QE II), however his practice was multifaceted. Ceramics, fine art, photography… he even designed his own home including the ‘flaming onion’ fire in his sitting room, shown above.

 

A photo posted by TIBOR (@tiborreich) on

Tibor Reich: Art of Colour and Texture, shown above, was published earlier this month to accompany the exhibition. It can be purchased here (£35.00). The Tibor Reich exhibition runs until August 2016, so you still have lots of time to check it out – it’s well worth it! If you can’t get to Manchester, the University of Leeds (where he studied) have a huge archive of his textile work which can be viewed online.

Wallpaper display at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

In an adjoining room, there was an exhibition of vintage wallpaper (which runs until the 4th of September 2016). With the room’s huge, tall walls the long rolls were shown off to spectacular effect.

Wallpaper display at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

Although I loved most of the designs, it also made me realise how overpowering some of the patterns would be if all four walls in a room were papered. A small feature wall would suffice!

Vintage 'Promenade' wallpaper sample | H is for Home

There were display cabinets of wallpaper samples – here are two of my favourites.

Vintage wallpaper sample with birds pattern | H is for Home

Forthcoming Attractions: September 2015

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selection of vintage furniture and homewares in the H is for Home shop - September 2015

Here are some of our vintage furniture and homeware purchases from this past week.

Original vintage oil painting of a shipyard by J. Jennings

We’ll start with the painting – an original 1960s oil on board. It’s entitled ‘Waterfront’ and features a harbour scene with dock buildings, cranes and lights reflected in the still water.

Original vintage oil painting of a shipyard by J. Jennings

The artist is J. Jennings.

Cream-coloured vintage Horstmann anglepoise-type desk lamp

Next, this superb lamp by Hadrill & Horstmann. It has a counterweight mechanism which not only looks great, but works very efficiently too – the perfect design combo. The West German pottery vases & planters always sell well – especially with that distinctive flash of volcanic orange.

Original vintage G-plan footstool with yellow upholstery seat

And more vibrant colour… this G-Plan stool with its original yellow fabric upholstery didn’t take much deciding upon.

Underside of a vintage G-plan footstool showing the original label

It’s a fabulous shape too and went straight into the boot of the car!

Vintage studio pottery lamp base made by Evans in 1976

There are slightly more muted tones in this studio pottery lamp base, but it’s no less attractive.

Detail of a vintage studio pottery lamp base made by Evans in 1976

We’ve got a friend whose studio pottery collection is ever expanding.

Underside of a vintage studio pottery lamp base made by Evans in 1976 showing the signature and date

She gave an, ‘oooooooh that’s nice!’, when she saw it – and has thus managed to squeeze one more piece into her house!

David Wild oil painting

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Detail of 'Skidding icy sunset. Crescent, Salford' original oil painting by David Wild

In addition to the usual furniture, pottery and lamps that we buy on out travels, we occasionally come across great pieces of art for sale.

'Skidding icy sunset. Crescent, Salford' original oil painting by David Wild

Not surprisingly given our location, well-regarded Northern artists are of particular interest – the way in which they capture both the rural and urban landscapes.

'Skidding icy sunset. Crescent, Salford' original oil painting by David Wild

We were offered this fantastic painting recently and snapped it up.

Detail showing the painting title 'Skidding icy sunset. Crescent, Salford' original oil painting by David Wild

It’s entitled ‘Skidding, icy sunset, Crescent, Salford’ and is the work of David Wilde (1913 – 1974). This particular piece dates from the mid to late 1960s.

Detail showing the artist signature on 'Skidding icy sunset. Crescent, Salford' original oil painting by David Wild

Perhaps somewhat overlooked until a recent resurgence in interest, his work was actually exhibited alongside the likes of Picasso & Dali in his lifetime.

Detail showing the painting title on the rear of 'Skidding icy sunset. Crescent, Salford' original oil painting by David Wild

The painting has so much vibrancy – a real explosion of movement and colour.

Detail of 'Skidding icy sunset. Crescent, Salford' original oil painting by David Wild

 Confident brush strokes capture the sweeping crescent-shaped road and skidding vehicles…

Detail of 'Skidding icy sunset. Crescent, Salford' original oil painting by David Wild

…the bold city skyline provides a dramatic backdrop to the icy chaos below.

Detail of 'Skidding icy sunset. Crescent, Salford' original oil painting by David Wild

It’s the kind of purchase that we’re very happy to live with until it finds the right buyer.

Ken Law Tower Bridge print

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Vintage Ken Law Tower Bridge print | H is for Home

As we mentioned in yesterday’s post, we’ve just returned from a short break in London & Brighton. In addition to visiting relatives and generally being lazy for a few days, we also had to collect a picture we’d bought on eBay a while ago.

Signature on a vintage Ken Law Tower Bridge print | H is for Home

The subject matter of this vintage Ken Law print was very apt!

Detail from a vintage Ken Law Tower Bridge print | H is for Home

It’s a stylised Thames scene featuring the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, working boats and riverside buildings.

Detail from a vintage Ken Law Tower Bridge print | H is for Home

It’s stunning… the use of colour & tone and the distinctive block style. We’ve been fans of Ken Law for some time now – we have a Hampstead High Street print by him too – and there’s a fabulous depiction of a New York bridge that we’d like to get hold of sometime.

Detail from a vintage Ken Law Tower Bridge print | H is for Home

We hung it on the wall of the lovely 1960s London house where we were staying to photograph it. It looked so at home there! We almost felt guilty packing it up in our car for the journey up North.