Iconic Furniture by Hans J Wegner


Mid Century Modern - DONE RIGHT!

Not too long ago I came upon a chair I fell in love with at an estate sale.  I haggled the price down a bit and kept pinching myself, as I hauled it home, that I had actually purchased such a beautiful chair. 

I didn’t know a thing about it . . . I just knew I liked it. 

That led to me researching where the chair came from and who designed it.

I learned all about the world renowned Danish furniture designer Hans Jørgensen Wegner.  He was born in 1914 and lived until 2007.  Wegner was big in the mid-century movement called "danish design".  Having a grandfather that came from Denmark, this made my chair a bit more special, but you don’t need to be a Dane to appreciate the beautiful designing this man did. 


A little sidebar here “What’s Danish Design” you might wonder, I did , and I found out that Danish Design is a style of design and architecture that was developed in mid-20th century. It was simply the belief in function over form.  These designers combined technology and functionality to design buildings, furniture, and household objects using simplicity as their guiding premise. 


Hans J. Wegner is considered among the greatest of furniture designers. And he must also have been one of the most productive, since we today can count more than 1000 models. His designs have been described as 'timeless', and 'everlasting'. Of course his furniture, in large part is still produced today by several companies specializing in mid-century modern.

He is the undisputed master of Danish chair design.  His chairs have become internationally recognized classics. To Wegner, a chair isn't just a piece of furniture, but a work of art made to support the human form.

 

Wegner left a remarkable legacy of design and craftsmanship for all of us to continue to enjoy, especially those of us who love “all things Mid Century modern.”

Wegner at work

This new found love of Wegner and his chairs of course led me on a creative jaunt - I drew a few of his famous chairs - loved learning about there history and putting my own little spin on them.  Below you'll find the chairs I've done and the little Wegner Chair chart I put together (of course I've given his chairs a bit of a folksy twist)  - they are all available in my shop. 



 


PEACE OUT MAN --- IT'S ALL GOOD

What’s all the fuss about the “V sign?


What’s in a hand gesture! Well, I had no idea the “V sign” was a tad bit controversial. As an artist I fell in love with the graphic symbol and the idea of it conveying the idea of peace.  But really the gesture can go from symbol to insulting with just a turn of your hand! Of course, it means peace both ways here in America, but in so many other country’s this is not the case! When I first went to research this I had no idea what a big deal it was. I most certainly didn’t guess it could potentially be so extreme! 

I had no idea as a “peace hand signal/sign lover” and “wanna be hippie” that making the “V sign” with your hand meant so many different things.  I just thought it meant “PEACE”.  Well it turns out that this hand gesture called the “V sign” is a gesture made while the index an middle fingers are raised and parted, and the other fingers are clenched or folded down, has variety of meanings.

Now, here’s where it gets more interesting, it has also been used by people of the United Kingdom as an offensive gesture, although, to indicate this, you must display your “V Sign with the palm inward.  If you backhand the peace sign in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, or the United Kingdom you would be flipping them, what’s equivalent to... the bird.  Oops ----  not so peace-like.

It has been used to represent the letter "V" as in "victory," especially by Allied troops during World War II.  Many people simply use it to signal the number 2.  Ok now let’s time travel to the 60s, and we now have the "V sign" being adopted by the counterculture movement, where it became the symbol of PEACE, palm outward of course. 

So, for those of you that like the gesture and that it means “PEACE” you may want to think about making sure you rock it the right way.

The poster and illustrations I had so much fun creating are here in the gallery below, you can find them in my shop as well.  I just loved the 60’s feel and giving each hand a fun surface pattern to dress them up a bit. 


framed for my studio wall

I LOVE GOLDEN BOOKS

Why are the old Golden Books so special?  Those of us who have grown up loving and reading these little books know why.  They are simply charming.  The first 12 Little Golden Book titles were published in October of 1942.  They have won the hearts of children everywhere and they have become an American Icon along the way.  Here are the covers of the first little books printed they were only a mere 25 cents.

The illustrations (especially the older ones in my opinion) are absolutely wonderful.

Many popular authors and illustrators have worked on Little Golden Books and Mary Blair is one of the illustrators who’s Golden Books and work I find inspiring.  She was an American artist who was produced art and animation for The Walt Disney Company.  Some of her more popular art was for titles like Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Song of the South and Cinderella, to name a few.  But in this posting I want to feature some of her little Golden Book illustrations I find so charming and sweet.  I see the influence her amazing work and how it continues to inspire a new generation of artist's and designers today. Her color palettes seem so fresh and lovely.

Several of her illustrated children's books from the 1950s remain in print today. I featured a few of my favorites here. Blair illustrated several stories in the popular Little Golden Books series, including I Can Fly (1951) and the Golden Book of Little Verses (1953). Even Walt Disney personally asked her to design the “It’s a Small World” pavilion for the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. You can see how beautiful her illustrations are, and how her work remains just as fresh looking now as it was 50 years ago.