modernism

Elis Kauppi

i thought i would delve into some design history today, for a change, mostly because i want to learn & teach myself about these things. so much of the awesome creativity i share on the blog is likely influenced by someone or something, and it’s always good to go back and see who was groundbreaking in their field, becoming design heroes in a sense.

Elis Kauppi

if there’s one design field i do not know much about, it’s jewellery. so today our design hero is Elis Kauppi, a Finnish designer born in 1921 (d. 2004) who was at the forefront of the modernist jewellery movement in Finland.

In 1945, at age 24, Kauppi founded his renowned jewelry workshop, Kupittaan Kulta, in Turku, Finland. Part of a younger generation of makers which would forever change the face of jewelry design, Kauppi was driven to innovate by both the difficult circumstances of war and a desire to push past accepted standards of jewelry design at the time. He was one of the first to use local stones such as granite and spectrolite, which were elevated in status and incorporated into unique designs in fresh and innovative way. Attention to simplicity and form was the order of the day. A true modernist, Kauppi’s designs emphasize abstraction, rejecting the popular forties naturalistic flower and leaf designs. With strong focus on craftsmanship and integrity of design, his bold creations remain strikingly relevant today. *

Elis Kauppi

it’s possible that you might look at these pieces and think, “well, i see stuff like this now a days!” (i do give people more credit than that, but you never know) that’s of course because Kauppi and his Modernist contemporaries – not just in Finland, but all over the world – set the stage for modern jewellery design.

These forward thinking artisans rejected the traditional European designs of the time which included the rigid geometry of art deco and the popular ornate decorative trends. These early modernist jewelry designers created vibrant, exciting and fresh pieces where form, workmanship and esthetic ideals were more important then intrinsic materials. Using brass, copper, wood, silver, found materials, stones, etc., they created bold and expressive sculptural forms never before seen in jewelry design. *

Elis Kauppi

you can find and buy his pieces on Etsy, eBay, 1stDibs, Bukowskis and a few other modernist speciality shops & vintage collectors online including HopeaSamantha Howard Vintage, Gråsilver, Welsh Elliott Modernism and Decopedia.

Elis Kauppi

 all the images in this post are courtesy of the websites mentioned and linked to above.

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evil people in modernist homes in popular films

this project by benjamin critten

… immediately made me think of this house

which was used as the basis for the house in charlie’s angels. do you remember? sam rockwell was wooing drew barrymore up until he revealed himself to be the bad guy and put her through a window…

and even after the fact i still wanted her to end up with him, because sam rockwell is awesome!

… anyway, one of the houses benjamin critten mentions in the publication is jackie treehorn’s place in the big lebowski (i can’t think of jackie treehorn without remembering that note he scribbled, makes me giggle every time.)

this is the sheats goldstein residence, which was designed by the same architect who was responsible for the chemosphere – john lautner.

the same house was incidentally also used in bandits (a completely underappreciated movie, in my opinion)

another of the films mentioned in the publication is diamonds are forever, which was partly filmed in the elrod house, designed by (you guessed it) john lautner.

AND he mentions twilight (not the silly vampire one) – which uses the jacobsen residence, also by lautner.

he also designed the house from a single man, which i was perving over a while back

not that anyone in the single man was particularly evil.

thus, my conclusion is that if i had to live in a movie i would want to be the bad guy because they are invariably the raddest characters and they get to live in the nicest houses.

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love / hate

this house is totally a case of oooooh i love the interior, but blegh why did they have to put that white block in the middle of a street filled with pretty old houses? really? way to ruin the neighbourhood guys.

i can hear my dad in the back of my mind saying, no sense of place. with a disappointed shake of his head… and i’d have to agree! but i can appreciate the interior at least.

discussion is welcome, i’m sure opinions will be divided on this. via contemporist.

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a single house

the house from a single man is still up for sale, by the way. just in case you were on the market and you wanted to spend in the region of $1,5 million (or less? i mean, in the current climate…) – this would be a good buy. designed in 1948 by john lautner; it is an open plan living masterpiece made from redwood, concrete and glass which opens up to the oak forest that surrounds it. heaven?

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california modern

i already expressed my love for old school victoriana houses – but this is the flip side of the coin. i can definitely see myself being very comfortable in a mid-century modern house, especially since i grew up in one – i love an expanse of glass and open living areas. julius schulman was a well known architectural photographer from that era, and his imagery certainly makes me appreciate these buildings even more.

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arthur erickson

i am positively salivating over these houses by late architect arthur erickson, all designed in the late fifties / early sixties.

catton house, 1967:

filberg house, 1958:

smith house, 1964:

graham house, 1962:

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