Tempus Fugit, pop out clock by Timeworks, Inc. Available at PSAWfor $17.75
As I posted on my sandwich board today, "Tick tock, time to think about holiday shopping" Actually, as a retailer, I've been thinking about holiday shopping since mid summer. Truth be told, as a consumer I enjoy buying presents for my loved ones, but it's even more fun selling fabulous things to my customers. In this economy we're all being careful of what we spend, so I've worked at getting great stuff at reasonable prices. By reasonable, I try to mean under $50. Often under $25.
Pop Out Clocks from Timeworks, Inc. Seven different clocks available here.
These clocks are super cute and a brand new product from the Timeworks, Inc. Clock Company from Berkeley, CA. They come in a reusable box and assemble in a jiffy, really. I think they are made of melamine. The clock runs on a battery. Great little gift for under $20, easy to send, too.
Check out the clock faces. Click the small image and it will pop up!
notecards, portfolios, labels, sticky notes etc. at PSAW
I've been a stationery lover my whole life. Mostly I've collected postcards and notecards, but anything with pretty images and shapes will catch my eye. Now that our local paperie, Scribbles, has closed (alas) I'm trying to fill the void a tiny bit. Above are some sets with images by Wayne Thiebaud, Andy Warhol, Geninne D. Zlatkis. I also have Lotte Jansdotter and Paul Frank as well as assorted classic botanical images.
Canetti Museum magnet frames and PSAW mini prints
Not new to PSAW but one of my favorites, the Canetti Museum Magnet Frame. At $28 these are a sensation and very popular with my customers. Made of pure acrylic and tiny magnets by a small company in New York, (although manufactured in Thailand) these are the original Magnet Frame. They inspired me to offer PSAW mini prints by PSAW artists, made to fit the frames. At $20 a pop, these are also a fun and charming gift.
glass pendant by Marc Kornbluh at PSAW. Aprox 2" diameter. $45
No two of these pendants by Marc Kornbluh are alike. Marc used to live in Burlington and his glass studio was one of my favorite places. Now he lives. in Nebraska, but I'm lucky enough to be able to sell his lamp-work jewelry. At $45, this is a gift that will be loved for generations.
Vintage cigarette tin. $16.
I've been collecting typewriter tins and cigarette tins, lovely for both their shapes and graphics. No two alike, only while stock lasts since buying them is a random operation. But I've got a bunch here now.
Sno Folk by AO! Glass
AO! Glass, whose retail shop is right here at PSAW (separate store - common roof) are in high production for their very popular little Sno Folk. Great, perfect holiday gifts, they can be a tabletop decoration, or hang from a tree or mantle. www.aoglass.com. Tove Ohlander also will custom etch the bowls and other pieces that she and her partner Rich Ahrentzen make.
There's more, but I'll leave that for another post. Just come on buy and check us out. Tick Tock.
We write our sign daily. Then the rain washes it away. True ephemera.
It's been a slow week. I'm busy stocking up for the holidays, but meanwhile...ain't nobody shopping much. Rainy day, listening to Rufus Wainwright and the soundtrack of Wicked. Here are some random shots from the day.
Pendants by Marc Kornbluh. TMNK paintings in the background.
Moleskine journals. Nakki Goranin's American Photobooth. Liza Leger painting.
Card wall. Cards by me, from my ephemera collections. Ever changing.
Vintage typewriter ribbon tins.
Shinzi Katoh in foreground. Then Flashbags, then cards. TMNK paintings on the wall.
New boxed sets of 5x7 greeting cards from Pine Street Art Works. The images are from our ephemera collections, printed right here in the shop. Insides are blank. Six to a box. The cards are available singly in the store.
I had the pleasure of spending some time recently with industrial
designer and fellow Burlingtonian Jed Crystal who I met through Paige Russell when she and he had a show at PSAW a few years ago . Now Jed's up to something new: modern pet
furniture. His company is called Hepper. They sell online and in select locations around the country.
My own pug, Saki, has a habit of chewing the furniture - she's already destroyed a couch - so there's no way I'm buying her this gorgeous ensemble. But if I could, you know I would.
I spend a fair amount of my work time designing ads, which you can only see if you live in Burlington. So here are some for your viewing pleasure. All the items in the ads are taken from the Pine Street Art Works collections, including a Chinese Checker Board, pottery by Paige Russell, vintage head vases, a detail of a FAKE! Liza Picasso, a Marx tin house, Shawnee cornware, Jello ephemera, Flashbags, a vintage postcard of Lake Champlain steamboat, The Ticonderoga (which now sits on dry land at The Shelburne Museum,) and a picture of my Grandma Lena.
I run this series of ads in The Burlington Free Press weekly supplement, The B Scene. I run ads for art shows in a number of regional periodicals, but for this series I decided to feature my artifacts & antiques collections. Does it bring customers? I don't know. They would bring me, but I'm already here.
Reader Ginny J-B asked about the reverse painting on glass in the photo of my exhibit atHealthy Living in South Burlington.
The Liza Leger she asked about it is the first one of his works that I FAKEd. I've always been a huge Leger fan. I remember copying "Big Julie" using scraps of color from magazines for my color class during my foundation year at The School Of Visual Arts in NYC. But that wasn't a FAKE! Yet.
During the winter of 1999 or 2000 I was doing a lot of painting on windows, experimenting with color and line. I had just discovered a wonderful glass paint made by Pebeo of France. The line is called Vitrail and I love them. When I was looking at a book of paintings by Leger it dawned on me that the color fields he used in some of his work would look wonderful as translucent shapes.
Here is the color chart I made for working with the product.
This is a scan of the reproduction of the original Leger. Two women and flowers. 1949
My cartoon and graph for my FAKE painting.
Liza Leger. Two women and flowers. Reverse paint on old window. 2000
I was still experimenting when I made this. Well, I'm always experimenting, but in this case I hadn't used translucent paint and opaque paint on the same piece, and I was initially disappointed with the combination, because when you hold the piece up to the light the opaque paint looks nasty. It is the vines on the edges that are opaque. So the whole translucency of the piece was compromised and it had to be a wall piece. I solved this by backing the painting with white board, which actually is great because when light is on the piece, it casts shadows onto the white backing, adding a whole new dimension. Extra bonus - the piece changes with the changing light.
I hadn't thought of the FAKE series when I made this. I just wanted to experiment and have a Leger. Most of the works in the actual series work with tweaking the pieces to see how much I can change a painting, add my own "paw" as the French say, and still have it recognizable as a Leger or a Picasso or a Matisse. This one is almost pure Leger. Except it's not.
So, thanks for asking, Ginny. And yes, the piece is for sale. Price $1,800.
Many lifetimes ago, in the 1970's, I used to design, publish and distribute buttons. Not sewing buttons, but the kind you pin onto your coat, or shirt, or backpack. Badges, they call them in England. I'd collected political buttons as a teenager and had quite an impressive bunch of them. I loved the smooth roundness of them, the graphics, and how they had to deliver their message in an instant. Like little billboards for your clothing.
White Mare Buttons. Image made on Mita 500D copier circa 1978. Liza Cowan
I liked to use symbols from Greek and Celtic antiquity, probably because they were accessible in books, and because the education we got in the nineteen fifties and sixties presented Mesopotamia and Greece and Egypt as the only places that existed in ancient times. Africa didn't exist- except for Egypt - in our racially biased educational system, even in the private progressive school I went to. Robert Graves' highly annotated book The Greek Myths led me to his book The White Goddess, A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth, and those were my two most insprational sources.
The first button I made was "A You're An Amazon" based on the song by Alix Dobkin (which was, in turn, a riff on "A You're Adorable" by Buddy Kaye and Sid Lippman) The moon and stars connected it to imaginary Amazon space. At the time, Amazons occupied a huge portion of Lesbian imaginary space until the other Amazon (.com) colonized the name and the pretty much corrupted the powerful symbolic association to an all woman civilization.
The triangle with a little groove etched in it that I found in pictures of carved rocks in Greece became the basis of my second design, "I like older women". I was twenty four at the time, but the message seemed really important, surrounded as we were, even then, by media images of the perpetual child/woman.
The Labyris, double headed ax, was the ubiquitous symbol of matriarchy, which feminist Lesbians worldwide had chosen as their symbol, I chose to pair it with the Star Of David, to connect my two identities. If you look closely, the Star of David is in the circle which tops the Labyris, turning the whole affair into a women's symbol. I thought it was quite clever. When jewelers started making pendants with the same design, I took it as a compliment. Several jewelers, when I told them I'd actually made up the design, said they thought it was ancient.
I asked a friend to design "Mother Nature Is a Lesbian" for my company. It was a huge seller, but truth be told, I never liked the design. The trees were nice but too much of a couple. The colors, light green, dark green and light blue, were pleasing, so that was good. But the typeface drove me nuts. There, I've said it.
Mother Nature Is A Lesbian, White Mare Buttons 1976
Medusa, the Gorgon who could turn men to stone if they looked at her, was another ubiquitous symbol of women's rage and power. Greek Goddess Athena featured the head of Medusa on her shield. Greek bakers put Medusa on the oven door to keep people from stealing the bread. I thought it would be nifty if we in the modern world could also wear Medusa as our aegis. I hired cartoonist Roberta Gregory to design this one.
And last is the White Mare, Celtic symbol of The Great Goddess. She was etched large on cliffs in England, I named my company after her. White Mare, Inc. If only I'd started an internet bookselling company we'd be ordering from WhiteMare.com and I'd be rich.
I'm a huge Maira Kalman fan. I love her childrens' books, her New Yorker covers, and mostly I love her mannequins. I consider myself lucky that I get to live with her art every day because I own five of her mannequins produced by Ralph Pucci International. I put those mannequins to work every day in my display window, on my showroom floor, in my ads and even on my handmade handbags by Flashbags. Maira Kalman bag from Barnes & Noble.
Yesterday I was cruising the magazine racks at Barnes & Noble in Williston when I came smack dab upon Maira Kalman tote bags. They're nice enough and they're inexpensive but I really prefer mine. Everything about mine says fun flash design. From the image, to the beautiful stitching, to the cellphone pockets. And I wonder where the B&N bags were made? China? Mine are made in Vermont.
Bag photo and image design copyright Liza Cowan for Pine Street Art Works. Maira Kalman mannequin made by Ralph Pucci International. Bag made in Vermont by Flashbags.
Flashbags are hand made in Winooski VT (just outside Burlington) by a small group of fabulous women. We have collaborated on many designs. My own art is on some, as well as pieces by artists who have shown at PSAW.
Now they have made me a collection of ephemera bags based on my ephemera collections. Jello, children's readers, needle books and old coloring books form the core of this collection of bags and accessories.
Whoopee! It's Jello Flashbag. Images from PSAW collections by Rose O'Neil, famous for her Kewpie Dolls. Made in Vermont by Flashbags.
Images from chilrden's reader and old coloring book. Collection PSAW. Made in Vermont by Flashbags.
Checkbook cover with image from mid 20th Century Needle Package. PSAW collections. Made in Vermont by Flashbags.
Checkbook cover with Jello illustration. PSAW collections. Made in Vermont by Flashbags.
I cant keep these products in stock. They are my number one best seller this holiday season.
Two years ago Ali Marchildon and Laura Cheeney started making Flashbags, handmade laminated handbags in Ali's dining room in Burlington, VT. At the same time I was getting ready to open Pine Street Art Works, right down the street. We started collaborating immediately.
Last year the bags sold steadily but slowly. But those gals have a lot of flash, as well as a fantastic product and two years of hard work and a lot of great business sense are paying off. Their new atelier in Winooski, VT is a hive of sewing and packing activity. They have expanded their line to include checkbook covers, clutches, bins, wallets and placemats. Their new line of Red Sox items are a big thrill for many Vermonters, who consider the Sox their home town team.
This year the bags are flying off my shelves.
On the top is Liza Leger from my series, Fake! Paintings by Liza Leger, Liza Picasso and Liza Matisse.
Flashbags is also now working with Cara Barer, the fantastic photographer from Houston TX, whose series of photos of soaked and shaped books is a staple at PSAW. Cara's work is in the Houston Museum of Fine arts as well as in a couple of other fine galleries in the US.
You can come here to PSAW- 404 Pine Street, Burlington VT - to shop for your Flashbags bags and accessories or go directly to their site to buy their array of images and products, or, for even more fun, order a custom bag.
Make sure to tell them that Liza sent you. And stay tuned for my new line of bags based on my ephemera collections, coming sometime this winter.